The 10 Best Natural Odor Eliminators of 2021

Say farewell to that funk for good.

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A good sense of smell can bring you joy—whether its garden fresh flowers, homemade pie, or a spring rain. But a persistent unpleasant odor can be distracting, embarrassing, or in some cases, downright maddening. Thankfully there are a number of potential solutions that can help eliminate the most resistant smells whether they were caused by pets or family members, and whether they’re in your home, office, car, or laundry room.

To be kind to the environment, your first stop should be to try some of the natural homemade remedies that our grandparents used, like lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, salt, hydrogen peroxide, and even plants. But when those just can’t nix the stink, you’ll need to consider something more sophisticated. Choosing non-toxic products is essential not only to protect your family and pets from harmful chemicals but also to preserve our rivers and oceans.

From sprays and powders to pouches and air purifiers, here are the best natural odor eliminators to help you wipe out the worst smells.

The Rundown
Portable, cruelty-free, reusable for years, and recyclable too!
This spray is effective and safe for those with allergies, asthma, and chemical sensitivities.
With no residual chemical odor and proceeds going to shelter animals, this cleaner is a win win.
Sprayzee gets to the root of the odor in bathrooms: the toilet, leaving a fresh citrus scent.
A plant-based biodegradable treatment great for sportswear, diapers, and pet odors.
A mom-approved deodorizing powder without perfumes or sticky residues.
Spruce your kicks with this minty fresh spray that's safe on all materials.
Unscented, rechargeable, and chemical-free odor eliminator for small spaces.
Expecting guests any minute? Light this naturally-scented vegan candle.
When other options aren’t working, try this air purifier's cutting-edge technology.

Best Overall: Smelleze Reusable Home Smell Removal Deodorizer Pouch

Smelleze odor removal pouch

Manufactured in the United States for more than 25 years, Smelleze small reusable mineral-filled pouches are fragrance-, chemical-, toxin- and cruelty-free. They can pull the toughest odors right out of the air without cover-up perfumes.

You can place them near the source of the odor, directly on a return air vent, or even in an air duct. Each one covers up to 150-square-feet of odor absorption. Outlasting typical activated charcoal bags, Smelleze pouches can be recharged by placing them outside in the sun for an hour or in just two to three minutes in the microwave. Capable of being recharged thousands of times, they’ll last over three years. When you’re done with them, the spent minerals can be safely recycled back to nature in your flower bed!

Because the minerals are derived from the earth, they don’t tend to trigger those who suffer from allergies or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

Smelleze pouches come in a range of products designed to address a range of specific odor issues, including mothballs, dead animal, books, and hunting smells. A 100% money back guarantee means you can try them worry-free on every part of your home, office, and car.

Best Spray: Fresh Wave Odor Eliminator Spray

Fresh Wave Spray

Fresh Wave offers a range of odor-fighting products including this odor eliminator and air freshener. This all-purpose spray works well in a range of applications including on cigarette smoke, pet odors and bedding, clothing and laundry, kitchen, and bath. That power comes without added fragrances and chemicals. It has an initial fresh scent of cloves that dissipates quickly, so it doesn’t just cover the smell. It destroys it.

Those with breathing issues report that this product does not trigger allergies, asthma or chemical sensitivities — even on pillow cases — the way other sprays can.

In general, try to avoid aerosol sprays as their propellants often contain Volatile Organic Carbons (VOCs). Some of these VOCs are associated with health concerns while others can react in the atmosphere with nitrogen oxide air pollutants and sunlight to form ozone.

Best for Pets: Sunny & Honey Pet Stain & Odor Miracle - Enzyme Cleaner

Sunny & Honey Pet Stain & Odor Miracle

Rather than covering pesky pet odors with fragrance, the best pet deodorizers work as enzymatic cleaners, meaning they contain a mixture (often proprietary) of natural enzymes that break down the ammonia and other organic chemicals in urine, feces, and vomit — the true source of pet odors.

Unlike some of the other popular enzymatic cleaners, Sunny & Honey has a light mint and lavender smell that will leave a fresh clean scent. It contains few chemicals: Natural enzymes, water, a non-ionic surfactant, and an opacifier (to make it cloudy). But because it’s a detergent, follow package recommendations and use no more than you need for your clean-up job.

Sunny & Honey is certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute and safe on a range of surfaces including hardwood, laminate, tile, concrete, furniture, leather, pet beds, in cars, and even on artificial grass and turf. Made by a family-run business in the United States, Sunny & Honey also donates 10% of its profits to shelter animals, so you can feel great about your purchase, even when you’re miffed at your fur baby for making another mess.

Best for Bathrooms: Sprayzee Natural Toilet Spray + Bathroom Deodorizer

Sprayzee

When used as recommended, this product gets to the root of the odor in bathrooms: the toilet. It works best when sprayed into the toilet bowl before you go. Strong essential oils make up the Citrus Haven scent, thanks to a blend of lemongrass, bergamot, and essence of lemon. Its natural oils and enzymes trap the smells in the water to be flushed away, keeping them out of the air.

This fresh spray is free of artificial fragrances, alcohol, aerosols, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and aluminum. Sprayzee also prides itself on being made in the United States in an FDA-approved facility that follows Good Manufacturing Practices. 

Its packaging is cardboard-based, using less plastic than other products on the market. Available in a convenient travel size, you can take it with you discretely to public bathrooms, work, camping, and boating, or anywhere else you need to control bathroom odors.

Best for Laundry: Rockin' Green Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer

Rockin Green

Ammonia is produced naturally when organic matter decomposes. It’s the smell of sweaty athletic gear, dirty diapers, and cat urine. It can cling to fabrics and render many clothes unwearable. But Rockin’ Green Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer was made specifically to attack and neutralize ammonia-based odors.

