Common Odor Problems And How to Solve Them

Common Odor Problems
How to Solve Them
By Robert Rister
“Memories, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached
through the sense of smell than through any other channel.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
This is a book about controlling odors, not about controlling any health
condition that causes odors. The content of this book is informational. Nothing
in this book should be construed as medical advice. No part of this book is
intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for a disease. The author, publisher,
and their contractors accept no liability for any use of the information of this
book to treat any medical condition.
© 2010 (Robert Rister)
Table of Contents
How to Use This Book
Making Sense of Scents
Part One: What Is Bad Odor?
Social Consequences of Bad Odor
Identifying Bad Odor
Part Two: Odors from the Human Body
What is Perspiration?
Types of Perspiration
Eccrine Glands and Bad Odor
Apocrine Glands and Bad Odor
What Causes the Bad Odor of Sweat?
Treating Sweat Odor
Methods of Removing Sweat from the Body
Methods of Removing Sweat from Clothing
When to See a Physician
Foot Odor
What Causes Foot Odor?
Treatment for Foot Odor
Bad Breath
What Causes Bad Breath
Treatment of Bad Breath
Vaginal Odor
Causes of Vaginal Odor
Treatment of Vaginal Odor
Tobacco Odor
What Causes Tobacco Odor
Treatment of Tobacco Odor
Smells Associated with Aging
What Causes Odors in Elderly People
Treatment of Odors Associated with Aging
Part Three: Odors in the Home and Office
Volatile Organic Compounds
What are Volatile Organic Compounds?
Problems with Volatile Organic Compounds
Causes for Volatile Organic Compounds in the Home
How to Avoid VOCs
Ways to Remove VOCs from the Home
Pet Odors
Areas of Your Home that Can Absorb Pet Odor
Preventing Pet Odors
Problems with Pet Odors
Removal of Pet Odors
Bathroom Odors
Causes of Bathroom Odors
How to Eliminate Bathroom Odors
Odors from Drains
Causes of Odors from Drains
Elimination of Drain Odors
Carpet Odors
Causes of Carpet Odors
Prevention and Elimination of Carpet Odors
Furniture Odors
Causes of Furniture Odors
Getting Rid of Furniture Odor
How to Use This Book
This book is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. Each type of odor is
divided into its own section and broken down as to what causes the odor and
how to prevent the odor or remove it from the air, as needed. For each type of
odor, references to useful products and their websites have been provided.
Therefore, it is not necessary to click farther than the links in this book to
ensure a sweet-smelling world.
Introduction: Making Sense of Scents
Have you ever considered how many smells you encounter in your daily life?
Take a moment to count them. There is the smell of morning breath, the
smells of the first trip to the toilet in the morning, the smells of body wash or a
moldy shower, and the smells of moisturizer, shaving cream, perfume, after
shave and toothpaste, not necessarily in this order, most of these occurring
before the smell of breakfast cooking. Most of us readily recognize the smells
of cigars, cigarettes, garlic, kim chee, oranges, lemons, diesel fumes, and nail
polish remover, to name just a few.
Then there are smells we associate with sickness, there are smells we
associated with death and decay, and there are smells we associate with
happy events, like romantic evenings, birthday parties, and visiting the candy
shop. Add to this the 500 to 2,000 scents food and personal product makers
add to their products to make them more attractive to shoppers, and we have
an enormous library of smells, most of which we never consciously think
about—unless they really smell bad.
The traditional wisdom about the role of the sense of smell in everyday life
was that other members of the Animal Kingdom, dogs and rats for example,
have much keener senses of smell than humans. Most modern scientists,
however, believe that human beings have a superior sense of smell because
it's not about the nose, it's about the brain that analyzes the information from
the nose.
In 1991, Richard Axel and Linda Buck discovered a large group of smell
receptor genes, a discovery for which they later received the Nobel Prize.
Each gene produces a different receptor, and the more receptors, the more
odors that can be detected. Rats have about 1,500 receptors, followed by
dogs with 1,000, mice with 900, and humans with about 380.
But it turns out that rats and mice basically have 1,500 ways to smell cats,
and dogs have about 600 ways to smell other animals. Human beings actually
detect a wider range of odors than other animals: The mouse can detect 241
kinds of odors, a dog about 290, and a human about 300. If we spent 24
hours a day, for instance, learning how to sniff drugs in suitcases, we too
could perform as well as drug sniffing dog. But human brains are involved in a
far greater range of tasks than other animals so our abilities to track specific
kinds of odors are not as obvious.
That is why smells affect people far more than they realize. Our conscious
minds just don't pay attention, so our subconscious minds can be very busy.
We don't make a conscious effort to remember smells, so we are surprised
when they pop up again and again. A person might walk by a bakery and
remember Grandma baking apple pie, or walk by a restaurant and remember
Mother making sauerkraut (or, in the twenty-first century, opening the jar). A
cancer patient who makes the mistake of eating a favorite food on the day he
or she receives chemotherapy may forever associate pain and nausea with
the aroma of that food.
A certain smell emanating from a restaurant, the stench of garbage on a
street, can allow a person to know where they are, even if their eyes are
closed. On the other hand, feats of olfactory sensibility, where the "nose
knows" the origin of a specific perfume or a specific kind of wine, takes
conscious effort. Apprentice perfumers first learn 125 and then 500 and 2,000
different scents so they can write down the formulas needs to make the
products. Professional wine tasters take notes so that they can distinguish
fine wines by smell alone. Identifying scents by name takes practice. Knowing
something smells bad, however, takes no practice at all.
If there are thousands and thousands of different odors, it is reasonable to
ask, how is it every possible to make a deodorant? The answer is that
although there may be thousands or even millions of chemicals in the air, we
can only smell the 300 or so for which we have receptors. And, making
matters easier for deodorant makers, the same smells show up over and over
again in different contexts.
The chemical cadaverine, for example, shows up, as you might suppose, in
cadavers, but also in frozen fish sticks, the urine of people who take lysine
supplements, the urine of people who overeat turkey for Thanksgiving dinner,
and in men's underwear. If you can cover up cadaverine, you have a product
that can be used by funeral homes, frozen fish stick makers, supplement
makers, and people who launder who men's underwear.
Smell scientists have used this principle to make simple deodorants for other
situations, such as the particularly smelly problems associated with raising
pigs indoors. Pig poop contains approximately 300 volatile chemicals, but only
one, para-cresol, is especially offensive to the human nose. Deodorants don't
have to cover up all 300 chemicals; they just have to cover up the para-cresol.
Similarly, scientists have worked on the problems of producing a brand of
pickled beets that does not knock down the customer when the jar is opened.
They learned that the process of boiling and pickling red beets releases
geosmin, a chemical that smells like damp earth, and then dimethyl sulfide,
the putrid smell of rotten cabbage, then propionic acid, the smell that is found
in both Swiss cheese and sweat, and finally hexanoic acid, a musty, fatty
smell that people actually like. Modifying the canning process to reduce the
release of dimethyl sulfide and propionic acid was what was needed to make
pickled beets more commercially attractive.
Sometimes it is the concentration of the scent that makes the difference. A
botanist named Roman Kaiser was walking through the rainforest near
Guaraqueçaba in southern Brazil. He smelled a strong fruity scent, and
tracked it back to a tree with white bottle-brush flowers. When he could see
the tree, the scent was pleasantly fruity and flora. As he got closer, it smelled
like blackberry jam. When arrived at the tree, it smelled like cat's urine.
The chemical Dr. Kaiser smelled was 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one. It is
the aroma we smell in blackberry jam and also in kitty litter. It is also the
chemical we smell in green tea, grapefruit, basil leaves, tomato vines,
cabernet sauvignon wine, and peonies, all in different concentrations. A little
of this chemical is very pleasant. A lot is repugnant.
It's a good thing for humans that we only have about 300 different kinds of
odor receptors in our noses. We have enough odor receptors that we actually
have the best sense of smell of all the members of the Animal Kingdom, but
we don't have so many odor receptors that our whole lives are dominated by
our sense of smell. This economy of smell sensation even leaves our brains
with the operational capacity to use scent as an important part of how we
relate to other human beings.
Our bodies produce and detect scents in amazingly goal-directed ways.
Babies who are breast fed, for instance, produce intestinal gas that is high in
hydrogen and methane (which have no odor) and low in methyl mercaptan
(the chemical responsible for stinky diaper smell). This is good news for the
baby, because makes it easier for the mother to breastfeed the child. This is
bad news for the environment, because methane contributes to global
warming. But baby's biology reduces smells to reward maternal contact.
Scent contributes to family bonds in other ways. Mothers, in particular,
recognize the scents of their children (although fathers do, too, to a lesser
extent). Men find their wives' scents most attractive when they are most fertile,
during ovulation.
And through our abilities to sense pheromones—scents we never consciously
smell because they act on different, "lower" brain activity—and our ability to
sense whether other people have immune systems similar to our own, smells
even play a decisive role in the people we like and the people we do not.
When deodorants were introduced in the early twentieth century, the objection
was raised "But how will we know who they are?" At one time, body odors
were so uniquely individual—and so overpowering—that it was commonplace
to recognize people by odor alone.
In the twenty-first century, however, we prefer to make choose our social
interactions on other grounds. That is why it is so important to have a
pleasant smell. People's first impressions can never recover being introduced
to a person with an unpleasant smell. This is true in job interviews, first dates,
and fist days at school. An individual who smells bad—because of the nose's
ability to detect major histocompatibility complexes, or other people's immune
systems—is often through to be sickly, although this is not always the case.
