Fermented Cow Dung Air Freshener Wins Two Students Top Science Prize

Written by Kimberley Mok

Conventional air fresheners are known for their toxic soup of chemicals that may be linked with asthma, reproductive disorders and even lung disease. While there’s no shortage of environmentally-friendly and human-healthy air fresheners on the market, two Indonesian science students are behind a rather bizarre concoction that you may be seeing soon: an affordable air freshener made from cow dung.

Yes, cow dung — as weird as it sounds, the formulation actually has a pleasant herbal smell, and has won Dwi Nailul Izzah and Rintya Aprianti Miki a gold medal at Indonesia’s Science Project Olympiad (ISPO). According to Oddity Central, the young women overcame 1,000 other competitors with their surprising freshener, which was painstakingly created by collecting unused cow manure from a cattle farm and fermenting it for three days:

Then they extracted the water from the fermented manure and mixed it with coconut water. Finally, they distilled the liquid to eliminate all impurities. The whole process took 7 days, which is pretty long, but in the end they obtained what they were looking for Ė a liquid air freshener with an herbal aroma from digested cow food.

The high schoolers will be filing a patent for their ingenious creation, which will not only cost half the price of similar products ($21,000 rupiah or US $2 for 225 grams), but is also healthier, explains Dwi Nailul Izzah:

Our air freshener is not supplemented with chemicals to smell fragrant, itís pure and smells like the natural plants fed to cows. Itís also healthier because it doesnít contain harmful ingredients such as benzo acetan, like most other air-fresheners on the market.

The pair will be bringing their cow poop air freshener to compete at the International Environment Project Olympiad (INEPO), held in Istanbul, Turkey during May.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.



N Towle
Nan Towle5 years ago

Innovative and great idea. We use it for fertilizer and it's more natural than all those chemicals and poisons everything else is made from. Very cool!

barb purdie
Barb Purdie5 years ago

It's always good to hear positive things about young people.

Vicky P.
Vicky P5 years ago


Latoya Brookins
Latoya Brookins5 years ago

I don't think cow dung (what a better word than the s one) smells. Public bathrooms smell a lot worse in my opinion. I can pass by a cow field and everyone else covers their nose while I'm just, "what is the big deal?" But a smelly bathroom is horrible.

Stephanie Reap
Stephanie Reap5 years ago

WOW!! How creative and innovative!! These kids are on their way to something special!!!

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke5 years ago

What's the name of this product, and when/where can I get some. I pass by dairies constantly, and the stench is horrible. But if this actually refreshes without chemicals, I want some!

Robert O.
Robert O5 years ago

Very innovative and unique idea.

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago


Georgeta Trandafir


federico bortoletto

Grazie,molto interessante.