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Updated May 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Pet Odor and Stain Eliminator
Rocco & Roxie
Professional Strength Pet Odor and Stain Eliminator
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Premium Pick
Bottom Line

This specialized formula can be used on any surface and is highly effective, according to our cleaning expert.

Pros

Enzyme-activated solution breaks down ammonia crystals and organic matter to fully remove odors and stains, preventing pets from returning to the same spots. Free from harmful chemicals. Leaves no residue. Safe for use around children and pets. Approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute for gentle, safe efficacy.

Cons

Cost may add up if you have extensive problem areas. Needs to be used correctly to be completely effective.

Best Bang for the Buck
Fresh Wave Odor Removing Gel
Fresh Wave
Odor Removing Gel
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

Choose this if you need low-maintenance odor control and have a designated area where little hands – or paws – can't reach.

Pros

Uses all-natural, nontoxic ingredients to remove odors. Gel solution is highly effective and easy to use: pour into any container and place in problem areas. Conveniently evaporates as it works. Nonhazardous composition meets EPA’s safer product standards.

Cons

Although nontoxic and safe, open containers placed in general areas can get spilled. Be cautious using around children or cats.

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Odor Eliminator
Hamilton Beach
TrueAir Odor Eliminator
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Most Comprehensive
Bottom Line

Dual-action design eliminates odors and captures dust simultaneously.

Pros

Carbon filters work to process air, neutralize odors, and trap dust. Quiet fan with 2 speed settings: low for general purpose use and high for quick odor-eliminating action. Energy-efficient. Eliminates smoke, cooking, pet, and bathroom odors for up to 3 months. Replaceable cartridges. Includes optional scent cartridge.

Cons

Requires power source. Cartridges eventually need to be replaced.

OdoBan Original Eucalyptus Odor Eliminator
OdoBan
Original Eucalyptus Odor Eliminator
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

This trusted odor eliminator is affordable, and our expert likes how effective and versatile it is.

Pros

Removes odors and sanitizes by killing 99.9% of germs. Can be used as everyday cleaning solution. Can be sprayed directly onto carpets, furniture, curtains, pet bedding, litter boxes, etc. Gives laundry extra freshness boost. Includes 1 gallon of OdoBan concentrate plus spray bottle for hassle-free use. Highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

Cons

Some find the initial smell a little overpowering, but it tends to dissipate.

Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator for Home
Angry Orange
Pet Odor Eliminator for Home
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Best for Pet Owners
Bottom Line

Our cleaning expert recommends shaking the bottle of this odor eliminator for effective, animal-friendly results.

Pros

Specialized for a variety of animal smells and locations, such as kennels and barns. Shake well and allow the application to fully dry for optimum results. Composed of a natural orange smell that leaves behind a pleasing citrus scent. Available in a subscription service.

Cons

Citrus smell may be annoying for animals with more sensitive noses.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
75
Consumers
Consulted
16
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for Best odor eliminators

Sometimes, no matter how clean you keep your house, there are just some stubborn odors that refuse to go away. Whether it’s from the bathroom, nursery, kitchen, pets, trash cans, mildew, or cigarette smoke, it can start to seem like the smell follows you no matter where you go. That’s why having a reliable odor eliminator in your home can be so important.

Unlike air fresheners that just mask smells, odor eliminators work to neutralize and remove the scent from your home. But there are quite a few odor eliminator products on the market, so choosing the right one can be tough. You have to decide on the type of formula you prefer, as well as what ingredients and scent will work best for your needs.

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An air purifier odor eliminator is an ideal option for a room with poor air circulation, such as a bathroom without a window.

Types of odor eliminators

When you’re trying to decide which type or formula to choose, it’s important to consider how and where you plan to use the odor eliminator.

Spray

Most liquid odor eliminator sprays are acidic and work by bonding with and neutralizing the alkaline odors. You can spray it wherever there is an odor – a large room or a concentrated area, including fabric-covered areas, such as carpets, curtains, or furniture. These odor eliminators typically come in a small spray bottle, though you can also find gallon containers.

Gel

This odor eliminator has a thick, jelly-like texture that absorbs odor molecules from the air. You pour the gel into an open container that you place near the source of the odor. The gel eventually evaporates, taking the odor with it. This is an ideal option if you want to eliminate odors from a bathroom, nursery, or kitchen.

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Expert TIp
When choosing an odor eliminator, think about where in your home you’ll use it the most and how often you'll use it. This will help you decide if a spray, a solid absorber, or a machine will suit your home the best.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Packet/sachet

You place these small bags filled with odor-absorbing ingredients near the source of the odor, and the ingredients pull the odor molecules out of the air. Packets and sachets work best in a targeted area. Some are disposable and ideal for tossing in the bottom of a diaper pail or trash can. Others are reusable, so you can hang them in a musty closet or keep one in your car to keep the air smelling fresh. You can reuse the bag for up to two years.

