Caring for Carbon Alloy® Garments

By John Eberhart:

The bond of human emitted molecules to activated coconut carbon, treated carbon and zeolites (3 substances making up ScentLok’s Carbon Alloy® liner) is a weak bond that permits regeneration or thermal de-adsorption using low temperatures. A clean household or commercial dryer is recommended for the thermal de-adsorption of Carbon Alloy® lined garments to free-up pore and exterior surface space for further adsorption and use.

General Electric and most other brand name manufacturers of household dryers use these standardized dryer cycle temperatures:

Low Heat setting (delicate/gentle) – 125 degrees Fahrenheit

Medium Heat setting (permanent press) – 135 degrees Fahrenheit

High Heat setting (normal/cottons) – 140 degrees Fahrenheit

Commercial and professional grade dryers that are used in large households, uniform cleaning services, and laundromats can reach temperatures as high as 175 degrees Fahrenheit on the high heat setting.

The amount of time a Carbon Alloy® lined garment is in a dryer along with the temperature of the cycle directly influence to what extent the garment is de-adsorbed or regenerated.

The higher the dryer temperature the more energetic the carbon and adsorbed molecules become and the faster the molecules come off and the carbon is regenerated. The lower the dryer temperature the less energetic, resulting in requiring additional dryer time for a similar de-adsorption result.

Example: Suppose you have a pan of water and it takes two hours of boiling to completely evaporate it. If you took that same pan of water and left it at room temperature, it would still evaporate, but would take much longer. If the pan of water were put on simmer, it would take less time to evaporate than at room temperature, but longer than if boiling. The exact same temperature and time effects that drive the evaporation rate of the water also drive the release of molecules, or regeneration rate from the carbon.

Simply put, the higher the dryer temperature, the faster and more efficient the release of molecules from the Carbon Alloy® liner. And keep in mind that activated coconut carbon, treated carbon, and zeolites (Carbon Alloy®) can’t differentiate whether you’re hunting or not and when exposed in the environment they are always adsorbing molecules of whatever is in the immediate area.

Regeneration process, care instructions, and what to use in conjunction with your Carbon Alloy® suit to maximize your scent free regiment.

  1. Because ScentLok Carbon Alloy® lined garments are exposed in store environments prior to being sold, they have adsorbed molecules from the store environment and require thermal regeneration and proper storage prior to being used in the field.

  2. Regeneration is achieved by placing garments in a clean household or commercial dryer for 40 minutes on the highest heat setting available. Heat causes the carbon and weakly bonded molecules to energize and expand, resulting in a portion of the molecules to break free causing de-adsorption or regeneration.
  3. Once the dryer cycle stops remove the garments and put them in an air-tight storage container such as an air-tight carbon lined bag, commercial air-tight bag, or my preference, a ScentLok ScentTote product such as their hard tote or any of their bags. Those $5 to $10 Rubbermaid and Sterlite tubs found at mass merchant stores are not air-tight. Never put scent wafers, pine boughs, scents of any kind, other garments, or anything other than Carbon Alloy® garments in the container as doing so will prematurely load the carbon with odor molecules from whatever you placed in the container requiring more frequent de-adsorption or regeneration cycles as well as shortening the garments saturation life expectancy.
  4. The regeneration process (step 2) of a Carbon Alloy® suit should be repeated every 40 hours of field use. The term “Carbon Alloy® suit” refers to an exterior jacket, pants, head cover with drop down facemask (covering your mouth, face, beard, neck, and all your hair), and gloves. Any missing part of the suit will compromise your scent control regiment.
  5. Unless in the field pre-or in-season scouting or hunting all Carbon Alloy® garments should always be stored in an air-tight container so as not to contaminate them. Do not wear Carbon Alloy® garments in the house, vehicle, getting gas, around the campfire, in restaurants, etc., just during pre-and in-season scouting and when hunting. When finished scouting or hunting all Carbon Alloy® garments immediately go back into their air-tight container prior to getting back into vehicle or entering the house.
  6. Washing Carbon Alloy® garments is not done for regeneration and is not recommended as a standard practice. Carbon Alloy® garments can be washed periodically if they have physical dirt or blood on them (once or twice per season). Wash on gentle cycle using a small amount of ScentLok’s carbon detergent, put garments in dryer on air-only cycle and once dry, refer to step (2) for regeneration.
  7. It’s advised to wash all non-Carbon Alloy® undergarments and layering garments in a scent-free detergent and store them in a similar air-tight manner as your Carbon Alloy® garments, but is separate air-tight containers. This is only a preventative recommendation that adds longevity to your exterior Carbon Alloy® garments.
  8. If you use a pack frequently wash it in scent-free detergent, reload it and keep your loaded pack in its own air-tight container when not in use. Hunters typically reload or reorganize their packs using bare hands before and or after each hunt, yet never wash their packs. Having a contaminated pack is like having a large human scent wick with you at all times and will compromise a scent-free regiment. My preference is a Carbon Alloy® lined backpack that can be regenerated like the garments.
  9. It is imperative to wear clean knee high rubber or neoprene boots and drape your pant legs outside them instead of tucking them in. Every time you take a step air is displaced out the throat of your boot and the carbon in the pant legs will adsorb the odor.
  10. It is advised, to shower and shampoo with scent-free soap and apply scent free anti-perspirant prior to hunting. If you get off work, stink and don’t have time to shower, the Carbon Alloy® suit will do its job and adsorb your odors. Showering simply decreases the amount of strong odor molecules the Carbon Alloy® has to adsorb, lessening the length between de-adsorptions.  

*Important: If you wear face paint to look cool like many of the TV and video personalities do, wear a non- Carbon Alloy® lined logo cap to promote a sponsor like many of the TV and video personalities do, don’t keep your pack scent-free, don’t wear clean rubber or neoprene boots, don’t use carbon lined gloves when ascending trees, and you get winded, blame it on yourself, not the Carbon Alloy® lined suit.

I can’t quite grasp why so many TV, video, and hunting media personalities endorse, preach, and advertise “scent control”, yet when filming hunts, they hunt the wind. The definition for scent is “odor” and for control is “to have power over”, so if they have power over their odor, why play the wind?

Some common TV and video visuals are; wearing logo ball caps with exposed hair hanging out the back, having exposed beards and neck, having exposed faces covered in face paint, spritzing with sprays as a total scent control regiment, and wearing breathable Cordura or leather boots both of which allow foot odor to pass through due to their permeability. Any one of these lapses throws a serious scent control regiment totally out the window.

TV and video hunters can get away with these lapses because most of them hunt in managed areas where bucks are allowed to pass by hunters without consequence until they reach a specific antler or age kill criteria. In areas where bucks encounter hunters while growing up yet don’t get targeted until maturity they naturally have a higher tolerance of human odor before being alarmed and spooking. Their vulnerable daytime movement habits while growing to maturity also remain somewhat intact, making them very vulnerable and relatively easy to kill.

More than likely most hunters reading this post are somewhat on the same page as me and don’t have the luxury of hunting such pristine areas. You have to pay attention to detail and work hard for what you kill and I guarantee that if you follow a serious scent control regiment that your odds of seeing more mature deer and taking them will go up tremendously.