Just a tablespoon of powder in the pre-wash cycle of most household washing machines will usually do the trick. Or use it as a pre-treatment before washing on the regular cycle for spot stains. For really tough odors, a more concentrated deep soak may be needed. Rockin’ Green Funk Rock is plant-based, non-toxic, cruelty-free, vegan, and biodegradable. It contains no phosphates, parabens, optical brighteners, sodium laureth sulphate, or artificial fragrances.

Interestingly, this bouncer is enhanced with natural chelating agents, organic chemicals like acetic acid (vinegar), citric acid (in lemon juice), or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). These acids neutralize ammonia (a base) and also make detergents work better.

Best Carpet and Upholstery: Good Natured Carpet & Upholstery Deodorizer

Good Nature Saving Grace

Made in Maine from aluminum-free sodium bicarbonate and concentrated eucalyptus and lemon essential oils, this deodorizer has antibacterial qualities while leaving a bright clean scent. Appropriate for area rugs, carpets, upholstered chairs, couches, pet beds, car mats, and fabric seats, it even works on that chemical smell caused by VOCs in new furniture.

If you’ve used other powdered carpet deodorizers, you’ll appreciate that this product vacuums up cleanly without leaving a perfume smell or a sticky residue. Pet owners and parents can feel confident that surfaces will be safe on contact with even the most delicate skin.

The Good Natured brand was founded by a mom, Janice Johnston, who wanted to keep her home clean and safe for her family. Independently-tested by Green Seal and rated by Whole Foods Market in their highest “green tier of their Eco Scale, this carpet and upholstery deodorizer is easy to use. Simply sprinkle the pet-safe powder on your problem area, let it sit for five minutes, and then vacuum it up.

Best for Shoes: Rocket Pure Foot and Shoe Deodorant Spray

Rocket Pure Spray

Doubling as both a deodorizer and deodorant, Rocket Pure's minty fresh spray is non-toxic and safe enough to spray directly on your feet and shoes. Made from essential oils, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, tea tree, and thyme, it’s also free of parabens and aluminum.

Based in Washington State, this small company was founded by athletes especially to address the odors associated with sports equipment. From boots and sneakers to gym bags, camping, hockey, and football pads, Rocket Pure is safe and effective on all surfaces. The company also makes a powder, and there are a range of other scent options including lemon, cedarwood, and eucalyptus. An added bonus, Rocket Pure offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee for the lifetime of the product and 100% refund or replacement.

Best for Cars: MOSO NATURAL Air Purifying Bag

MOSO NATURAL: The Original Air Purifying Bag

Simplicity at its best, these fabric bags hold 100% organic charcoal derived from sustainable bamboo. Activated charcoal is chemical-free, made up of a lattice of carbon molecules, and works wonders by absorbing odor-causing particles on its extensive surface area.

Each pouch covers up to 90 square feet and multiple pouches can be used to cover larger areas. Their odor-fighting power lasts up to a month before they need to be recharged. But they’ll last up to two years if you simply set them outside in the sun for an hour each month.

With the ability to hang, these bags are perfect for small spaces like cars and closets but also work well in pet areas, bathrooms, and where ever you need an unscented, chemical-free odor eliminator. Plus, if you’re conscientious about the full environmental life cycle of a product, after two years as an air purifier, the bamboo charcoal can be sprinkled into your garden to promote plant growth!

Best Candle: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Scented Soy Aromatherapy Candle

Mrs. Meyer's Candle

From a widely trusted brand, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, the lemon verbena soy aromatherapy candle was inspired by flowers and herbs but really stands up to tough odors. The cruelty-free formulas are made from plant-derived ingredients and essential oils that are never tested on animals.

This simple candle comes in a recyclable glass candle jar. Although it won’t eliminate the source of irritating smells, the refreshing mild citrus scent will help out in a pinch when friends are on their way over. Plus, the flicker of a candle can add a little class and coziness to your day.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day candles are made from soy and vegetable waxes that are paraffin-free. Soy waxes are made from soybean oil and can contain other non-soy materials that are considered “cleaner-burning.”

Candles 101

Did you know that it matters what your candle is made from? To save money, some manufacturers add cheaper fillers to their candle mixture. Some of those fillers, like paraffin wax, release cancer-causing chemicals when burned because they are made from hydrocarbons chemicals extracted from crude oil, which contributes to air pollution.

Best Air Purifier: Green Air Encore HEPA and Odor Fighting Filter Air Purifier

Green Air Purifier

When air quality is a top priority, spend a little more to get an air purifier with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Because HEPA is officially defined by the U.S. Department of Energy, standards are high. They can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm) or larger. For scale, a human hair is about 30 to 70 microns thick.

Green Air Encore Air Purifier uses a three-stage system that includes a washable mesh pre-filter, an odor fighting filter, and a true HEPA filter. Covering up to 1000 square feet, it is non-ozone-based, which means that it does not, like some “air purifiers,” generate and use ozone to clear the air of particles. It’s Ion Cluster Technology attracts water molecules to airborne particles, making them theoretically easier to filter.  

Made to be energy-efficient and whisper quiet, this air purifier may not eliminate the source of odors, but it will ensure the air you breathe is free from the floating particles that cause peskiest smells like smoke and VOCs.

Final Verdict

No matter what odor is ruining your mood, know that there several natural and environmentally-friendly remedies. You can improve the air in the space with a Smelleze Pouch (view on Amazon), or in a pinch, light a Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Candle (view on Home Depot).

Why Trust Treehugger?

Lorraine Wilde has years of odor elimination experience as a mom of teen twins and a long-time pet owner. She also holds a master’s degree in environmental science and is a firm believer that consumers can make informed choices that protect the planet.