Cleaners & Deodorizers
Cleaners & DeodorizersCleaners and deodorizers are things that many of us use every day; they’re just part of the standard suite of cleaning supplies households have on hand. However, cleaners and deodorizers are not interchangeable.
Although some cleaners leave a pleasant smell, cleaners and deodorizers are not the same and don’t serve the same purpose. Here’s what you need to know to make the best choices
Cleaners and Deodorizers — What’s the Difference?On the surface, the difference appears simple: cleaners clean things, and deodorizers make things smell nice. But there’s a bit more to it than that.
While the primary purpose of any cleaner is to remove dirt, dust, and debris from surfaces and items, many of them also contain fragrance to make them more palatable. This may lead you to think that they are also deodorizers, but in reality, deodorizers are more than just a pleasant smell. Chemical processes behind the scenes make deodorizers far superior to air fresheners or cleaning agents for controlling odors.
How Do Deodorizers Work?There are several different types of deodorizers, including masking agents. These chemical components cover up the unpleasant smell with a long-lasting fragrance. Many air fresheners contain this type of deodorizer.
More powerful deodorizers contain odor eliminator agents. Despite the name, these don’t eliminate the odor. Instead, they chemically bond to the odor molecules, changing them, so they will not bind to the smell receptors in the nose.
The odor is technically still present — we just can’t smell it anymore. Many heavy-duty deodorizers and products which call themselves “odor eliminators” work this way.
Deodorizers intended to combat smells from organic sources, such as urine, vomit, or food waste, are often bio-enzymatic deodorizers.
Bio-enzymatic deodorizers use enzymes to dissolve the organic matter that bacteria feed on, removing the food source. This is why enzymatic deodorizers can take longer to eliminate smells than other deodorizers.
Choose the Right Cleaner for the JobThere are dozens, if not hundreds, of cleaning products on the market. But despite all the brand names, cleaners fall into four basic categories.
- Detergents are synthetic products. They include cleaners like dishwashing liquid, laundry powder or liquid, and even (though they aren’t household cleaners) shampoos and many bath bars.
- Degreasers remove organic fats and proteins. This class of cleaners includes everything from mild kitchen degreasers to caustic oven cleaners.
- Acids break down mineral deposits, rust, soap scum, and another primarily inorganic buildup. Acid cleaners include many tubs and tile cleaners, window cleaners, and mold removers. In addition, diluted lemon juice and vinegar can work as mild acid cleaners.
- Abrasives clean soiled areas mechanically rather than chemically. They wear away deposits. Abrasives include mechanical scrubbers like steel wool pads, salt, baking soda minerals, and cleansing powders such as Comet cleanser.