How to Remove the Ozone Smell

Ozone SmellWe get regular calls from the public about how to remove the ozone smell after an ozone treatment.  The good news is that there are a couple of very helpful solutions, and the type of treatment depends on how long after the ozone treatment has been applied.  

The "Ozone Smell" is not ozone!  Ozone is a reconfiguration of normal oxygen (O2) into an O3 state.  Ozone is a temporary state that is anxious to drop off the extra oxygen atom and get back to its normal O2 state.  Think of this as water that can be frozen.  Ice is still H2O in a frozen state.  When ice is out in normal conditions (above 32 degrees, but less than boiling at 212 degrees) it is a liquid.  H2O is the same compound that can exist in three states: solid, liquid, and gas.

With that in mind, why does ozone have a smell after an ozone treatment?  Depending on opinions, active ozone has a pool-like smell when applied at high saturation levels.  Different people have different descriptions of the ozone smell.  But, ozone reverts back to normal 02 status after about 20-30 minutes.  By venitilating the room/building for about 10-15 minutes, the ozone levels are quickly vanquish with fresh air and normal activity can resume.

However, you can expect the post-ozone smell to last about 12-24 hours as a mild scent in a normal ozone treatment.  Some people like the fresh scent of a post-ozone treatment.  Others with sensitivities may be bothered by the smell, but the lingering smell is not a heath risk.

We use a solution to cancel of ozone smell that should be applied immediately after the ozone treatment.  Mix one pint or quart of rubbing alcohol with 10 or more drops of essential oil.  We like both lemon and lime essential oil that you can find in specialty stores or online.  Put the mixture in a spray bottle on the mist setting.  Go through the building spraying the mixture high in the air.  Use a disposable particle mask if you are concerned about breathing the mixture.  We have found that the citric scents are best for cancelling the ozone smell.  Please note this solution is best used immediately after the treatment.

In the event that the ozone was over-treated by allowing the ozone equipment to run for many hours.  The alcohol mix may not be as effective.  We then go to a fogging of the area with Decon Five.  Decon Five has the ability to neutralize volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  You see, if the ozone smell is embedded, that extra oxygen atom has bonded with the resident VOCs which ozone does not neutralize.  So, now we have to treat for VOCs rather than ozone.  This is quite a different issue and the treatment must be able to deal with VOCs rather than just ozone.

VOCs were already in the building, but not as noticeable.  Ozone reacts with many VOCs which may make them more obvious.  Think of what happens in a dark room with a shaft of light that suddenly reveals the billions upon billions of minute particles.  These particles were already resident in the air, but the light revealed what you cannot see with normal lighting.  This is why ozone is best applied in 1-4 hour cycles, then may be applied in short cycles until the problem is resolved.  The National Ozone Association states that no ozone treatment should be more than eight hour unless in special cases like hoarder home and death scenes when awful odors must be mitigated.

So, the solutions are three actions: immediate ventilation with fresh air, an alcohol and essential oil mixture after the ozone treatment, or Decon Five if the ozone smell problem continues after the 12-24 post-treatment window.