Does white vinegar really neutralize airborne odors and not just mask them?

  • Thread starter joniverson
  • Start date
  • #1
44
13
I had a small device (the Mosfet in a lamp dimmer to be technical) burn out recently, but when it did it smoked a bit. The smell was enough to be noticeable throughout the house, so I held my breath, opened the windows and placed a fan aiming out the door to best rid the odor. After an hour, most of the odor was no longer noticeable but a bit lingered. I read online that white vinegar, either a small amount placed near the area in question, or brought to almost a boil on the stove would not only get rid of the odor, but neutralize it. I did just that. Remaining odor didn't linger long, but I don't know if it was due to absorption/ deactivation by vinegar, or natural dissipation. So does white vinegar, when used this way, actually neutralize or just mask?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
.Scott
Homework Helper
2,669
981
Dilute acetic acid can "neutralize" ammonia. So if the smell is urine, it could help.

I wouldn't expect dilute acetic acid would "neutralize" very much else.
But I do see claims on the www that either a sitting dish or a boiling it to a mist supposedly neutralizes odors.

I some cases, smells can linger for weeks by coating surfaces and then slowly releasing. In the case of tobacco smoke, this can be cleaned up with a fairly intense dose of ozone for about 60-minutes. There are devices that can be bought or rented for that purpose. When they are in use, the room(s) must be unoccupied - because the ozone can damage cells.
 
  • #3
jim mcnamara
Mentor
4,169
2,693
There are also woodworking supplies for refinishing furniture. One problem is residual tobacco depositions.
Products like Nilodor are used. I do not know what is in it because labelling laws did not require it. It works well. I was told it had acetic acid in it, but I do not know for sure. The website is aimed at janitorial services products - did mention 'proprietary' ingredients.

These products are useful because cleaning water solutions on raw wood - think inside or bottom of a drawer - will cause the wood to swell and get fuzzy, possibly making the drawer unusable.
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Does white vinegar really neutralize airborne odors and not just mask them?

Replies
7
Views
30K
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
10K
Replies
2
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
10K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
886
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
7K
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
8K
Top