Activated carbon works through the process of physical adsorption, similar to a sponge only with air instead of water.

Activated carbon works through the process of physical adsorption, similar to a sponge only with air instead of water. In the fabric of clothing the carbon creates a bond that traps odor molecules produced by the body. Activated carbon acts like microscopic Velcro. When the odor molecules come into contact with the activated carbon, they are trapped within the pores until the product is reactivated. Reactivation is achieved by putting the activated carbon fabric in a dryer where the heat from the dryer will break the bond with the odor compounds. The odor compounds are released and the activated carbon is virtually as good as new.