How flight attendants get rid of nasty airplane toilet smells

This is a bathroom trick you can use on a plane or at home.

airplane dunny

Ever walked into an airplane toilet and wanted to walk straight back out? Planes can be pretty grotty places; after all, what would you expect from a single toilet that services 150 people or so?

But life on a plane without the invisible smog of a toilet stench is possible.

There’s a really simple trick that flight attendants use to rid those stinky inflight toilets of what can often be a hideous stench. They simply boil a strong pot of black coffee and pour it down the toilet.

Evidently, there’s science behind this theory.

The caffeine in coffee contains high levels of nitrogen, a chemical which neutralises the hydrogen sulphide gas responsible for making that sewage smell.

And it’s a trick that’s not limited for use on an airplane water closet. You can use it at home too. Also, if you’re not one for store-bought air fresheners, you can place a bowl of coffee beans in your bathroom.

Some airlines hang a bag of coffee beans on the backs of toilets doors to neutralise bad odours. Some will even hand passengers a bag of beans if they’re sitting next to someone with pungent body odour.

Who knew coffee could be so helpful when it comes to keeping the air around you fresh?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    11th Oct 2017
    Using coffee may be a cheap and easy method but another effective method is to install a device called a Turbo Vac, an extractor fan which draws odours directly from the toilet bowl. We installed one in our indoor toilet and it works magnificently. Coupled with a movement detector it comes into operation as soon as anyone enters the toilet and runs on for 4 minutes after they leave. It cost about $300 to install but is worth every cent.
    11th Oct 2017
    If anyone has ever seen a flight attendant go into a toilet with a pot of coffee, do let us know!
    Pass the Ductape
    7th Mar 2018
    Hahahahah....That really made me laugh Maggie. I'm with you - someone must have been having one of those 'in your dreams' moment when they wrote that one down!
    11th Oct 2017
    It wouldn’t work on planes, but at home you can easily neutralise toilet smells simply by striking a match and blowing it out.
    11th Oct 2017
    So true Tru, works every time and it's cheap too. But, wouldn't be allowed on a plane, unfortunately.
    11th Oct 2017
    Last trip on the first leg to Singapore, one of the two toilets at the rear of the plane was out of order, leaving one toilet to cope with the visits of many men who didn't "aim to please". Needless to say, it wasn't long before the floor was "awash" and the toilet most unpleasant for women and children to use. Why this airline couldn't have fixed the problem while they were at Sydney airport before taking off I don't know, it's not like plumbers are in short supply here. I would think twice before using this airline again!
    11th Oct 2017
    Does ordinary coffee work ?
    18th Nov 2017
    In economy, yes BUT in first class they have to use coffee made from the rare Short-winged Tropical Bat's droppings. Ground to a fine texture and sweetened with a quarter teaspoon of hard-to-come-by Argentinian sugar ant syrup :D Costs more to fly First Class but little things like this make the journey worth it :)
    Funny face
    11th Oct 2017
    I've always found Singapore airline good. Any airline can have a problem with their toilets and,I think, the floor is more spilt water than the ' other' - well, that's what I'm hoping! Must admit , going in there without shoes on is definately not the way to go! Only ever did that once. and didn't use the toilet that time folks!
    12th Oct 2017
    Surprised at comment from disillusioned as from our experience especially on asian airlines its the women passengers that are the worst as they squat on the seat . My wife who is Asian completely agrees with this (and does not squat). Funny face is also on the mark as water gets splashed I would think more than pee. Don't blame the airline in every case. Singapore would be one of the best if that who this person was referring to..
    8th Mar 2018
    How wonderful that some airlines actually address the problem. I flew home from Bali last week, Jetstar Business Class, and was appalled at the odour from the nearby toilet (unfortunately I was seated 1A). When I appealed to the flight attendant for fresh air he reached for the air freshener but then spoke to a fellow attendant who smiled radiantly but nothing was done! I can recall many years ago a flight attendant friend recommended Nil Odor usage, in future I will carry my own and NEVER sit in Row 1 again!

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