Keep Your Shoes Smelling Fresh
Smelly feet – nobody wants to talk about them, let alone experience what it’s like to be near them. However, most of us put our feet into a pair of shoes that we’ll keep on for a big part of the day, and so it’s natural for things to get a little bit… zesty.
But don’t worry – there are plenty of quick and simple solutions you can start using right now to keep your shoes smelling fresh. From things you’ve probably got in the cupboard to more heavy-duty solutions, check out our top tips on how to keep your kicks crisp and your feet friendly.
Note: Before you jump in, it’s important to note that these ideas might not be suitable for everyone. Depending on the style of your shoes and what materials they’re made of, certain things might work better than others. If possible, check your shoes’ care guidelines beforehand to ensure you’re not doing anything that goes against the manufacturer’s recommendations.
1. Start With Prevention
After a long day, it can be tempting to take off your shoes, chuck them in a corner, and step straight into your soft slippers or flip flops. However, improper shoe care can lead to pungent problems down the line.
Don’t give bacteria the chance to settle in. Store your shoes in a place where they have the chance to air out properly – position a shoe shelf somewhere that has fresh airflow and sunlight or a heat source and give your shoes the space they deserve.
2. Treat Your Feet
That stinky shoe smell doesn’t just come from nowhere… Keep your feet in good condition by washing them properly every day. Whether you have a shower, bath, or dedicated footbath, take some time to give them a good rub with soapy water and dry them thoroughly.
Go one step further and use a dedicated foot scrub or loofah to exfoliate, and apply a scented moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and fresh.
3. Rotate Your Kicks
We all have a favorite pair of shoes that look great with almost everything – but that doesn’t mean you should wear them with everything. If possible, try not to wear the same shoes two days in a row.
Cycling through your collection will give your shoes the time they need to completely dry out, which will prevent bacteria buildup and therefore stop them from becoming smelly.
4. Try The Baking Soda Trick
Baking soda is a seemingly magical ingredient that has many uses – and your shoes can get in on the action. Fill a pair of coffee filters or thin socks with baking soda, secure the ends with tape or a rubber band, and stick them in your shoes overnight.
The baking soda will absorb the moisture and neutralize the smell, helping to refresh your shoes.
5. Freeze Them
In dire situations, you can try to zap bacteria by plunging your shoes into freezing temperatures. Stick them in a bag, seal them tight, and put them in a freezer or icebox for 24 hours.
This should help to kill the bacteria, giving your shoes a fresh start once they’ve thawed out. You might need to take more action to improve the scent, such as by trying our next tip…
6. Treat Them To A Fabric Sheet
Fabric softener sheets are a simple and easy solution for stinky shoes. Simply slide one into each of your shoes and let them hang out overnight. They’ll instantly provide a fresh scent while absorbing some of the moisture, helping to freshen things up.
7. Try The Talcum Powder Treatment
Talcum powder is another one of those tools that comes in handy in a variety of situations and can help you out in instances of stinky shoes. Sprinkle a little bit into your shoes and let it rest – it’ll absorb some of the moisture as well as imparting its gentle scent.
If you struggle with clammy feet, you can go one step further and apply talcum powder to your soles and toes before you put your shoes on. This will help absorb sweat and keep your feet feeling dry and smelling fresh.
8. Dry Your Shoes Out Fully
As well as developing a strategy for storing your shoes in a place where they can dry out fully, you can help them out a little more by taking them apart, especially in situations where they might have gotten particularly wet, such as after a rainy walk or coming across an unexpected puddle.
Start by removing the insoles and laces, lifting out the tongue, and stretching them open as far as you can. Place them in a sunny spot or beneath a heater and allow them to dry out as much as possible. If necessary, finish them off with a blast from a hairdryer.
9. Try A Fruity Solution
The peels from citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit have a naturally refreshing scent that can give your smelly shoes a tropical boost. Simply choose your fruit and stick the peels into your shoes overnight, to allow the scent to naturally seep into the soles.
This tends to work best with dry shoes, so make sure to follow our previous tip to ensure your kicks are totally dry before you try this strategy.
10. Bring In The Big Guns With Specialty Products
Sometimes the natural approach just doesn’t deliver the results you need – in which case, it’s time to bring in the big guns. There are plenty of products on the market that claim to blast bacteria and return your shoes to a fresh state. For best results, look for antifungal powder or antibacterial spray and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply.
You can also take things up a notch with a product you likely have in the bathroom cupboard – rubbing alcohol will zap bacteria and evaporate quickly, giving your shoes a fresh start. Apply some to a cotton ball and rub it over the inside of the shoes, or use a spray bottle and treat your shoes to a light coating.
Store your shoe collection in a sensible way, look after your feet, and give your shoes a refreshing treatment every now and then – with a little bit of effort and some creative thinking, you can keep wearing your favorite shoes as far as they’ll take you!