Part two of this three-part article focuses on the convenience and appearance of gel-bead jars.

Convenience: All an end user has to do is open the jar, set it someplace and walk away from it.

“It’s not something that you have to monitor closely,” says Smith. “You just have to replace it when it gets depleted. That’s why people buy that type of thing.”

The lifespan of these new gel-bead-type odor control systems is also a selling feature, says Smith. Whereas older gel-type products created a strong fragrance for only a few days then faded quickly, the new gel-bead jars are almost always effective for at least 30 days, a necessity for commercial products.

Larger jars that work up to 60 days are available as well as refillable containers that let users buy beads in bulk. The containers are reusable, because the odor-absorbing gel beads in these products evaporate as time goes on, leaving little to no waste in the jar.

“It really does evaporate,” says Rosenberg.

Aesthetics: Another nice feature is the size, says Rosenberg, because the jars are easy to “hide.” She gave an example of one of Acorn Distributors’ restaurant customers that places the gel-bead jars behind a cabinet or refrigerator, so they are not out in the open and visible to restaurant patrons.

“What most people want to have is something that is unobtrusive,” says Smith. “A lot of times, people just don’t want to see it. They want it to be pleasant, but they don’t want to notice it.”

Some might even find the gel-beads to be much more decorative than other odor control systems. Smith says the plastic jars have a fairly basic appearance. But distributors should point out that the facility can even pour the gel beads into something more ornamental, such as a vase or a decorative bowl.

Effectiveness: Some odor control products simply try to mask a smell. The newer gel-bead jars try to eliminate the odor, says Smith.

“The formula alters the molecular structure of the odor, so that it’s eliminated — not covered up,” he says. “There are certain types of formulas out there that do a better job of actually changing the molecules that are putting the scent out there. A lot of these products literally alter the molecules, so they don’t smell bad anymore.”

Smith says odor control products that alter the molecular structure of the odor are typically much more effective.