There are steps people can take to make sure they are not omitting offensive
odors. The first step is to understand the underlying scientific causes of odors,
which is what this book aims to explain. And once you understand the simple
causes of bad smells, you can take the steps that correct them.
Part One: What is Bad Odor?
All odors affect individuals differently. While one person may find a certain
smell completely repulsive, another may in fact like the smell. A good
example of this is cheese. Many aged cheeses have extremely strong odors
that turn many people away, while others find them completely delicious and
are pleased by their strong smells. However, there are some smells which are
going to be found distasteful by a large swath of the population, in which case
it is fair to refer to the odor as bad.
Social Consequences of Bad Odors
Body odor can result in being shunned by one’s peers, inability to form lasting
romantic relationships, difficulties within a family and even trouble finding
employment. The bottom line is if a person smells others are not going to
want to spend time with that individual. If you notice you are having problems
socially, but can’t identify any logical reasons for it, it is probably a good idea
to examine your smell.
Identifying Bad Odor:
People assimilate to smells very quickly. Therefore, if you are omitting a bad
odor, it is quite possible you will be the last to notice it. If you can smell a bad
odor on yourself, you can almost be assured that others have already noticed
it. If you are not sure if you have a bad odor, the best thing to do is ask a
friend or family member who you know will be honest with you.
There are several areas of the body which are frequently the cause of bad
• Arm pit
• Mouth
• Feet
• Genitals
Odors can also cling to objects in and around the house including:
• Garments
• Fabrics
• Carpets and Rugs
• Furniture
• Automobiles
Many things we bring into the house can cause bad odors, even items that
are sometimes intended to create good odors. These types of items include:
• Cleaning supplies
• Perfumes
• Hairspray and other grooming items
• Paints
• Candles
• Glues
• Hobby Supplies
Other sources of odors in the house include:
• Pets
• Bathrooms
• Kitchens
• Drains
It is important when trying to eliminate a bad odor to not just get rid of it at the
originating site, but any items which came in contact with the offending odor.
For example, if your dog smells bad, you must not only wash the dog, but also
the furniture it sat on in order to completely eliminate the odor from your
Part Two:
Odors from the Human Body
The most common type of body odor is the smell associated with perspiration.
What is Perspiration?
Perspiration is more commonly referred to as sweat. It is the primary means
the body regulates its temperature. If we did not sweat, then we might have to
cool off our body by flapping our ears (like elephants) or sticking out tongues
out into the wind (like dogs).
Types of Perspiration
Sweat is produced by glands throughout the body. There are two kinds of
sweat glands:
Eccrine glands, and
Apocrine glands
It is important to understand the two different types of sweat glands, because
they are treated somewhat differently.
Eccrine Glands
The most common kind of sweat gland is the eccrine gland (also known as
merocrine sweat gland). The eccrine glands release sweat when they are
stimulated by the hypothalamus in the brain. Most of the time the
hypothalamus signals the eccrine glands to release sweat when the body is
A separate portion of the hypothalamus, however, regulates sweating by the
eccrine glands in the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. These
glands are stimulated when there is emotional distress.
An astonishing number of medical conditions (and the drugs used to treat
them) cause hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. Just a few of the reasons
a person can be unnaturally "sweaty" include:
• Cardiorespiratory diseases: Acute heart attack (myocardial infarction),
heart failure, lung failure.
• Endocrine problems: Carcinoid syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, gout,
hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, menopause, and obesity.
• Infection: Brucellosis, HIV, infectious endocarditis, malaria, and
• Malignancy: Leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumors.
• Neurological problems: Panic attacks, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord
injuries, stroke.
Many medications cause excessive perspiration. Just a few of them are:
• Aspirin
• Buproprion (Wellbutrin)
• Citalopram (Celexa)
• Chlomipramine (Anafranil)
• Clozapine (Clozaril)
• Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
• Escitalopram (Lexapro)
• Fluoxetine (Prozac)
• Fluvoxamine (Effexor)
• Goserelin (Zoladex)
• Insulin
• Niacin, nicotinamide (Niaspan)
• Rituximab (Rituxin)
• Ropinirole (Requip)
• Sertraline (Zoloft)
• Tositumomab (Bexxar)
In the most extreme cases, sweat can literally drip from the hands to the floor.
Bacteria trapped with eccrine sweat can cause a cheesy odor that offends
others and distresses the person with the condition.
Purpose of eccrine glands:
People commonly sweat in very hot temperatures, when exercising or doing
some sort of physical exertion, or when they are nervous or under stress. The
evaporation of the sweat from the skin cools the body. Sweating is also
increased by nausea, the removal of fluids through perspiration reducing the
amount of fluid in circulation in the body and (slightly) relieving the sensation
of nausea. This is all normal and healthy.
Sweat is primarily water, but it also contains urea, the main chemical found in
urine, and lactates, which cells produce when they burn sugar without enough
oxygen. There are also mineral elements in sweat, including chlorides,
potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and even lead. Severe
sweating can lead to depletion of these minerals. Sweat is more "watery" than
Location of eccrine glands:
There are about 2 million eccrine glands on the surface of the human body.
The palms and soles of the feet have the most eccrine sweat glands.
What causes the bad odor?
Although eccrine sweat contains urea, it is mainly composed of water and
sodium chloride (salt), and is therefore actually almost completely odorless to
most humans, unless it is carrying some additional chemical the body is trying
to get rid of.
Eccrine sweat glands also act as an excretion mechanism for the body. Some
spices contained in foods including garlic, curry, and fenugreek can cause the
smell of sweat to change. You may have heard someone say they ate so
much garlic it’s coming out of their pores. This is not just an expression, but
what can literally happen when your glands start excreting certain substances.
Treating the odor
• To treat smell caused by excretions of food or medicines, one must
make changes to the diet or stop taking the medication in question.
• Eliminate the smell excreted onto clothing by laundering it or by use of
a spray.
• In some rare medical conditions, such as fish odor syndrome, cat odor
syndrome, and phenylketonuria, the eccrine sweat glands are releasing
chemicals that build up because of a metabolic problem. Diet and
medical treatment is usually necessary to control these relatively rare
sources of body odor.
Apocrine Glands
Purpose of apocrine glands:
These glands produce sweat for the same reasons as eccrine glands, as well
as when
people are nervous or stressed. Aprocine glands produce sweat
by a method scientists call "decapitation excretion." The head of the gland is
literally pinched off in the process of releasing the fluid beneath.
About 10 per cent of people have aprocrine sweat with blue, green, or yellow
tints due to an unusual production of the pigment lipofuscin by their apocrine
glands. Only the apocrine glands produce colored sweat, although the eccrine
glands may excrete colored sweat if they accidentally swallow paints or dyes.
Location of aprocrine glands:
These are located under the arms, around the nipples, around the navel, and
in the genital areas, between the genitals and the anus. There are also
specialized apocrine glands around the eyes and in the ear canal. These
glands only start producing sweat after puberty.
What causes the bad odor of sweat?
Many people think perspiration itself is the cause of bad odor, but this is not
actually true. Apocrine sweat is made up of water and salt, but also has fatty
substances in it. It does not smell itself, but acts as a culture for bacteria to
grow. The bacteria break down fatty acids into their more rancid, odorous
People who have problems with body odor tend to have larger and more
numerous apocrine glands. Men are more likely to have issues with body odor
linked to apocrine than women, and persons of Asian descent are more likely
to be sensitive to body odor than persons with other genetics.
Odor-producing bacteria tends to grow in the sweat produced by apocrine
sweat glands, which are the main source of non food-related smell in sweat.
This is why the under arms and the groin are usually the smelliest areas of
the body. This is also why children don’t have to worry about perspiration odor,
because these glands don’t become active until puberty.
Treating Sweat Odor
There are two key steps to ridding the smell of sweat from an individual:
• Eliminate sweat and bacteria from the body.
• Remove sweat and bacteria from clothing that has been permeated by
Methods for removing sweat from the body:
To remove sweat from the body or keep sweat from soaking the body, the
number one element is personal hygiene, or in other words, bathing regularly.
Washing: Daily in showers with soap and water are necessary. In some
cases it may be necessary to shower twice a day or more. Be sure to use
warm water. Hot water can cause flaking of the skin, which provides
additional food for odor-causing bacteria. Cold water stops perspiration for a
time, but then the shock of returning to a warmer environment makes
sweating even worse.
Also, pat or air dry skin, but don't rub yourself dry with a towel. Rubbing can
loosen dead skin and clog pores. Finally, be sure always to use clean
washcloths and towels, to avoid reinfecting yourself with the bacteria you just
washed off!
Taking a soak in the tub is just as effective as taking a shower, but be careful
about soaking in hot water for more than 15 minutes. Long, hot soaks can dry
out the skin and provide bacteria with an additional food source.
Antibacterial soap: There are many good soap products on the market that
will kill the bacteria that is present in skin. By killing bacteria that thrives in a
sweaty environment, one reduces the amount of odor caused by perspiration.
One precaution: Don't use antibacterial soap on dry skin unless you also use
a moisturizer. Antibacterial soaps, like all scented soaps, can dry out the skin.
• Dial soap is a widely available antibacterial soap that is
low cost. Website:
• Irish Spring, made by Colgate, makes a special sport soap
specifically designed to kill the germs that cause body
odors. Use with caution if you have dry or sun-damaged
fair skin. Website:
Antibacterial ointments: There are several over the counter topical
antibacterial ointments that can be applied to the body to prevent an excess
of odor causing bacteria. This is generally only necessary in extreme cases.
