Odor Eliminator Comparison

Drew Estate

A few weeks ago, I received an email asking me how I kept the odor of smoke to a minimum in my basement while smoking. My answer was that I use a typical box fan in one window to pull air across the room from another open window. As the air travels across the room it pulls the lingering smoke with it and the fan exhausts it out of the room.

This works well in the spring, but makes the smoking room very cold this time of year. During Winter I use a small air purifier, which works ok, but does not work as well as exhausting the smoke. After I finish smoking I generally spray the room with some Fabreeze and empty my ashtray.

As winter progresses, I’m left with a stale cigar smell that slowly gets worse. Because I wanted to get rid of the smoke smell all together, I decided it was time to test a new product to see if it was better or worse than the Fabreeze I currently use. The product I intended to test was Pure Ayre.

For the test I decided I wanted to try and generate an extreme case of stale cigar odor to run the test on. The first thing I did was, take two identical cotton undershirts and hang them in my smoking room. I had these shirts hanging up for about two weeks (and about 10 cigars) before smelling them to check their progress.

I was disappointed to find that the cigars did not smell like smoke. For another week I let the shirts hang next to me as I blew smoke on them. When the week ended I checked the progress again, and unfortunately they did not have any recognizable odor. I even had my girlfriend, who does not smoke, smell the shirts and she could not notice an odor either.

At this point I decided to take a different approach. I placed both shirts into a large Ziploc bag and fashioned a small funnel out of a sheet of paper. I then inserted the funnel into the bag and sealed it around the paper. I would take a big puff of smoke then blow the smoke into the bag while sliding out the funnel and sealing the bag. This left a plume of smoke inside the bag, which I was sure would cause the shirts to absolutely stink.

I continued to blow smoke into the bag for about a week before I got up the courage to remove the shirts and check for odor. To my amazement, the shirts mildly smelled of cigars, but had patches of brown and yellow from the direct contact with smoke. My only assumption at this point was that the shirts needed air in combination with the smoke to generate odor and stick to the shirts.

At this point I shared my dilemma with the guys over at Club Stogie and they made some excellent suggestions. I removed the shirts from the bag and misted them with some distilled water. I sprayed them just enough to be damp, then placed them back into the bag. After placing them back into the bag I took some old cigar butts from the ashtray, broke them apart and placed them into a smaller Ziploc bag, which was then placed into the larger bag with the shirts. I left the bag with the cigar butts in it open, but sealed the larger bag. I then placed the shirts next to my baseboard heater to allow the cigar butts to ferment. I let them rest for a week then checked the odor again.

When I opened the bag the odor took my breath away and made my eyes water. I was amazed by how awful the smell was and began to get a little skeptical that the Fabreeze or Pure Ayre was going to touch the odor.

I placed both shirts on a separate hanger and hung them up on opposite sides of the room. I spayed an even mist of Pure Ayre on one shirt and an even mist of Fabreeze on the other. After the shirts were misted I checked them for odor over a period of time and ranked them on a scale of 1 through 10 with 10 being the worst.

0 Minutes:
Pure Ayre: 10
Notes: Smell was awful. The product has not began working as of yet.

Fabreeze Shirt: 10
Notes: Smell was awful. The product has not began working as of yet.

5 Minutes:
Pure Ayre: 6
Notes: Smells a lot like vinegar, smoke smell reduced dramatically

Fabreeze: 8
Notes: Smells like smoke and perfume.

10 Minutes:
Pure Ayre: 3
Notes: Smell reduced much more, surprised how well the product is working.

Fabreeze: 7
Notes: Still smells like smoke covered up with perfume, but is a little better.

15 Minutes:
Pure Ayre: 1
Notes: Smell is almost gone. There are a couple spots that mildly smell like smoke, but are not too bad.

Fabreeze: 6
Notes: Smell not much better, still smells like smoke and perfume.

30 Minutes:
Pure Ayre: 1
Notes: No change

Fabreeze: 6
Notes: No change.

Overall I am amazed at how well Pure Ayre actually works. If I would not have done the test myself I would have never believed that it would have worked so well, especially after all I did to make the shirts smell in the first place.

I also want to thank Bob from DWSC for helping me out with a small bottle of Pure Ayre to test. Now that I am aware of how well the product works Ill be avoiding Febreeze in the future and using Pure Ayre exclusively.