Does Febreze Air Effects give odors the boot?

Consumer Reports

View gallery

.

MORE AT CONSUMERREPORTS.ORG

An ad for Febreze Air Effects, which “sweeps away those stale and stifling odors and leaves a fresh scent,” shows blindfolded “real people” being led into a stinky room that has been sprayed with the product. They’re asked to take a deep breath and describe what they smell. “Very springtimey,” one man says. Another cites “a forest thing going on,” and a woman says she feels as if she’s in a spa.

All are shocked when the blindfolds are removed to reveal an old, defecating goat; a dead fish; and a sweaty bodybuilder. (Watch the ad on YouTube.) Ads for other Febreze products show their prowess against, for starters, a sofa covered in dog fur, an old shipping container, a smelly boot, and the Azerbaijani wrestling team.

Lacking a goat, we stunk up a sealed room with a plate of sardines and a box filled with several days of litter scoopings from two large cats. We let the stuff sit for 4 hours, sprayed the room thoroughly with Febreze Air Effects, then brought in five blindfolded panelists one by one to tell us what they smelled.

Next, we ventilated the room and sprayed a second product, Febreze Air Effects Pet Odor Eliminator, which is designed to work against pet waste. We hid the malodorous litter behind a screen, and asked three new panelists to describe the resulting scent.

View gallery

.
Bottom line. Clean the cat box, don’t leave fish on the counter, and take out the trash. Although the sprays hid some of our odors, they didn’t work as well as implied by the ads, and any effect was temporary.

After we’d sprayed Febreze Air Effects, most blindfolded panelists still identified odors characteristic of fish or cat litter or both, and most also noticed a fragrance or chemical/detergent scent. Among their comments: “I wanted to throw up,” “Flowers gone bad, dirty diapers, old garbage,” and “Like a men’s room in a truck stop.”

The Pet Odor Eliminator fared little better with our next set of panelists. One said, “It’s not exactly pleasant, and I don’t want to inhale.” Another imagined “air freshener, cat urine, and a hamster cage.”

Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Bill Gates supposedly has long way to go to catch the real richest man in the world

      Coming in at around $86 billion, Bill Gates has ridden his Microsoft fortune straight to the top of the Forbes list of the world’s richest men. Then again, the business magazine doesn’t take into account ...

      MarketWatch q
    • Malia Obama in Ultimate Rich Kids' Ski Trip Pic (PHOTO)

      Malia Obama is on an Aspen vacay that will absolutely make you HATE your life when you see who she's posing with in what has to be the richie richiest photo of all time. Here's the answer key for who's who in this shot, taken last weekend at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro in Aspen: 1. Malia 2. Elizabeth Tisch, daughter of NY Giants co-owner Steve Tisch 3. Audrey Kotick, daughter of Activision/Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick (think Call of Duty money) 4. Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier 5. Jamie Tisch, ex-wife of Steve 6. Tom Bugbee, Monique Lhuillier's husband 7. Holden Tisch, daughter of Steve 8. Zachary Tisch, son of Steve 9. Tassilo von Furstenberg, grandson of Diane von Furstenberg When President

      TMZ q
    • Once Renowned Surgeon Sentenced to Life Behind Bars for Intentionally Maiming Patients

      Christopher Duntsch once billed himself as the best neurosurgeon in all of Dallas.

      Inside Edition
    • ‘Dr. Death’: Texas Neurosurgeon Gets Life in Prison for Botched Surgery

      A Texas neurosurgeon accused of intentionally botching multiple spinal surgeries, resulting in the death of two people and the paralysis of two others, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday, PEOPLE confirms. Christopher Duntsch, 46, was convicted last week of first-degree felony injury in one of those instances: a botched 2012 surgery involving 74-year-old Mary Efurd who lost a third of her blood and the use of her leg, according to the Dallas Morning News. One patient testified that he woke up paralyzed from the neck down after an operation performed by Duntsch.

      People
    • Milo Yiannopoulos apologizes for remarks, quits Breitbart

      Polarizing right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos was by turns apologetic for comments he made about sexual relationships between boys and men and adamant he had been the subject of "a cynical media ...

      Associated Press
    • Trump's Russia scandal takes an unexpected turn

      On Friday afternoon, FBI Director James Comey delivered a classified, hour-long briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia scandal, and soon after, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent “formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to the committee’s investigation” into the controversy. Pursuit of shady oligarch a test of DoJ integrity under Trump We don’t know much about how the briefing went – committee members were tight-lipped following Comey’s presentation – though Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted late Friday that he’s “now very confident” that the committee will conduct “thorough bipartisan

      MSNBC q
    • Historian Neil Howe on Bannon, Trump, and the possibility of civil war in the US

      In a revealing interview, Neil Howe—the co-author of The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny—candidly discusses his perspective on Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist and former head of the online news site Breitbart. Bannon is a proponent of the theory that history generally moves in 80-year cycles, with each cycle ending in a crisis that destroys the old order and ushers in something new. In widely reported remarks, Bannon believes the United States has had three “turnings”—the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression/World War II—and is now in the midst of another emanating from the 2008 Financial Crisis.

