If people stand back when you remove your shoes, there’s an obvious problem. Both embarrassing and unsanitary, shoe odor can make for an uncomfortable situation. Not only do your shoes smell bad -- it’s safe to assume that your socks and feet smell the same way. For the sake of your pride and consideration for those around you, your shoe odor needs to be tackled.
Wash the shoes. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions first and foremost; not all shoes are machine washable. For those that are, remove the laces and place them into a pillowcase to wash. Let them air dry in a cool, dry place, or set them outside. For those that aren’t washable, clean them with a clean cloth dipped in warm soapy water. Using a scented dish soap, which can help with odors. Remove soap residue with a clean, damp cloth; set them aside to dry.
Stuff crumpled newspaper inside the shoes to help absorb both moisture and odors. Don’t wear them until they are completely dry.
Sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes and leave them to sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb the odors. In the morning, empty the baking soda into the trash. If this is a recurring problem, you may need to repeat this process every time you wear them.
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Place the shoes in the freezer in and let them sit for one or two hours. Take them out of the freezer and place them outside to thaw and dry. Don’t wear them until all of the moisture is gone.
Fill clean socks with kitty litter and place the socks inside the shoes. Leave them overnight. Kitty litter absorbs odors and can help eliminate the smell. Repeat each time you wear the shoes, if necessary.
Place orange peels in the shoes and let them sit overnight. Discard the peels in the morning. This will get rid of odors and create new, fresh smells.
Do not wear shoes without socks. Always wear clean, dry socks to avoid bacterial growth within the shoes that can produce odors.
Never wear or store damp shoes in a closed in space, because this will promote mold and mildew growth.
Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.