• Dermoplast Antibacterial spray.
• Neosporin is an antibacterial crème and ointment made by
Johnson & Johnson.
• Mycelex Crème: this is available in many drugstores and
pharmacies or can be ordered online at:
• Clindamycin and erythromycin are antibiotics usually only
available by prescription in the US and Canada. These
antibiotics are useful for both underarm and foot odor,
although American doctors usually treat extreme genital
odor with a different kind of therapy, such as Botox.
Deodorants: These have limited success in eliminating odor. It is important to
understand the difference between a deodorant and antiperspirants. These
are not likely to work. The smell will simply intermingle with the smell of one’s
body odor and the resulting odor may in fact be even more offensive.
Antiperspirants: These contain aluminum-based compounds that block the
sweat pore temporarily. This reduces the amount of sweat that reaches your
skin. There are a number of low cost brands from which to choose.
• Right Guard or Soft & Dry, made by Dial Corporation
• Speed Stick, made by Colgate Corporation.
• Sure, made by Proctor & Gamble.
• Secret, Proctor & Gamble’s deodorant for women.
The products listed above are available over the counter. Certain Dri, which is
non-prescription but a little harder to find, is a stronger antiperspirant that
contains a lot more aluminum, about 12 per cent aluminum chloride. Drysol,
which is about 20 per cent aluminum chloride hexahydrate, is available by
prescription only, as the product Xerac. Mitchum antiperspirant contains 20
per cent aluminum chloride, and is available over-the-counter.
Any aluminum product should be applied to dry armpits at bedtime. No
aluminum product should be applied to broken skin. Discontinue use if there
is a rash or inflammation of the skin.
Sweaty hands may respond best to an antiperspirant combining aluminum
chloride hexahydrate with salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. Since
there are no commercial products containing these ingredients on the market,
this mixture has to be obtained from a compounding pharmacist.
There is some evidence that aluminum products contribute to the
development of Alzheimer's disease and that they have an estrogen-like
effect stimulating certain forms of breast cancer in women, so they are not
recommended as a first choice if other means of odor control are available.
In really extreme situations, surgery is possible. The surgeon may use
liposuction. This is the same procedure that is used to remove excess fat,
only in this case it removes sweat glands. A skilled neurosurgeon may
perform an endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, which severs the nerves
leading to the sweat glands, but the effects of the operation are permanent,
and may include increased sweating in the face.
Baking Soda: This common kitchen staple can be used instead of deodorant.
If applied to the armpits, it will slow down the activity of odor-causing bacteria
and absorb sweat.
Vinegar: Plain vinegar also reduces underarm odor, by changing the pH of
the skin so that bacteria cannot multiply as readily. The problem with vinegar
is that is has its own odor. Try applying a dab the size of a dime (a circle of 5
mm diameter or smaller) to avoid vinegar odor and also to make sure there is
no skin inflammation.
Milk of Magnesia: Milk of magnesia is a chalky liquid that dries clear. If you
are concerned that aluminum may cause breast cancer or Alzheimer's
disease, then milk of magnesia is an inexpensive and surprisingly effective
Methods for Removing Sweat from Clothing:
To remove sweat from clothing that has been permeated with sweat, there
are only two methods available.
Washing: It is important to launder clothes in order to remove the sweat and
bacteria from them. Killing bacteria requires hot water, at least 118° F (48° C),
although scalding hot water is not necessary. Bleach also kills bacteria.
Antibacterial sweat spray for clothes: It is not always possible to wash
clothes immediately after you have sweat in them. However, you can remove
the bacteria from your clothing while you are out through use of a spray.
• Deodorant Sweat Spray: There is currently only one spray on
the market that effectively destroyed the bacteria that causes
sweat odor. It breaks down the odor-causing bacteria present
in sweat. If you use their product for clothes, you can remove
most of the smell without washing the clothes. Website:
This is not to be confused with spraying a fabric scenting spray on clothes,
which will not work for the same reason deodorants won’t work. These sprays
are simply perfumes which attempt to mask the smell, and run the risk of
intermingling with the smell and making it worse. These scented sprays also
have no effect on the bacteria that is causing the bad odor.
When to See a Physician
If you can’t determine the cause of your body odor, or it is being caused by
excessive sweat, it is important to see a physician to determine that it is not
something of a more serious nature.
This is a condition of excessive and almost constant perspiration, producing
more sweat than is needed to cool the body. Signs and symptoms include:
Frequent sweating that is so strong it soaks through
• Clamminess or dripping from hands and feet
• Abnormally strong perspiration from underarms, feet, head
or face
To deal with hyperhidrosis, it is recommended that people see a physician. In
the meantime, it is important to utilize the procedures listed above to help
prevent the odor associated with this condition.
Other Conditions that may cause sweat or body odor:
• Diabetes
• Metabolic Dysfunction
• Liver Disease
• Kidney Disease
• Menopause
• Fungal Infections
• Some Cancers
• Parasites
Foot Odor
What Causes Foot Odor?
Foot odor is in fact another type of odor caused by sweat. The feet are the
only area in the body where there is often a smell exclusively from eccrine
sweat. The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body.
There are nearly 250,000 eccrine sweat glands in the feet, and people can
produce massive amounts of foot sweat in one day.
All that sweat, combined with the natural warmth of the foot, creates an ideal
growing environment for the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis. This
bacterium lives on the fluid from sweat and the proteins in the dead skin cells
that are abundant on the feet. (It's not a good idea to exfoliate your feet to get
rid of dead skin, since dead skin and calluses protect the tissues beneath
This bacterium has a unique ability to form films and then go into a
hibernating mode. That is how it survives in shoes and socks between uses.
This staph bacterium can survive up to 30 days even in dry shoes, far longer
in damp shoes.
The waste products of this kind of bacteria are what cause foot odor. One
waste product, isovaleric acid (also known as 3-methyl-butanoic acid) has a
strong cheesy odor. Since this bacterium survives a particularly long time in
the shoes, a cheesy, sweaty odor will be especially hard to get rid of.
But two other kinds of bacteria can also contribute to foot odor. The
Propionibacter bacteria, which also cause acne, can hide in sweat glands.
They create byproducts with a vinegar smell. And there are also Brevibacter,
which produce the odor found in both smelly feet and Limburger cheese. This
really unpleasant odor is derived from the methionine in dead skin cells that
accumulate between the toes.
Surprisingly, not everything about foot odor is bad. For thousands of years,
physicians in South Asia have used smelly feet or smelly shoes to resuscitate
people who have suffered an epileptic seizure. Recent neurological research
has found a scientific basis for this ancient practice. But for people, the social
disadvantages of foot odor far outweigh its use in rustic traditional healing.
Treatment for Foot Odor
Shoes: Invest in more than one pair of shoes. Wearing a different pair of
shoes as often as possible greatly reduces the growth of bacteria that cause
foot odor. It is also important that shoes not be too tight, trapping moisture
next to the skin, and that they "breathe." Canvas and leather shoes allow for
the greatest air circulation.
It is also a good idea to buy shoes that are washable. If your shoes can be
washed, throw them in the washing machine or brush the insides with a small
amount of detergent. Let your shoes completely dry out before you wear them
again—wearing shoes that are still damp is an almost sure way to develop
foot odor! To dry shoes, use a shoe dryer, or a hair dryer on the outside and
then stuff the inside with newspaper and allow to dry overnight.
Cleaning: Wash your feet daily or several times a day with a strong
antibacterial soap, just as you would for body sweat. Be sure to wash
between your toes, and wash your entire foot with a clean washcloth. This is
important for removing the dead skin cells that feed the bacteria that make
particularly stinky smells.
• Dial antibacterial soap.
• Safeguard
• Irish Spring deodorant soap
Change your socks: Change your socks every day or even several times a
day. Just because socks aren't filthy yet doesn't mean they are fit to wear!
Wash socks in antibacterial detergent and hot (118° F/48° C) water. Cotton
socks hold the least odor.
Wear absorbent socks: Try to make sure your socks are made of a thick,
absorbent material to soak up sweat.
• Drymax Sports Socks make a special line of socks
specifically designed to soak up sweat.
• Odor Eaters makes a specially designed sweat absorbent
sock. The socks are no longer actively marketed but they
are still available at some stores.
Foot Powder: Dust your feet with a powder to help absorb moisture.
• Dr. Scholl’s Odor Destroyers medicated powder is
designed to absorb moisture and relieve itching that can
come with sweat.
• Odor Eaters makes a powder that is fairly effective at
absorbing smell.
• Baking soda will absorb moisture and kill some of the
Shoe Inserts: Inserts can help absorb moisture and reduce the odor. Most
shoe inserts are made form a fabric laced with activated charcoal.
• Odor Eaters makes an insole that has a charcoal filter to
absorb moisture and smell.
• Dr. Scholl’s makes inserts designed to absorb moisture
and odor.
Shoe/Sock Spray: Spray your shoes with a substance that kills the bacteria
that cause foot odor, rather just trapping the odor.
• Ecoteam’s Deodorant Foot Spray is very effective,
because unlike powders and insoles which aim to absorb
moisture, this spray actually kills the bacteria in shoes and
socks that are causing the smell. It is particularly useful if
you are out and can’t change shoes or socks.
