how & why Febreze cleans away stink

a deep dive into OdorClear technology

Wanna know why we think Febreze is kind of a big deal? While other air fresheners mask odors, Febreze straight up cleans away stink with OdorClear technology—the best odor-eliminating formula since 1998.

Looking for details? Let us break it down.

the science of smells

If you were awake for biology class, you might remember molecules. Every stinky odor you smell is actually a complex little bundle of these guys, and they’ve got boundary issues. They fly through your halls. They curl up in your couch. Invited or not, they settle in and stick around. And no matter how clean your home looks, all that hard work can be lost with one sniff.

odor IQ

To sniff out these odors, your nose and brain team up. Your nose handles smell intake and your brain gets a message to check it out. This means smells have “no-wait” access to your memories and impressions. So when freshly baked cookies = a flashback to Grandma’s kitchen, that’s why.

what’s OdorClear?

Our OdorClear technology acts like a stink vacuum: It seeks out odors and cleans ’em away. Say “buh-bye” to stinky molecules that linger around like last night’s oven-roasted Brussel sprouts. In other words, when it comes to bad odors? It’s complicated. They can’t (and won’t) take a hint. So quit hinting and start taking action. 

what’s OdorClear made of?

OdorClear technology is a proprietary formula from Febreze made up of a series of hardworking odor-eliminating ingredients that we like to call "The Febreze Four." These stink-ending complexes come from everyday ingredients like cyclodextrin (a starch molecule made from corn) and citric acid (found in lemons and other citrus fruits).

the Febreze four

Like any great superhero team, each odor-eliminating compound has a special skill. But, together, they’re a force of freshness that can’t be stopped. Roll call:


odor trappers — Cyclodextrin is a starch molecule made from corn and is shaped like a donut. Stinky molecules are pulled into cyclodextrin’s center and locked away to be eliminated and never smelled again (like yesterday’s bacon and egg sandwich after Febreze Air Effects is sprayed).


odor converters — These bad boys (and girls) are reactive perfume ingredients, eliminating even the broadest range of odors. They do so by binding to those “ew”-inducing molecules and never letting go. Well, until the odors agree to change their stinky selves, which they do. Way to go, odor converters! Smell it in action with a Febreze PLUG.


odor neutralizers — Citric acid, found in lemons and other citrus fruits, neutralizes and eliminates odors by balancing their pH to that of water. Which, in case you were wondering, is a perfectly balanced 7. Smell their neutralizing effect in Febreze Air Effects.


odor magnets — This polymer is made specifically for the fabric odors, with love from Febreze Fabric Refresher. We call the duo "PSB," but you can call it an odor magnet. It does double duty by digging deep to attract and then extract up to 300 quintillion odors from all your hard-to-wash soft surfaces (and that’s just one bottle). You know, the classic Febreze trap-and-lock trick.

And there you have it. The not-so-secret science of how Febreze works, and the microscopic proof that, thanks to OdorClear technology, it now cleans away odors better than ever before.

Run along now. Spread the word to your friends.