      Business Insider q
    • Jeanie Buss says she probably waited too long to fire her brother Jim

      Jim Buss dons a dress cap at the introduction of D’Angelo Russell in 2015. The Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to overhaul the front office and install franchise icon Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations surprised many, not least for the speed with which the move came together. What did not come as much of a shock, though, was that Jim Buss will no longer serve in the role now occupied by Magic.

      Ball Don't Lie
    • Interracial couple fined for not removing graffiti slur

      An interracial Connecticut couple whose home was vandalized by a racial slur has been fined for failing to cover it up.

      WPVI – Philadelphia
    • Why flight attendants prefer to work in economy over first class

      Everyone wants to be upgraded on a flight, apart from the flight attendants it seems. You’d think the cabin crew would much prefer working for a handful of posh people in Business or First Class, instead of hundreds of flustered passengers in Economy, but it turns out that’s not the case. Many airlines have an promotion system, where you start off in economy, then work your way up to business and first class, but other companies let the crew choose where they want to work for that flight. Because according to the accounts of several flight attendants, while they might be serving 10 people instead of 70 in the fancy cabins, their constant demands actually mean they work a lot harder. Heather Wilde,

      New York Post q
    • Space buffs drool as NASA announces a major 'discovery beyond our solar system'

      NASA will host a news conference on Wednesday to discuss recent discoveries of planets beyond our solar system. The even will begin at 1 p.m. ET. The public are invited to ask questions via Twitter with the hashtag #askNASA.

      Digital Trends
    • Hoda Kotb Shares the Inspiration Behind Daughter Haley Joy’s Name: ‘She’s Got a Beautiful Way About Her’

      Hoda Kotb surprised Today audiences on Tuesday when she announced she had welcomed a daughter — Haley Joy — through adoption. Calling back into the show’s fourth hour, which she normally co-hosts, Kotb explained the inspiration behind her daughter’s name — all while feeding Haley Joy! “Haley is because of Halley’s Comet,” Kotb told a tearful Kathie Lee Gifford and Jenna Bush Hager, referencing the famous short-period comet — which is visible to the naked eye from Earth every 75 years.

      People
    • Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa dressed up as Batgirl and Batman for their son’s birthday party, are #familygoals

      Some kids are born into lucky situations: Will Ferrell’s three sons (do they ever stop laughing?), Walt Disney’s kids (who had a secret…

      Hello Giggles
    • Is President Trump Right About Crime in Sweden?

      Trump tried on Sunday to clarify his remarks on Sweden on Saturday.

      ABC News q
    • A Look Inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago: The New ‘Winter White House’

      Mar-a-Lago sits along a coveted stretch of coastline in Palm Beach, Fla. It was built between 1924 and 1927 by cereal heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. Donald Trump purchased the property, which he would later dub the “Winter White House,” in 1985 for $5 million and used it solely as a private residence until turning it into a private members-only club in 1995. The Mar-a-Lago Club also boasts an oceanfront swimming pool, a beauty salon, a spa, five red clay tennis courts, a croquet court, and seaside cabanas.

      Yahoo Celebrity
    • One NBA executive reportedly believes Paul George is going to be traded to the Boston Celtics

      It is crazy-rumor season in the NBA as we approach Thursday's trade deadline, and with two big...

      Business Insider
    • Photos of Former Couples Walking Oscars Red Carpets Past That Will Make Your Heart Hurt (9 photos)

      All of these A-listers have happily moved on ... yet we can't help reminiscing about their past Oscars red carpet moments (and crying a little bit)

      People
    • Karrueche Tran Files Restraining Order Against Chris Brown, Claims He Threatened to Kill Her

      Karrueche Tran has some disturbing allegations against her ex, Chris Brown.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Diva demands and peeing on seats: Why flight attendants hate working in business class more than economy

      It was during training for his new job as a flight attendant in a business class cabin that Brad* realised what he was in for. As Brad – who works for a major US airline flying both domestic and international – would soon come to realise, working “up front” isn’t the easy ride you’d assume. “A lot of flight attendants don’t like working in first because it’s more work and the passengers tend to be more needy [than in economy],” he says.

      The Independent