Smelly shoes are pretty unpleasant and other people’s reaction can be embarrassing. But it’s a very common problem so there's nothing to feel shame for. Sweating is a natural process – some of us just do it more than others. Feet are enclosed in shoes and the sweat has nowhere to go so the odor builds up – simple. There are, however, ways you can deodorize smelly shoes.
1. Wash Your Shoes
Simply washing your shoes regularly is one of the most effective ways to deodorize smelly shoes. But, some shoes are machine washable, some are not. For those that are, place them into a pillowcase with laces removed and toss them in the washer. For those that aren't washable, dip a clean cloth in warm soapy water and use it to clean the inside. Allow to fully dry before wearing.
2. Use Newspaper
Sweat inside the shoes is the foremost reason of odor. Stuff crumpled newspaper inside your shoes to help absorb sweat and odor. Don't slip them on until they are completely dry.
3. Use a Homemade Deodorizing Solution
Combine a tablespoon of cornstarch, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and 5 drops of tea tree oil. Sprinkle this homemade deodorizing powder inside your smelly shoes and leave overnight. The powder works as a potent damp- and odor-absorber, whereas the tea tree oil kills odor-causing bacteria. Empty the powder into the trash in the morning before wearing.
4. Put Them in Your Freezer
Leaving your shoes in the freezer for a couple of hours may sound crazy, but it is among the best ways to deodorize smelly shoes. That's for a simple reason: the smell-causing bacteria cannot survive the chill. Be sure to place your shoes in a shoe bag before placing in the freezer. Thaw and dry them out before wearing.
5. Try Kitty Litter
Take a pair of clean socks and fill them with kitty litter. Place them inside your shoes and leave overnight to get rid of odor. This is because the active ingredient in kitty litter is charcoal – one of nature’s most potent odor absorbers.
6. Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry
Washing your shoes is important but keeping your feet clean is equally vital. Use soap and water to clean your feet and be sure to keep them dry. Spraying your feet with antiperspirant and using talcum powder may also help.
7. Eliminate Bacteria
Your shoes smell because your feet contain odor-causing bacteria. Using an antibacterial hand sanitizer on your feet will work wonders. You may even consider using antibacterial soap in the shower.
8. Keep Your Shoes Free of Bacteria
Something simple is to mix some rubbing alcohol with water in a spray bottle, and spritz inside your shoes to kill all those bacteria that cause odor.
9. Wear Socks
Sweaty feet are more prevalent when you wear closed shoes without socks. There are plenty of “no-show” socks designed for regular shoes (pumps and flats) and sneakers. Why not try some and see if it makes a difference?
10. Use Deodorizing Products
There are probably more products to deal with smelly feet and stinky shoes than you imagine. There are powders, deodorants and insoles. You’ll find them on the shelves of your supermarket or pharmacy.
11. Use Salt
A great way to deodorize your stinky shoes is to use salt. Sprinkle some of it inside your shoes and leave for some time. Empty it out before wearing.
12. Invest in a Shoe Deodorizer
Simple home remedies may not work on extremely smelly shoes. This situation calls for desperate measures, and that means a mechanical shoe deodorizer. These machines clean your shoes in less than an hour, fit all sizes and shapes of shoes, and are just perfect for athletes, diabetics, construction workers or anyone with a chronic foot odor.
There’s no need to let smelly shoes be the bane of your life. I’m sure something of the above will work for you.
Do you have smelly shoes? Don’t be embarrassed! We won’t tell anyone!