Diet: Because the sweat that causes foot odor comes from eccrine sweat
glands, the excretion of certain smelly spices such as garlic, curry, or
fenugreek can make your feet smell particularly pungent. Changing your diet
can help.
Foot Soaks: Soaking your feet can kill the bacteria that live in sweat glands
and cause the Limburger cheese odor. In a pan of warm (86° F/30° C) , not
hot, water, add:
• Warm green tea you have made with 5 green tea bags.
The tannins in the tea cross link proteins in the skin of
your feet and reduce perspiration. Do this for 30 minutes
five times a week.
• Apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup (60 ml) of vinegar for every
pint (480 ml) of warm water. This soak is good from
getting rid of stinky-cheese smell, although it is not, of
course, good for getting rid of vinegar smell.
• Salt water, made with 1/4 cup () of kosher salt in every
pint (480 ml) of water. Soak for 30 minutes. When finished,
don't rinse, just pat feet dry.
Cornstarch, baking soda, and talcum powder sprinkled in the shoes help keep
feet dry, although women should avoid talcum powder since it is correlated
with ovarian cancer.
Antiperspirants: Antiperspirants are more effective for underarm perspiration
than for foot perspiration. Controlling sweaty feet may require antiperspirants
with an aluminum concentration as high as 30 to 40 per cent. The only way to
get this super-strength antiperspirant is to have a compounding pharmacist
make it for you. Once perspiration control is achieved, however, it is only
necessary to use the foot antiperspirant about once every three weeks.
Antiperspirants that contain aluminum change the chemistry of the skin of the
feet so that water is less likely to pass through the skin. Containing the
chemical aluminum chloride hexahydrate, these antiperspirants may take care
of excess of excess sweating, and the associated odor, after about a week's
use. At first it is necessary to use them every day to change the chemistry of
the skin. Later it may be enough to use them two or three times a week.
When there is flaking, redness, or pitting of the skin of the feet, additional
treatment may be needed to get at the cause of the odor. When benzoyl
peroxide is applied, it's important to let it sink into the skin for a few minutes
and then wash the excess off, since it can bleach the skin of the feet, leaving
odd shades and altered skin tones that take months to grow back normally.
Doctors may recommend a process called wet iontophoresis. This method
involves putting the feet into a pan of electrically charged water that forces the
aluminum ions into the skin of the feet. (Don't try this at home!) There is also a
process called dry iontophoresis, which can be done at home. A batteryoperated device called the Drionic, available for about US $150, sends a mild
charge through the skin, no liquids required. The Drionic is more effective for
controlling sweaty hands than sweaty feet. A single Drionic treatment may
reduce perspiration for up to six weeks.
In extreme cases, doctors may even inject the skin of the feet with Botox to
"paralyze" the sweat glands for up to 90 days at a time, but each treatment
costs hundreds of dollars and there is a risk of foot injury due to insensitivity
to pain. Medications to stop sweating tend also to cause dry eyes, reduced
urination, and sore throat. Usually it is a lot simpler to treat the odor and not
the perspiration.
Bad Breath
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is probably the most commonly
recognized odor problem. Nearly everyone has bad breath occasionally—
especially when first waking in the morning. "Morning breath" or "dragon
breath" is a simple condition caused by oral inactivity. As soon as we brush
our teeth, or drink our morning coffee, tea, juice, or water, this very mild form
of halitosis disappears. Other kinds of bad breath are much more persistent.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath sometimes signals a significant health problem. A sickeningly
sweet smell of sugar and nail polish remover, for instance, is a sign of
dangerously uncontrolled diabetes. Children can have tonsils so inflamed that
they catch food particles no matter how much the child brushes or uses
mouthwash, and the only cure is to have the tonsils taken out.
There are several other causes for breath odor, also called halitosis:
Infections in the stomach, rather than the mouth: The bacterium that
causes most cases of stomach ulcers, Helicobacter pylori, can also cause
extremely potent bad breath. Getting rid of the bacterium cures both the
ulcers and the bad breath. There is a blood test that can tell whether
Helicobacter pylori is present.
Certain Foods: Food, once absorbed into the bloodstream, is transferred to
the lungs where it can be smelled when a person exhales. This is the case
with garlic and onions. No amount of brushing, flossing, and mouthwash will
get rid of garlic or onion breath, since the odor emanates from the
bloodstream (2 hours after the garlic is eaten).
Not Eating: It may sound odd, but not eating can also cause bad breath,
caused by the breakdown of chemicals during fasting called ketoacidosis.
Dieters need to be particularly conscious of this. Ketoacidosis is usually
accompanied by 4 to 7 pounds (2-3 kg) of quick weight loss, and gives a
smell to the breath something like nail polish remover, because the body
makes the same chemical used in nail polish remover. Uncontrolled diabetes
can also cause this odor.
Failure to Brush Properly: if you fail to brush daily, particles of food remain
in the mouth, which breeds bacteria and can cause odor.
Dry Mouth: A lack of saliva can cause breath odor. Saliva moistens and
cleans the mouth by neutralizing acids and washing away dead cells. Dry
mouth, or lack of saliva, can be caused by certain medications.
Periodontal Disease: More commonly known as gum disease, this disease
is characterized by deep pockets in the gums which can catch and grow all
kinds of bacteria that cause breath odor.
Sugarless Chewing Gum: The sugar alcohols used to sweeten sugarless
chewing gum cause the digestive to concentrate the chemicals that cause
onion and garlic breath. If onions and garlic are not eaten, however, sugarless
chewing gum does not have this effect.
Treatment for Bad Breath:
Brushing, Flossing and mouthwash: These are all critical to good oral
hygiene, but they only mask the odor temporarily. Odors continue until the
body eliminates the food. However, if you fail to brush daily, particles of food
remain in the mouth, which breeds bacteria and can cause odor.
• Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash: One of America's favorite
home remedies, this mouthwash contains extracts of
eucalyptus and thyme that actually kill the germs that
cause bad breath. Most mouth bacteria die after a 30-
second exposure to Listerine. The product is made by
Johnson & Johnson.
• Cepacol is another antiseptic mouthwash that can kill
germs, especially Staphylococcus bacteria.
• Colgate and Crest are among American Dental
Association approved toothpastes. They do a good job
cleaning your teeth and tongue, but again won’t solve bad
breath entirely.
Brush your tongue: Your tongue is covered in taste buds that have a small
mushroom shape if you look at them under a microscope. The caps of these
buds can catch microscopic bacteria that cause bad breath so it is important
to brush your tongue as well as your teeth.
Change your diet: As mentioned above, toothpastes and mouthwash can
only mask the smell of bad breath. The smell won’t completely go away until
the food leaves your body, so you may want to change your diet to prevent
breath odor.
Drink lots of water: Keeping your mouth moist stimulates the production of
saliva which washes away dead cells, food particles and bacteria that
contribute to bad breath.
Chew on parsley: This herb can help mask the smell of bad breath, but it
won’t cure it.
Chew a breath mint: Mint can mask bad breath, but it cannot remove it. The
combination of lemon and mint is best for masking garlic odor.
Avoid Smoking: Tobacco products can cause terrible breath problems
among other health issues.
Visit the Dentist: If periodontal disease is the cause of your bad breath, the
dentist may refer you to a specialist in treating gum problems or prescribe a
special antimicrobial mouth rinse.
Vaginal Odor
Causes of vaginal odor:
Along with vaginal dryness, vaginal itch, and vaginal discharge, vaginal odor
is one the leading reasons women consult gynecologists. Even in healthy
women, normal vaginal secretions can have a slightly "cheesy" or "antiseptic"
smell. Contact of the vagina with semen can result in the release of a "fishy"
odor. The greatest amount of vaginal discharge occurs at the midpoint of a
woman's menstrual cycle, so this odor will naturally be stronger around the
time of ovulation, when fertility is greatest.
Vaginal mucus (distinguished from menstrual blood) is released all the time,
but the volume of discharge is about twice as great around Day 14 of a
woman's period. The actual volume of discharge is normally 2 to 4 ml, about
1/2 a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon a day. Immediately after the menstrual period
the mucus is "slippery" and produced in higher volume, and right around
ovulation the mucus is "dry" and produced in lower volume.
The relationship of vaginal odor to vaginal infections is not easy to sort out. It
is possible to have an infection without odor, and it is possible to have odor
without infection. Odor can also result from excessive growth of bacteria that
normally inhabit a healthy vagina, such as Gardnerella. Vaginal odor can be
caused by yeast or trichomonas, but about a third of women who have issues
with vaginal odor do not have infections with any common microorganism.
Vaginal odor can also be a symptom of chlamydia infection or pelvic
inflammatory disease (PID). If excessive vaginal odor is an issue, a trip to the
doctor is in order to ensure that these two serious conditions do not exist.
Looking at the vaginal mucus under the microscope usually reveals the exact
source of the odor, but inflammatory processes that have nothing to do with
infection can also cause odor problems.
As a general rule, however, itching with no odor is caused by yeast infection
while inflammation with a strong "cheese" odor is caused by bacterial
infection. Antifungals are prescribed for yeast infection, while antibiotics may
be prescribed for bacterial infection—it is important to get the right treatment!
Diflucan and fluconazole are more likely to be the right treatment when there
is no strong odor, just vaginal itch.
Don't ignore vaginal odor. It is important to get treatment for bacterial
infections of the vagina. Untreated infections with the bacterium Gardnerella
can result in salpingitis, endometrial infection, pelvic inflammatory disease,
and premature labor. Any kind of uterine surgery becomes much more likely
to result in infection, and the woman also becomes more at risk for infection
with HIV. Women at the highest risk for bacterial infections of the vagina are
those who:
• Recently started sexual relations with a new male partner.
