Febreze Fabric Refresher Product Review

Febreze fabric refresher next to laundry basket

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

Since Febreze was first introduced to the U.S. market in March 1996, millions of people have used the fabric refresher spray to help eliminate odors on everything from clothes to carpets to upholstery. Following the introduction of the fabric spray, the Febreze line, manufactured by Procter and Gamble, has grown to include multiple scents, including unscented options of the fabric refresher, spray and plug-in air fresheners, wax melts and candles, and air fresheners for cars.

Within the fabric refresher line, there are more than 20 choices in fragrance formulas. You can choose from heavily scented sprays like Unstopables to Febreze Light that contains no heavy perfumes to completely fragrance-free. Febreze Clothing Odor Eliminator offers the fabric refresher in a dispenser that produces a finer mist that will dry more quickly than the original spray.

How Does Febreze Fabric Spray Work?

Fabric fibers are exposed daily to volatile compounds that leave traces behind that we can detect as odors. Until they are eliminated by proper cleaning, the odor molecules remain on the surface of the fabric and many of those compounds like body, pet, and cooking odors are not pleasant to the human olfactory system.

Febreze Fabric Spray does not remove the odor molecules but it does trap them and prevent their detection until they can be eliminated by a thorough cleaning. When Febreze is sprayed on a fabric, water in the formula causes the odor molecules to begin dissolving. As soon as that happens, the active ingredient in Febreze, beta-cyclodextrin, binds with the odor molecule preventing it from reaching the odor receptors in your nose. If you use one of the scented formulas of Febreze, your nose will detect the added fragrance molecules rather than the original malodor.

Beta-cyclodrextrin is a ring-shaped sugar molecule that is formed from starches found in corn or sweet potatoes. The odor molecule becomes trapped in the beta-cyclodrextrin ring where it is suspended until it can be cleaned away with laundry detergent and water or by dry cleaning methods.

Product Ingredients

  • Purified Water: Processing Aid
  • Denatured Alcohol: Drying Aid
  • Polyethylinimine: Odor Eliminator
  • Citric Acid: Organic Acid
  • Cyclodextrin: Odor Eliminator
  • Modified polydimethicone: Emulsifier & Spreading Agent
  • Hydrogenated Castor Oil: Emulsifier & Spreading Agent
  • Diethylene Glycol Sodium: Emulsifier & Spreading Agent
  • Hydroxide pH: Neutralizer to maintain safe pH for fabric
  • Maleic Acid: Neutralizer to maintain safe pH for fabric
  • Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride: Surfactant or Fabric Wetting Agent
  • Benzisothiazolinone: Preservative
  • Perfume: Fragrance

Febreze contains no formaldehyde, benzene, phthalates, PVCs, or flammable propellants.

Febreze ingredient label

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

How to Use Febreze Fabric Refresher Correctly

  1. Direct the Spray

    Making sure that the spray nozzle is open, position the bottle about 12 inches away from the fabric surface; and spray in a sweeping motion to cover the area with a light coating of the spray. Spray the inside and outside of clothing to get the most odor control.

    Do not overwet the fabric. It is better to apply a second application if odors are still detectible.


    Febreze should not be used on leather, suede, silk, or fabrics that may water-spot. If you are unsure about whether the spray should be used on the fabric, test by lightly spraying the product on a hidden seam or area.

    spraying a jacket with Febreze

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

  2. Allow Drying Time

    Allow the sprayed area to dry completely dry before wearing the garment, walking on carpet, or sitting on upholstery. Depending on how heavily you sprayed, this could take from a couple of minutes to 20 minutes or more.

    allowing the garment time to dry

    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

  • Febreze is safe to use on most fabrics, including clothing, carpet, and upholstery.

  • Febreze fabric refresher is offered in multiple scents, including scent-free, and can be combined successfully with other Febreze air freshening scents.

  • Febreze offers formulas to help eliminate heavy-duty and pet odors.

  • Febreze bottles and spray nozzles can be recycled at curbside receptacles or through TerraCycle recycling programs.

  • It is safe to use around children and most pets.

  • Even though the scents eventually fade, people with fragrance and chemical sensitivities may experience issues from the product.

  • Febreze should not be used on suede, leather, silk, or any fabric that is prone to water-spotting.

  • Febreze should not be sprayed around birds.

Final Thoughts

  • Febreze Fabric Refresher is safe and easy to use to trap odors on most fabrics.
  • Febreze works well on clothing, carpets, upholstery, bedding, and car interiors.
  • Febreze saves time and natural resources by reducing the number of times fabrics need to be thoroughly cleaned.