Review: Odor Crusher gear bag, armor and vehicle deodorizer
Does the power of ozone really fight foul odors? Find out.
Sponsored by Odor Crusher
By Warren Wilson for PoliceOne BrandFocus
We’ve all been there: directing traffic under the sun, foot pursuits or just working a simple shift on a hot day. You get home, anxious to enjoy some air conditioning and take off that body armor. What is the next thing you experience? Odors that have been basting under your vest all day. The thought of putting that thing back on the next day is not a pleasant one.
What about your gym bag? We have the privilege at my department of working out in the department’s gym for the last hour of our shift. It’s a wonderful benefit, but I’m always struggling to manage the odor of my gym bag as I drive my issued take-home vehicle the next day.
And who hasn’t given a ride to a stranded citizen with questionable hygiene or who’s been stranded in the rain? Who hasn’t worked a fire scene? How uncomfortable is it the next time you’re transporting a prisoner or conducting a ride-along with a citizen knowing they probably notice it, too? This isn’t an enjoyable topic to discuss, but it’s one of the realities of law enforcement.
Odor-eliminating sprays have become a necessary piece of equipment for law enforcement but they can only do so much. Recently I came across something that actually works.
Odor Crusher has been successfully fighting unpleasant emanations for years now. They offered to send me an Ozone Gear Bag for testing and I accepted. To my pleasant surprise, the box they sent also had an Ozone Armor Clean and an Ozone Go Max. These items are to deodorize body armor and vehicles, respectively.
I had been concerned that Odor Crusher had put all their production efforts into the technology and used sub-par materials in the construction of their bags. I found that not to be the case. The Gear Bag and Armor Clean are both well-made and rugged. I gave the Armor Clean to one of our more active day shift patrolmen who is known for being fastidious about keeping his uniform looking sharp. In fact, he washes his body armor carrier more often than any cop I know. Ten hour Oklahoma day shifts which often peak over 100 degrees would give the Armor Clean an honest test.
Size them up in stinky situations
I loaned out the Go Max to one of my department’s administrators who’d recently given a stranded motorist a ride during a heavy rainstorm. You can imagine the resulting pungency from a cloth vehicle seat after driving a waterlogged citizen home. For weeks after, he’d tried steam cleaning and dousing the affected area with chemical deodorizers to no avail. Every time he’d enter his vehicle, he was once again assaulted by the aroma of a good deed being punished. The situation was exacerbated upon activation of the air conditioner as the stench worked its way into the vents.
Does it fight the foulness, subvert the stench?
After a few weeks of testing, we all had positive results. The administrator in question was more than happy with the Ozone Go Max. The next time I rode with him to lunch, the odor was gone. I plopped down in the offending seat and was pleasantly surprised by the cleansing aroma one experiences when walking into an indoor pool. By the way he spoke about the unit on our drive, I was certain I would not be getting the Go Max back.
Along those same lines, Officer Fastidious appeared in my doorway that same day. He excitedly asked if he had to return the Armor Clean and, if so, how he could purchase one. He continued that he hadn’t felt the need to wash his armor carrier for an entire week.
As to the Ozone Gear Bag, I used the same gym clothes every day for two weeks and stored them in the bag. I assure you that I make certain my department gets its money’s worth out of my workouts and we all know what hard work smells like. At the end of the two weeks, I removed the contents except for my running shoes and activated the ozone unit for 30 minutes and the odor was completely gone except for the chlorine smell. After another half-hour, the bag was as fresh as the day I opened the box.
How it unstinks, according to science
We know it works now, but how? If you aren’t interested in science-type stuff, skip to the last sentence in this paragraph. The ozone generators in the Odor Crusher products create ozone (O3) which is an oxidizer and the second most powerful sterilizer known to mankind. It kills bacteria and viruses in substances that cause malodorous emanations. After the generator is turned off and as o3 is exposed to the air, it converts back to oxygen (O2) and the chlorine smell dissipates leaving your gear good as new. For those of you who skipped to this sentence, just know that when you turn on the ozone generator, science occurs and the smells go away.
Odor neutralization isn’t the only benefit of Odor Crusher products. You get the additional benefit of eliminating by oxidation bacteria and viruses that can be hazardous to your health, including MRSA, salmonella, norovirus, and E. coli. Having personally been exposed to MRSA during my career, I wish this technology had been available back then.
Odor Crusher also offers backpacks and stand-alone closets with ozone technology. I will be encouraging my department to purchase one of the closets to add to the decontamination room. I can’t think of how many times this could have saved me some anxiety over the years.
About the author
Warren Wilson is a lieutenant with the Enid Police Department in Oklahoma. He is a former SWAT team leader, current firearms instructor and writer. He has been a full-time law enforcement officer since 1996.