Air purifier

For the most effective odor elimination over a large area, an air purifier is your best bet. Purifiers are typically plug-in devices that have a fan to pull odors in and a series of filters to neutralize the scent. The device then sends the purified air back into the room, minus the bad smell. Depending on the size you choose, you can remove odors from a room up to 100 square feet.

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Testing odor eliminators
We researched 21 types of odor eliminators over the course of 5 hours before picking our top 5 favorites. We then purchased our favorite model and tested it in our lab.
STAFF
BestReviews

Odor eliminator features to consider

Ingredients

Odor eliminators use a variety of active ingredients to neutralize the smells in your home. Unlike air fresheners, which usually contain chemicals and synthetic ingredients, odor eliminators typically often rely on natural ingredients, so they’re usually non-toxic and not hazardous to children or pets.

  • Activated charcoal is one of the most common ingredients in odor eliminators. It’s an extremely porous form of charcoal that’s been processed using heat or chemicals to “activate” it. Because the charcoal is so porous, it can absorb odors from the air to help freshen your home.

  • Enzymes like protease and amylase start a chemical reaction that neutralizes soil-, protein-, and starch-based odors, such as urine, feces, foods, and beverages. The enzymes break down the proteins in the odor to remove the bacteria that create foul smells.

  • Lime, cedarwood, clove, pine, anise, and other natural extracts are used by some odor eliminators to neutralize smells.

Scent

While odor eliminators are not designed to mask odors, they can be scented to help instantly freshen the air in your home. They often have natural scents, which are less likely to affect you if you’re sensitive to fragrance. Some common scent options include the following.

  • Lavender

  • Eucalyptus

  • Citrus

  • Sandalwood

If you are very sensitive to fragrance, there are many odor eliminators that are completely free of scent.

Expert Tip
Most odor-eliminating sprays must dry completely for the best results.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Ease of use

Gel, packet, and air purifier odor eliminators are the easiest to use because they work continuously without you having to do much more than put them in place. With gels and packets, you simply set them out and they go to work. To use an air purifier, you plug it in, turn it on, and occasionally replace the filters.

Spray or liquid odor eliminators require more work on your part because you must apply them to the source of the odor. In some cases, you might need to reapply the odor eliminator multiple times.

"Air purifier odor eliminators usually use carbon filters that need to be replaced periodically."
STAFF
BestReviews

Odor eliminator prices

Odor eliminators range in price based mainly on the type or formula. In general, you can expect to pay between $5 and $150.

Spray

Depending on the size of the bottle, spray or liquid odor eliminators usually cost between $5 and $35.

Gel

Depending on the size of the container, gel odor eliminators usually cost between $5 and $45.

Packet/sachet

Depending on the size of the packets and the number included, packet or sachet odor eliminators usually cost between $10 and $60.

Expert Tip
Store your odor eliminators under your sink or anywhere you keep your other household supplies.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Air purifier

Depending on the size of the room it covers, an air purifier odor eliminator usually costs between $25 and $150.

Tips

  • You can recharge an activated charcoal odor eliminator. If you’re using an odor eliminator packet, bag, or sachet that contains activated charcoal, you can recharge its odor-absorbing power by placing it in the sun for several hours. The heat can help make the charcoal more porous again, so it’s better able to soak up the odors in your home.

  • Spot test a liquid odor eliminator on fabric first. While spray or liquid odor eliminators are usually safe for use on fabrics or upholstered surfaces, it’s a good idea to spot test the formula in an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t affect the color.

  • You can adjust the speed setting on an air purifier. Air purifier odor eliminators usually have a couple of speed settings. A low setting works well if you’re using the device at night because the purifier operates more quietly. A high setting works best if you’re trying to remove a particularly bad odor.

  • Never dispose of odor eliminator gel by pouring it down the sink. It could clog your pipes.
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Spray or liquid odor eliminators can sometimes be tricky to use because you may not fully remove the odor if you don’t apply the product correctly. Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

FAQ

Q. What kinds of smells can an odor eliminator remove from my home?

A. Odor eliminators can handle almost any smell that might plague your home. Bathroom, cooking, trash can, pet, diaper pail, musty basement or closet, cigarette smoke, and sweaty shoe odors can all be tackled by most odor eliminators. But you should keep in mind that some may work better for certain odors than others, so read the product specifications to see if it’s the best choice for your particular concerns.

Q. Are odor eliminators safe to use around children and pets?

A. Many odor eliminators contain natural ingredients that are nontoxic and nonhazardous, so they are perfectly safe to use if you have small children and/or pets in your home. However, some formulas may contain chemicals that can pose a health risk. If you’re concerned, make sure that any odor eliminator you’re considering is labeled as nontoxic and nonhazardous. And even if the product is labeled as non-toxic, don’t leave it unattended where children or pets can reach it.

Q. How long does a gel odor eliminator last?

A. It depends on how large the container of gel is. In most cases, you can get up to six months of odor-removing action with a single jar or container. Many gels are affected by ambient airflow, though, so if you place the gel directly in front of a fan, you may find that it evaporates more quickly.

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