REVIEW – Odor. Stink. Smell. Stench. Whatever you call it, we all eventually wind up with things that smell awful. Here in hot and humid Central Florida, that happens simply by spending time outdoors. A round of golf can turn golf shoes and a hat into nearly toxic smell producers. At times, my hats get so bad that even multiple runs through the washing machine can’t get rid of the funk. A vinegar soak sometimes works, but not always. And that solution can’t work on things like a sweaty business suit with its own aroma. What does a conscientious person that is looking to not offend do? Nutroz thinks they have the answer with their ozone odor removal device. Can it help keep society polite and reek-free? Let’s see!
What is it?
The Nutroz ozone odor removal device is a sanitizer that uses the power of ozone to oxidize and destroy (not mask or cover up) odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew. It is a sealed device, completely containing the sanitizing ozone molecules, filtering and neutralizing the ozone before the sanitizing cycle completes.
What’s in the box?
- Nutroz ozone odor removal device
- Lid bracket/cord storage (more on that in the Setup section)
- Did I say, “user manual”? No? That’s because there isn’t one!
- Dimensions: 28.5″ L x 17.5″ (20″ with cord clip) W x 20″ H (it’s big!)
- Weight: 22.4 lbs (it’s heavy!)
- Power requirements: 120V, 60 Hz, AC
- Sanitizing cycle duration: approximately one hour
- Sanitizing method: ozonation
Design and features
The Nutroz ozone odor removal device is a big old box. It sort of resembles a large cooler, except that the lid is clear.
You have to remove the shipping tape from the filter drawer inside the unit.
The only other setup involved sticking the lid bracket onto the back of the unit.
These were the only instructions included. The QR code is a link to a Youtube video on how to install the lid bracket.
What is a lid bracket? It serves two purposes. First, it provides a ledge for the lid to rest on so that it doesn’t fold down to the ground.
Second, it serves as a cord keeper for the relatively short power cord.
Remember that tape that I removed? That held in this drawer.
That pouch inside the drawer is the filter that absorbs all of the leftover ozone produced during the sanitizing cycle. It will eventually be used up. Replacements are available from Nutroz.
The interior of the Nutroz ozone odor removal device is pretty spacious. Care needs to be taken when loading it to not block the vents on the bottom and sides. Still, you could easily fit large items like shoes, sports helmets, and pads in here. You can see the thick and soft seal that goes all the way around the lid providing a leak-proof seal when the lid is closed and latched.
All the controls are on the touch panel on the top of the front of the unit.
What do they do? How do you use it? I have no idea since no manual nor any link or reference to a manual was included in the box! Well, they do include four-step instructions right there:
- Place your items inside
- Close lid and press firmly down the lock button until latch clicks
- Press START to begin cycle
- When cycle is complete, press OPEN
There must be more info than that. Wait – is that another QR code? I’ll bet that’s a link to the manual! Nope! It’s just a link to Nutroz’s website. After a little digging on their website, I finally found a downloadable manual under the Resources tab on their main page.
You’d think they would include a manual given the warning label on the back.
Any warning label that includes “…can lead to…death…” warrants more discussion!
The other labels on the back were a bit more benign.
Before we get into the actual use of the Nutroz ozone odor removal device, let’s talk about what this thing does.
Have you ever walked outside right after a thunderstorm? The air smells fresh and clean. That’s because high voltage lightning bolts create ozone. Oxygen molecules exist in the air as a pair of atoms or O2. The heat from the lightning causes some of the pairs to split into single atoms. Much like Tinder users, oxygen atoms don’t like being single and combine with O2 to form O3 or ozone. The same thing happens in photocopiers. They use a corona wire to split the molecules. When a copy machine’s ozone filter reaches its end of life, you can get a solid whiff of ozone when making copies.
The problem is that ozone is dangerous. Ozone is an oxidizer. Ozone is somewhat unstable and will release its extra oxygen atom where it will combine with another molecule, changing its makeup. It is especially effective doing this with organic odor sources like bacteria, mold, mildew, and such. Rather than encapsulate and trap odors like deodorizing sprays, ozone changes the chemical makeup of the odor source, changing it to something that no longer produces odor.
The problem with ozone’s ability to combine with organic material is that it doesn’t know what stinks and what is fine the way it is. Things like lungs, skin, and so on. And you don’t want to oxidize your vital body parts! The bottom line is that ozone is dangerous and should be respected. This is evidenced by the fact that the user manual that I downloaded is chock-full of warnings. Pages 5 through 13 are fully dedicated to warnings about ozone and the device’s proper use.
The Nutroz ozone odor removal device doesn’t create lightning, so how does it work? Much like copy machines, it uses a corona wire that superheats the air, causing O2 molecules to split so the single atoms can find a date and form O3 or ozone. A fan blows the ozone into the main chamber, which permeates the smelly items. The O3 molecules release that extra atom where it seeks out and combines with organic odor sources, causing them to no longer stink. It doesn’t cover the smell, it kills it.
