You had a hard day. You come home, ready to relax and unwind and decide to blaze one up, but what do you do about the rather, um…distinctive smell? Even if you live in a state where smoking pot is legal, you may not want to make it common knowledge that you partake. Fortunately, when it comes to unwanted marijuana smells, there are things you can do. The best methods involve not only dispersing the smoke, but neutralizing the smell by lowering the particulate matter in the air carrying the odor. Believe it or not, there have been studies that focus on the smell of growing, storing, and burning cannabis.
Does Sploofing Remove the Smell of Burning Cannabis?
The short answer is yes. Sploofing, or masking odors using homemade devices such as an empty cardboard tube covered on one end by a dryer sheet, can reduce the smell of burning cannabis.
In one study, for instance, researchers looked at smoke dispersion patterns emitted by burning cannabis in an apartment setting. The study measured particulate matter in order to determine how strong the odor would be within a specified number of minutes after smoking.
They also tested homemade sploofing devices to determine which, if any, would be the most effective for lowering the particulate count (and thereby decreasing or masking the smell).
The researchers conducted tests in the bathroom, kitchen, and beside the front door using a typical one bedroom apartment setting as their model. They tested the air quality at set intervals of 60 seconds, three minutes, five minutes and seven minutes after smoking. They also tested whether or not a glass pipe, bong, joint or vaporizer affected the amount of detectable aroma.
Activated Charcoal is Your Friend
As far as which sploofing device worked best though, those that contained activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, were twice as effective at reducing overall smoke levels. Activated charcoal is used in many industries to neutralize odors because it binds to the molecules that carry odor in their bulk phase (liquid, gas, solids) and attaches them to the surface of the charcoal as a solid, thus reducing the amount of particulates available to create an odor. You may recognize the charcoal if you’ve ever smoked hookah. Activated charcoal is used to heat the shisha.
Although truthfully, using any kind of masking agent was superior to not doing anything to cover or remove the odor. If you can afford it though, consider buying a vaporizer if you smoke indoors on a regular basis.
The Most Effective Method is to Use a Vaporizer
The area you smoke in matters. The researchers found that smoking at least one room away from the front door was enough to prevent noticeable smells from escaping outside the apartment.
Hands down the very best method – vaporizing – eliminated almost all odors at any location within the test apartment. Detectable particles were significantly decreased by the vaporizer, which showed only 1 micron of particulate matter when tested in the same room as the smoker.
Top Recommendations to Clear the Air
If you want to keep your smoking on the down low, plan ahead. For instance, try lighting up in a well ventilated area and adding a sploofing device such as a toilet paper cylinder, a dryer sheet, and a rubber band to create a homemade filter. It is very important that you do not breathe in air through it; instead, only use it on the exhale, because the fabric dryer sheets contain carcinogens that can be very harmful to your health.
If you are smoking outdoors, try to use the wind by exhaling downwind so that the smoke is moving away from your body. Or if you are in a bathroom with no backup, try turning on the exhaust fan as it will probably eliminate most of the telltale odor. Double up, if possible, with a spray of Febreze or a similar product.
As previously mentioned, a vaporizer can be very effective, but a full sized one can easily cost hundreds of dollars. Consider using a vaporizer pen if funds are tight. You can also keep a sploofing device such as a small empty prescription bottle with holes drilled through the bottom, filled with activated charcoal, with your stash. You can buy activated charcoal in the pet section of many grocery stores, because it is often used in aquariums.
One Super Effective and Simple Life Hack
In a pinch, you can remove the scent of cannabis by boiling a cup vinegar on the stove or adding it to the bottom of your dishwasher and running it as usual. The smell of vinegar is not necessarily pleasant, but it does dissipate within an hour or so and will actually neutralize odors. Plus, on the upside, distilled vinegar is dirt cheap and available in just about any grocery store.
Candles and perfumes do mask odors to some degree, but should probably be used in conjunction with other methods. If you need to remove the odor from fabrics and carpeting, you can use a box of baking soda or scented carpet cleaner that contains baking soda. Sprays that include odor neutralizers such as Febreze do work, however some people report mixed results.