How To Keep Sneakers Or Running Shoes From Smelling
As runners, running shoes, socks, shorts and t-shirts are essential for your everyday routine. When theyre used and stained, t-shirts, shorts and socks aren’t that big of a problem because if you put them in a washer and dryer right away, they smell fresh again. But this isn’t the same for sneakers or running shoes. After a few sessions, your running shoes stink, and theres also no way you keep washing them everyday.
What Makes Feet Smell Bad
Lets get technical: The actual medical term for stinky feet is bromodosis. While the name might be a bit intimidating and clinical, the cause of bromodosis is actually quite straightforward. The condition could be caused by a build-up of sweat, which creates an ideal environment for bacteria growth on the skin. And this bacteria is believed to be one of the sources of those bad odors youre smelling.
According to Cleveland Clinic, foot odor happens when the bacteria that live on your skin and in your shoes eat your sweat. This process produces an acid byproduct that smells unpleasant. Since your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, meaning bacteria thrive on them, its no wonder that feet are notorious for being, well, stinky.
How To Get Rid Of Shoe Odors For Good
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Follow these steps to get bad smells out of your shoes and keep them from stinking again with homemade shoe deodorizers and proper foot care.
Have you ever slipped off your shoes and noticed an embarrassing, bad smell? Or maybe youve been about to put on a pair of your favorite shoes but were almost bowled over by the stink? It can happen to anyone, though some types of shoes are more likely to stink than others.
Baking Soda Shoe Deodorizer
With a pH of 8, baking soda is naturally alkaline and neutralizes the acid in your foot sweat to remove odor. Adding some coarse salt will increase this natural shoe deodorizer powders ability to absorb moisture, making it a very effective DIY shoe deodorizer.
To deodorize shoes naturally, sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of baking soda into each shoe. Add a tablespoon of coarse salt to each shoe. Shake the shoe around to distribute the mixture evenly in the shoe, making sure to cover inside the top of each shoe.
The longer you let this homemade shoe deodorizer powder sit in your shoes, the more odor will be absorbed so try to let the mixture sit in the shoes overnight . Then shake the excess out of the shoes into a sink, trash can or outside. Tap them all around to make sure all the salt crystals and loose powder are out. You can use a small bottle brush to brush out any remaining powder.
Put Your Shoes In The Freezer
The cold helps with slowing down bacterial development.
Thats why your best winter dress boots stay odor-free much longer than your everyday summer shoes.
Since the cold is so beneficial, you can seal your shoes in a bag and put them in the freezer. Itll keep the insoles and shoes fresh for longer.
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Sheets Of Fabric Softener
Many fabric softeners tout their ability to make your clothes smell fresh and clean. And to their credit, it has to be said that clothes washed using a fabric softener often do end up smelling better than they would otherwise. The same goes with fabric softener sheets that are added to the clothes while theyre in the dryer. Clothes do tend to emerge smelling pretty good. You can put that ability to produce sweet-smelling results to good use by sliding a sheet of fabric softener into each shoe before you go to bed and leaving them there while youre off in slumberland. The next morning, simply remove and dispose of the sheets and thats it. Your shoes are bound to smell better. Keep in mind though that this fix does not actually address the source of the problem. Its one of the few hacks on our list that simply masks the smell of the odors.
Use Ammonia And Vinegar/baking Soda
Ammonia is another powerful ingredient for eliminating unpleasant smells. All you need to do is follow the steps outlined above , but use ammonia instead!
- Step 1: Mix baking soda with water until you have a thick paste.
- Step 2: Apply paste to shoes and allow it to sit overnight.
- Step 3: Brush off any excess powder in the morning.
- Step 4: Spray ammonia onto shoes.
- Step 5 : Then allow them to air dry overnight.
- Step 6 : repeat until they are odor-free.
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Practice Good Foot Care
Taking good care of your feet also takes care of the rough, cracked spots where odor-causing bacteria thrive. So, keep your toenails trimmed and any calluses filed. If cracking or rough feet are ongoing problems, get in the habit of applying a thick layer of foot lotion or petroleum jelly to your feet before bed, then sleep in a pair of socks to lock in the moisture.
Why Do Feet Stink
Theyre your tootsies, your dogs, your piggies. Whatever you call them, feet are an important part of you. Without them, you couldnt stand up, walk around, or run a race. In fact, your feet work so hard for you that sometimes they get sweaty. And stinky.
Think of a hot, summer day when youve been walking around an amusement park all afternoon. Oooh, boy your feet have been in those sneakers a long time! On the car ride home, you decide to kick off your shoes. It feels good, but it smells bad. In fact, you might get an earful from the other passengers in the car: P.U. what stinks?
