Scentry®: Scent Control Clothing and Footwear

Activewear and scent control clothing is a booming segment of the overall apparel market. Activewear or the ‘athleisure’ trend has become so popular it has carved out a niche for itself in the clothing industry. It has won an entry into the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which defines it as “casual clothing meant to be worn both for exercising and for general use.” Activewear including scent control clothing has been the lone star in a waning apparel industry, with an estimated market size of $44 billion in the United States alone, according to research firm NPD Group.1

Consumers love activewear for its comfort and its ability to wick moisture from the skin and keep them cooler while exercising, but there’s one big problem with clothing and footwear made from polyester or poly-blends: They often stink unless you have scent control clothing.

Polyester is notorious for holding onto odors. Over time, the odor builds up and the clothing or footwear smells awful, even after laundering. This is a tremendous problem for textiles that routinely come into contact with sweat and high-moisture environments, which is ideal breeding grounds for odor-causing microbes.

As much as consumers love high-performance clothing made from polyester and other synthetic textiles, they are extremely resistant to the persistent, offensive odors associated with them. Textile manufacturers are seeking odor control solutions for this problem in order to retain and grow their share of the continually expanding activewear, leisurewear and footwear markets.

Enter Microban Scentry®

Microban, the global leader in odor control, has invested its considerable R&D power into understanding and solving the problem of persistent odor in polyester-based apparel and footwear. Microban® Scentry, a total odor capture technology for scent control clothing, is the newest outcome of this research.

Many people are surprised that sweat, by itself, does not produce odor. Rather, bacteria, particularly in the underarms and feet, feed on the organic material in sweat, skin and hair, causing those offensive odors by bacterial metabolism of human body secretions. Research shows that certain bacteria have a propensity for synthetic textiles,2 and these bacteria may produce extremely offensive odors.

Microban research into the science of body odor verifies that human odor is very complex. The main causes of odor in textiles are carboxylic acids, such as (E)-3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid, isovaleric acid, aldehydes and ketones, all of which may cause persistent or permanent odor.

Our Scentry patent-pending technology is highly effective against odors caused by these organic chemical compounds. It reduces odor in clothing and footwear made from polyester, Spandex and poly elastane blends by 90+% for more than 50 typical home launderings by capturing and neutralizing odors within the fabric and releasing them when the apparel is laundered.

Scentry’s Advantage for Textiles

Scentry forms a protective barrier on fabrics that attracts and traps odor, preventing apparel from giving off an offensive smell during wear and between washings. During laundering, Scentry releases trapped odors allowing them to be rinsed clear of the fabric, qualifying it as scent control clothing. Because Scentry eliminates one of consumers’ major complaints about polyester, it extends the useful life of clothing, increasing its value to consumers and, therefore, enabling manufacturers to charge premium pricing for scent control clothing and apparel manufactured with Scentry technology.

In contrast to other odor capture technologies, Scentry uses no textile binders to adhere to synthetic fabrics. Binders can negatively impact the hand and moisture management properties of a fabric, and Scentry’s durability is achieved without their use.

Scentry Implementation

Microban understands that many variables go into producing consistent, high-quality and durable textiles, and we work closely with manufacturers to ensure that our odor control and antimicrobial technologies enhance and do not degrade any of a fabric’s characteristics. We listen to understand our partners’ production processes and help them make Scentry implementation as simple and seamless as possible within their current manufacturing processes.

Scentry is a unique and durable odor capture finish for scent control clothing. It is compatible with other functional coatings and finishes and is easily added to the synthetic textile during the pad application process with no need for a binder.

It is also compatible with other Microban antimicrobial technologies, including SilverShield® and ZPTech®, for manufacturers who want to offer both antimicrobial and odor capture features within their product lines for full odor control.


  1. The Athleisure Trend Is Here To Stay (2016, October 6)
  2. Callewaert, C., De Maeseneire, E., Kerckhof, F.M., Verliefde, A., Van de Wiele, T., Boon, N. Microbial odor profile of polyester and cotton clothes after a fitness session. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014 Nov;80(21):6611-9. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01422-14.