Smelly shoes: what to do about smelly shoes (2023)

Smelly shoes: what to do about smelly shoes (1)Suffering from smelly shoes or sneakers? If people back away when you take off your shoes, then there's an obvious problem. Smelly shoes can be very embarrassing and cause uncomfortable situations. It's probably not just your shoes that stink; your socks and feet will smell the same way. Especially in the summer you can suffer from smelly shoes more quickly, especially if you don't wear socks. Sweating and wearing the same shoes often can lead to bad odors. However, you can adequately deal with the smell of your shoes, so that you are rid of a pungent and foul shoe smell. There are several home garden and kitchen remedies for freshening up smelly shoes. You can wash sneakers in the washing machine, among other things.

  • What to do about smelly shoes?
  • Air out shoes
  • Wash sneakers
  • Make a natural deodorizing spray
  • Baking soda for smelly shoes
  • Shoes in the freezer
  • Change insole
  • Treat athlete's foot quickly
  • Avoid smelly shoes
  • Wear socks
  • Place activated carbon insoles in your shoes
  • Pay attention to the materials of your shoes
  • Wear well-fitting shoes
  • Change your shoes daily

What to do about smelly shoes?

Do you have shoes that stink for an hour in the wind? There are several home remedies that can help kill bacteria and remove the skin cells and dirt in the shoes to prevent the smell from returning. You can effectively tackle the problem of smelly shoes through a combination or repeated application of the measures below. Work these methods into your weekly or daily routine for fresh-smelling shoes.

Air out shoes

Sunlight can help kill the bacteria and mold that cause bad odors. Don't hesitate to put your shoes outside on a beautiful spring or summer day and the sun is shining nicely. Bring it in on time if rain is expected. Remove the insoles from your shoes.

Smelly shoes: what to do about smelly shoes (2)wash smelly shoes /Bron:Matthew Paul Argall, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Wash sneakers

It may sound obvious, but washing your sports shoes or sneakers can do wonders. Washing your shoes can make them look as good as new. First remove the laces from your sneakers. You can also wash these in the washing machine or put new, fresh laces in your shoes. You can put white laces in the white laundry; colored laces with the colored laundry. However, never put the laces loose in the washing machine, otherwise they could get caught in the drain.

Not all shoes can go in the washing machine
Please note: not all shoes can be washed! Shoes made of suede or leather, you will really have to clean by hand. Sneakers made of cotton or plastic can generally be washed. (Also, be careful when cleaning suede shoes with alcohol. You should dab instead of rub, otherwise you'll end up with unsightly stains and you'll be further away from home.)

Remove the coarse pieces of dirt and mud from your dingy sneakers with a brush and with a cotton swab or a nail you can pick the dirt out of the grooves (of the sole); just be careful not to damage your shoes when using a nail. Then make a ball of cotton or cotton wool, pour alcohol on it and gently rub it over the surface of your sneakers.

Wash shoes
Then put the sneakers or shoes in an old pillowcase, which you keep closed with a safety pin or something similar and also put some old towels in the wash; these serve as a shock absorber. Preferably use liquid detergent and set a program for delicates at 30°C. By washing at low temperatures, you prevent shrinkage and color loss. Then take off the shoes. Do not place in direct sunlight as the colors may fade; the result is faded sneakers. The moist sneakers can also shrink in the sun. Squeezing shoes are detrimental to your feet.

Smelly shoes: what to do about smelly shoes (3)A bunch of thyme /Bron:Evan Amos, Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

Make a natural deodorizing spray

Not all shoes can be washed, but that doesn't mean you should give up all hope. Even leather shoes can be sprayed with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the stench. Fill a spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol, IPA for short, a secondary alcohol used for cleaning and sanitizing. Spray it on the inside of your shoes in a well-ventilated area. Wait until your shoes are completely dry before wearing them again. The rubbing alcohol kills bacteria as it evaporates, leaving your shoes stink-free and alcohol-free. You can also use a natural deodorizing spray, which contains mint,tea tree olie,thymeineucalyptuscontains to kill bacteria and add a fresh scent.

Baking soda for smelly shoes

Baking sodaofbaking sodais fantastic at absorbing bad odors. Scoop some baking soda into the inside of your shoe so that it lightly coats the insole and leave the smelly shoe alone overnight. The next day, shake the baking soda out of your shoes or vacuum it up before putting your shoes back on. You can also use a shoe powder. This is a super-absorbent powder that deodorises, refreshes and protects the feet against a nasty fungal infection.

Shoes in the freezer

Place your shoes in a sealable plastic freezer bag (one per shoe, if needed) and freeze overnight. The cold will kill any mold or bacteria causing the smell.

Change insole

A new insole from time to time will not only make your shoes feel like new again, they can also help freshen up your shoes. If you can't get the smell out of your shoes, new insoles can be a golden option. Leather insoles not only provide extra comfort and pain relief, but also preventsweaty feet.

Treat athlete's foot quickly

athlete's footensuressmelly feetand these in turn make for smelly shoes. Fungal infections can turn your shoes into a noxious and malodorous wasteland. Treat fungal infections quickly and wash your shoes if they make them smelly. Since fungi, like the kind that cause athlete's foot, thrive in a warm, moist environment, it's important to clean your shoes properly to prevent future infections. Use mold powder to disinfect your shoes.

Avoid smelly shoes

Wear socks

Socks absorb moisture and can help keep the inside of your shoes cleaner and drier. Can't stand socks or do you want to wear shoes with open toes? Then wash and dry your feet thoroughly before putting on your shoes to remove any grime and help reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

Smelly shoes: what to do about smelly shoes (4)Place insoles with active carbon in your shoes /Bron:Cogdogblog, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-2.0)

Place activated carbon insoles in your shoes

Insoles with activated carbon in your shoes help to absorb odors and moisture in your shoes. Make sure that the soles have a perforated, structured bottom that ensures good air circulation. Change the insoles regularly.

Pay attention to the materials of your shoes

Shoes and socks made from breathable, natural fibers such as hemp, cotton, and wool can help prevent smelly shoes. Avoid shoes that don't breathe well and that cause you discomfortsweaty feet. Choose leather shoes over shoes made of synthetic materials. If necessary, change your socks mid-day to keep your feet dry and prevent odor-causing bacteria from building up. In the summer, wear open shoes or sandals.

Wear well-fitting shoes

Wear shoes that fit well. If your shoes don't fit, your feet may perspire more than usual. In addition, improperly fitting shoes are not comfortable. Try on your shoes before you buy them and walk around the store in them for a bit. Try on shoes at the same time as when you want to wear the shoes. For a daily shoe, this is at the end of the afternoon if you have already walked a lot, because then the foot is often a bit thicker than in the morning. Only buy shoes that fit right away.

Change your shoes daily

It is important to change shoes daily. Give your shoes a chance to dry before putting them back on.

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