• Have lower estrogen levels as a result of perimenopause, the years of
a woman's life before full menopause.
• Use douches for vaginal hygiene.
• Recently finished treatment with antibiotics (killing the friendly bacteria
that keep odor-causing bacteria in check).
• Wear an IUD (intrauterine device) for contraception.
Finally, vaginal odor sometimes is the only warning sign of herpes infection. It
is important to get a medical examination to be sure the cause of the odor is
not a serious disease.
Self-Treatment of Vaginal Odor:
For daily vaginal odors, good hygiene is the best weapon:
Wear lose cotton clothing: This is often referred to as clothing that
“breathes," allowing air to flow and keep the vagina dryer. This stimulates the
growth of healthy Lactobacillus bacteria and discourages the growth of the
odor-causing Gardnerella. Avoid nylons or synthetic fabrics which trap heat,
intensify sweat, and therefore allow more odor causing bacteria to grow.
Cotton panties are best.
Bathe more often during menstruation: This is the simplest way to help
combat extra sweat or excretions that may be caused by hormonal changes.
Change tampons or pads more frequently: This can prevent the build-up of
smelly blood and bacteria byproducts. There are scented tampons and
douches on the market, but these can disturb the natural flora of the vagina
and actually do more harm than good.
Although it has been mentioned before, it bears mentioning again: Don't
use douches to prevent vaginosis. Douches don't decrease the risk of
developing vaginosis, they increase it. One study found that women who did
not previously have vaginal odor, itch, or dryness but had used douches in the
last two months were nearly 3 times more likely to develop vaginal odor in the
next month than those who had not used douches. Once odor has developed,
however, these douches are helpful on a short-term basis, never more than 2
weeks (to allow healthy bacteria to recover):
• Betadine is a form of anti-bacterial iodine that does not sting or burn,
although it may stain undergarments. Use 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) in 1 pint
(500 ml) of warm water, every other day for up to a week.
• Goldenseal, coptis, or barberry extract, 2 teaspoons (8 ml) in 1 pint
(500 ml) of warm water kills bacteria of all sorts. Use every other day
for up to two weeks.
• Lithium succinate (available from compounding pharmacists) in up to
8% solution is helpful for women who develop vaginal odor while
recovering from herpes. It controls both bacteria and the herpesvirus.
Use every other day for up to two weeks.
• White vinegar, 2 tablespoons (24 ml) in 1 pint (500 ml) of warm water
kills odor-causing bacteria but encourages the growth of Lactobacillus.
• Borax and garlic are too harsh (and garlic is too smelly) for use in
Remember, medication is a short-term remedy: Doctors often prescribe
Flagyl (metronidazole) for vaginal odor. This antifungal drug is cheap, costing
US $1 a day or less, about one-fifth the cost of the least expensive vaginal
lotion, but it is not without its problems.
Flagyl leaves a metallic aftertaste when it's taken by mouth, and drinking
alcohol while taking the drug can result in nausea or vomiting. And although
Flagyl may control Gardnerella infection, it does nothing to reestablish the
protective Lactobacillus bacteria. If these healthy bacteria are not restored,
either by using probiotic yogurts or by using probiotic vaginal suppositories,
the infection will return in about a month after discontinuing the drug.
Tobacco Odor
The Problem of Tobacco Odor:
Smokers often underestimate just how acutely non-smokers can smell
tobacco. A study at the Institute for Hygiene and Applied Physiology in
Switzerland found that non-smokers can detect the odor of one cigarette
diluted in 19,000 cubic meters of air. This is roughly equivalent to a smoker
going into the middle of a football or soccer stadium on calm day and lighting
up; even 50 meters (150 feet) away, non-smokers can smell the cigarette.
The tobacco industry is very aware that cigarettes cause odor, so they include
various additives in cigarettes to mask the odor. These include aluminum
(linked to Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer) in the wrapping paper and
lemon, vanilla, and patchouli in the tobacco. All these chemicals have to be
detoxified in the liver of anyone who inhales the smoke, whether they smoke
the cigarette or not.
Various studies find that 20 to 60 per cent of people exposed to second-hand
smoke develop some kind of upper respiratory condition. Symptoms include
sore throat, nasal irritation, post-nasal drip, runny nose, dry throat, dry mouth,
coughing, and hoarseness. The acrolein in tobacco smoke is a common
trigger for asthma attacks.
What causes tobacco odor?
1. Smoking: This is the obvious cause of tobacco odor on the body. The
smell of smoke clings to the body, causes bad breath, and also comes
out through the skin. The tobacco mixes with your body chemistry to
cause a distinct odor that comes out through the skin. This odor can
persist for weeks even after the cessation of smoking.
2. Second hand smoke: As anyone who has ever been in a smoky café
or bar can tell you, smoke from other people’s cigarettes also clings to
clothing, the hair on the body and some gets into your system by
breathing the smoke in the air. If enough second hand smoke is
breathed in, it can cause a smell that comes out through the skin just
as though the individual had actually smoked cigarettes.
Treatment of Tobacco Odor
Quit Smoking: This is the obvious and most definite way to eliminate the
smell caused by tobacco. Even after quitting, it may take several weeks or
more for the body to rid itself of the chemicals that cause foul body odor.
Avoid Smoky Places: Again, this is a rather obvious solution. Tobacco odors
can be both strong and dangerous, so the best first defense is to avoid smoke
whenever possible.
Wash Regularly: If you still smoke, or have to be in areas that are exposed
to smoke it is important to take care to wash the smell off your body with a
strong soap. One should pay special attention to hair and hairy parts of the
body which seem to absorb smoke particularly well. They must be washed
with smoke and water to help eliminate the smell.
• Vinegar: Adding vinegar or vinegar baking soda to your regular
laundry cycle and detergent can help remove smoke odors.
• Clorox Bleach: this is very effective in removing bacteria and
smells, but is often not good for colored fabrics.
Sprays for Clothes and Fabrics: There are many sprays to get rid of odors
from clothing or fabrics, but most of these simply are perfumed and mask the
• Etiquette Spray: This spray created by Ecoteam stands out by
chemically breaking down the molecules that cause the smoke
smell and absorbing the remaining molecules, thereby
eliminating the smell of smoke rather than just masking it.
Smells Associated with Aging
What causes odors in elderly people?
Hormone Changes: Humans go through rather pronounced hormone
changes that can affect a host of other things in the body including sweat and
other factors in body odor. Women experience both drier skin and vaginal
dryness. The drying of skin and mucous membranes makes them more
susceptible to infections which can cause inflammation, irritation, and odor.
Many men suffer prostate-related problems that cause dribbling of urine. The
constant minute flow of urine causes urine odor, but it also inflames and
irritates the skin and causes odors related to the destruction of skin and
related tissues.
Bad Breath – At least 70 percent of elderly people do not produce enough
saliva, so their breath becomes foul. Dental problems and gum infections are
often problematic for the elderly. See section on bad breath for treatment of
this condition.
"Old Man Odor" – Also known as "old lady smell," "old man smell," and "old
people smell," this condition results from the accumulation of a chemical
called 2-nonenal. It is also one of the aromas the human nose perceives in
old books, beer, buckwheat, cucumbers, lard, and orris (iris root), orris being
used in some cosmetics.
This distinctive odor of elderly persons results from the accumulation of
omega-7 fatty acids in the sebum glands of the skin. Most people have heard
of omega-3 or maybe omega-6 essential fatty acids, but the omega-7 fatty
acids are a little more obscure.
These are the fatty acids that can be found in a few little-used health
supplements, such as sea buckthorn and rosemary leaf, and in relative
abundance in seafood and macadamia nuts. For some reason scientists do
not yet completely understand, these fatty acids become palmitoleic acid on
the skin, but only in persons aged 40 and older. Unfortunately, the human
nose can detect even tiny traces of this chemical, even 3 to 4 parts per million
in the air of the room of an elderly person.
Treatment of Odors Associated with Aging
Washing: As many elderly people don’t go out as often as they used to,
some let their personal hygiene habits lapse a bit, but because of the
increased changes in the skin, mouth and hormone levels, it is important for
elderly people to remain vigilant about frequent washing and use of soap.
Assistance with personal hygiene may be necessary, especially when
urination and defecation become problematic.
Drinking more water: Drinking water can help with the breath problems
associated with lower saliva production and can also help flush out any toxins
from the skin that are causing odors. Hydrating the skin makes it more supple,
so the pores containing the fats that become "old person smell" can be more
easily cleansed. Drinking water also rinses food particles off the tongue and
gums and in between the teeth.
Deodorant Spray: It is used by spraying the air, bed linens and clothes of an
elderly person.
Silver Spray: There is only one product on the market right now
specifically targeted towards the elimination of odors associated with
aging. It is produced by Ecoteam. Website:
Part Three:
In the
Home and Office
Volatile Organic Compounds
What are Volatile Organic Compounds?
Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC's, put simply, are the compounds you
smell when your nose smells something in the air. They are what give the air
around you a pleasant aroma or a foul odor. The technical definition of VOC's
is chemical compounds which have high enough vapor pressure to vaporize
and enter the atmosphere. When atmospheric pressure is lower or
temperature is higher, more VOC's enter the air. For this definition, an
"organic" compound is one that contains carbon, rather than one that comes
from "natural" or "organic" sources.
