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Looking for feedback on odor removal via Google, I ended up at an old CatSite thread on odor control. I registered, just so I could add a summary of our experience with odor control products, but my attempt was in vain. Since I took some time composing this piece, I want to post it SOMEWHERE. No other category seems remotely appropriate, so ...

One of our two deliberately acquired cats has no tail (just a little poof), and accompanying mild internal irregularities. At less than six months, we found out his urethra was ultra-constricted. Ultimately, he required a "sex change" operation. In the subsequent years, we learned a LOT about litter boxes, diet, and odor control.

Now, we only use enzyme-based cleaners (of the Nature's Miracle variety) for lesser odor problems (or when we run out of "the good stuff"). The most reliable products in our house are X-O, Zero Odor, and SCOE-10X.

X-O is the only one we've found that doesn't leave a residue that needs to be cleaned off. You just have to not mind the smell of Juicy Fruit gum.

Zero Odor has a "tracer scent" (identical to the smell of chlorine bleach) which our cats go crazy for. It leaves a slight salt-like residue. We've had situations where it blistered the paint on metal. The manufacturer says no one else has reported this problem, and promised to report it to their R-and-D group.

We can't decide whether SCOE-10X works as well, or almost as well as the other two. It also leaves a slight salt-like residue.

Cleaners that use enzymes/bacterias (as opposed to working on the "molecular level"), are much cheaper, which is probably why they are available in pet stores. The one we prefer, Simple Solutions Natural, smells like Ginger-Eucalyptus. It uses ethanol, rather alcohol, as a carrier ... and less of it.

We order the other products online, except for Zero Odor, which is rumored to now be carried by some Bed, Bath & Beyond stores.

The stinky substance has to be thoroughly saturated, whatever it is. If I can, I seal the thing up in plastic and let it sit for a few days, then wash it. If it's not washable, I sometimes cover it with plastic anyway, just to slow the evaporation rate. Plastics are an odor magnet! Certain ones cannot be deodorized by ANY method.

Products made for ostomy patients, such as M-9, Ozium (and its less expensive imitators), work well for odors in small spaces (such as vehicles) but I'm not sure how safe they are around animals.

Another product called CB-Pet (by EcoChem) breaks down odors somehow and IS safe for animals and the environment. This brownish sludge needs heavy dilution, and takes awhile to arrive from Canada. I suspect some commercially available odor removal products are actually custom packaged versions of this.

I am curious to hear opinions of a product called Wee Cleaner (which I'm told works sort of like SCOE-10X). There's also a product called K.O.E. (Kennel Odor Eliminator) which many vets offer. This is MUCH cheaper, so I suspect it is enzyme based. I've read up on Pure Ayre, which says its the only product that uses food grade enzymes (supposedly more effective) but I haven't tried it. I would love to hear about peoples' experience with any of these.