Febreze is classified as an air freshner, created by Proctor & Gamble. It reports to work by "trapping" odor molecules in a donut-shaped chemical.
The first thing that is really important to understand: the product does not remove odor molecules and it doesn't clean the item it comes into contact with.
The odor molecules are still there. Your nose just can't perceive them because you smell the chemical product instead.
That alone should be your first warning. We know inhalation of any chemicals is dangerous, and several of its ingredients listed below are known to irritate the lungs...but this is a chemical whose entire purpose is to be inhaled!
Unfortunately there is not much data being shared on Febreze and their many products, but the Environmental Working Group (EWG) did conduct a test for the ingredients of one of their products, Febreze Air Effects.
Shockingly, P&G only disclosed THREE ingredients in this product, but the EWG...they found 87 chemicals in total!
Now this is just one Febreze product, but the fact that only 3 ingredients were disclosed and that so many undisclosed ingredients are dangerous, it's safe to assume that their other air freshners are just as dangerous.
Below you'll find a list of just some of the 87 chemicals found by the EWG in Febreze Air Effects, listed in order of their toxicity to humans:
You can find the EWG's full report on Febreze and other common cleaners here.
Again, it's important to understand that these types of products are not only dangerous to our health, but they aren't actually cleaning the air or eliminating odor. They are just masking it...the bacteria and molecules are still hanging around, maybe even making you sick themselves.
If you really want to remove odors naturally there are two recommendations I have:
No need for chemicals, side effects or pricey products. Just a few simple tips to keep your home healthy and smelling fresh.
Is there a good way to remove febreeze from carpet? One carpet guy told me it was an encapsulate and each time you crush it it releases more fragrance--and that it even penetrates drywall. I can't sleep from the crap. I sprayed vinegar water but it didn't work. I'm thinking of having someone steam it? I'm renting this room and the carpets are newer. Any ideas?
I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. It's very unfortunate that more people don't realize the chemical sensitivities we all have. I can't find any information on the water-solubility of Febreze, but I do think a steam clean would be the best bet. I also recommend checking out our article on houseplants that clean the air - they have been study by NASA for their purifying abilities and will help remove any off-gassing from the newer carpet, as well as the chemicals from the air. The recommendation is one 10 inch potted plant per 100 sq ft of living space but with chemical sensitivities, it never hurts to have as many as you can care for.
Eliminating harmful chemicals, such as Febreze, from your home is an important step for your health and the environment.
When you're ready for a few more steps check out the articles below.
Whatever step you take, remember to have fun!
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