Last night while watching TV, an advertisement for Febreze came on. While I normally ignore ads and go back to reading a magazine or something during them, while this one was on I heard this line:
“Get Your Fix of Freshness”
So I rewound the Tivo to make sure that was what I heard and sure enough, that is what they said. Get your fix of freshness? By spraying a chemical compound onto your couch that only covers up odors and does not get rid of them? What sense does that make?
In the commercial, there is a psychologist writhing on a sofa while her patient stares at her. She is stuffing her face into the couch cushions because they smell so good…due to the Febreze that was sprayed on them, I am guessing. But really…do chemicals sprayed on fabric really smell that good? And are they good for you?
Well, Febreze’s main active ingredient is Cyclodextrin, which binds or entraps various hydrophobic compounds that cause odors. (Wikipedia). It is a starch based compound that swallows odors, encapsulating them inside the compound. It does not actually clean your fabrics at all, it just traps odors for a while. And while studies have not yet shown Cyclodextrin to be dangerous, one has to wonder how spraying Febreze all over the house could possibly be good for you.
I for one do not think that spraying chemicals on my couch and then laying face down in the cushions is a good way to “Get my fix of freshness”. I would actually prefer to oh, say, open a window or a door, go sit in the park, take a bike ride. These ads on TV are killing me with their “chemicals make things cleaner, smell better, etc etc” dialog. Remember the ads I talked about having to do with pouring bleach on kids and playing with boats in toilets? This is kind of along the same lines…there are ways to eliminate odors without coating your house in chemicals. Try a bowl of vinegar placed in the stinky room. Try some baking soda. Try lighting a soy candle. Make a natural room spray from water and essential oils. Open a window. The smell of an artificial “clean” does not mean that anything you put it on is actually “clean”, so don’t fall for those ads where they tell you that it is!