How do odor neutralizing trash bags work?

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The bags say that the “neutralizer fights nasty odors to keep your kitchen smelling fresh”.

But if I have some disgusting, decaying trash in the pail that is continuously giving off disgusting, decaying odors; how could anything neutralize that? Does the “neutralizer” release into the air and just eat up the disgusting smells? And if that’s so, should humans be breathing that? Or is it just like air freshener which is just one smell on top of another?

In: Chemistry

I’m pretty sure it’s just an air freshener and in my experience they suck. Nappy bags are a great example. It’s just a super string smell on top of another super strong smell and it doesn’t work.

Putting abit of salt in the bottom of the trash bag works better imo because it soaks up the liquid which often gives off the rancid odours. Not perfect tho. Trash just smells *shrugs*

They don’t work, not really. They’ve just been sprayed with some sort of fragrance…and I hate them.

They’re a con. Since the government doesn’t really regulate false claims by companies unless there’s political agenda behind it, these companies can just throw words around with little to no risk.

They claim they operate in two ways. One is that the chemical bonds with odor producing chemicals from rotting food to neutralize them, or the fragrance somehow catches odor molecules and brings them down. The reality is that they mask what little scent your trash gives off, which isn’t much since most people empty their trash often enough to prevent bad odor. If you were to have, say, a lilac odor neutralizing trash bag and then threw some down fruit in there, your trash can would smell like rotten fruit with a hint of lilac.

This may not necessarily be the case for trash bags, but the “odor neutralizing” components of certain sprays (eg, Febreze) are molecules called cyclodextrins. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclodextrin

Cyclodextrins are ring – shaped molecules that have a structure designed to “trap” other molecules. The idea is that these cyclodextrins trap odor-causing molecules and render them inert (basically, they can no longer activate the smell receptors in your nose). I don’t know if they have tested to see if cyclodextrins actually work as described.

I also don’t know if “odor-neutralizing” trash bags utilize this technology, but in my experience, it seems that they’re just trash bags with added fragrance.

It’s just a perfume that overpowers the smell. It doesn’t actually neutralize anything. That’s just marketing.

It’s just a scented trash bag like others have said. Brands aren’t really *required* to tell the truth. It overpowers the bad smells rather than eliminating them.

IIRC “Ozoning” or “Ozone Shock” is one of the only ways to actually neutralize bad smells, and it works quite well, but the problem is that ozone in that concentration is poisonous, so it won’t work for a kitchen trash can.


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