Odors in your shoes can be a real drag. Who has time for that amongst life’s other problems? YOU certainly do not. Shoe odor can be embarrassing for you and your friends, and may even cause some unnecessary relationship tension, which is never ideal. Get to the bottom (pun intended) of your shoe odor! Find out what is causing the odor and take steps to prevent any unwanted smells in the future.
1. Find the cause.
Before you start, you should try and get to the bottom of WHAT is causing the odor. Is it rain or snow? Sweat? Something else? This can help you sort out your best plan of action. If your insoles are damp or damaged, take them out pronto so that they can dry.
2. Get new insoles.
If you don’t want to buy new shoes, consider getting new insoles instead! That might be an easy and less expensive way to keep a favourite pair of shoes in your rotation without having to get rid of them.
There are all kinds of odor fighting insoles on the market that you can try to not only stop but also help eliminate this problem from giving you trouble! You can also try cedar wood insoles if you like a nice fresh natural smell to your shoes which also fights odors at the same time.
3. Dry them.
One of the big causes of shoe odor is moisture that is inside of them. If you have a sunny day on your side, simply put your shoes outside! This is an easy way to help them to dry quickly, and the fresh air will also help to freshen the smell at the same time.
If you do not have a nice day, you can try placing them besides a space heater to similar effect, or put them in your dryer at home (if your shoes can go in the dryer: always check the labels first).
4. Use fabric softener or dryer sheets.
Fabric softener and dryer sheets work wonders on your clothes for making them smell nice and fresh and clean in the dryer. Why not put them to use in your shoes as well?
Ball up a drier sheet, or even two, if the smell calls for more, and leave them in your shoes after you have worn them. This will not only give you a nice smelling perfume to your shoes, it will also help to wick away the moisture that is giving you trouble.
5. Wash your shoes.
Make sure you read the instructions in your shoes first. Not all shoes should go in a washing machine. Shoes are expensive: don’t wreck them by accident! Take the laces out temporarily, and place your shoes inside of a pillowcase. This will help you to avoid getting scuffs on your shoes as they are inside the wash.
If you can’t put them in the washing machine, use a clean cloth with in soapy detergent water to help you with these odors. You can remove the excess soap with a clean and damp cloth, and water and vinegar is another solid strategy as well if you are finding that the soap does not work. If you can, leave the shoes to dry outside after trying either of these washing strategies!
Another solution is to use rubbing alcohol if you cannot put your shoes in a washing machine. Use an old rag or a cotton ball to apply some rubbing alcohol at the source of the odor problem, which is usually the insole. Rubbing alcohol quickly evaporates and also is disinfecting at the same time, so it’s a win-win!
6. Use newspaper.
Crumpled newspaper can absorb both moisture and odor. Keep some scrap newspaper by your front door, so you can quickly crumple up some newspaper balls and get around to solving the problem! Try and leave them be for a few hours to completely absorb the odors between wears.
7. Use baking soda.
Absorb odor in your shoes overnight! The same principle of using baking soda in the fridge to get rid of odors applies for your shoes.
Sprinkle a bit of baking soda into your shoes at night and then knock it out of your shoes and into the trash in the morning. Keep in mind that if the smell continues you may need to repeat this process several times.
8. Freeze them!
This may seem like an odd suggestion but it can definitely work. Freeze your shoes for a couple of hours and then take them outside where they can thaw and dry out in the sunshine. Be sure that they are completely dry before you put them on or you will only encourage the smell to return, which you do not want, of course.
9. Use kitty litter.
Kitty litter is designed to remove the toughest of odors that a cat can produce, so why not give it a shot in your shoes? Fill up an old pair of socks with cat litter and stuff these filled up tubes into your shoes.
Having the kitty litter in a pair of socks reduces the potential for mess, and you can also keep them handy for easy re-use by your front door, or wherever you store your shoes.
10. Use fruit rinds!
Oranges usually work best, but feel free to try grapefruits, limes, or lemons to the same effect.
Save your orange peel and place them in your shoes overnight. Orange peels have a powerful smell (in a good way) which can overpower any of the smell you are experiencing and replace it with a new citrusy one! Simply compost your peels the next day after you have used them. Easy!
11. Try anti-fungal foot spray.
If you are looking for some chemicals which might help you cut out that odor and keep it away permanently, you might want to try some antifungal foot sprays. These sprays can help not only get rid of the smell but also kill the bacteria that is causing the smell to happen.
This solution is most often suggested for people who have athlete’s foot. If you normally do not have smelly shoes but are finding that you suddenly do seemingly out of nowhere, it may be a good idea to have yourself examined by a doctor. Athlete’s foot is not too serious of a condition but can cause some problems if you do not have it treated properly!
12. Wear socks.
If you are having trouble getting rid of odors in your shoe, and you do not wear socks, consider changing that right away! If you are not wearing socks in your shoes, chances are that your feet are sweating too much and you are working against yourself to fight and solve the problem. Wearing socks can be a great way to do this!
Try getting wicking socks as a handy solution for this problem. Having the right socks designed for sweat prevention can go a long way for you to solve this problem.
So there you have it! Follow these steps and you should have your shoes smelling fresh as daisies in no time at all. Shoe odor can be embarrassing for you, especially if you are trying to impress someone of the opposite sex! Don’t let it get you down. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to solving your shoe odor once and for all! Lets face it though, some shoes are beyond all help and you might just be best off to toss them away and try your luck with a new pair!