Activated or Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide
Activated chlorine dioxide is the typical version of chlorine dioxide, which is a gas generally mixed in water as a delivery system. Once mixed, the mixture is set out in bowls allowing the gas to slowly escape. Because chlorine dioxide is readily soluble in water, simplicity makes it use much more convenient and effective as an environmental treatment. We can only imagine try to carry around tanks of gas for the job. So, the ability to suspend the gas in water by misting a tablet or powder is incredibly handy.
Stabilized chlorine dioxide has been buffered to allow it to suspend in water for a longer time. That is why this is the best product for fogging and spraying. The application allows the product to actually arrive with the spray to treat the surface or material. Instead of the "Gas Out" process (described above) with the non-stabilized product that can take 8-24 hours to completely escape, the spray/fogging treatment can effectively treat a whole house in 15-30 minutes.
The tablet form (non-stabilized) will dissolve in water, turning it yellow. Because the chlorine dioxide gas is not stabilized, the gas will escape the liquid and permeate the room more readily. And, there are reasons to use either form of the chlorine dioxide in a treatment. When odors are strong, heavily embedded, and difficult to remove; the slower "Gas Out" treatment can be employed to allow mor time for the product to work. Remember, this is an oxidation process that will reach into every recessed area. Some treatments, like odor and sanitizing, can be done with the a spray system because chlorine dioxide can sanitize most germs in seconds or minutes.
When, the problem is heavy and embedded, It may be a good idea to hit it from both angles. It is not uncommon to do an initial treatment with an ozone generator for 3-4 hours, follow with a spray of chlorine dioxide for maximum effect with a limited amount of time needed for a vacated building.
In the example of a house with strong smoke odor, the Gas Out option may be the backup plan, if not the first treatment. I see the Gas Out as less used option due to the time it requires. In addition, odors tend to cling and rebound; so I do not favor one-step methods unless the problem is light.
There is a learning curve to the use of the primary odor treatment processes. If the problem is simple, then maybe cleaning and luandering ill be enough. However, odor removal and sanitizing are steps above cleaning. Check out our website for the Chlorine Dioxide Applicator's Course.