This is part three of an article focusing on odor control and how to properly use fragrances throughout a facility.

Although many facilities may discover there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for fragrances, it’s still wise to streamline products as much as possible. Using fewer scents equals fewer products on the shelf, which represents a lower cost to the facility. Also, sticking to a consistent, universal scent reduces suspicion about scents masking inadequate cleaning.

“It’s best to streamline your odor control fragrances to one widely accepted fragrance,” Miller says. “Just remember, you’ll never please everybody. Pick something that complements the fragrance of the cleaning chemicals you use on a daily basis. For example, if your floor cleaner contains a lemon fragrance, a citrus fragrance odor control product would probably complement it.”

Despite offering several scents, Bessert reduced the total number of odor control products available in her custodial closets. Offering fewer options has simplified her purchasing duties each quarter.

“Not buying 10 different products from 10 different suppliers has really helped in the purchasing, which helps with the budget,” she says.

To scale back on odor control SKUs, first analyze which areas need them and then determine which types of products best fit each location.

“Different areas need different odor control methods,” Bessert says.

Typically, general office spaces don’t need odor control products. However, some facility managers like to add a background scent in public areas or entry lobbies. In these cases, an automatic aerosol dispenser with a light fragrance is a good choice.

These systems may not be enough for areas where there are occasional bursts of strong smells, such as lunchrooms and break rooms. Some facilities choose a stronger scent that will mask temporary odors, but Bessert prefers odor absorbents.

“It’s a powder that we change out monthly,” she says. “It absorbs the strong smells of food and quickly eliminates them from the air so there is no scent.”

More potent odor control measures are necessary in restrooms and locker rooms, where absorbents aren’t strong or fast enough. In these areas, it’s a good idea to use toilet bowl hangers, which release enzymes into the water with each flush to aid in destroying odor-causing bacteria. Scented urinal screens perform a similar function in men’s rooms.

For the room’s ambient air, install a passive air management system. Miller prefers newer non-aerosol systems that use fragrance-infused essential oils. Smith, on the other hand, prefers the premixed, premeasured aerosol systems that release the same amount of fragrance every time. Either way, stick to a single scent for all of the layers of product.

“The more products you buy, the more you complicate things,” Smith says. “Whatever odor control system you buy, choose one that is easy to manage.”

There are also some special-case areas that may require more concentrated and heavier fragrances. For example, Bessert uses a stronger scent in an elevator that the coroner uses to get to the morgue. High-use restrooms in a stadium or industrial facilities may also need more dispensers to keep up with the traffic or limited airflow.

Facilities that follow these recommended guidelines and still have odor issues may have a bigger problem on their hands.

“People don’t always look for the source of the odor, they just try to cover it up,” Bessert says. “You need to find the source and eliminate it.”

In the restroom, bacteria-filled grout is very often the culprit. Over dispensing a fragrance may mask the problem, but it won’t fix it.

“Seek guidance from your distributor on getting to the root of the problem,” Miller says. “If it is dirty grout, the sales professional will suggest methods and products to restore the grout and rid the floor of the odor-causing bacteria.”

Odor control products are designed to help facilities deal with temporary environmental issues, not replace cleaning efforts. Keep the facility clean, experts agree, and you’ll spend far less on fragrance sprays and gels.

“Limit the amount of fragrance and make sure the restroom is clean,” Smith says. “A clean facility doesn’t really have odors. And when you do use fragrance, make sure it isn’t overpowering.”  

BECKY MOLLENKAMP is a freelance writer based in St. Louis, Missouri.

previous page of this article:
Odor Control Scents: Choosing The Best Options