Why does a stainless steel bar remove odors?

Has anyone done any research into why a stainless steel bar removes odors?


Yes, there are many theories on the net.

My theory is that there is an oxygen exchange that occurs between the offensive organic molecules created by acid-like compounds, chromium oxide, nickel, and the water. The sulfurous compounds dissolve directly in the water as the nickel in the steel catalyzes their removal.

The answer is hidden in what stainless steel is:

In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10. or 11% CHROMIUM content by mass. Stainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as ordinary steel.

Stainless steel differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present. Unprotected carbon steel rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture. This iron oxide film (the rust) is active and accelerates corrosion by forming more iron oxide. Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium to form a passive film of chromium oxide, which prevents further surface corrosion and blocks corrosion from spreading into the metal’s internal structure.

People use stainless steel sinks everywhere. They are found in hospitals, restaurants, hotels, commercial buildings, and factories. Doctors wash their hands in these sinks. Some hospitals also do an initial, general cleaning of surgical tools before sterilizing them with other methods. Medical facilities always use stainless steel because it is nonporous. This keeps it from corroding, and it keeps bacteria from forming colonies on its surface.

The sulfur from onions/garlic/fish is attracted to (wants to bind to) the metals (iron, carbon, and chromium, {modern stainless steel also contain other elements, such as nickel, niobium, molybdenum, and titanium}) in stainless steel.

Onions and garlic contain amino acid sulfoxides, which form sulfenic acids, which then form a volatile gas (propanethiol S-oxide), which forms sulfuric acid upon exposure to WATER. When the sulfur compounds go to bind to the steel, then the odor is removed from your fingers.

In short foods like onion and garlic contain chemicals that form sulfurous compounds when they react with the air. ( they grab nitrogen, oxygen or hydrogen). Onion forms sulfur oxides and sulfuric acid when cut.

If you happened to have misplaced your bar you could use the sink, tap, large spoon or anything made from pure stainless steel.

These stainless steel bars are also sold as deodorants and for removing any body odors, such as foot odor. Link below, they have a patent pending.

Body odor is caused by the actions of skin flora which manufacture enzymes called lipases that break down the lipids in sweat to create smaller molecules like butyric acid. These smaller molecules smell, and give body odor its characteristic aroma.

Smelly feet are generally caused by brevibacteria, which consume the feet’s dead skin. Brevibacteria is especially active between the toes and on the soles of the feet. They convert methionine (an amino acid) to methanethiol (which is characterized by a sulfuric odor). Brevibacteria is the same bacteria that cause some kinds of cheese to be pungent.

There are similar applications, such as stainless steel discs in shoes, dishwashers, rooms that claim to absorb odors.

Hope that helps!


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