Bacteria are to blame. These tiny critters normally inhabit your feet and love dark, damp places like the insides of sweaty shoes. They multiply in sweat, so if you dont wear socks, that really gets them going.
In the right conditions, bacteria will feast on your feet. These bacteria eat dead skin cells and oils from your skin. Their colonies will grow and start getting rid of waste in the form of organic acids. Its those organic acids that smell bad.
And for 10% to 15% of people, the smell is really bad. Why? Because their feet are extra sweaty and become home to bacteria called Kyetococcus sedentarius. These bacteria produce more than just stinky organic acids they also produce stuff called volatile sulfur compounds. Sulfur compounds usually are powerful and awful smelling. If youve ever smelled a rotten egg, you know what volatile sulfur compounds smell like.
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Lemon Juice And Laundry Detergent
Lemon juice is another natural odor remover, and when mixed with laundry detergent it can help remove even the toughest of fishy smells from your clothing. Lemon juice, like vinegar, is effective because it is highly acidic and can help to neutralize odors created by alkaline molecules.
To use this method:
- Add 1 cup of laundry detergent and ¼ cup of lemon juice to a sink or basin full of warm water.
- Add the clothing and soak for 24 hours. You will want to stir the clothes several times to make sure that the mixture can equally reach all of the fabric.
Once the clothes have finished soaking, wash them as you normally would with your regular laundry soap.
A New Alternative To Eliminate Bad Odor From Your Shoes
A new and natural alternative is the use of bamboo charcoal.
Bamboo charcoal is an innovative odor eliminator and natural deodorizer that has increased its popularity for being an environmentally friendly product, for its production does not require much energy and its uses are varied. And the best part is that its residues are compostable.
Swet Athletix created a super effective odor and moisture eliminator with this new and ecological material: ShoeFresh.
Its simple, easy to carry and has a great design. Its two sachets that you insert inside each shoe to eliminate odor and keep it fresh and ready to wear. They are chemical free and non-toxic.
The bamboo charcoal is activated by solar energy. You should place it in the sun for approximately 3 hours before use. Bamboo charcoal absorbs bad odors and humidity, when it is saturated, place it in the sun for 2 to 4 hours and it is ready to use again.
After a shelf life of 2 years, you can use the contents of the sachets as fertilizer for your plants. This makes it a sustainable, valuable product and a good option to neutralize shoe odor.
What do you think of these tips? Tell us your experience to eliminate odors effectively in the comments below.
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The Best Way To Prevent Smelly Shoes
This may sound a little over-the-top but it is absolutely the best way to reduce existing stench and prevent future smells.
Before Climbing: Wash your feet. Rub off the dead skin thats been building up during the day. No access to water? Get some alcohol rubbing pads or baby wipes and give them a good once-over. This is especially important if youre climbing later in the day because youve already spent a majority of the day sweating in your socks and breeding bacteria.
After Climbing: Store your shoes where they can air out. Open your shoes to the max, and leave them in a non-sunny area where they can completely dry out.
Certainly its acceptable to put your shoes in a bag for short periods of time, during transit, but the more you can limit this the better . Nothing promotes a bacteria orgy like a hot shoe without ventilation. Not only does stuffing you shoes in a pack for long periods of time increase odor, but the more you cram your shoes in a pack the more deformation occurs, which can result in permanent damage to the shoe. If you have to put your shoes in a bag, try to give them room to roam.
Going Further. If youre willing to put in the time and energy to reduce the smell as much as possible, you can also:
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil is the most effective formula. You can find it in natural stores and herbalists. It is inexpensive and can remove bad odor from shoes and make practical hand sanitizing gels.
How do we do it?
- Apply 3 to 5 drops to the insoles of the shoes twice a week.
- In this way, we will remove the odor and eliminate the bacteria.
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Get A Fresh Minty Scent With This Essential Oil Spray
This all-natural solution is made without any chemicals or toxins. Instead, it uses all highly-effective essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, and thyme to overcome odor while also offering a relaxation scent. Itâs great for everything from tennis shoes and flip-flops to ballet flats and leather shoes. Reviewers love the fresh minty smell and the fact that it doesnât leave a residue. One says, âIt seems like I have a cooling mint-y sensation for at least four hours. My feet felt refreshed and deodorized.â
How Do I Keep My Dress Shoes From Smelling
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How To Get The Smell Out Of Shoes
Smelly shoes are not only annoying, they can be embarrassing too! But dont throw out those stinky shoes just yet! Well show you 6 of the best methods on how to get the smell out of shoes.
