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Rants: Febreze

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September 14, 2010

01:34

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For as long as humans have worn clothing - and according to recent genetic study on lice, this could be as much as 170 000 years - there has been the problem of… smell. When clothing was fashioned from dead animals, perhaps it wasn't such a big deal, but any woven fabric needs a good scrubbing now and then to keep the wearer healthy, and approachable.

But how is it that we've come so far in our technological advancement that a simple liquid can "eliminate odours" with a few hearty sprays? Aren't Febreze and its counterparts just perfumes marketed as scientific formulations?

Science in Seconds delves into the argument, with surprising results.

Host: Rheanna Sand

Photo Credits: Wikimedia users jlantzy, M. Minderhoud, Matt314, Michiel1972, Claudio Matsuoka, J.smith; PLoS; Johnson & Johnson; Proctor & Gamble.


References:

http://www.scienceinthebox.com/en_UK/glossary/cyclodextrin_en.html#seven
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclodextrin
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blfebrez.htm
http://www.kandelandson.com/msds/Febreze%20Fabric%20Refresher.pdf

YOUR COMMENTS

Chris Buzon on September 14, 2010
The one that gets me is EVERY makeup commercial that talks about some component that defies age or makes chronometric particles or something.
Shampoo, conditioner, makeup, soap...it pains me to watch advertisements for them. Oh, except the old spice guy - he is all kinds of awesome.
Ang on September 14, 2010
I always wondered about that...my mom, a Fabreeze-aholic!

Gives me piece of mind because we use it to mask our puppies little 'mistakes' in the house.

thanks and keep up the great work!

A
Jennifer on September 14, 2010
Will the trapped odour eventually escape the cyclodextrin's cage?
Rheanna Sand September 15, 2010
@Ang: thanks!!

@Jennifer: I suspect if the fabric is re-soaked, some may escape... Which explains why hockey gear seems particularly immune.
Robert T on November 21, 2010
Thanks for clearing that up for me.

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