Airplane toilets are some of the bathrooms in the business. After several hours in the air with visits from passengers and no window to open, it’s hardly a surprise that they quickly develop a strong stench. But cabin crew have developed a neat trick for getting rid of the smell.
If a traveler has let loose a particularly pungent stink, the flight attendant will brew a strong pot of coffee to bring with them while clean the toilet. According to the crew from Norwegian Airlines, pouring a strong cup of black coffee down the toilet will neutralize the odor. According to experts, the reason coffee is so effective is because it both neutralizes the bacteria and also brings with it a very familiar new smell.
Dr. Alan Hirsch, a researcher from the Smell and Taste Research Center in Chicago, has done extensive studies on the power of coffee smell. He said that the beans act like a scent neutralizer — they wipe your other smells from the nose.
Many flight attendants also place coffee ground bags in bathrooms to neutralize the smell since the grounds absorb some of the odor. So if you find a smelly toilet on your next flight, ask a flight attendant for an old coffee bag to quell the smell..