Do you have stinky odors in your home? If so, are you confused by all the air freshening and deodorizing products screaming at you from store shelves? It is a common problem we all face at some point. Dealing with stinky orders is bad enough but trying to separate truth from fiction in the household products section of the grocery store only makes it worse.
The point of this post is to lay to rest one of the most debated questions in the air freshening arena: is odor neutralization of real thing? People want to know whether odor neutralization is possible or not. If it is, there is no point in merely masking offensive odors with strong perfumes. If it is not, then our only hope is to find an air freshener that we can live with.
Well, here is the answer: yes, odor neutralization is a real thing. It is scientifically possible to neutralize odors completely. In fact, science has been doing it for decades. Manufacturers have been producing commercial odor neutralizers for years, selling them to hospitals, hotel chains, and so forth. These are products that legitimately neutralize odors rather than simply masking them.
Odor Molecules and the Nose
Understanding the science behind odor neutralization starts with understanding how the sense of smell works. As you enjoy the smell of that fresh pizza just dropped off by the delivery guy, there is an interesting reaction going on in your brain. Certain molecules being released by the hot pizza are finding their way into your nose where they activate receptors that send messages to your brain.
Your brain interprets these messages as odors. Whether or not certain odors are pleasant is a matter of how your brain reacts to them. Those that are unpleasant are the ones we seek to neutralize.
How Neutralization Works
Zephyr is a Salt Lake City company that sells the revolutionary Zephyr Fresh HVAC aromatherapy diffuser that utilizes essential oils for odor neutralization and air freshening. They say that odor neutralization is all about choosing deodorizing molecules that can neutralize those producing the offensive smell.
There are several different categories of these molecules:
- pH Balancers – This category of molecule is capable of balancing out the pH level of offending molecules in the air. In so doing, the balanced molecules become neutral. Sodium citrate is an example of a pH balancer.
- Molecule Trappers – Commercial deodorizers often make use of molecule trappers like cyclodextrin, an oligosaccharide found in things such as corn and potatoes. Its molecules are shaped like donuts. Those donuts neutralize offending molecules by trapping them inside.
- Odor Magnets – Next up are odor magnets. These are molecules that attract offending molecules and trap them. The result is that the human olfactory system does not recognize them.
- Odor Converters – Finally, odor converters are molecules derived from plant sources that are capable of reacting with offending molecules and causing them to change their properties.
You can buy a small handful of commercial air fresheners that neutralize odors with these molecules. But you really have to pay attention to labels. You also need to know what you are looking for. That means researching how odor neutralization works and identifying the right ingredients. If you are not into synthetic products, some essential oils have odor-neutralizing properties as well. Diffuse one such oil throughout your home and it might do the trick. However, note that not all essential oils can deal with all offensive odors. Sometimes you need a combination of oils to deal with all of those