Problems with Volatile Organic Compounds:
In high levels, VOC's can be damaging to your health and toxic to breathe.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, VOC's are a
big contributing factor to ozone at ground levels. The ozone in the upper
atmosphere is beneficial, but ozone at the ground level it can affect the
function of the lungs, even in healthy people. Indoor air pollution levels can
actually be two to three times higher than outdoor air pollution levels—and
especially clean houses are the most likely to be contaminated by chemicals!
VOC's have chemicals that can cause the following health concerns:
• Dizziness
• Eye, nose and throat irritation
• Headache
• Nausea
• Skin Problems
• Higher concentration can also cause damage to the liver,
kidneys or central nervous system
Causes for Volatile Organic Compounds in the Home:
Many common household products emit volatile organic compounds:
• Aerosols
• Burning of wood, gas or kerosene
• Ethanolamines, used in silver polish and jewelry cleaners
• Fireplaces
• Floor cleaners (ammonia, however, is not volatile—only a
problem if you are in direct contact with it)
• Floor varnish
• Floor waxes, especially if applied with a buffing machine
• Formaldehyde which can be found in particle board, plywood,
foam insulation, and some drapes and textiles
• Fragrances, especially in bathroom cleaners applied from a
spray can
• Gasoline—never siphon gasoline by mouth
• Glues
• "Green" arsenic-treated wood, especially in children's play sets
• Household cleaners, especially those sprayed on windows and
mirrors, causing direct exposure of the lungs to the chemicals
• Incense sticks and candles
• Nail polish remover
• Open toner cartridges
• Paints
• Perfumes and hairspray
• Sanding sealers
• Sink cleaners, especially if the person using the cleaner is not
using gloves (skin contact, and later inhalation of chemicals from
the skin of the hands)
• Solvents
• Tobacco products
• Toilet bowl cleaners, especially if the bowl is then scrubbed with
a short brush
• Underarm deodorant
• Well water in areas with chemical contamination
• Window cleaners
The amount of VOC's given off by these products tends to decrease as the
products get older and dry out, but the VOC's greatly increase if they are not
used at the dilution recommended on the label. Using "straight" bleach or
cleaner, for instance, releases more VOC's than bleach or cleaner diluted with
How to Avoid VOC's:
• The best method is to use materials that do not give off VOC's. There
are a number of paints and building products now being made that do
not emit high levels of VOC's. If you cannot afford the new VOC-free
paints, such as Freshaire's Choice, water-based paints are less of a
problem than acrylic paints. The VOC's in paints are removed from the
body by urination, so drink more water when you paint around the
house. Always open windows or use ventilation fans when painting
• Allow gases from new furnishings and building materials to be given off
in storage for a few weeks before being brought into your home.
• Avoid landfills, which emit many VOC's, more as the trash inside the
landfill ages.
• Fix leaks. Even when there is no mold, dampness increases the
irritation caused by VOC's.
• Do not allow smoking in or near the house.
• If your place of worship uses incense, minimize indoor exposure to
incense at home. Outdoor use of incense minimizes exposure to you
(although it increases exposure by your neighbors).
• Always add the cleaner to water, not water to the cleaner.
• Wear gloves, and if you are applying a chemical at nose-level, consider
wearing a protective mask so you do not inhale VOC's.
• Do not bring dry cleaned clothing into the home if it has a strong smell.
Allow it to air outside of its plastic bag, outside of the home first.
Hanging dry-cleaned clothes on outdoor clothesline for about 2 hours is
• Ventilate the house by opening windows and doors.
• If you live an area with many farms that use pesticides or a lot of
chemical industry, do not drink well water.
• Use natural wood instead of pressed cardboard fireboard logs in your
• Have the chimney to your fireplace cleaned at least once a year.
• Don't use kerosene space heaters, since they dump all their toxic
VOC's directly into the rooms they heat.
• Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide detector in addition to a
fire detector.
• Use face protection when removing old pipes and wiring.
• Don't idle the car in the garage.
• Don't use gas or charcoal grills inside, ever, even during disaster
• Radon gas is not a VOC, but it is the second leading contributor to lung
cancer after cigarette smoke. Especially if your home has a basement,
get a radon gas detector.
• Make an effort to regularly get fresh, clean air into your home.
• Make sure your woodstove is vented to the outside, or do not use it at
• Be careful when exposing foam insulation or particleboard. These
construction materials are made with formaldehyde.
• Make sure your gas stove is well vented to the outside. Although the
primary pollutant from gas cooking is nitrogen dioxide, which is not a
VOC, this chemical can trigger asthma attacks and make the lungs
more sensitive to VOC's from other sources.
• Whenever possible, don't install carpets. Carpets and carpet pads trap
and emit VOCs, and make odor control very difficult if you have pets.
Ways to Remove VOC's from the Home:
• Houseplants can help remove VOC's from air. Some plants can remove
30 times their weight in VOC's over the course of their lives. These
varieties are particularly good:
o Ferns
o Dragon Tree
o Golden Pothos
o English Ivy
o Orchid
o Philodendron
Surprisingly, not all houseplants reduce VOC's in indoor air. Some, such as
the areca palm, peace lily, weeping fig, and snake plant, actually produce
There can also be a problem from pesticides growers of the plants add to the
potting soil before selling the plant.
• Air cleaning systems with filters can be used to improve indoor air.
They can remove VOC's although they cannot capture carbon
monoxide emitted by space heaters. If you do not use kerosene or gas
space heaters, however, air-cleaning systems can remove essentially
all the harmful emissions in household air. For removing humidity from
the air, use a dehumidifier, not an air filter.
Miracle Air Cleaner: These HEPA air cleaners are designed to remove
air odors, pollen, tobacco smoke, dust and vapors. Website:
Honeywell: This consumer products company makes a wide variety of
HEPA and other filters for a variety of different air cleaning possibilities.
• Air cleaners can be used along with improved ventilation to reduce
pollutants to indoor air.
Photo catalyst Coating Spray: This spray is used to remove VOC's. It
works through titanium dioxide, which neutralizes VOC to harmless
CO2 H2O2. It is made by Ecoteam. Website:
Pet Odors
Do visitors know you have a pet dog—before Rover comes romping into the
room? Are they aware of your kitty Fluffy even while she is hiding under the
With the possible exception of your pet fish (as long as they stay healthy), all
pets come with a variety of odors. Some however, can be far more noticeable
than others. These animals cause very distinct odors to fill your home if you
are not careful about cleaning them.
Older people greatly benefit from pets—but often do not detect pet odors.
People with migraines, Parkinson's disease, or Alzheimer's have similar
issues with not being aware of the odors of their pets. All pet owners, however,
are more tolerant of the odors of their own pets than they are of the odors of
pets belonging to other people.
Areas of Your Home that Absorb Pet Odor:
• Carpets
• Drapes and Curtains
• Furniture
Preventing Pet Odors:
• Clean all feeding areas for pets on a daily basis. Recirculating
water bowls are best for cats.
• Identify areas of concentrated odor on your carpet. If you do not
know where they are, use black light to find them and then clean
• Sprinkle a live-enzyme pet odor removal powder over areas of
pet accidents until you have time to do deep cleaning. Most
products also include live bacteria that can digest the proteins
that cause odors and make them easier to remove from the
carpet. Borax powder and baking soda also remove odor, but not
as effectively as the bacteria-enzyme based powders.
• Deep clean stained areas of carpet with a carpet shampooer you
fill with cool water only—no cleansers or detergents. This will
help you avoid creating even worse odors that combine the odor
of pet waste with the fragrances in the carpet shampoo. Never
use a steam cleaner to clean up after a pet accident, since the
heat will cause the odor to set in the carpet.
• Don't use cleaning chemicals, especially ammonia or vinegar.
Your pet may be confused them with the odor of urine and return
to urinate in the same place.
• Clean the carpet after you use an odor-neutralizing product. If
you don't, the second application of the odor-neutralizing product
will work on the first product, not the new urine or feces.
• Clean litter boxes and other toilet areas daily.
• Vacuum and sweep areas where the animals spend time
• Do not allow animals on the furniture.
• Clean and bathe animals on a regular basis. Get your pet
accustomed to bathing as soon as possible after they become a
part of your home.
• Realize that frequently soiled areas of carpet may need a new
carpet pad.
• If accidents continually occur in the same areas, consider the
root of the problem. Does your dog have access to the outdoors
often enough? Is there a problem with the placement of your
cat's litter box? Cats, in particular, tend to relieve themselves in
the same place—even if someone has removed the litter box.
• When there are frequent pet accidents, it may be necessary to
make the "accident zone" off limits to your pet. Sometimes your
pet returns to the area where he or she smells his personal scent.
• To clean washable items, add a one-pound (450 g) box of baking
soda to regular detergent. If urine or feces is still visible after
washing, rewash with an enzymatic cleaner (available at pet
supply stores), following the instructions on the box.
• When cleaning up fresh urine or feces, if possible, take the paper
towels to the place where you wish for your pet to toilet. This
gives your pet the message that defecation and urination are OK
if they are done in the right place.
• Washable paints and wallpaper can be treated with enzymebased cleaning products.
Problems with Pet Odors:
Dogs: Sometimes there is a condition where your dog may smell no matter
how much you wash it. It may be necessary in this situation to see the
Cats: Cats may occasionally urinate outside of their litter boxes. This smell
can be very difficult to remove, but if you don’t remove it, the cat will most
likely continue to urinate there so it is important to take action.
