How to mask smelly farts?
September 20, 2009 3:15 PM   Subscribe

How to mask smelly farts?

Is there something my partner can put in his underwear or near his butt to make him less smelly? Like a charcoal pad to sit on, or even better, something to insert into his underwear?

He tries to put a pillow over his butt to block the smell so he can sit next to me on the couch. It doesn't work perfectly and the pillow ends up smelling like it might actually hurt your lungs. That is the level of smell we're talking about here. He is so embarrassed if he thinks I notice anything. I can't imagine how he feels if he is at the office or on the train.

He is going to get tested for some medical conditions but it might take a while for the results. In the meantime it would be excellent if he could cuddle with me without feeling ashamed. It breaks my heart that he is so self-conscious about it. Please help.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (27 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Burn some nice smelling candles while you are cuddling. The flame helps burn off the gas and the nice smell, his smell.

I love the idea of the charcoal underwear filter, though.
posted by agentwills at 3:18 PM on September 20, 2009

candles yes.
posted by molecicco at 3:20 PM on September 20, 2009

Adam Carolla once related a story about a particularly gassy trip to Vegas on a rented bus along with several male and female friends. Luckily, the gassy males were considerate enough to light the offensive odors on fire before they could become an odorous problem.

When one female complained about pyrotechnics, the men obliged and stopped, although odor became a major (and even more offensive!) problem at that point.

Moral of the story: if you find flashes of light less offensive than whatever smells you're experiencing, give the man a lighter and some instruction on what to do.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 3:21 PM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

There IS such a thing as charcoal pads and charcoal underwear for fart stench suppression.


posted by leotrotsky at 3:25 PM on September 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Beano... and if it really concerns him, he could step outside...... It's not like we don't usually know it is going to happen...

Then, take the pressure off him, pretend you don't notice...
posted by HuronBob at 3:25 PM on September 20, 2009

Did you google this? The charcoal pad solution appears to exist.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:26 PM on September 20, 2009

I would first try some solutions that target the source (the source of the gas, not the physical location of the farts). Seriously, some diet modification might be in order, prior to getting the doctor's diagnosis. He might be really allergic or intolerant to some thing(s) he's eating. Certain vegetables, all diary, red meats are likely targets. Do you notice this is better or worse at certain times of day or after particular meals?

You could possibly bring it up by first framing it around you, ie. saying something like, "Ohhh, I don't want to eat those red peppers, they make me super gassy. In fact, I've noticed lately that I don't want to eat X, Y, and Z these days. What about you? You ok with that?"
posted by iamkimiam at 3:43 PM on September 20, 2009

Charcoal pills or Pepto-Bismol are suppose to help. Try Beano and Lactase. Does he use protein supplements? They are a major gas producer. But if nothing works, live with it. There are worse things than a farty guy.
posted by fifilaru at 3:50 PM on September 20, 2009

Some mild laxatives such as coffee may have an effect. In some cases, smelly farts are related to, the perpetrator needing to poop.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 4:25 PM on September 20, 2009

Can't help you with the farts. Regarding the self-consciousness, buy a dog then blame it for the farts.
posted by quadog at 4:40 PM on September 20, 2009 [5 favorites]

I was just watching the Shark Tank and some old couple had a pair of underwear with a charcoal pad built in. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called but some Google work brings up a few options.
posted by GilloD at 4:55 PM on September 20, 2009

Clearly, you're in need of an all out couples fart war. He can't remain self conscious about his for long if you're ripping out some of your own.
posted by jamaro at 5:17 PM on September 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

Two things may help in the near term, while awaiting the results of medical testing.

1. He could eat a quarter cup of plain yogurt about three times a week. This will help to colonize the gut with friendly bacteria.
2. He could try psyllium powder - Metamucil. Although it will tend to increase gas in the first week or so, after his body gets used to it he will probably produce less odor.
posted by megatherium at 5:21 PM on September 20, 2009

Effectiveness of devices purported to reduce flatus odor.
CONCLUSIONS: The ability of charcoal-containing devices to adsorb odoriferous rectal gases is limited by incomplete exposure of the activated carbon to the gases. Briefs made from carbon fiber are highly effective; pads are less effective, removing 55-77% of the odor; cushions are relatively ineffective.
posted by milkrate at 5:46 PM on September 20, 2009

Ceiling fan? Get the air moving around so that things don't linger.
posted by jquinby at 5:48 PM on September 20, 2009

Maybe he should see a nutritionist.
posted by hermitosis at 6:38 PM on September 20, 2009

Regarding the self-consciousness, buy a dog then blame it for the farts.

This is known as Blasfiding- taking dog's name in vain.

I agree about using candles.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 6:44 PM on September 20, 2009

Do not, I repeat, do NOT recommend to him that he ignite his farts. This is how I accidentally set my wife's dog on fire.

The dog is fine, it was just a little singe.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:50 PM on September 20, 2009 [39 favorites]

Light matches? I mean, or candles, but sometimes matches just kill odors, I think.

Expect dietary changes in the future!!
posted by motsque at 7:38 PM on September 20, 2009

A fan? And use up ALL the good oxygen?

I feel for you, anon. My husband and a gyros, chili dog, or chili do not mix. Any of those creates a mushroom cloud of stank so bad, even the animals get up from a dead sleep and run out of the room.

I would second the Beano and tell him to fart elsewhere.
posted by stormpooper at 7:44 PM on September 20, 2009

Figure out different framing for it. It's not "his farts", it's "the medical problem you have to deal with right now" – or whatever the most compassionate phrasing you can think of.
posted by WCityMike at 8:05 PM on September 20, 2009

This is a medical problem. Your partner could be allergic to gluten in bread, for example. Gluten allergies can create a lot of gas, and it really does smell. If he just changed his diet the problem could be gone in as little as 24 hours.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:10 PM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

I second Koku. Until he's able to get in to see someone, perhaps he can change his diet a bit, and avoid foods that are likely to cause gas? Like, not having anything with dairy or lactose if he's developed lactose intolerance, beans, fried foods, etc.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:46 PM on September 20, 2009

Seconding step outside, or at least away. I do it when I'm at a friend's house if I know my gas is particularly smelly that day... just walk into the next room for a few seconds. She knows what I'm doing and is usually happy I'm polite enough to step away.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:47 AM on September 21, 2009

My coworker has extremely offensive gas, at least every other day. If there was a world record for smelly gas output, he'd have it. I've known him since High School, and he's always had this problem. He's not exactly embarrassed by it. In fact, he's quite proud of his stink.

So, getting him to even try to stop (by diet changes maybe) is nearly impossible. I find matches to work best. When I use a candle, others complain more about the candles giving them headaches. Same with aerosol deodorizers. Also, I think fans only spread the odor more, they don't get rid of it, unless you have a lot of open windows. Again, matches work. May not be very romantic when you're cuddling though.
posted by Swede78 at 9:19 AM on September 21, 2009

Lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance can generate some nasty gas. Constipation, too. If he really isn't aware of impending farts, he may have poor bowel habits. Better diet, better habits and more water would probably help.
posted by theora55 at 11:16 AM on September 21, 2009

Nthing dietary experimentation: the hypoallergenic diet helps determine the source of all sorts of intestinal discomfort and smells as well as otherwise seemingly unrelated symptoms.
posted by smartypantz at 11:23 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

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