If you’ve got teens, you need to know how to deodorize smelly shoes. Even if you don’t have teens, you may still want to know how to get rid of that odor because, let’s face it, stinky feet are only funny to kids.
Here are five ways to get the funk out.
WHY SHOES SMELL BAD
That horrible odor is the result of bacteria multiplying in the damp environment of a sweaty shoe. Your feet contain 250,000 sweat glands! When those sweat glands are stuck in a shoe that’s not ventilated, the sweat and warmth create a breeding ground for bacteria. To get rid of the smell, you need to destroy the bacteria.
How To Deodorize Smelly Shoes
1. Wash them. Shoes made of fabric can be tossed in the washer with a couple of towels and run through a warm/warm cycle using your regular laundry detergent. Skip the fabric softener and use white vinegar which will kill the odor-causing bacteria.
Tumble freshly-washed tennis shoes in a dryer with towels or, if you can’t stand that banging sound, slip them into a bag that fits over your dryer’s door. Allow other shoes to air-dry thoroughly.
2. Use a homemade deodorizing powder. The ingredients in this homemade deodorizing powder are both powerful absorbers, and the tea tree oil’s antiseptic properties will kill odor-causing bacteria. Just be sure to dump out the dust before wearing.
3 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cornstarch
5 drops of tea tree oil
Shake or stir until thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle this liberally into your shoes after wearing and allow it sit overnight. (You might want to keep a shaker can of this mixture in the laundry room for regular use.)
3. OR Spray them. Some people swear by spraying their shoes with Febreze immediately after each wear. If you don’t have skin allergies or sensitivities, that’s worth a try. Personally, I skip the Febreze and spray mine with a 50:50 mixture of water and white vinegar to which I’ve added a few drops of tea tree oil. Just a spray or two does it, and they’re dry the next day. If you’re in a hurry, you can always blow-dry them but speeding up the process does reduce its effectiveness.
Just be sure to choose either using a homemade foot powder or spraying, or the combination of vinegar and baking soda will create a mini-volcano in your shoe.
4. Store them stuffed. Stuffing shoes with newspaper after wearing them does an excellent job of soaking up the sweat, and the less sweat in your shoes the less they’ll smell. Keep a stack of old newspapers in your closet to stuff into your shoes after wearing and leave it there until the next time you’re ready to slip them on.
5. Freeze them. As crazy as it sounds, sticking your shoes in the freezer is a great way to deodorize them since the smell-causing bacteria can’t survive the chill. Slip them into a pillowcase if you’re concerned about getting dirt in your freezer. Then, leave the shoes to freeze overnight. Defrost before wearing.
To deodorize super smelly shoes, combine all four steps: wash then let them air-dry. Sprinkle the powder in or spray, then stuff with newspaper and freeze. After defrosting, your shoes will smell as fresh as the day you bought them!
Reduce shoe odors by depriving the bacteria of a place to live:
• Wear socks to will absorb your sweat. Opt for no-show socks if you prefer a sock-free look.
• Don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. This gives them a chance to dry out completely between wearings.
• When possible, give your shoes a day outside. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, so it also helps kill odors.
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