Removal of Pet Odors:
Cat Urine: There are a number of products on the market to remove the smell
of cat urine. However, if the urine has seeped into the carpet padding, it will
be necessary to actually replace the padding. The best products on the
market contain enzymes that cause a chemical reaction that breaks down the
urine and neutralizes the odor.
Just for Cats made by Nature’s Miracle. Website:
Stain & Odor Remover by Kids n’ Pets. Website:
Dog Smell: If the smell has seeped into carpets, it will probably be necessary
to clean the carpet commercially and replace the padding underneath. Once
wet dog odor or urine has seeped into a carpet’s padding it cannot be
removed without replacing the padding.
Room Shocker: This is recommended by veterinarians to remove tough pet
smell. It is made by Biocide Systems. Website:
Bathroom Odors
Causes of Bathroom Odors:
The bathroom in your house, for a variety of reasons, is host to large numbers
of germs ad bacteria. It is not just the toilet that causes germs and odor.
Virtually everything you do in a bathroom releases substances which are a
haven for odor causing bacteria.
• Use of toilet
• Shaving
• Brushing Hair
• Brushing Teeth
• Changing Clothes
• Showering/bathing
Even the constant washing heightens the risk for mold and mildew.
How to Eliminate Bathroom Odors:
Flush the toilet after every use.
• Do not use the toilet as a garbage can. Used diapers, sanitary napkins,
and plastic bags should not be flushed down the toilet.
• Clean the toilet bowl inside and out at least once a week.
• Immediately unclog the toilet when there is a clog. Do not allow the
clog to stand.
• Make sure your toilet releases enough water to flush. Don't hesitate to
flush twice.
• Pour bleach into the toilet bowl after you have cleaned it, but do not mix
bleach with muriatic acid. This chemical combination can do serious
damage to your lungs.
• If your toilet is used unusually frequently, consider a rim deodorizer.
Hung from the rim of the toilet, a rim deodorizer releases a small
amount of borax or bleach every time the toilet is flushed. Blue water in
the toilet bowl indicates the deodorizer has been recently applied.
• Add a small amount (1/4 cup/60 ml) of vinegar to the toilet bowl and
allow to stand overnight. Flush the next morning to remove toilet odors.
• Alternatively, add a small amount (1 tablespoon/15 ml) of detergent
with a small amount (also 1 tablespoon/15 ml) of isopropyl (rubbing)
alcohol. Allow to stand overnight and flush the next morning to remove
toilet odors.
• If your toilet bowl needs heavy-duty cleansing, clean the bowl by your
regular method and then flush to remove debris. Following label
instructions, apply muriatic acid to the bowl and under the rim. Wearing
gloves, scrub the toilet and under the rim with a toilet brush. Wash the
exterior of the toilet bowl (but not the seat) with more muriatic acid.
Then flush to remove the muriatic acid from the interior of the bowl and
wash the outside of the bowl with cool water to remove all traces of the
• Fix leaks. Overweight users of the toilet or improper seating of the toilet
itself will result in leaks which provide moisture for molds and bacteria.
Make sure your toilet is properly installed, and, if necessary, get leaks
at the bottom of the bowl sealed.
• When all other measures fail, check the water seal. The water seal
keeps sewer odors from backing up into your toilet. Since this repair
involves removing the toilet from the floor, hire a plumber unless you
are sure you know how to do the repair.
Products: Bleach, isopropyl alcohol, muriatic acid, toilet rim
deodorizers, available in most supermarkets and home repair stores.
• Clean the tub regularly. Dirt, oils and skin cells from your body can
easily collect on the sides of a tub or shower and becoming a breeding
ground for bacteria that causes odor. It is important to scrub this
regularly to prevent odor from becoming a problem.
• Sewer odor is more than just offensive. It can literally asphyxiate the
people living in your house. Sewer gases are ordinarily trapped in a Pshaped pipe underneath the tub. Sometimes hair and bathtub debris
clog the pipe so that when it dries out, sewer gas can enter the house
or apartment. To take care of this problem, have two or three buckets
ready and then follow these simple steps:
1. Take the stopper out of the tub. If hair and grease come up, put them in a
bucket to be thrown away.
2. Clean the stopper and the metal rod supporting it in hot, soapy water. You
may need a wire brush to get rid of debris. If you see anything else coming up
from the drain, you can catch it with the handle of the wire brush and put it in
the waste bucket to discard.
3. Flush the pipes with several gallons of hot water. This will help wash any
remaining gunk down the drain.
4. Check the vent at the top of the house. Remove any leaves or twigs
clogging it by hand, or wash it out with a high-power hose. In extremely windy
weather, by the way, the pressure over the vent will be lower so that your tub
is slower to drain.
5. If this procedure does not work, see if you have a leak around the
drainpipes. If necessary, call a qualified plumber for assistance.
Products: Hot water, buckets, wire brushes.
• Scrub the areas around the shower and tub. The bath accessories can
easily become moldy or mildew because of the amount of moisture that
pools and collects in them. Be sure to clean these as well as the tub
and shower. Trigger spray pump products work best if you use them
every day.
• Wipe down wet areas of the shower after each use. A squeegee is best
for flat surfaces, a towel for the rest. If you wipe down the shower every
time you use it, there will be no accumulation of hard water scale, scum,
or grime.
Products: Lime-Away, Charlie's, Comet, Tilex, Mr. Clean, Windex. Use
SoftScrub if your tub has an easily marred finish. Gel Gloss is useful for
acrylic shower stalls. Use Clean Shower to prevent hard water scale buildup
on glass doors.
• Use a body wash (gel) instead of bar soap and your shower will not
accumulate soap scum.
• If you use a commercial product to remove soap scum, be sure to give
it time to work. Liquid dishwasher detergent is also effective against
soap scum. Use 3/4 cup (180 ml) of dishwasher detergent diluted in 1
gallon (4 L) of warm water. Rub gently over dirty areas, using several
times if necessary. Rinse when done.
• A paste of baking soda and vinegar fights mildew.
• Spraying hot white vinegar on shower surfaces removes odor. Be sure
to rinse off the vinegar about 30 minutes after application.
• Clean and replace the shower curtain and curtain liner regularly.
Always return the shower curtain to its fully extended position when you
leave the shower so it has a chance to dry out. The liner for the shower
curtain builds up mildew very quickly. This is an area people often
forget about.
• Mop and sweep the floor regularly. Even if you don’t see dirt and grime
on your bathroom floor, it’s there. It should be cleaned on a regular
basis to prevent odors.
Products: Ajax, Comet, Lysol, Scrubbing Bubbles, and X-14 are inexpensive
but may scratch surfaces. Ajax with Bleach Scratch-Free and Comet ScratchFree Disinfectant and Bleach are good for removing mildew without damaging
surfaces, but require considerable manual effort for application. Kaboom
Shower Tub & Tile cleanser will keep mildew and scum from forming the in
the first place, but it must be applied every day. Green Works Natural is a
"chemical free" shower cleaner, but it has limited use in fighting mildew.
Odors from Drains
Causes of Odors from Sink Drain
Bathtub drains have very different construction from sink drains and are
discussed in the previous chapter.
Odors from drains are nearly always caused by some sort of clog or buildup
of residue on the pipes in the drain. Items that may clog or lead to smelly build
up include:
• Hair
• Soap
• Trash
• Food
• Chemicals
Mold in or around the drain area can also cause smell from the drain.
Elimination of Drain Odors
Many home owners quickly learn that using a plunger or dumping drain
cleaner down the pipes does little or nothing to eliminate drain odors—
although they are a good place to start. Fixing a drain, however, need not be
an overly complicated process. Chances are you can do it without calling the
plumber. You won't find out the source of your drain odor, however, until you
get your drain unclogged.
Most clogs in drains are not actually in the pipes. They are in the pop-up
assembly at the bottom of the sink.
First of all, a description of the pop-up assembly is in order. The pop-up
assembly has a metal rod that goes up and down. Because it extends down
beneath the sink, it picks up, depending on how the sink is used, grease and
food matter, or little bits of hair and soap. This mass of waste matter grows
larger and larger until it makes the sink drain slow or stops up the sink
completely. Unfortunately, drain cleaners usually don't make the matte on the
pop-up assembly smell better. They may even make it smell worse.
The first step is to extract the pop-up assembly from the sink. Often it will
come right up. Then you can use a long screwdriver to force the clog down
the drain, finishing up the job with a flow of hot water.
If the pop-up assembly does not come up with a gentle tug, it is probably
beneath the sink. Look beneath the sink with a flashlight, and find the bolt that
holds the pop-up assembly. Don't start disconnecting pipes! Unscrew the nut
on the side of the pop-up assembly, making sure you don't lose the nut, the
washers, or the bolt they hold in place. Then lift the stopper out from the drain.
Chances are you will see a lot of gunk and scum that drain cleaners did not
remove. Push as much of that gunk and scum as possible down the drain and
see if it flows again. If it doesn't, then you may have to remove the trap.
The trap, as its name suggests, traps a small amount of water at the bottom
of a U-shaped pipe. The water in the trap keeps sewer gases from backing up
into the house. Remove the clog from the trap, and then carefully reassemble
everything in the reverse order of the way you took it apart. You may want to
lubricate the pop-up assembly with some plumber's grease so it will be easier
to disassemble in the future. Make sure you put washers underneath nuts as
they were when you took them apart, or you will get a leak.
