You have probably noticed when you visit a friend or family member—their home smells different than yours. Every home or place of business has a unique scent. This scent can be a pleasant aroma that people associate with you or an unpleasant odor that is never forgotten. Everyone wants a home or office that smells clean and fresh. Unfortunately, everyday contaminants like food, pets and smoke can make that difficult. It can be especially challenging in your home because you become “nose blind” to a scent you smell all of the time, so you may not notice unpleasant smells. No matter how much effort you put into cleaning floors and surfaces, if the air does not smell clean, your home or office will never feel clean.

There are many different products by dozens of manufacturers on the market developed to reduce odors or make the air smell fresh including dozens of recipes for DIY air freshening products. Though there are a dizzying number of air freshening products, they all can be broken down into two main categories: odor neutralizers and air fresheners. But, as you will discover odor neutralizers are a superior choice for reducing indoor odors.

What is an Air Freshener?

Air fresheners are a product type designed to reduce odors in the air. Generally, a commercial air freshener is less expensive than a commercial neutralizer, because the product is a scent used to cover the offensive odor. Air fresheners can come in many forms, as well as in a variety of scents. These different types of air fresheners include room sprays, powders, candles, gels and plug-ins. These types are divided into two different types to include continuous action (such as a plug-in freshener that works all the time) and instant action (such as a spray or powder that work when activated). While air fresheners often have a pleasant scent, they do not do anything to remove the actual odors in the air. They serve mainly as a perfume for the air, and the scent will not last.

What is an Odor Neutralizer?

An odor neutralizer is a product that does not just cover odors; it eliminates them. Odor neutralizers work to combat the odors at their source by creating a chemical reaction with the unpleasant scents in the air. In fact, both baking soda and vinegar are simple all natural odor neutralizers that work because of the acid-base reactions they create. Whether they understand the science behind it or not, many people keep an open box of baking soda in their refrigerator—because of the reaction of the soda with many of the substances that can cause bad odors. There are, of course, many commercial odor neutralizers too, and most of these work in the same way, with an acid-base reaction.

Why Choose an Odor Neutralizer instead of an Air Freshener?

The first, and most obvious reason, to choose an odor neutralizer over an air freshener is that fresheners only mask odors—the neutralizers can actually get rid of the scent through scientific means. While the air freshener may make the home temporarily smell better, the pleasant scent will fade and the odor will return. Another concern with air fresheners is that certain chemicals found in some of these products have been found to be dangerous. A study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council showed that common air fresheners may contain chemicals that affect human reproduction. Additionally, these chemicals may cause a serious reaction in those with allergies or asthma too, making them a hazard for those who suffer from these ailments.

As you can see, even though the names of the two products are occasionally used interchangeably, and the products serve the same purpose- odor neutralizers and air fresheners are actually very different products. It is important to learn about the differences and choose the product that will best serve you and benefit your home or office. Before you make the decision on which to purchase, study the ingredient labels of both types of product (as well as comparing the different brands on the market). Then, read any warnings and consider all your options. When you have learned the facts, you will discover that the best way to help your environment smell its best is by ridding it of odors, not just covering them up!

If you are experiencing unpleasant or unusual odors in your home or office, Call Mr. Duct Cleaner and we will start addressing the problem right away by investigating, identifying the source of the smell and recommending the best way to get rid of it.