Sweaty feet are just a part of summer, but stinky shoes can be left behind. If you struggle with this embarrassing battle, fear no longer. There are several natural and effective ways to rid your favorite sneakers of the leftover gym smell. Plus, most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry and will take no longer than the length of time that you are sleeping.
What causes shoe odor?
Bacteria is the number one cause of shoe odor. Bacteria especially like to thrive on moist shoes, and once it inhibit the shoes, it will cling to the feet every time the shoe is worn. Sweat is another cause of shoe odor. Sweaty feet draw attention to odor-causing bacteria. Another factor could be smell coming from an infected wound. If this is the case, immediate medical attention is required.
1. Baking soda
Sprinkle a bit of baking soda in and on shoes that stink. Leave the baking soda in them overnight, and remove before putting on the next day, or next use.
2. Essential oil
Put a few drops of essential oil inside of the shoes, and then place papers in as well. Leave the papers and essential oil inside for a few hours, even up to as long as overnight. Remove the papers before using the shoes again.
The vinegar will bubble and fizz, but let it sit for about 15 minutes. Remove the solution from the shoes, rinse, and wash the shoes as you would normally.
4. Orange peels
Enjoy snacking on oranges? Place one or two orange peels into each shoe and leave overnight.
Crumple a few sheets of newspaper and stuff into each shoe. Leave them this way from anywhere from a few hours to overnight. The paper will absorb the odors.
6. Black tea bags
This method will get rid of the odor-causing bacteria. Put the tea bags in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove and let cool for about five minutes. Place the tea bags inside of the shoes for an hour or so. Be sure to wipe off excess liquid that is left in the shoe from the tea bag.
7. Put shoes in the freezer
Putting a pair of stinky shoes in the freezer will get the stink out. You will need to place the shoes in a Ziploc bag before putting them in the freezer, otherwise you run the risk of stinking up the freezer. It should be noted that this method does not kill odor-causing bacteria.
8. Rubbing alcohol
Mix a bit of rubbing alcohol with some water, and do a quick spritz inside of the shoes. This will help to kill the bacteria that is causing the odors. If the shoes are super smelly, you may need to rinse them off in this mixture.
9. Wear socks
Wearing socks with shoes will reduce the amount of sweat that transfers from the foot to the shoe, thus reducing the amount of odor that gets trapped. There are a variety of socks available, even no-show options for those that don’t want to pair shorts and socks.
10. Kitty litter
Pour kitty litter into the shoes, but do not pack the litter inside of them. Leave this in the shoes overnight or until the smell has gone away entirely. Throw the used kitty litter into the garbage after use.
11. Baking soda, cornstarch, and baking powder
Mix together equal amounts of each ingredient and pour into a pair of cotton socks. Place this in the shoes overnight to absorb the odors.
12. Boiling water
Boil a pot of water, and fill each shoe. Add a small amount of bleach to this and let sit for a few minutes. After the water has cooled, pour it out and wash the shoes thoroughly. The bleach will kill the odor that is causing the bacteria.
13. Coffee grounds
Fill an old pair of socks with one half cup of coffee grounds. Tie the ends off and place them inside the shoes. Leave the coffee grounds in the shoes overnight so they can absorb the maximum amount of odor.
You can also use toothpaste, machine deodorizer, baby powder, or fabric softener sheets to kill odor-causing bacteria. Make use of any of the remedies listed above to get rid of the unpleasant smell coming from your shoe!