To prevent future clogs and odor, try this simple prophylactic: Fill the sink with
hot water and allow to drain quickly every week or so. This keeps clogs from
building up in the pop-up assembly, in the trap, or in the pipes that lead to the
If you use drain cleaners such as Drano and you have a septic tank, be very,
very careful to use only the amount of drain cleaner recommended on the
label. You must keep the bacteria in your septic tank active so that they break
down sewage, or you are at constant risk of clogs and overflows in your septic
field. Drain cleaners are not to be used in toilet bowls, only in sinks. This is to
protect the plumbing attached to the toilet and, if there is one, the septic
system to which it leads. Some products for kitchen drains generate so much
heat that they can cause the toilet bowl to crack. Also, read product
instructions before using to open a drain that includes a garbage disposal.
• Drano: This SC Johnson product has a variety of chemical
drain cleaners as well as agents that can be used to
prevent drains from ever getting clogged in the first place.
Best used to prevent clogs than to remove them, however.
• Liquid Plumber: This is a brand from the Clorox company
and also makes a variety of chemical drain cleaners and
clog removers
If plunging and use of chemical drain openers doesn’t have water flowing
smoothly through your drain, you will want to call a plumber, as the clog is
probably in an area which will require some dismantling of your pipes.
Drain odor is not always caused by clogs. If the cause of the drain odor isn’t a
clog, you should investigate the possibility of mold. First, clean the front and
underside of the drain cap. Make sure any slime or residue is removed.
Second, check for leaks around the drain area. If there are any leaks, the
surrounding area may be moldy. There are a number of products on the
market that prevent mold and mildew.
• Tilex: The Clorox Company makes this line of bathroom
cleaner that is specifically targeted at preventing mold and
mildew as well as removing it.
• Lysol: Lysol makes several bathroom cleaners including
mildew remover with bleach.
Carpet Odor
Causes for Carpet Odors
Carpets are made to look pretty, but they often smell bad. An astonishing
range of health complaints are made by worse by carpet odors: asthma,
allergies, insomnia, and depression to name just a few. Keeping carpets free
of odor can make the difference between sickness and health for elderly
people and people who have other chronic health conditions.
Most of the time the cause of carpet odor is bacterial. Carpets are excellent
breeding grounds for odor-causing bacteria to grow. There are an enormous
number of things that can lead to carpet odors in the house including.
Anything that bacteria can use for food can result in carpet odor:
• Dirt from shoes and feet
• Food spills
• Grease from steam that is omitted from kitchen
• Hair and dirt from humans and pets
• Human sweat
• Pet urination
• Tobacco products
Molds and mildew also cause carpet odors. Anything that keeps a carpet
wet—especially the pad beneath it—contributes to the growth of odor-causing
molds and mildew.
Prevention and Elimination of Carpet Odors
The best way to prevent carpet odors is vigilant cleaning.
• Vacuum carpets on a regular basis, even daily if there are a lot of
things in your house that would contribute to odor.
• Clean up any spills on carpets immediately
• Keep your pets cleaned regularly
• Ventilate your house
If you are having problems with a smelly carpet, the first step is to identify the
cause. For information on cleaning carpets due to tobacco, pet urine or foot
odor, please refer to the chapters in this book that address those issues.
And if the problem is not pet or foot odor, involving bacteria, or tobacco odor,
then it is most likely mildew or mold. The first step of controlling mildew and
mold can be very simple. When you have a dry day, open the window. Simply
allowing your home to air out will remove some moisture from the carpet. You
can get rid of odor, although not necessarily the underlying problem with
some simple home remedies for mildew smell:
Baking soda. When you can identify problem areas on your carpet by nose
alone, treat them with a paste of baking soda and water, made from roughly
equal amounts of baking soda and warm water mixed in a bowl. Allow to dry,
and then vacuum to remove the baking soda and any dirt in the carpet.
White vinegar is highly acidic and will kill molds and mildew on contact. The
problem then is you have replaced mildew odor with vinegar odor. Allow the
spots you treat with white vinegar, then rub with warm water, then allow to dry
Lemon juice removes odors on contact, although it will not kill the molds or
mildew that cause them. Apply a mixture of equal parts of lemon juice and
water to affected areas, and allow to dry thoroughly.
If you cannot determine the specific cause of the carpet odor, there are a
number of products that can be used to clean carpets and eliminate odors:
• Resolve: This company has a number of carpet and rug cleaners
that can be used with a sponge and a vacuum, many of which
are very effective at removing odors.
• 3M Oxy Carpet Cleaner: This carpet cleaner uses oxygen and
3M’s Scotchgard to clean and remove carpet stains as well as
neutralize odors.
Furniture Odors
Causes of Furniture Odors
Furniture can take on smells for a number of reasons. Wood furniture which
has been stored in a damp environment for some time can take on a mold or
mildew smell.
Upholstered furniture can absorb smells from the air and therefore can take
on bad odor for a number of reasons:
• Pets sitting on it
• Accidents from pets or small children
• Tobacco odor
• Sweat from people who sit on it
• Smells from kitchen
• Mold and mildew
Getting Rid of Furniture Odor
Body odor in upholstered furniture: For this technique you will need one or
more boxes of baking soda plus a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery
attachment. Before you start, make sure your vacuum cleaner is strong
enough to remove baking soda by rubbing a small amount of baking soda into
a 1 x 1 inch (approximately 2 cm x 2 cm) square of fabric. Then make sure
your vacuum can get the baking soda out of the fabric. Gently rub dry baking
soda into the fabric of the upholstery and leave if for 48 hours. Then vacuum
the baking soda and the sweat odors it has absorbed.
Removing odor from leather furniture: Leather-upholstered furniture has
an elegant look, but it is a magnet for odors from pets and children. And new
leather furniture can release its own less than desirable odor. Here are some
quick tips for getting odor out of leather furniture:
1. Use a soft, clean cloth dipped in vinegar to wipe down leather furniture.
There will be a temporary vinegar smell, but allow to dry and then wipe off
with a different soft, clean cloth dipped in warm water.
2. Mix two tablespoons (30 ml) of ammonia with 30 ml of warm water and
pour into a spray bottle. Give leather furniture a light spray and allow to dry. If
there is a residual ammonia water, wipe off with a clean cloth made damp by
dipping in water.
3. First, make sure your vacuum has enough suction power to vacuum up
baking soda. Then sprinkled baking soda lightly over leather furniture and
allow leave overnight, vacuuming up the baking soda the next morning.
4. If sprinkling baking soda on leather furniture is not feasible, consider putting
baking soda into clean old socks or hose you tie into a knot and hide between
the cushions.
5. Put sackets of Zeolite in between cushions. Every few days take the
pouches of Zeolite outside to recharge them in the sun.
6. Mix a teaspoon (5 ml) of detergent in a pint (480 ml) of warm water and
agitate to make suds. Dip a clean cloth in the sudsy water and wipe down
leather surfaces, followed by a clean cloth dipped in clear water to remove the
7. Never use coarse pads or brushes to clean leather.
8. Never use any chemical stronger than vinegar or ammonia on leather.
Leather must retain its natural oils and any dyes used to color the leather.
9. Remove water spots from leather with water, only use less than made the
10. Test any cleaning method on a small section of leather on an
unnoticeable location first.
Musty smell in drawers: Place bowls of charcoal inside the drawer and
close for 24 hours. (The charcoal must be in a bowl, not piled in the drawer.)
The charcoal absorbs odors from the drawer, but still can be used to grilling.
Sunlight treatment: Move odor-affected area into a sunny room, and leave
there for several days. Sunlight will kill many of the bacteria, fungi, and molds
that cause odor. You will still need to use other methods to remove the odor.
The Kitty Litter Cure: Unused kitty litter placed in a bowl is a good way to get
rid of musty odors in wardrobes, armoires, and cabinets. Place a bowl of fresh
kitty litter in the furniture for 2-3 days, then remove to be used in the cat's litter
Baking soda for musty odors: Open a box of baking soda and pour into a
bowl. Allow the bowl of baking soda for 24 to 48 hours to absorb odors, then
Moldy or musty odor in wood furniture: Deodorant products won't remove
a moldy, musty odor from furniture that has not been cleaned properly first.
Murphy's Oil Soap is a good choice. Furniture polishes can cover moldy or
musty smell on wood furniture, but they cannot remove it.
Sometimes the best solution for getting the odor out of wooden furniture is
simple soap and water.
Murphy’s Oil Soap: This is an excellent detergent, especially designed
for wood that cleans well and leaves a fresh scent.
If washing fails to remove the smell, it may be necessary as a last resort to
sand and refinish the wood. This is usually only required if the mold has gone
quite deep into the wood. If you refinish furniture to remove mold or mildew,
be sure to wear a protective mask so you will not inhale the mold or mildew
Upholstered Furniture: There are a number of sprays and products on the
market for upholstered furniture. If your cushions have removable fabric or
slipcovers, the best solution is to remove them and put them through the
laundry according to manufacturer’s instructions. There are also products on
the market to help with the odor.
Febreze: This is a widely distributed fabric spray that is somewhat
effective, but will only mask the smell, not totally remove it.
Deodorant Sweat Spray: This spray breaks down the bacteria in
perspiration and removes the smell from fabric.
Etiquette Spray: This is designed to break down the smell of tobacco to
eliminate smoke smell from fabrics.
Deodorant Foot Spray: This is designed to spray on fabrics to destroy
the bacteria that cause foot odor.
Thank You!
Robert Rister
[email protected]
copyright © 2010 by Robert Rister