Does Febreze Air Freshener Have Harmful Chemicals?

Febreze air freshener

Febreze is one of the many brands pioneered by the Procter & Gamble (P&G) company. It had its origin in the niche of air-care products. And it is driven by the vision of providing clean air by completely rooting out the odor with maximum safety standards in place.

The brand was inaugurated only in 1998, but it has already created a name for itself in the niche of air-care products. The brand and its products have received such high acclaim from its consumer that it won the title of “P&G’s Product of The Year” in the year 2018.

So there is no questioning the credibility and effectiveness of these products. But what are the unique features of this product that makes it stand out from the rest?

Let’s examine.

What Goes Into The Febreze Air Freshener?

Febreze Air Fresheners are globally loved and recommended by its loyal consumers. So there must have been some solid reasons behind it. And the reason begins right from all the ingredients that go into making it.

The company claims that the product is a “one-of-its-kind” product. You will find no aerosols, no flammable propellants, no heavy perfumes, and no harmful ingredients that could call for immediate concern. But contrary to what the company endorses, some ingredients could cause some negative health effects.

Here’s a comprehensive list of ingredients in Febreze:


Just like any other air freshener out there, it has alcohol used to eliminate the odor-causing moisture in fabrics. But one of the major health concerns that can arise from its denatured alcohol content is that it could become a potential cause of cancer, reproductive toxicity, and skin irritator.


Of course, water causes no harm, and it is added to maintain appropriate concentration levels.


Fragrance as an ingredient is used to replace the odor and freshens the air. Although it may leave your air sweet and sunny, it is also reported to be a neurotoxin, immunotoxin, and allergen.

PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Now, this is an ingredient that does the work of the supervisor. In that, it makes sure that the product works smoothly right from start to finish. PEG being an ethoxylated ingredient, is contaminated with toxins that could cause cancer and skin irritation.

Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin

A product that works at the core of masking and locking away the odor. This is safe and non-toxic.


Commonly used as an antibacterial agent, it safeguards Febreze from any microbial attack. But longtime exposure to this chemical might become a cause of concern. Because it also works as a skin irritant that could exacerbate conditions like Eczema.

Is Febreze Flammable?

No one likes bad odor, so we formulate a solution to tackle the smell. And we made the air fresheners. Bad odors? Spray them away. It is as simple as that. But have you ever thought of the possibility that some air fresheners might easily catch fire? If you haven’t, then start questioning the contents of your air freshener now. Because some air fresheners can cause real fire hazards.

But if you are asking about Febreze, then do take a break here. Because Febreze is an air-care product that does not use any flammable propellants like butane and propane. It only uses natural nitrogen propellant that is non-flammable and safe.

Is Febreze Safe For Babies?

Babies are at the formative stage of their lives. There are some things that babies are extra sensitive to, and some things related to babies always require extra attention from adults. The same goes for all the products and things that we keep and use around them.

And Febreze, although the brand itself claims that its ingredients are fully safe and non-toxic, is also a chemical at the end of the day. And it shouldn’t be ingested just like with any other chemicals. So, of course, it’s a big no for babies. And you need to keep these instructions in mind while using this product around babies.

Is Febreze Safe For Pets?

A quick rundown through the Febreze website will give you enough confidence to believe that Febreze is completely pet-friendly. But we recommend you do another round of thorough investigation because you will also find enough complaints against the product as well.

Some research states that the formula contains zinc chloride, a salt that could prove to be quite toxic if used in large amounts. Adding on to the discussion, a few pet owners have also complained that the product has dangerous effects on their pets.

But the P&G company, the National Animal Poison Control Centre, and the American Veterinary Medical Association claim that Febreze is completely safe for pets.

This leaves us in a confusing gray area. But it never hurts to be extra careful. So always have your vigilant cap on when dealing with chemicals.

Is Febreze Toxic?

As we already mentioned once in the article, we are treading on a very gray ground here. Opinions concerning the toxicity of Febreze are equally divided. Tests conducted by organizations like the National Research of Defence Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have found hormone-disrupting chemicals like Phthalates and carcinogens. But some organizations have also argued against such claims.

So we don’t exactly know what is going on here. But let us have a quick look at what could happen if we or our pet inhale or ingest Febreze.  

What happens if I inhale Febreze

Febreze is an air freshener and it will be impossible to not inhale Febreze. But one could always take care that the inhaled air does not contain a highly concentrated quantity of Febreze. Because exposure to any highly concentrated pressurized product may cause eye and skin irritation, lung irritation, drowsiness, and fatigue.

What happens if I ingest Febreze

The manufacturer’s instructions strongly advise not to swallow Febreze. Because even when swallowed in very small amounts, it can easily cause minor irritation to the mouth, induce nausea, and trigger vomit. Swallowing a huge amount may also cause intoxication.

What happens if a dog eats Febreze

Dogs are their king. You can never anticipate what they might end up eating or licking when you are not paying attention. But do pay extra attention when it comes to Febreze. Because ingesting Febreze could cause some serious health problems for your dog. Diarrhea and vomiting are the most common cases reported by people.

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