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How Do Odor-Eating Socks Work?

Do you have stinky feet? It may be time to invest in some odor-eating socks!

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Photo: Christine (flickr)

Odor eating socks work by killing odor causing bacteria.

Odor eating socks are woven from an odor eating material that also kills athlete’s foot fungus. Not only that, but the treatment in the fabric survives washing and will last the life of the socks.

Less-Stinky Socks

Odor eating socks are similar to odor eating insoles.  The insoles are latex pads that fit inside your shoes and contain activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal is basically carbon with a strong ability to bind and neutralize other substances– like the sweat from feet, or odor causing bacteria. But as more and more stinky substances are neutralized, the charcoal becomes used up and the insoles begin to lose their effectiveness.

How come socks don’t lose their power like insoles do?

There are several kinds of odor preventing and odor destroying treatments for textiles. For the most part, they work by killing or inhibiting the bacteria and fungi that cause odors.

QACs

For example, these socks contain Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, or QACs. QACs are complex molecules with one end that binds tightly to the surface of the treated fibers. The rest of the molecule is made up of a positively charged nitrogen atom and a long chain of carbons.

Think of the QAC molecule as an electrically charged sword. The long chain of carbons punctures the cell membrane of a microbe, allowing the charged nitrogen to electrically disrupt the cell’s contents. Since nothing is bound permanently to the now dead cell, the QAC doesn’t lose strength and is ready to destroy the next offending microbe that crosses its path.

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