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Trick of the trade: Nebulized … orange juice?


In my theme of detoxifying malodorous smells in the ED, I recently learned of a new way of masking odors. Imagine the stress on your olfactory nerves from the combined effects of urinary and fecal incontinence from a nursing home patient.

An ingenious nurse proposed nebulizing actual coffee within the room. Unfortunately, our ED was out of coffee at the moment.

Trick of the Trade

Nebulized orange juice


I only learned of this trick after walking into the patient’s very subtly foggy room. About 4 cc of orange juice had been nebulizing for a few minutes. The room smelled a little like a Jamba Juice (a smoothies/ juice shop). Quite pleasant actually. I was shocked to find that it masked the odors quite well. I just HAD to take a photo and share this great trick.


This trick really is a more subtle de-odorizer approach. So it only works in an enclosed room, such as a patient’s room. You need time for the scent to build up. If your patient is in a common area or hallway, the scent gets too dispersed. You’re outta luck.

Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Editor-in-Chief
Academy Endowed Chair of EM Education
Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD
Michelle Lin, MD

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  • Isn’t this a JHACO violation for having open drinks within 20 feet of a patient? 🙂

    If its the feet that are offending…I haven’t tried this but heard it works well…

    1) Double bag the offending stinky socks, etc.
    2) Make up a mixture of warm water, betadine, peroxide and hibiclens,
    3) Soak two towels (or even pillow cases if laundry hasn’t brought you towels), and wrap each foot in one of said soaked and loosely wrung out towels, then wrap each foot with a blue pad. After 15 or 20 minutes the offending feet are much more fragrant.

    This procedure really doesn’t take long and is a win-win for both the patient and anyone else around.

  • What a smart idea!

    One time we nebulized vanilla extract (someone brought it in to work for some reason). The place smelled like cookie dough all day. It was fantastic.

    Must try nebulized OJ one of these days…

  • Hi ERJedi and Stella: Wow I hadn’t tried these before. Will definitely keep this in my bag of tricks. I DO love cookie dough.

  • Nice!

  • One ampule of sodium bicarb applied topically to each effected foot helps to neutralize MOST odors.

  • sorry, affected

  • Thanks @Kit Tainter: I haven’t tried it but it makes sense, similar to the maalox booties. A base can negate the isovaleric acid from foot odors. Thanks for the tip.

  • Thanks Michelle !

    WHAT A SMART IDEA !! LIKED IT !! I had never tried this before. Certainly, I will go for it. I do love doing different kinda of things. Thank you very much ! It is fantastic one.

  • Glad you like it. It’s one of my favorites.