CHTMAG.COM HYGIENE FEATURE Nutty (Peanut butter, popcorn) Pungent (Cheesey odours) Decaying (Spoiled food, rotting meat) Assuming this list is conclusive (and it automatically dangerous to humans would be the last. Pungent falling somewhere in between. Perhaps the next study needs to expand but it is a good starting point. But once scientists finally getting around to categorising smells how do we banish the bad ones, and their underlying causes? There is a whole litany of websites, articles and lectures about precisely how to go about this. Of course it depends entirely on what exactly the smell is so invariably the first piece of advice is to find out what JULY / AUGUST 2016 11 CLEANING HYGIENE TODAY almost certainly isn’t) then the only one of the 10 you would say is Smell was the fi rst sense our ancestors evolved” cover bad smells with nicer ones, but to eradicate the cause of the smell itself. HOW TO GET RID OF BAD SMELLS When you think about vision or taste it is easy to put what you see or eat into categories. What you see is a certain colour and everyone can name all the possibilities. What you taste is sweet or sour etc. But similar categories don’t really exist for smells, but in 2013 a team of researchers from Bates College and the University of Pittsburgh attempted to come up with a conclusive list of “smell categories.” They claim that every odour falls under one of 10 labels: Fragrant (flowers, perfume etc) Fruity (All fruits except for citrus) Citrus (Citrus fruits) Woody (Wood and grass smells) Chemical (Cleaning fluids, bleach) Sweet (Caramel etc) Mint is causing the smell! For general, every day smells the advice is pretty generic. Hot, soapy water, antibacterial cleaners and/or detergents come up a lot, but for other, more persistent smells more extreme measure might be required. Smoke for example. Anyone who has smoked, lived with a smoker or just overcooked some food knows how difficult it can be to get rid of the lingering smell of smoke. Most advice seems to consist of opening as many windows as possible, though several websites recommend sprinkling baking soda over carpets and furniture overnight before hovering it up the next morning. Pests are another issue which comes up a lot. Wet dog or cat pee isn’t an odour you want flooding your house. Quite disturbingly more than one source says that if you can’t find the source of the smell (also known as “where your pet has been doing its business,”) then they recommend using a black light (no, CHT doesn’t know where you get a black light) and then just following the ultraviolet glow….
CHT July / August 2016
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