This questions is regarding the removal or covering up of a bad smell in the air quickly - specifically, a misjudged moment of flatulence.

I'm sure everyone has done it, you've been in a room alone and you've been desperate to break wind for a while and it turns out to be a little more unpleasant to the nose than initially anticipated and the immediate panic of someone coming into said room occurs so you try and flail your arms around to remove the smell or dilute it somehow but it never seems to work in time! Leaving you embarrassed and the other person disgusted.

So, does anyone know of any way to quickly remove a bad smell (fart) without deodorant or other standard smelly products?

  • possible duplicate of How can I quickly eliminate the smell of cigarette smoke in a confined space?
    – Mooseman
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 14:33
  • 1
    @Mooseman probably not though right, smoke tends to stick to things so the smell will be harder to remove, and mines not really a confined space, the smell just tends to linger in one spot for a while so I could also be asking how to quickly dissipate the smell so it's less potent but thought it would leave it more open ended then that.
    – MrPhooky
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 14:37
  • [status-cv-retracted]
    – Mooseman
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 14:42

3 Answers 3


A simple box of matches - not the ones with red tips (although these are better than nothing), you need the black or brown tipped ones; in the UK, that's ordinary safety matches. Strike one immediately after releasing your flatulence, and no, it doesn't have to be in the region of your backside, you're not trying to ignite anything, just strike it into the air. My bathroom always has a box of matches on a shelf behind the loo... Unlike air fresheners and deodorizers, a struck match removes the smell completely, but it doesn't work with a lighter.

Course, everyone will wonder what the hell you're doing if you're in an office or something, so only you can decide whether its worse to claim the dreadful smell as yours, or have everyone suspect its yours, or whether to dispose of the problem before anyone else smells it and explain why you've lit the match. It sounds like you need to keep a pack of matches in your back pocket if its a frequent problem - either that or a change in diet.

  • 1
    This is not true: matches just mask the smell, they don't eliminate it (skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/4168/…)
    – Hobbes
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 8:35
  • @Hobbes - okay, but to all intents and purposes, it gets rid of the smell, even if its only making it undetectable. I got through a lot of matches when my babies were in nappies I can tell you! I've always wondered why its so efficient, and why does it have to be brown tippped matches and not red; I have an over sensitive sense of smell, and I can't detect the original odour after a match is struck at all, but hey, so long as it works, it don't matter
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 15:07

If you are in a closed room,without windows there is no much to do. Just wait it disappear from the air. If you are in a closed room do not fart on the air,because the only escape to it probably will be a door and if someone get in will be punched right on the face by the smell of your fart.Find a cushion, a pilow or something like that and fart over it. The cushion will absorb your fart and retain the smell.

But if you are in room with windows, before you fart, open the windows, stay near it, aiming your butt to the outdoor and fart. Make sure that the wind are not pushing your fart inside the place.

These are the actions that I know that you can take when you do not have a deodorant or something like that to use.

  • +1 purely for the 'if someone gets in they'll be punched straight in the face by the smell' haha.
    – MrPhooky
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 16:45

If you have fan in the room you can turn it on and move close to the smell source. If you don't have it, just use something for ventilation, for example part of your clothes or list of paper.

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