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Whilst the goal of commercial air fresheners is the same between different products, services and schemes, the methods of getting there can vary dramatically.

This does not necessarily mean there is an undisputed singular best way to freshen the air, as there are significantly different needs and challenges in some commercial and business locations compared to others.

The immediate need to reduce or remove smells from gyms, public bathrooms and showers, for example, is different from the general, passive aromas that work best in offices, board rooms and shops that do not otherwise have their own fragrance palette.

Because of this, there are four general ways air fresheners will use to get the results you want, with most systems using more than one of these in combination to get the best results.

Masking

One of the oldest air freshening systems in the world, and one that still sees prominent use today for how simple, quick and effective it is, masking is essentially using a powerful pleasant smell to override a bad one.

Historically, this has involved the use of incense or powerful smells from nature, but commercial masking smells tend to be more potent and yet less unpleasant.

Adsorption

Not to be confused with absorption, adsorption does more than simply cover up the smells as masking does, instead uses a solid material to absorb molecules and compounds that produce smells.

These generally include materials such as silica gel and activated charcoal.

Oxidation

Oxidation air fresheners aim to remove organic odor-producing elements such as bacteria from the air directly using an oxidizing agent such as chlorine, iodine and hydrogen peroxide.

Disinfection

Similarly, if a microorganism is causing the smell to permeate, then a strong chemical compound intended to destroy bacteria can be a powerful way to control smells, although this tends to be a somewhat drastic option, and needs effective ventilation to work effectively.

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