Once the sanitizing cycle is complete, the unit begins ozone neutralization using a process known as catalytic ozone decomposition. This process uses a custom-designed filter to actively convert the ozone back to oxygen before items can be removed.
All this sounds great and all sciencey. Let’s see if Nutroz can (with apologies to Extreme) get the funk out!
The weekend before I started this review, we had the opportunity to fly to Chicago where I officiated our niece’s wedding. It was outdoors by the lakeshore on a warm and humid upper 80s day. Heat, humidity, sun, and a black wool suit made for what I will call a moist day. The next day we flew home and my suit was stuffed into a suitcase for hours. When we got home and I unpacked, the suit was less than pleasant smelling.
That meant it would be spending some quality time at the dry cleaner…or…
Let’s let the magic of ozone do its thing! I loaded the suit into the Nutroz ozone odor removal device ensuring the vents were clear.
After you close the lid, you push rather firmly on the lock button until the unit emits a loud click. This engages the locking system so the unit cannot release ozone into the air.
As soon as it is latched, the START button starts flashing. If you don’t start it up within 15 seconds, the latch disengages with another loud click. Pressing the START button begins the ozonating cycle.
There are three LEDs under the green bar. As the cycle continues, they light up to show progress. There are various beeps and whirs throughout the process. It is somewhat loud. I wouldn’t recommend using it in a room where you are trying to listen to music or watch TV.
Once the ozonating cycle completes, the neutralization cycle begins. A similar set of three progress LEDs light up along with more buzzes and whirs.
After about an hour, the unit beeps and the COMPLETE LED lights up. Pressing the OPEN button releases the latch and you can open the lid and remove your items.
My suit had a distinct ozone aroma when I removed it from the Nutroz ozone odor removal device. That aroma sticks around for some time, but to me, smells fresh. There wasn’t a hint of funk left on the suit and that was great. Of course, Nutroz doesn’t press the suit, so there’s that left for me to deal with.
Next up, I tossed in my rank golf shoes, a stinky hat, and a pair of our neighbor’s yard work shoes that I think his wife wanted to cleanse with fire. After an hour, all three came out much fresher smelling without the aroma they went in with.
If you look at the control panel, you can see that the OPEN button is also the STOP button. You can stop a cycle, but the unit will complete a neutralizing cycle before opening. If you need to immediately open the device for some reason, the manual has two sets of instructions depending on whether you still have power. The no-power method essentially means breaking the unit. Either way, you’ll be releasing pure ozone in large amounts and that is most certainly dangerous.
There are other considerations when using ozone. The manual provides the following warning:
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS SHOULD NEVER BE PLACED IN THE NUTROZ AND COULD RESULT IN INJURY, DEATH, FIRE, OR PROPERTY DAMAGE.
- Living things (pets, animals, humans, plants, etc.)
- Materials with solvents (turpentine, varsol, acetone, paint thinner, etc.)
- Flammable or explosive items (gasoline, kerosene, etc.)
- Items exposed to solvents, flammable, or explosive items (rags, clothing, etc.)
- Medical Devices
Materials react differently when exposed to ozone (03). Ozone is an oxidizing agent and excessive exposure to ozone can cause some materials to deteriorate or degrade over time. Natural materials (such as natural rubber, leather, or silk) or unprotected metals could see negative effects after multiple cycles and use of the NUTROZ on these materials should be limited.
The manual also noted that electronics should never be placed in the Nutroz.
The bottom line is that anything organic may not play well with excessive ozone exposure.
What I like
- It does what it says and effectively removes organic odors
- So far, at least, I can’t detect any ozone being released into the air during the cycle
- Large capacity allows for a wide range of items to be deodorized
What I’d change
- It is big
- It is expensive
- It is noisy
- A manual or at least a link to the manual should be included
Back when our kids were in high school, I would have loved to have a Nutroz ozone odor removal device. Our daughter’s volleyball kneepads, and our son’s football and lacrosse helmets and pads could choke crowds at a distance. With Nutroz’s ability to eliminate organic odors, our house and van would have been a much sweeter-smelling place. At least now, I have a solution for anything that develops malodor here in sweaty Florida. The biggest issue I have is finding someplace to store this monster in our retirement home.
Even with its quirks, I’m pretty happy with the job Nutroz does. If you’re an athlete or a parent of an athlete and stinky equipment is a sore spot in your life, I’d recommend trying out Nutroz. The same is true if you have a fur baby as Nutroz works wonders on pet odors too. They offer a 30-day risk-free guarantee and free shipping so it is easy to give it a try. Save your nose and perhaps even your household!
Price: $450 (as of this writing, it is on sale for $350)
Where to buy: Nutroz
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Nutroz.