The Difference Between Masking Odours and Odour Removal

The Difference Between Masking Odours and Odour Removal


Masking odours provides temporary relief by overlaying unpleasant smells with fragrances but has drawbacks like temporary results, potential allergens, and cumulative costs. Odour removal targets the root cause, offering lasting solutions, health benefits, and long-term cost savings, but may require more effort and time. While transient smells can be masked, persistent odours need removal. Understanding these differences helps in making informed decisions. Natural solutions like baking soda and activated charcoal can also help in milder cases.

Odour removal

Odours, pleasant or unpleasant, are a significant part of our daily experiences. From the aromatic scent of freshly brewed coffee to the displeasing whiff of a garbage bin, odours play a crucial role in how we perceive our surroundings. When confronted with undesired smells, there are primarily two approaches we can take: masking the odours or complete odour removal. While both techniques might seem to offer a solution, they are vastly different in their mechanism, efficacy, and long-term results.

Masking Odours

Masking, as the term suggests, involves overlaying an undesirable smell with a more pleasant or neutral scent. It is like putting a layer of perfume over body odour without taking a shower.


Quick Solution: Masking agents like air fresheners and scented candles can provide instant relief from foul odours without odour removal. They are easily available and require minimal effort.

Variety of Fragrances: There’s also a plethora of fragrance options available, allowing one to choose scents that align with their preferences.


Temporary Relief: Masking merely camouflages the unwanted odour. Once the masking agent dissipates, the original foul smell often returns still requiring odour removal.

Chemical Concerns: Many commercial masking agents contain chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can be harmful to individuals with allergies, respiratory issues, or chemical sensitivities.

Cost Accumulation: Since masking doesn’t provide a lasting odour removal solution, one might end up repeatedly buying and using masking products, leading to cumulative costs over time.

Odour removal

Odour Removal

Odour removal aims to eliminate the root cause of the undesirable scent. This could involve neutralising the smell-causing particles or completely removing the source with odour removal techniques.


Lasting Results: By addressing the root of the problem, odour removal ensures that the smell does not return, given that the source of the odour is adequately addressed.

Health Benefits: Removing the source, especially if it’s mould, mildew, or bacteria, can also have health benefits. These agents can cause respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems.

Cost-Effective in the Long Run: Investing in thorough odour removal can save money over time, as there’s no need to continually buy products to mask the smell.


Requires More Effort: Depending on the source, odour removal might require more in-depth cleaning, professional services, or specialised products.

Time-Consuming: Unlike the instant relief provided by masking agents, odour removal can sometimes be a longer process, especially in cases of deeply embedded smells.

The Ideal Approach

For transient odours, like those from cooking, masking might be sufficient. However, for persistent and recurring smells, like those from mould, mildew, or pets, removal is the most effective and long-lasting solution.

It’s essential to be informed and cautious, especially when dealing with potentially harmful sources like mould or chemicals. In such cases, professional services or expert advice might be necessary. In contrast, natural odour removers like baking soda, vinegar, and activated charcoal can be efficient for milder odour issues.

Odour removal

In conclusion, while masking odours offers a quick fix, it’s a superficial solution. Odour removal, on the other hand, addresses the heart of the problem, ensuring a cleaner, healthier, and more pleasant environment. Understanding the difference between the two can empower individuals to make better choices for their homes and well-being.


  1. How do activated charcoal filters work for odour removal?

Activated charcoal (or activated carbon) has a porous structure that allows it to adsorb odorous molecules, thereby removing them from the air.

  1. How can I remove pet odours from my home?

Clean the affected areas thoroughly, use enzymatic cleaners specifically designed for pet odours, and ensure good ventilation. Regularly wash pet bedding and toys.

  1. How can I get rid of cigarette smoke odour?

Clean all surfaces, including walls, floors, and ceilings, with a mixture of water and vinegar or a specialised cleaner. Wash or replace curtains, draperies, and other fabrics. Air out the room and use air purifiers.

Why Choose AllAces?

AllAces Cleaning & Restoration has more than 35 years of industry experience, servicing a wide range of clients and sectors across Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. Our IICRC-certified technicians have extensive experience with odour removal and access to specialist equipment and technology to ensure the best possible results.

Trust the experts and contact the AllAces team at 1800 00 10 10 today!

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