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sndfreQ's avatar

Fighting fire with fire: Can lighting a match really deodorize a bathroom?

Asked by sndfreQ (11729points) December 27th, 2007 from iPhone

Some are firm believers that the matches alone can mask or otherwise eliminate ‘those’ odors…sorry for the grossness, it’s just a hot topic of debate right now in my household LOL.

Is there something in the matches (sulfur?) that enables the ‘fight fire with fire’ approach?

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8 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It works; don’t know why. (Hi, Jon.)

susanc's avatar

In our household we adhere to the principle that it burns off the methane.

Maverick's avatar

the sulfur masks the odor. But in my opinion the sulfur smells worse than the original odor about 98% of the time.

syz's avatar

My partner loves the smell of burnt matches (we work in an animal hospital and some of the alternative smells are mind-bogglingly bad). She wants to develop a room spray that smells like burnt matches.

robhaya's avatar

Mythbusters covered this topic and concluded that matches mask the methyl mercaptan found in flatulence and feces. It does not eliminate the odor, rather push it to the background. More info on the episode here scroll down the page for the recap.

Good Luck!

rowenaz's avatar

At my place of employment, shall we say, they believe in flush as you go…..

gailcalled's avatar

But, rowenaz, the memory lingers on.

john65pennington's avatar

Striking a match does mask odors. its the sulfur in the match that combats body odors. also, at the scene of a dead body, a struck match, blown out and sniffed up the nose, kills the odor of a decaying body. its the sulfur.

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