Okay, it is time to separate fact from myth when it comes to using ozone generators for odor, sanitizing, and even mold treatments. The ozone hype on the Internet is all over the map. Some self-appointed "Ozone Gurus" make incredible claims about ozone, and "Ozone Critics" go out of their way to call ozone a hoax. It is all quite confusing, and I hope to be able to once again lay a foundation in facts and conclusions that are sound.
First of all ozone is our friend, and it works. Ozone is another form of oxygen that is considered activated or reactive. Normal O2 oxygen is redeveloped as O3, where a loose oxygen atom drops off to OXIDIZE potential treats. So, the magic of ozone is "Oxidation", and we find ozone in our stratosphere protecting us from excess UV light. We find ozone at earth level killing germs, oxidizing threats, and killing mold. Ozone is an amazing non-chemical treatment that does more than a few jobs quite well. Ozone depletes no resources since the oxygen reverts to O2, and leaves not chemical waste to pollute our world.
But ozone is a temporary state lasting only 20-30 minutes. Ozone is primarily topical, meaning heavily embedded odors may allow embedded odors to return, but lessened by an ozone treatment. Ozone is also an immediate solution that does the job, but not stop problems after the ozone is gone. So, I feel that we have a great tool with ozone generators that raise the ozone levels to something called "Shock Ozone" saturation.
If we raise ozone saturation to "Shock Level", we get some very good results, but high ozone levels is a know respiratory irritant. So anyone using ozone knows that people and pets most be vacated during the treatment. So much for those who chide ozone users as "Dangerous". So is water if you stay under it too long. How many chemicals require "Proper Ventilation" during their use. New paint and new carpet in a house emits very nasty VOCs as well. The fact that ozone is done absent of people and pets makes the health concerns moot.
Now, consider that ozone is an immediate treatment, meaning it has no after-treatment impact. Frankly, that is a good thing. It does its job, and then its gone without residue. But, many odors are bacterial. Bacteria live on every surface attempting to colonize if there is enough food to support their expansion efforts. What people really don't understand that bacteria cause normal things to stink. Leave hamburger out for a few days, and it will stink .... right? Yes, but for a different reason than you think. Bacteria find the meat and start to feast. With ample food, bacteria population will explode with in just hours. Guess what, they are eating as fast as possible. Eating leads to waste out the other side ... and waste smells!
What causes most of the odor is not the meat, but the action of bacteria that spoil the food. If you take rancid food and sterilize it, the odor seems to be abated. But, set it back out for bacteria to return, and the smell will return. My point is that most "Bad Smells" are the result of bacteria. So, let's do a better job on bacteria without ignoring the need to clean away waste and debris that could be a food source.
Back to our ozone treatment. Ozone will kill the bacteria and attempt to oxidize the source; but if you don't get all the residue (like cat urine that has gone into carpet, padding, and sub-flooring), bacteria will return as long as they have opportunity. If you use more powerful and longer ozone treatments, you can eventually burn out the problem. But, let's get smart. Ozone is a great brute force odor neutralizer. Follow the ozone treatment with something that will work long after the ozone is gone, and your success will be more profound.
I strongly suggest to those using ozone to destroy odors, germs, or mold to post-treat the area with something that will inhibit or prevent bacteria from rebounding.