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Dear MOby,

After a party at a new friend’s house last weekend, I decided to do the right thing and slept on the couch instead of riding home slightly inebriated. As punishment for that good deed, when I woke up early the next morning to make good my escape, I noticed an inescapable and pervasive odor wafting up into my helmet as I began to ride off. I managed to shrug it off as I was riding home, but when I stopped and removed my favorite old Vanson jacket, there it was again – cat pee! And plenty of it. I’ve tried a couple of cleaners but the memory of that night refuses to leave my jacket. What can I do to get rid of it? Will it go away over time? Help me…

Olfactory Rider


Dear Olaf,

My former cat, Bob, tried to warn me off my first ex wife by performing the same operation in her nice leather jacket very early in our relationship. This was a fashion-weight ladies’ garment that wasn’t going to put up with a lot of harsh chemicals and things, but it was also thrift-store and no great loss. Still, my ex seized upon the opportunity to get a new jacket after chastising Bob and me at length about the old one. After we were married, anytime there was unpleasantness, after things cooled down Bob would often give me that look from his end of the couch: See? I tried to warn you man.

Before we go any further, look inward and ask yourself if the feline in your story (most certainly a fellow male), was simply trying to offer you some good relationship advice?

If your jacket is truly soiled, don’t waste your time or money on any of the stuff they sell at pet stores to remove odors. Even if your old Vanson is up to it, the smell will live on to some degree. What you want is a professional cleaner, specifically one that offers Ozone cleaning.

Ozone, (O3), sometimes called “activated oxygen”, contains three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms we normally breathe. Ozone is the second most powerful sterilant in the world and can be used to destroy bacteria, viruses and odors. Interestingly ozone occurs quite readily in nature, most often as a result of lightning strikes that occur during thunderstorms. In fact the “fresh, clean, spring rain” smell that we notice after a storm most often results from nature’s creation of ozone. However, we are probably most familiar with ozone from reading about the “ozone layer” that circles the planet above the earth’s atmosphere. Here ozone is created by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This ozone serves to protect us from the ultraviolet radiation (rather than to deodorize a rain of cosmic cat pee from the heavens -ed.).

While ozone is very powerful, it has a very short life-cycle. When contaminants such as odors, bacteria or viruses make contact with ozone, they are destroyed completely by oxidation. In so doing, that extra atom of oxygen is consumed and there is nothing left…no odor…no bacteria…no extra atom, only oxygen. Ozone reverts back to oxygen after it is used.”

Ozone generators are placed in houses that have had fires or floods to get rid of the smell. You can buy an ozone generator like this one to remove odors from your entire dwelling, but if all you’ve got is a jacket, a quick google search for a dry cleaner that offers ozone cleaning should fix you right up. They’re going to clean your jacket first, then hang it up in a chamber with an ozone generator in it. Should do the trick. Good luck with the cat.


Send your moto-related questions to AskMOAnything@motorcycle.com. If we can’t answer them, we’ll at least make you feel temporarily better by thinking you’re talking to somebody who cares even if we don’t. No animals were harmed or even harassed in formulating this answer, though both of those furry little f#$%&%s deserve it.

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