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Air Fresheners

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Louise Stewart Beck 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #137725

    Laura Fiser
    Participant

    I’m curious if anyone has found a collections-safe form of air freshener. We have dance performances in our historic estate during the holidays, and the smell of sweat starts to permeate the period room toward the end of the performances. I have told our event staff Febreeze is not allowed, but they are asking for alternative options. As far as I can tell, there really are no options, other than cleaning the costumes more often and airing out the space briefly between performances. If anyone has other ideas, I would love to hear them.

    Thanks!

    Laura Fiser
    Paine Art Center and Gardens
    Oshkosh, WI

  • #137740

    Louise Stewart Beck
    Participant

    Hi Laura,

    Unfortunately, I think you are correct – there are not air fresheners that would be suitable for use in a period room. I suspect that your best course of action has to do with improving air flow through the room, and yes, cleaning the costumes more often. I have reached out to a few people with expertise in historic houses and environments to see if they have any ideas or suggestions, I will be sure to update when they get back to me.

    Best,
    Louise

  • #137741

    Tammy Zavinski
    Participant

    Hi Laura,

    Thank you for contacting C2C with your question regarding a safe option for air fresheners. Like Louise, I also think cleaning the costumes more often and airing the space in question sounds like a good idea. Also the NPS’ Conserv-O-Gram 2/21 2003 suggests safer cleaning alternatives. https://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/02-21.pdf
    Although, they do not mention air fresheners specifically, they do note baking soda as a safe deodorizer. Since the smell is offensive to people working in the area, it may be possible to mix essential oil with the baking soda and place it in bowls near where people are located for any length of time.

    I hope you find this information a helpful alternative.

    Kindly,
    Tammy

  • #137743

    Laura Fiser
    Participant

    Thank you both so much for replying! This is very helpful as I try to stand my ground against spraying Febreeze in the period room. Yikes. I’m thinking a baking soda option may be our best bet.

    Thanks again!

    Laura

  • #137744

    Amber Skantz
    Participant

    Hi Laura,
    I once worked at a house museum where part of our holiday programming included making orange clove pomanders for period appropriate decoration. They were left sitting in bowls that were part of our collection that had been ok’d to be used in this manner. A rather wonderful side effect was their citrus clove fragrance! This might be an avenue to explore in addition to the baking soda. I looked up your site online; what a lovely program!

  • #137748

    Louise Stewart Beck
    Participant

    Hi Laura,

    Here’s a response with a few ideas, from Rick Kerschner:

    “What I have used in my home and Shelburne’s collections in the past are natural odor absorbers called zeolites. They are sold by marine supply stores to “suck up” musty odors in closed up spaces on boats. They can be “recharged” by placing the mesh bags in the sun for a few hours every few weeks.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeolite

    Here is a source. I have a bag in each room of my house to help control mildew odors and they seem to help.
    Read the reviews at the bottom of this page:
    https://www.amazon.com/Gonzo-Odor-Eliminating-Rocks-Homes/dp/B0061UMTVG/ref=sr_1_33_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1513181955&sr=8-33-spons&keywords=zeolite+odor&psc=1

    Another source:
    https://justforodors.com/zeolite-odor-control-rocks.htm

    It is cheaper bought in bulk if they want to make their own bags, although it does “dust” with handle.
    http://www.refreshinglyfree.com/Online-Catalog/Bulk-Zeolite

    Ozone is used to clear odors after a fire and may be a lesser evil than that strong odor on a one time basis, but it would not recommend it for repeated use because of its powerful oxidizing properties.

    I would also not recommend any of the plug-in deodorizers that are so popular these days.”

    I hope this is helpful!

    Best,
    Louise

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