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Masking vs Eliminating Bad Odors

Masking vs Eliminating Bad Odors

Foul-smelling odors from a toilet or bathroom facility often elicit an immediate emotional response of disgust or shame in the person encountering the odor. For more on the psychology of bad odors, see here. No matter the location or situation, the universal response of humans to a bad odor is to attempt to eliminate it, if possible. The simplest response is usually to open a window to allow fresh air to enter and displace the unwanted smell. In a bathroom facility, if there is no window, an exhaust fan can be used to move the odorous air through ducting to the outside of the building. The problem with this  method is that not all such facilities are equipped with such a fan, and even if they are, using a fan to get rid of these odors can take time.  

There are several other strategies to address the foul smell in a bathroom, but the quickest approaches are either to mask the smell or eliminate it. Masking the smell involves covering the unwanted odor with an odor / fragrance deemed positive, such as one that is floral or fruity. Unfortunately, masking the smell only hides the unpleasant odor with a second odor; it does not eliminate it. Masking also involves adding a fragrance to a room, which can be problematic if room occupants are sensitive to the added fragrance. 

If eliminating bathroom odors using an exhaust fan is not possible, they can be neutralized. In a recent laboratory study, researchers concluded with a high degree of certainty that HOCl neutralized the bad odors caused by urine and feces within toilet / bathroom facilities by modifying the compounds linked to the odors – all within 5 minutes of application. See here for more on the laboratory study. HOCl is fragrance-free, so misting it in a room should not affect those susceptible to fragrance allergies.

As with other HOCl applications, there are no safety concerns with using HOCl in a bathroom setting. Research has validated HOCl as a non-toxic, non-irritating, and eco-friendly disinfectant and sanitizer. Ideas for this blog were gathered from here.