There are many different types of air fresheners available. Depending on what sort of deodorizing you need to perform, you can choose from one of many freshening techniques. Determining which is the longest-lasting will depend on what odors you are trying to eliminate and in what environment. Freshening the air inside a car, which has a small cabin, is easier to do long-term than deodorizing a larger room that may be connected to a building's ventilation system.
Gel-Based Air Fresheners
Gel-based air fresheners contain the air freshening chemicals in a gelatinous material which, when exposed to the open air, will begin to lose its moisture as the water inside the gel evaporates. The fragrance gets released over time as the gel dries out. Compared to a candle-based air freshener, the gel-based air fresheners can last longer, because they do not burn away and can be covered up and resealed when deodorization isn't needed.
Aerosol-based Air Fresheners
When applied directly to fabric, such as furniture upholstery or automotive upholstery, aerosol-based air fresheners can last for an extended time compared to hanging air fresheners. The reason for this is that the perfumes and fragrances inside the upholstery are neutralized directly. An air freshener that simply hangs in the air is only changing the odor of the ambient air around it. Aerosol-based air fresheners can eliminate odor molecules that sit deep inside upholstery.
Air ionizers are becoming an increasingly popular way to deodorize and clean air in rooms. These types of fresheners use ultrasonic sound waves to eliminate odor molecules in the air. They are typically integrated into an HVAC system or placed in rooms as individual units, which consume the ambient air around it, neutralize the odors, then redistribute it throughout the room. The downside to ionizers is that they must be running to neutralize the odors. If powered indefinitely, these air fresheners will last the longest, but they require a constant power source in order to be most efficient.
Oil-based odor eliminators are becoming popular because of their longevity and efficacy. Using highly concentrated scented oils, the diffuser-based fresheners expose the oils to the ambient air, which absorbs the fragrance of the oil. Typically, these scented oils are strong enough to overpower most nefarious odors in a room. To make the oil diffusion-based fresheners more effective, simply place more of them around a room or area.
Peter Grant has been a professional writer since 1998 and software engineer since 1995. He has contributed to academic papers, open-source software projects and technical documentation across several industries. Grant holds a master's degree in public policy from National University.