The Science Behind Stink: One Woman Asked Why?

The Science Behind Stink: One Woman Asked Why?

Welcome to summer! More specifically, Summer in Texas. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s downright miserable some days. With heat indexes reaching 110, it’s not hard to imagine the amount of sweat being produced in the Lone Star State. ::bleh:: Now add exercise, sports leagues, outdoor activities and it becomes a breeding ground for smelly clothes and gear. One of my goals this summer was to figure out how NOT to throw away my favorite pair of yoga pants, volleyball kneepads or gym bag due to lingering odors. What I discovered is that, like Bill Nye The Science Guy says, “It’s Science!” I learned about fabrics and their functions. I learned about sweat. I learned that not all odor treatments are created equal. Let’s dive in!

I started my journey with trying to understand just what makes certain items smell more than others. Why do my somewhat-new yoga pants smell more than my favorite 90’s band t-shirt? (Gavin Rossdale for life!) For this answer I dove into the world of textiles. The dictionary defines textiles as a type of cloth or woven fabric. My yoga pants, gym bag and volleyball kneepads are one textile, while my concert shirt is a different type. Athletic fabrics are typically a blend of polymer fibers, which are designed to pull sweat away from your body and evaporate from the material quickly. However, the only thing that evaporates out of the material is the H2O component of sweat. The rest of what makes up sweat, salts and urea, is left behind. Ick! How clean do you think your stuff is now?

Cotton is the opposite. Cotton is a natural fiber that has a hollow core called a lumen that draws in H2O through its tiny tubes like a straw. It’s called capillary action. And that’s the structure of cotton, now for the chemistry behind all of this.

- Bill Nye, The Science Guy

– Bill Nye, The Science Guy

Cotton fibers are 99 percent cellulose, which is a long chain of connected glucose molecules with a slightly negative charge. If you were paying attention in high school chemistry class, you’d remember that H2O has a positive charge. (Don’t worry, here is the bonus point question!) What happens when you get a negative charge near a positive charge? BOOM! Attraction! Water stays attached to the cotton fiber, weighing down your t-shirt and taking forever to dry. Ugh! Did you know that cotton can absorb up to 27 times its weight of water! That’s a lot of sweat to be weighing you down.

cotton fiber

The structure of cotton fiber.

So now that we know the absorption properties of different fabrics, what causes the smell? That question comes down to sweat. Sweat is composed “of 99 percent water and small bits of carbs, salt, protein and urea” provided by glands. Sweat itself does not smell. The odor comes from bacteria breaking down secretions from the apocrine glands which provide the salts, protein and urea. Bacteria feeds on the secretions in sweat and creates a by-product which is the cause of the smell or what is called body odor.

So I wonder – if I can’t stop from sweating (Thank you, biology!) and I can’t prevent my clothing and gear from absorbing sweat, what can I do? I can remove the feeding bacteria from the materials. Hello, laundry day! But not so fast…

I know you’ve wandered up and down the laundry aisle again and again sniffing “mountain breeze”, “island getaway” or even “fresh linen” and thinking “hmm, I’d prefer fresh linen over b.o. any day!” But you might be only adding to the odor problem if you are trying to tackle your stinky athletic apparel and gear with a common detergent or treatment. The majority of popular laundry detergents and fabric sprays only remove or mask the odor on a natural fiber, like cotton or linen.

But when it comes to polymer-based fabrics or materials you need a formula that will penetrate the fiber to release the salts, urea and carbs. This will remove the bacteria buffet and the odor with it! Specially formulated sports detergents break down the chemical bond in the fiber, allowing it to enter the fiber, attach to the nasty gunk, and exit the fiber with the stinky stuff; leaving behind a fresh, clean poly fiber to take on your next sweat sesh!

An extreme magnification of white individual fabric threads being penetrated by green bacteria on an isolated background

An extreme magnification of fabric threads releasing bacteria

I came across a great stink stopper at my local running store. How convenient! 2Toms® StinkFree Shoe & Gear Spray™ tackles my gym bag, kneepads, yoga mat and more. 2Toms® StinkFree® Sports Detergent is perfect for that load of athletic wear. My yoga pants have never been fresher and I even use it for my bath towels and bed linens. (Bet you didn’t know those were wicking too!) What’s better, is that StinkFree® is exactly that! It frees my sportswear and gear of stink, not masking it with “tropical getaway” fragrance. The only smell that I will be sporting this summer is the smell of awesome! Trust me, it smells better than last weeks’ hot yoga class.

Check out 2Toms® StinkFree® line here.

Learn more about fabrics and “the science behind stink” at the links below.

http://www.outdoors.org/articles/amc-outdoors/why-does-cotton-absorb-so-much-water/

https://www.sweathelp.org/home/understanding-hyperhidrosis.html

http://www.antiperspirantsinfo.com/en/all-about-sweat/why-does-sweat-smell.aspx

 

2Toms FootShield: The Reviews are in!

2Toms FootShield: The Reviews are in!

photo: Amy, livinglifetruth.com

2Toms FootShield:

Real World Athletes Put It To The Test

“Go Longer, Finish Stronger”, “Shield Yourself”,  “Products that keep people moving”. Medi-Dyne and 2Toms have had many mission statements when it comes to creating products for athletes. But none of these phrases are as important as what real life athletes are saying about our newest product, 2Toms FootShield. We partnered with BibRave and it’s team of BibRave Pros to see what runners, yogis, dancers, dads, moms and people just like you had to say. Read their rave reviews below!

