Why masking bad smells isn’t the answer to clean smelling spaces

48 hour deodorants – what’s that about? Something that keeps you smelling sweet for a whole two days, whether you’re showering or not? It feels like an impossible promise. Most of us probably think ‘we’d know’. We’d know if we were sitting next to someone on a plane, train or Tube, who’d not actually washed in 48 hrs. The signature odour of an unwashed person would come through the masking fragrance. 

But bodies aren’t the only things that get grubby, grow bacteria, smell a bit fruity. Think about gym changing rooms. Full of sweaty bodies, lockers with old trainers and damp towels left overnight despite the rules. The showers – almost never dried out. And of course, the toilets. Or bathrooms if you prefer – but in this article there is merit in calling things what they are.

For the longest time, as you’ll well know, operators of public spaces like toilets and changing rooms have taken the ‘48 hour deodorant’ approach. Of course they clean the sanitation hardware, the surfaces and what not, regularly (with the usual mix of water and harsh chemicals). But given the rate of use, and the time in use, it’s very difficult to eliminate malodours. 

And the ‘fix’ that everyone resorts to – it’s no more of an actual solution than 48 hour deodorants –  is fragrancing the spaces. Spraying perfumes into the air to an automated schedule, or evaporating them continuously at a controllable rate, or releasing them using environmental triggers as cues. Not treating the causes of malodour, but masking them.

Our noses can tell the difference. The difference between pure air, and nasty smells covered over with strong scents is like chalk and, well, cheese. And partly because we’ve made ourselves party to this fakery, we’ve also allowed some dubious solutions and science slip by us too. 

Some vendors of air care solutions claim their chemical concoctions contain miracle molecules that can ‘trap’ bad smells, allowing their perfumes to prosper. Truth is, any genuine neutralising molecule can’t tell the difference between nice VoCs and nasty ones. Others ornament a basic perfume diffuser by generating a puff of pure oxygen to pressurise the process. But it’s still, basically, a slow release diffuser of intense masking aroma. Sometimes unpleasantly intense.

The combination of an intense perfume, masking an intensely unpleasant smell – stale urine, say – is a vicious insult to the human nose. It affects not just our senses but our mood too. When our last impression of a restaurant or gym is the unhappy, conflicted or anxious mood brought on by a quick visit to the toilets on the way out, then that venue is unlikely to be first on our list of recommendations for friends and family – or even ourselves. 

But there is a better way. We don’t need to mask smells. We can genuinely eliminate them. Meaning we can destroy the odour molecules, actually tear them apart. And in the same process, we can kill the bacteria – on bathroom surfaces and in the circulating air – that are the root cause. We don’t need bleaches, or powerful chemicals either. You just need to ‘shine a light’ on the problem. 

In this case, UV light. BSG’s AIRCARE appliances use UV in measured doses, inside a small, low energy appliance hung on the toilet wall or ceiling. The AIRCARE units gently recirculates the air in the room through itself, and UV light rips the odour molecules apart and destroys airborne bacteria, fungi and viruses. As it does so it also produces an ozone plasma – ozone is nature’s own bactericide – which goes on to treat microorganisms growing on surfaces around the toilet, bathroom or changing room. So the place doesn’t just smell clean, it is clean. 

What does air treated in this way smell like? Wholesome, neutral: like nothing, really. 

If you’re aiming for an ambience that’s a little more sophisticated than ‘wholesome’, then this is the point in the process where you can easily introduce a subtle fragrance to lift the mood, and leave behind a pleasant memory.

The ninja move here is to put the AIRCARE units close to the source of malodour, and the fragrance close to the washbasins. That way the two systems complement, rather than compete with, each other. 

Genuinely eliminating bad odours, along with airborne bacteria, fungi and viruses that circulate in them, is the best way to create spaces that are truly clean.

BSG Group has a range of products designed to eliminate harmful chemicals, pollutants, viruses and more, for homes and businesses across the globe. BSG products are specifically designed for air conditioning systems, the foodservice industry, and general hygiene for domestic and commercial purposes. Some of the bestselling solutions include:

  • FRESHCARE Stylish series of air purifiers that combine the technology of PhotoPlasma, HEPA and UV to improve IAQ and remove odour.
  • AC Odour Control Efficiently removes odours and purifies the air in transient areas such as washrooms, waiting areas and offices.

For more information, contact us or take a look at our product range.

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