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Don’t bring home the stink – why you need an odor eliminating spray

This all-natural odor eliminator is safe for body armor and around kids, pets and K-9s


Sponsored by Arrest My Vest

By Lexi Wessling for Police1 BrandFocus

When my fiancé, Dan, became an officer at a large metropolitan police department in 2019, I knew there would be things I’d have to get used to: the long hours, the stress. But one thing I hadn’t anticipated about him becoming a cop: the smell.

Arrest My Vest natural odor eliminator is strong enough for body armor, safe enough for kids. (image/Arrest My Vest)
Arrest My Vest natural odor eliminator is strong enough for body armor, safe enough for kids. (image/Arrest My Vest)

At first, I was reluctant to mention it. He had just finished the academy and was anxious to impress his FTO. I chalked the new odor up to a case of nerves and the Texas summer heat.

But the smell endured into autumn, and after a few months, I’d finally had enough. I wasn’t going to hold my tongue – or my nose – any longer.

“But it’s not me,” he protested when I brought it up. “It’s my gear.”

Before I could say anything about poor workmen blaming their tools, he held his ballistic vest an inch from my face. In one whiff, I smelled every scene and every shift he’d worked over the summer. All the foot pursuits, the freeway accidents, the drives to jail with vomit-drenched suspects in the backseat, the hours beside deceased bodies waiting for the medical examiner – it all seemed to radiate from the fibers of his vest like some kind of olfactory Chernobyl.

Smelly gear is a common problem in law enforcement – and, until 2016, one without an easy solution. A conversation between inventor Paul Anderson and a Utah LEO about his reeking uniform helped pave the way for Arrest My Vest, an odor-eliminating spray specifically formulated for law enforcement that instantly eliminates odors on body armor and tactical gear.

Anderson spent 20 years as a chemical engineer and executive at Procter & Gamble, where he’d helped develop Febreze. But Anderson had no interest in making another air freshening product.

“I wanted to develop a superior product that’s way more effective than similar products, and far safer,” Anderson said.

After a decade spent perfecting the formula, Arrest My Vest launched in 2016. Since then, it’s set itself apart in three ways:

1. It’s safe and all natural

Creating a product that’s safe around skin, animals and children was a top priority for Anderson. Unlike off-the-shelf air fresheners, which can be packed with irritating chemicals, Arrest My Vest uses only three ingredients to eliminate odors completely.

“I am really hung up about the safety of the products people use,” Anderson said.

In his time at Procter & Gamble, he learned that many people become irritated by the chemicals and fragrances in leading commercial products.

“Some people are immediately allergic to these chemicals, but most people over a period of time become allergic, and then you just can’t use anything like it. We worked very hard to make sure Arrest My Vest is natural and effective.”

Arrest My Vest contains no toxins or harmful enzymes and isn’t damaging to the lungs, thanks to its medical-grade formula. It’s even safe to drink, Anderson said – though it probably wouldn’t taste good.

2. It’s useful both on and off the job

Arrest My Vest was created specifically for law enforcement and the equipment that tends to rack up the reek, such as ballistic vests, thick uniforms, boots and squad car upholstery. But Anderson has received grateful calls from officers who also use his product in even stinkier situations – for example, eliminating the odor that accompanies a dead body at a scene, or ridding K-9s of skunk stink.

“Those are horrible smells,” Anderson said, “but people are just stunned at how well Arrest My Vest works on them.”

And it’s not just handy on the job – it helps out at home, too. It’s effective on pet odors, sports gear, exercise equipment, cigarette smoke and more.

“Generally what we’re finding with Arrest My Vest is that officers are using it, they love it, they end up taking it home and they use it around the house because they realize all the other things it’s good for besides their gear or vest,” Anderson said.

3. It actually works

Sprays and air fresheners only temporarily mask smells. Arrest My Vest uses odor-absorbing molecule (OAM) technology to eliminate stink at the source.

“One of the key things about this product that some people don’t understand is that it’s not an air freshener,” Anderson said. “It’s not designed for that. When the odor is absolutely saturated all the way through a vest or uniform, you put Arrest My Vest in direct contact with the odor molecules in order to neutralize them completely.”

After Arrest My Vest is applied to a vest, fabric or material, the OAM process can begin. Odor-absorbing molecules first identify the odor, then bond with it, absorb it and break it down until it is eliminated. Arrest My Vest’s formula is so powerful that it works even in the unscented version. In fact, their motto is “It’s the Science Not the Scent.” Anderson explains that people have very different desires in fragrance, so Arrest My Vest also comes in lightly scented formulas in fragrances like Midnight, Driftwood and Stressless. 

In the two weeks my fiancé’s been using Arrest My Vest on his uniform and vest at work, I have to report that it has really worked for us. I no longer smell him coming through the door before I hear him, and more importantly, he’s now better able to focus on the job rather than any sort of stink.

And we’re not alone. According to Anderson, the response from the law enforcement community has been tremendous.

“Some people don’t think this is a very important problem, but we do. We really want to support our first responders, so it’s been terrific what people say about how it solves problems,” Anderson said. “We realized, ‘Gosh, this is kind of a miracle product.’”

Visit Arrest My Vest for more information.

Read next:  How to remove the most common uniform stains

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