Our little family spent the weekend at Misibis Bay (thanks to my in laws for the special treat!). Normally on occasions such as this, we close off the entire apartment and send the maids on a little vacation of their own. We don’t take them along with us when we travel (when I finally get to crafting my yaya post I will talk more about this), so they’re free to get the weekend off and do as they please.
You can say we got used to traveling just the four of us, since it was what we did in Chapel Hill. We’d close of the apartment for a few days, we’d leave everything clean, and we’d come back to it still with the scent of an air freshener lingering as if it had been trapped there. It would smell clean and feel clean, and it most probably was. I’d always look forward to coming back home into a relaxing environment.
Here in Manila the story plays out quite differently (particularly in the summer months). Even as we are “closing off” our place, I’m already worried. When we finally walk back in, it feels like the dust has somehow crept through the cracks in the doors and the windows again. It just always seems a tad bit dirty, even if no one was there. There’s the musty feeling you get when you walk into a room that has humidity hanging in the air (it is a very humid country after all). And then, there’s the smell.
It normally comes from the bathroom drains, and it smells like Venice in the summer — as my husband so delicately puts it — which is not in any way a compliment. Apparently during this season in Europe, the heat and the canals don’t mix very well and so the rivers reek of the sewer. It’s about two notches higher than leaving something damp in a closed container for weeks. That’s the same case here in our apartment, only at a less glamorous level. The bathrooms smell, and it’s not very pleasant. Sam hates it. “Stinky mama! Ewww!” she says through a pinched nose.
I’ve tried everything to get the smell to wash through the pipes. We’ve poured all sorts of solutions and fragrances down to quell it. We even follow the advice of an uncle who builds houses and make water flow through them often (We’re told that constant running water will make it go away. It hasn’t happened to us yet!). Yet it persists and returns. We’ve opened packs of air fresheners to help try to mask it, but the mix of those odors will just cause one to lurch. But we try desperately anyway.
So when Glade asked me if I was willing to give their new bathroom gels a test run (Thank you Glade!), I enthusiastically shouted, “yes!” I’d do anything for a clean, fresh-smelling bathroom I tell you! And it’s Glade. They’re the market leader for a reason.
The product is called the Glade Sensations , a fragrance gel that specifically targets the odors that linger in the bathroom. There’s a starter pack that already contains one square of gel, and a holder with double-sided tape. You can stick it anywhere, then you peel off the back part of the gel and slide what remains into the holder. They claim it lasts 60 days. The gel slowly “evaporates” as the days pass to signal that it is indeed, working hard.
With Sam’s help, we opened the Lavender scent and gave it a whirl in our bathroom. I also opened the Morning Freshness Refill and stuck it in the most unused bathroom where the most pungent odor emanates from (Less use = less water flow = more stink). As it so happens, the refill packs can stand on their own without a holder, if you stretch out the base both ways to make it stand. That is very thoughtful packaging right there, and it’s about P28 cheaper than having to buy a new set with the holder. No electricity required. It’s not a plug-in, it’s just your regular stand-alone (still, keep it out of reach of children please!).
As of this writing it’s been up for 8 days, three of which included our “closed off” days, the true test for any air freshener in this home. When I tentatively walked into the apartment again, there was a bit of the dust, a lot of the musty humidity… but not much of the smell!!! The bathrooms with the Glade Sensations didn’t smell like Venice at all, and it was quite pleasant! Whatever odor had been masked completely, and it still is doing so in a very crisp, easy way. Whew!
It is now time to open more scents and put them around the house where there are drains still. The flower-y, semi-fruity Jasmine one near the girls’ room, and the typically powerful, citrus clean Lemon fragrance near the kitchen. Lemon is a scent I like in the kitchen — it just belongs there, is what I think. The other scents in the cupboard are Fruit Nectar, Ocean Escape and one called “I Love You”. Try giving them a sniff when you swing by the grocery this week and see which one fits your personality.
The claim is that it lasts 60 days, so off the bat it’s more economical on a per-day basis than some of the other air neutralizers and gels in the market. I remember we got some of the ones in our current bathrooms (at a more expensive price) at the beginning of April and it disappeared in three weeks. So that part still remains to be seen. If we make it to 60 days, I think I’ll definitely stick with Tune in to my Twitter in 52 days, I’ll let you know. 😉