De Odor Works is a stainless steel … object, for lack of a better word, which claims to be able to eliminate all bodily odors with nothing more than running water. I have trouble believing this could be true, but hey — I’m still totally interested. If it works, it could be really helpful on trips to regions where toiletries are hard to come by, and possibly replace some of the everyday de-odorizing potions like foot odor spray or even anti-perspirant. Right? Well, let’s give it a whirl!
From the manual:
“Body odor comes from bacteria growing on the body. These bacteria multiply rapidly in the presence of sweat (which is odorless). Body odor may be present in your under arm, feet, groin, anus, genitals and public area. What one smells is the bacteria multiplying on the skin in the presence of sweat. Washing with soap and water does not eliminate these odor-causing bacteria but using De Odor Works with tap water will remove the odor.”
Scientific test time. As directed, I took a shower and rubbed this stainless steel thingamajig under my underarms for thirty seconds at a time, as well as on the soles of my feet. Now, all I have to do is wait.
…Two Hours Later…
After some regular activity (washing the dishes, running across the street for beer, playing with the cat), I checked the status of my underarms and feet. Normally, I use Tom’s antiperspirant/deodorant, and after using De Odor Works, I went au naturel. Did this work? Unfortunately … not really. Also, I took off my socks and shoes and gave my feet a good sniff. The verdict: a little stinky. Not overwhelming, but it was only two hours. I’d achieved enough activity to make my socks a little damp and the smell was definitely in the “no rewearing these” family.
One could argue that it’s the bacteria in my sweater and my socks that caused the stench. To this, I say “fine,” but then what’s the point of the De Odor Works? Bacteria is everywhere. And, bacteria is normal and sometimes even healthy.
My husband brought a phenomenon I didn’t know about to my attention: stainless steel “soap”. Basically, certain companies claim that stainless steel neutralizes the odor of fish, garlic and onions from your hands while you’re cooking. De Odor Works seems to be based on the same principle; that somehow the chemical makeup of stainless steel neutralizes the chemical makeup of the odor. Here’s what they told me:
“Its secret is the unique reaction that occurs when ordinary running tap water and stainless steel combine to neutralize odor. Using stainless steel with running water is a recognized method of eliminating the volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) that cause odor. Stainless steel is biocompatible to human tissue, so you can use De Odor Works anywhere on your body without any adverse effects.”
All in all, I have to cry “bunk” on this. It seems like it didn’t work, and it doesn’t seem all that plausible to me in the first place. I’m sitting here wondering if I did it wrong when the truth of the matter is that this is probably ridiculous. Sorry, De Odor Works. I just don’t buy it.
Photo by Annie Scott.