Pearl Packs (left), Multi-Purpose Additive (right), and Crystal Gel use natural ingredients to combat supernatural smells.
I always get a kick out of the pseudo-scientific diagrams you see on TV infomercials. So, when investigating the “science” behind Fresh Wave-a line of odor-elimination products that recently showed up at the office-I was thrilled to come across a video showing a big turquoise ball-a Fresh Wave molecule-attracting little blue balls-malodor particles-and making them magically disappear. The cynic in me said, “Yeah, right.” But the nerd in me said, “I’d like to test that for myself.”
OMI Industries sent us three Fresh Wave products: Pearl Packs, individual packets of odor-eliminating crystals; Multi-Purpose Additive, a detergent you use in the washing machine and for general cleaning purposes; and Crystal Gel, a jar of the aforementioned crystals that you open and leave in a particularly stinky place. All of these products are non-toxic, deriving their funk-fighting power from natural ingredients like lime, pine needles, aniseed, clove, and cedar. OMI Industries also supplies odor-eliminating products to solid waste facilities and asphalt factories, so you know this stuff is the real deal.
To gauge Fresh Wave’s effectiveness for the consumer market-me-I conducted my own pseudo-scientific tests. Before a recent sailing trip, I tossed a Pearl Pack into my duffel. As always seems to happen at the end of a trip, I had no choice but to cram a heap of wet clothes into my bag. When I got home and unzipped the bag, I was expecting the olfactory attack of rank laundry. The Pearl Pack succeeded in taming the stench, but the clothes were beginning to mildew.
That’s where the Multi-Purpose Additive came into play. I added some to the wash, and the clothes came out smelling fresh. You can add this liquid to any cleaning solution; I’d be curious to see how it works in a boat’s bilge. I also have big plans for the Crystal Gel, which packs the highest concentration of odor-eliminating formula. Below decks on Sailing World’s Albin 26 AO, there’s a musty scent, probably the result of soggy cushions and poor ventilation. I’m going to unleash the jar of Crystal Gel down there and see what transpires.
While Fresh Wave effectively suppressed the offensive fumes of putrefying sailing clothes, it did not pass the ultimate test-hockey gear, the source of history’s most traumatizing malodors. I left a Pearl Pack in my hockey bag a week ago and, this morning, checked the stank level. It was as foul as ever. Maybe I should have added a few more Pearl Packs. Maybe I should wash my hockey gear. After all, odor-elimination products-no matter how effective-only beat around the bush: If you really want something to smell nice, clean it.
Pearl Packs, $15.95
8-ounce Crystal Gel, $8.95
32-ounce Multi-Purpose Additive, $15.95