The helpful tips are one of my favorite tips for keeping my house clean and odor free. Some of my other favorite cleaning hacks are these tips for Cleaning Your Vents, keeping your Washing Machine Clean and getting that baked on food off of your Oven Glass.
Deodorize Your Shoes With Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is extremely effective for odor control. The porous surface area of activated charcoal quickly adsorbs, or latches on to unpleasant odor molecules, eliminating them permanently.
As most people dont keep the powder on hand and activated charcoal is very black and very messy, I advise you order premade activated charcoal bags. Place one bag in each shoe, leave overnight and remove. This is the best way Ive found to permanently remove shoe odors, and the bags can be reactivated in sunlight to extend their use for up to 2 years. The bags are also great for removing odors everywhere around the house.
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The Trick Of Talcum Powder
Talcum powder works in the same way as baking soda. They have the virtue of absorbing humidity and thereby silencing the bad smell. In this case, you have two options:
- Apply a little talcum powder to each shoe and allow them to spend the night like this. In the morning, we can remove the rest of the powders.
- Apply talcum powder to the sole. In this way, we limit the sweating caused by the bad smell of the shoes.
Make Your Own Odor Eater Sachets
Another easy DIY odor eliminator for shoes is sachets or balls you can just place in each shoe to help remove moisture and odor. Make your own DIY shoe deodorizer sachet by using any combination of the moisture absorbing methods above poured onto the center of a coffee filter, cheesecloth or other fabric scrap. Dollar store knee-high pantyhose will also work. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to add fragrance.
Carefully gather the corners together and secure them with a rubber band or tie them with some twine or string that you have on hand and your homemade shoe deodorizer sachets are ready for use.
You can insert these handmade odor eaters into shoes whenever the shoes start smelling funky. Leave them overnight to absorb the worst of the odor.
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Try Lemon Juice Instead Of Vinegar
Sometimes heavy-duty treatment with vinegar may not seem feasible, which is why I like to use lighter citrus solutions to deodorize shoes occasionally. All you need to do is:
- Soak the shoes in a bucket filled with 3 gallons of warm water and juice from half a lemon .
- Allow them to sit for at least 8 hours or overnight if possible before allowing them to dry.
- Be sure not to mix ammonia with anything containing bleach, because it creates toxic fumes!
Get Bad Smell Out Of Shoes
How do you get a bad smell out of shoes?
The more we wear our favorite pair of shoes, the more we may notice that they are beginning to smell. Overuse, sweat, skin shedding, dirt, bacteria, fungus, and lack of aeration can all contribute to stinky shoes. Below are a few ways to remove the bad smell out of the shoes:
- One of the best ways to remove smells from shoes is to revitalize them with a much more pleasant smell. Leave a fresh lemon or lime peel in your shoes overnight or squirt a few drops of any essential oil such as lavender into the soles of your shoes and allow the shoes to dry. Both remedies will help to eliminate odors.
- If your shoes are washable, give them a bath. You can get leather and fabric cleaner to clean up shoes that are not washer friendly, or if theyre machine safe, throw them into the washing machine or submerge and hand wash them in a detergent bath. Place your shoes in the sun or near a heater and allow them to dry out. This will help to prevent the bacterial growth that causes odor. Ensure they are completely dry before reassembling the shoes and wearing them again.
- Pop your smelly shoes in a large plastic sandwich bag and leave them in the freezer overnight. Take them out of the freezer the next day and allow them to dry naturally. The extremely cold temperature will kill the bacteria and make your shoes less stinky.
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Use Deodorizing Sprays Or Powder
This remedy is for those who are literally living a very busy life. There are a million deodorizing sprays or powders available in the market to remove smell from shoes instantly. These not only have antimicrobial properties but also are armed with nice fragrances. Always choose one that has essential oils, that is natural and safe for your feet. You can start with a small trial pack of freshener to remove stink, and then graduate to the bigger option of the one that suits your feet and nose .
Wash Your Shoes At Least Every Week Or Two
The most effective method weve found for eliminating odor and mildew buildup is regular washing after every week or two. You may also wipe down any areas where moisture and sweat tend to collect . As an added bonus, you can eliminate oils that build up over time that may cause friction against your skin which can cause blisters or hot spots. Neither of which make for enjoyable runs. A little extra care can go a long way toward keeping things happy between you and your favorite pair of Hokas or any running shoes.
Use two pairs of your trainers alternately. Envato Elements
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