How Does an Odor Eater Work?

by Kay Daniels ; Updated September 28, 2017

Odor Eaters are a type of foot care products that work to reduce sweat and odor in the feet. Some Odor Eaters are in-sole rubbery items that can be placed in the bottoms of the shoe, whereas other Odor Eater products are powders. But how does this work and why does it reduce foot odor? Read on to learn more about Odor Eaters.

Causes of Foot Odor

All people have bacteria present on their skin at any given time. Under normal conditions, the bacteria stay in low enough levels that you don't notice their existence. However, bacteria tend to proliferate when it is warm, moist and dark, so a sweaty sock is the perfect environment for bacteria. Foot odor occurs when a specific type of bacteria, called Staphylococcus epidemis, starts to proliferate around the toes. The condition isn't dangerous, but it sure does stink! (Athlete's foot can co-occur with foot odor, but foot odor comes from bacteria, whereas athlete's foot comes from fungus.)

Odor Eaters

Odor Eaters are fairly simple. The insoles contain latex and activated charcoal (and the powders rely on activated charcoal as well). Activated charcoal is a neat creation with many uses, but it basically consists of carbon, which has a tremendous ability to bind with and neutralize other substances, such as the sweat on your foot as well as any secretions of the Staphylococcus epidermis bacteria. Thus, by keeping activated charcoal in your shoes, Odor Eaters prevent foot odor.

About the Author

Kay Daniels is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience writing and editing online. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Excelsior College, a certificate in copy editing from University of California, San Diego Extension, and is in her second year of medical school.