Crystal power vs. your smelly fridge.
Posted: 29 August 2007 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Total Posts:  31
Joined  2007-06-11

Here’s an interesting one. My Mother just came home from a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond (watch out for that beyond section, it’s brutal). From this shopping excursion she brought home an item that I suspect is a psuedoscientific ripoff, but I’m not entirely sure. I’ll give a bit of a description of the thing since I can’t find my camera to take a picture of it.

It’s a vented plastic container about the size of a large pill bottle with what looks like a big ol’ hunk of rock salt in it. The packaging makes such claims as:

“Natural odor absorbing crystal”
“Non-Toxic & spill proof”
“Stops food from absorbing odors.”
“Long lasting”
“Removes bad odors naturally for up to six months!”
“Contains: Natural Mineral Salts”

So, I gather that this is supposed to replace the box of Arm & Hammer at the back of your fridge, and somehow be a better deal. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this. What do you folks think? Is it science, or is it a waste of four bucks?

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I looked up the website printed on the package, and it didn’t do much to improve my confidence. here’s a link.

[ Edited: 29 August 2007 07:42 PM by brainlesssteel ]

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Posted: 29 August 2007 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  4231
Joined  2006-11-28

Well, HERE is a link to the Wikipedia article on the ingredients. Can’t say as I know enough to have and opinion.


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Posted: 29 August 2007 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

If all it contains is alum (potassium or sodium aluminum sulfate) I can’t see how it would absorb or neutralize much in the odors.  Since a fair amount of the gasses released by foods are oxidation products they are often organic acids.  These would react very nicely with the Arm & Hammer sodium bicarbonate releasing a tiny bit of carbon dioxide (odorless).  My recommendation is to save your money and stick with the baking soda. 

I suppose if one wanted to be really fancy, you could go to a local Indian market and buy some citric acid crystals and put a small container of them in the back of the refrigerator, too.  That way, the amines from any decaying protein might also be absorbed. 

You could look for some activated charcoal, too.  That’s a good adsorbant because of its extremely large surface area.

I checked out the link you listed and they only talked about their crystals as being used as a personal deodorant.  That’s funny because the standard commercial ones are also alum based.  The main way they work is to prevent the axillary pores from opening so one isn’t dumping as much sweat into the arm-pits.  And, I suppose the high concentration of alum inhibits bacterial growth.  Theirs probably does the same.  By the way, on a backpack trip many years ago, I didn’t bother packing an anti-perspirant (weight) but used a styptic pencil (alum).  Worked like a dream.


[ Edited: 29 August 2007 09:37 PM by Occam ]
Posted: 29 August 2007 10:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  15752
Joined  2006-02-14
brainlesssteel - 29 August 2007 07:40 PM

(watch out for that beyond section, it’s brutal).


It’s positively supernatural back there ...



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