Air fresheners: how the chemistry behind scented sprays work

perfume photo
These scented products are able to neutralise, mask or absorb bad odours

Whether it is emitting from the back of the fridge, the dog’s bed or the bathroom, we’re all familiar with bad smells. These odours are caused by chemicals that vaporise at low temperatures. The vapourised chemicals then travel through the air and reach our noses. And we can battle against them by using air fresheners.

Bad smells are grouped into five categories; lavatory odours, tobacco smoke, stale cooking smells, pet odours and mouldy odours. And we really hate them – it is estimated the UK spends £1 million a day on air fresheners. Using these air fresheners, we are able to neutralise, mask or absorb bad odours.


This article was originally published in How It Works issue 120, written by Charlie Evans

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