” I’m extremely impressed with this product. My feet and toes are very impressed and are much happier with this experience. For someone who has struggled with blisters, excessive sweating/moisture in my feet, strong foot odor (the odor of effort) and athlete’s foot, to be able to prevent and keep all that away is remarkable. I think the product gives me more confidence when running/walking, makes me more surefooted, and helps me thrive better in my very active athletic lifestyle.” – Jeremy runninggrooveshark.com

FootShieldBlogPic_GrooveSharkBibRave

” I have put 2Toms FootShield to the test over the past month and this roll-on works as a perspiration barrier for my feet and helps keep them dry and odor free! FootShield has replaced my “baby powder therapy” by using a blend of natural antifungal, ingredients and moisturizers reduce and prevent sweaty feet, the growth of bacteria, athlete’s foot, blisters, and smelly shoes.” – Amy livinglifetruth.com

FootShieldBlogPic_livinglifetruth_BibRave

“I had some athletes foot going on my feet prior to starting out with 2Toms FootShield. I have started to use FootShield before every run, and the athletes foot had cleared up.  At one point, I forgot to apply my FootShield on for a couple of days in a row, and it came back.  Can’t let that happen again.  I got back to my routine right away after I realized it was coming back.” – Mark daddydidyouwin.wordpress.com


“I learned from trying it out that it’s great for applying before a run or workout, as well as after. I like rolling it onto my feet before I put on my flip flops. It keeps my feet drier in the crazy Florida humidity. I toss FootShield into my post-run recovery bag so that I can put some on my feet when I take off my running shoes. It feels refreshing on my tired feet. Bottom line is, FootShield is a product you will want to check out for yourself. 2Toms makes the highest quality products for endurance athletes and it shows.” – Shannon girlsgotsole.com

FootShieldBlogPic_GirlsGotSoleBibRave

We’re thrilled to hear so many runners are loving drier feet, fresh fragrance, natural oils and antifungal treatment of FootShield! Happy feet make for happy runners! Give FootShield a try today.

New Foot Sweat and Odor Prevention Product: FootShield

FS Bottle_cutout-NoRMedi-Dyne has announced the release of a new product called FootShield. FootShield is an innovative product that helps users keep their feet dry and free of odors. FootShield acts as a drying agent, as well as an odor eliminator, to aid in foot sweat and odor prevention.

Medi-Dyne offers a number of scent-reducing or scent-eliminating products under their 2Toms® lineup. FootShield fits into that product category very effectively. The 2Toms sweat and odor line now includes four separate products, each of which focuses on a different aspect of keeping clothing or individuals sweat and/or odor-free. FootShield creates a perspiration barrier for feet, reducing the chance that they become sweaty and odorous. FootShield reduces the chances of sweaty feet and bacterial growth with the use of natural ingredients, natural antifungals and moisturizers. In addition, FootShield prevents shoes from smelling over time and also has a positive impact on the prevention of athlete’s foot.

Craig DiGiovanni, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Medi-Dyne, says, “FootShield is a natural addition to our 2Toms line of skin care and odor prevention products. Our 2Toms product line provides solutions for an array of issues that occur while living an active life and our goal is to have you protected from head to toe.” As Medi-Dyne continues to grow their 2Toms line, it is reasonable to expect that Mr. DiGiovanni will share additional statements on expansion plans for the 2Toms line.

Medi-Dyne is a global company that provides a wide range of products for medical professionals and consumers, including athletes. Many of their core products provide easy to use, affordable pain relief solutions. Medi-Dyne products are designed to work together to ensure maximum results and enhance peak performance. To date, Medi-Dyne manufactures and markets more than 60 patented foot care, skin care, support, stretching and strengthening products sold and marketed under recognizable brand names.

For more information about FootShield or to speak with a representative of Medi-Dyne, please call 1-800-810-1740 or email marketing@medi-dyne.com.

Body Odor Remedies

BODY ODOR REMEDIES

BATHING: Of course, one of the easiest ways to get rid of body odor is to bathe. Cleansing the body helps remove the sweat that bacteria break down, which is what causes body odor. Use soap and water on a washcloth to scrub armpits in order to remove more bacteria.

HOME REMEDIES: Natural health websites suggest making a wash with hydrogen peroxide (3%): Mix a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide in a glass of water and use the solution to wash the underarms. Increase the amount of hydrogen peroxide if the body odor persists. The site also suggests taking steam baths or saunas to rid the body of odor-causing toxins.

CLOTHING: Loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers that allow the body to breathe may help eliminate body odor by letting sweat evaporate instead of staying on the body. Remember to wash clothes often. Dirty clothing helps breed more bacteria. Wash your workout gear often, advises WebMD. Try washing stinky clothes in a special sports detergent, to reduce or eliminate the smell from sweat and body odor.

Stink Free Sports Detergent

Prevent Foot Odor

PREVENT FOOT ODOR

Why do feet smell? Well, where there’s bacteria and sweat, there will be odor, and the feet and hands have more sweat glands than any other area on our bodies. Hands get washed throughout the day, but feet do not, which is one of the reasons why feet smell. Here are a few preventative ways on how to stop foot odor:

BATHING: Washing feet daily, especially with an antibacterial soap, is one of the most important cures for stinky feet. This preventative measure will help reduce the bacteria that combine with sweat, which is what causes foot odor. Using a wash cloth to scrub feet will also help reduce the number of bacteria that can cause stinky feet. Make sure you dry your feet completely.

SOCKS: If possible, change your socks a few times a day to prevent foot odor. This will reduce the bacteria-friendly moisture in your shoes, which can produce smelly shoes and give you stinky socks. Natural fibers absorb sweat better, so look for socks made of cotton or even hemp, suggests an article in Livestrong.com.

SHOES: Change your shoes, at least, every day in order to let them dry out. And try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row, which can result in some really stinky feet and shoes. It can take up to 24 hours for the inside of a shoe to dry completely, according to an article in Livestrong.com. Deodorize shoes with a bacteria-killing product before you get stinky shoes.

 

Stink Free