You spray, plug, or press a button, and the next minute the offending odor in your home has been replaced by a delightful scent. Magic, right? Not quite…

A good air freshener is about much more than the fragrance. “We know that the scent that’s being left behind and the ambience that it creates is a big reason that people use the air freshener category. But the other side of that is odor elimination.” Morgan Brashear, Febreze senior scientist, explains, “Look for an air freshener that actually has ingredients in there purposefully designed to eliminate odors. For Febreze, we have four powerhouse odor-elimination technologies that we’ve formulated into the product that don’t just mask the odors; they actually do trap them, neutralize them, eliminate them.” 

Here’s where we get into the science of these key ingredients in Febreze. “The first odor eliminator is cyclodextrin—it is a starch ring derived from corn and potatoes, and it is shaped like a doughnut. What it does is actually trap odors in the center of the doughnut and locks them away so you cannot smell them anymore. It is used in Febreze for the purpose of odor elimination, but it is used in a lot of different industries for a lot of different purposes.”

Another odor-elimination technology Febreze utilizes is a lot more familiar to the average person—citric acid. Yep, the very same that is found in lemons and other citrus fruits. “It’s going to be your pH neutralizer,” Brashear explains, “so it’s going to bring odors to a pH of 7, which is the pH of water and doesn’t smell. You might be familiar with this concept if you’ve ever eaten a particularly fishy meal and squeezed a lemon on it to neutralize the fishy taste. That’s the same thing citric acid does to odors in our products.”

The result? No more fishy smell floating around your home.