Fresh Wave Odor Eliminating CrystalsThis is not a monetized blog. I’m not doing any of the things I’m supposed to do to make blogging worthwhile. At some point, I eliminated GoogleAdsense and all other ad services. I’ve only run one giveaway and I was crap at that. The dogs did sell out for a few bags of dog biscuits, but they were the excellent Natural Pups brand and they would have given them a paws up anyway. That’s not to say I can’t be bribed convinced to give endorsements. (If John Deere or Tony Lama want to contact me, the answer is “How high?”) My few endorsements have been reserved for products I’ve stumbled over and truly loved. I have only three criteria: 1) Is the product intriguing 2) Does it far exceed my expectations and 3) Is it Green. Now, to the Amazing Penguin Water Carbonator and the Nature’s Mill Home Composter, which I’ve already reviewed, I’m adding a third for the Trifecta.

It’s the Odor Eliminating Crystals from Fresh Wave. They were an impulse buy for me at Bed, Bath & Beyond about seven months ago. Not to overshare, but odor elimination is somewhat of an obsession for me. Aside from the usual stuff, I have the challenge of a full English pub that Andy has built in our basement. You get half a dozen Englishmen in a basement smoking cigars and drinking beer and you have odors. We’ll skip right over the fact that many of these sessions come after a trip to the local curry house, and we’ll mention the two dogs. This challenge becomes a Mount Everest when you factor in that I buy only non-scented, non-toxic, natural household products. I’m freaked out by air fresheners, which I once read don’t eliminate odors but just coat your nostrils with faux flower smell. This phobia has pretty much confined me to bowls of white vinegar and sprinkling baking soda into the carpet to counteract a Brit session. It isn’t enough.

But I see these Fresh Wave crystal gels and I’m intrigued. They say “all natural and non-toxic”, but I always greet that with a healthy dose of skepticism. So I looked at the back label for the ingredients: Water and natural extracts of lime, pine needle, aniseed, clove and cedarwood. Really? That’s it? Just that? Of course, I had to buy it.

Fresh Wave air freshener crystals

The starter kit is this 16 oz. jar. Once you peel off the seal, the perforated top lets the crystals "breath".

What I bought was the little 16 oz, container that doubles as a holder. You pull the sealer off and expose the crystals through the latticed top. That’s enough to get this thing activated. And it activates immediately. Within six hours of putting it in the basement — even though the basement is L shaped and I put it far away from the Pub bar — it freshened the entire large space (which runs the full length of the house).

Now let’s talk about these “crystals”, which aren’t really crystals as I would know them. I think of crystals as something hard and…well…crystalline. These are soft and jelly-like. You don’t actually have to feel them. You can peel off the seal, replace the cap and put the container out to do its thing. But I couldn’t resist poking my fingers into the crystals to get a sense of what they are.

And what are they? Hell, if I know. In a fit of scientific curiosity, I emailed their media link contact number with a few questions. They haven’t answered yet. Which is kind of okay. So magical and effective are these jelly crystals or whatever they are, that I’d be just as happy to believe that they are unicorn droppings or elfin teardrops.

They may be. Finally, seven months after my first purchase, I determined that my magical crystals had lost a little of their mojo. And being in Bed, Bath and Beyond again, I bought another 16 oz. container. Then for good measure, I got the economical 64 oz. refill. I’m starting to wonder if I needed to.

dehydrated Fresh Wave crystals

After seven months, the whole jar of crystals had dehydrated and evaporated into this small residue.

See in the original container, all the crystals had magically disappeared. This squares with the company website that claims the way these things work is that the molecules float out and bond with odors, get saturated with smelly stuff, then drop to the ground. Although they’ve neutralized most of the odors by this time, you can now vacuum them up, further eliminating smells. This explanation seemed plausible when I looked at my original container and saw that all the crystals were gone except for a few brown shriveled remnants.

Here’s where it gets really bizarre. I decided to wash out the original container and fill it up with some crystals from my refill container. So I rinsed out the container in the bathroom sink and left it to dry for a few hours. Imagine my surprise, when I went to pick it up, to see that all those shriveled crystals had magically rehydrated and were filling my bathroom sink to the brim! I scooped them out of the sink and back into the container. Amazing, they still smell of cedarwood and all that good stuff. It remains to be seen if rehydrated crystals will work as effectively. But this “recycled” batch may be perfect for the closet — since the new stuff was a little too overpowering for such a small space.

Meanwhile, what the hell is going on with these crystals? Enough washed down the sink to clog or at least slow the drain. And since I’ve never heard back from Fresh Wave, I don’t know what they are going to do to my plumbing. Perhaps these magical crystals are like the fabled Philosopher’s Stone and can turn base metal into gold. I might wake up to solid gold fixtures and plumbing! Or I might have permanently clogged up my sink. I’m tempted to pour some natural non-toxic drain cleaner down there, but mixed with whatever these crystals are, I might create a new hallucinogen. Or nuclear fusion.

In any case, I’m not risking this and I’m hoping they dissolve or wash away on their own. One review site said the crystals are: made from biodegradable food-grade polymer and will completely dissolve when the natural odor ingredients slowly dissipate in about thirty days. I must have gotten that batch that contained unicorn droppings because mine are seven months old and have resisted all the hot water I can pour on them.

In any case, you probably won’t try science experiments with them. So I highly recommend that you buy them for any areas that need freshening. Just use as directed.