Canadian Hydroponics Supply Blog

Why Using Scrubbers for Hydroponics?

indoor hydroponic garden

Why Using Scrubbers for indoor hydroponic garden? There’s no denying that one of the most alluring features of cannabis, to both the hydroponics gardener and the end user, is its very unique odour.

Some people describe it as very woody and earthy–even herbal–depending on its age. According to experts, terpenes, highly aromatic botanical compounds found in plants, accounts for the smell. The more terpenes, the stronger the scent. Cannabis has approximately 140 terpenes, hence its uncommon scent. However, one man’s dream scent is another’s nightmare.

Some gardeners want to mask the smell of their indoor hydroponic garden to remain inconspicuous, others are legally obligated to do so. It is for those and other reasons that using scrubbers for hydroponics is so important. But what are scrubbers? And how do they control odour?

In this article we will discuss the reasons using scrubbers for hydroponics is the only way to eliminate unwanted odours in your indoor hydroponic garden, and identify these scrubbers. 

Before we start, let’s get a few definitions out the way. 

Odour Control

According to Maximum Yield, Odour Control consists of numerous methods aimed at reducing or eliminating the normal smells associated with cannabis, primarily production, but also transportation. 


A Scrubber is an apparatus for removing impurities, especially from gases. This, according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus.  

Why Using Scrubbers for Hydroponics?

There are several ways to eliminate odour from the air. However, most of them only mask the odour (odour neutralisers)–not truly eliminate the odour, except scrubbers. As the name suggests, scrubbers actually scrub the smell from the air, effectively controlling the odour in your indoor hydroponic garden.

As defined by the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, scrubbers are apparati that remove impurities, especially from gases, so It therefore stands to reason that using scrubbers is the only way to eliminate odours. 

So what are these scrubbers? 

There are two main types of scrubbers and several variants: carbon filters and HEPA filters. There’s also ozone generators. Let’s take a look at each. 

HEPA Filters

The acronym HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air (system). So a HEPA air filter is a particulate air-filtration system designed to capture at least 99.97 percent of fine airbourne particles that are larger than at least 0.3 micrometre.

These air purifiers force the air in the environment through tightly, randomly-woven mesh filters usually composed of fibreglass. They are defined as “mechanical” filters because air must first be forced through them in order for them to work.

The filters in these air purifiers pull air through them and trap the microbes on randomly woven fibreglass. These microbes stick to the fibreglass until removed or cleaned. There are four different mechanisms that contain these particles, to trap and destroy the airbourne microbes.

HEPA filters trap all sorts of pollutants and allergens including tobacco smoke, dust mites, mold, pollen and other allergens. HEPA air purifiers are especially helpful in removing all these particles from the air, so they are ideal for those who have allergies, mold sensitivities, or asthma. This is an important reason for using scrubbers for hydroponics. 

In addition, HEPA filters will last a long time, depending on how well they are taken care of. If not properly cleaned and maintained, they can end up doing more harm than good, as allergens and mold can stick to their surface, making the air quality worse than it was before. 


Carbon Filters / Carbon Scrubbers

Unlike HEPA filters, carbon filters absorb, taking the contaminants into their porous surfaces. Carbon filters use activated carbon to remove microbes and other impurities in the air. They literally scrub plant smells out of the air before the air is extracted from the indoor hydroponic garden.

Carbon filters are better at removing odours, smoke, and other microbial particles. They are also used in water purification as well as air filtering, among other things like gas processing.

When you grow your own hydroponic grow system, carbon filters are an essential part of your ventilation system. The extractor fan pulls air from your indoor hydroponic garden through a filter containing an activated layer of carbon. As this happens, the odour released by your plants is trapped and retained inside the pores of the activated carbon.

Carbon filters usually work best when positioned at the highest point where the most heat accumulates in your indoor hydroponic garden.

Ozone Generators

Like HEPA and Carbon Filters, Ozone generators remove odours rather than cover them up. They do this via oxidation. The  best Ozone generators replicate what nature does to deodorize and sanitise. Ozone generators draw in the ambient air, pass it over highly charged plates, and transform the regular 2-molecule oxygen into 3-molecule oxygen, ozone.

Ozone will quickly oxidize and destroy the offensive organic molecules, completely and permanently eliminating odours, killing bacteria and viruses, and dramatically reducing mold and mildew spores.

However, even the allowed concentration of 0.05 ppm would be detrimental to a person who suffers from allergies or asthma, and this level of concentration does not effectively eliminate most odours. For ozone generators to work, they must run for a longer period of time and at a higher concentration. This can be very harmful to humans and pets. 

So what are the alternatives?

Odor Neutralisers: Blocks and Sprays

These are the best and safest neutralisers to use outside your indoor hydroponic garden to mask the scent of your hydroponically grown plant. Notice, they must be sprayed or placed outside the hydroponic garden. Reason being, they can impact the final smell and taste of your harvested product, due to their effectiveness in masking odours.

You can, however, get blocks that sit in your extra line ducting. This is fine as they are only neutralising the air that is on the way to being extracted that has already left the main chamber of your indoor hydroponic garden.

The sprays are also great for eliminating odours that may cling to your clothes after you have left the indoor hydroponic garden.

Organic Scrubbing: Controlling Heat and Humidity in Flowering

During flowering, your hydroponic plant has its most heightened scent for two main reasons. 1) Because this is the time buds are ripening, and all the oils and Terpenes are at their highest levels, and 2) the increase in heat and possible humidity during flowering intensifies this even more. If you eliminate rot, fungus and mold, you will organically “scrub” your indoor hydroponic garden of unwanted odour. You do this by ensuring the humidity level is kept low during flowering as smells intensify under humid conditions. Air circulation fans will also help prevent hot, humid spots around your hydroponic plants.

Canadian Hydro Supply 

Based on the above, you can see why using scrubbers for hydroponics is beneficial. However, if you are content in practicing odour control by masking Canadian Hydro Supply has the best odour neutralising blocks, sprays and gels. Keep in mind that like blocks and sprays, odour gels do not eliminate odours, but simply mask them.

Proudly Canadian, with over 15 years of customer service experience in the hydroponic industry, CHS has the best odour neutralising products in Canada, including the Ona Pro Gel. Their motto is: Grow More For Less. That’s why they supply the highest quality products at the most competitive prices–so you can grow more, for less. They also deliver all over Canada, from Yukon to Nova Scotia. 


Why Use Scrubbers for Hydroponics? So you can enjoy the fruits of your labour 6 – 8 months later without the hassle of inquisitive neighbours or law enforcement, due to the pungent smell emanating from your indoor hydroponic garden.

You can choose to mask the scent with odour neutralisers such as the Ona Pro Gel from Canadian Hydro Supply or you can invest in an ozone generator or get the more affordable carbon or HEPA filter. Whichever you choose, enjoy your indoor hydroponic garden without the overpowering scent of cannabis. 

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with your friends and family. Do you have other ways of eliminating cannabis odour from your indoor hydroponic garden? Let us know in the comments box below.

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