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FluffyChicken's avatar

What can I do about my smelly shoes?

Asked by FluffyChicken (5516points) May 2nd, 2011

What cheap or free home rememdies are there for really smelly shoes? I have a pair of running shoes, that I love to death, but they stink to high heavan! They DO have a removable insole, but the whole shoe stinks, not just the insole. I am embarrassed to take my shoes off around others. It makes my socks and my feet stink horribly as well.

Can I wash running shoes in a washing machine? what about just the insoles? What cleaning products are best for smelly shoes? How can I escape the stench!?

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19 Answers

everephebe's avatar

I’ve heard put ‘em freezer. Which is different then your frizzer, make sure they are not near the cake. There are older questions like this, I’ll try and dig some up for ya. Here’s one.

Oh and baking soda is good too.

FluffyChicken's avatar

Thanks! I tried baking soda on a different pair and it didn’t seem to do a ton, but I’ll try it again. While googling, I also came across putting cloves in them over night.

everephebe's avatar

This topic and this one might also help.

FluffyChicken's avatar

Thanks! Very helpful. I wonder why those didn’t come up when I searched.

rooeytoo's avatar

I throw mine in the washing machine with regular detergent and hot water. That seems to do it. But I always wear socks so mine don’t get too smelly.

Do you powder your feet? That might help too.

FluffyChicken's avatar

I don’t. What a strange concept!

snowberry's avatar

Vinegar and baking soda are both great deodorizers. Try soaking your shoes in vinegar and water for an hour or so, then rinse with clear water. You can neutralize the vinegar smell by putting a little baking soda in the rinse.

Next try to eliminate or reduce the source of the smell in the first place. Try antiperspirant spray on your feet. I’m not a fan of antiperspirant, but when a problem like this makes it difficult to be around people you have to do something.

john65pennington's avatar

Pull the strings out and throw them in the washing machine.

Allow two days for them dry.

Hurry…............I think I smell your smelly shoes here on Fluther!

FluffyChicken's avatar

I don’t doubt it! Ha!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’ve washed mine in the washing machine, and there was no damage done. Keep in mind, this is only a short-term fix. Here is a link that addresses how to prevent it in the future.

While I don’t agree with everything the article says, it does have some valid facts about what causes feet to smell and how to prevent it from living on shoes. And one thing that it doesn’t address is that it can be helpful to have a second pair of (running) shoes on hand so that they can be alternated while the other pair has an opportunity to air out.

Scooby's avatar

Put the shoes in the washing machine they’ll come out like new once dry…… :-/ assuming they are canvas.

FluffyChicken's avatar

They’re leather and canvas not very washable

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Ah, the material is a good point. I have washed my Keds (canvas) and they curl up a bit when the cotton material shrinks upon drying. Since the rubber sole doesn’t, they stretch back out to normal form easily upon wearing. The tennis shoes/trainers I’ve washed are leather at the toe and heel, and nylon or synthetic in between. No damage has been done. They are put outside to dry, not only to let them air naturally, but to keep from potentially being damaged by the intense heat of a clothes dryer.

Scooby's avatar

I would still wash them in the machine, at about thirty degrees Celsius ( 30 degree Celsius = 86 degree Fahrenheit ) use a liquid detergent…. Run the cycle for thirty minutes or so…… after washing let them drip dry on the washing line outside or on an outside window ledge… You can buy all sorts of products to revive the leather once they’re dry, whichever suits your needs, also shoe spray, to kill bacteria inside the shoe

flo's avatar

Try crumpled newspapes, change a few times. It is supposed to absorb smells.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@FluffyChicken It has been a month. What did you do with the smelly shoes?

FluffyChicken's avatar

put baking soda in them and let them sit a few days. they still smell, but now it’s tolerable.

Schroedes13's avatar

@FluffyChicken My sister has told me for a while to try soaking my feet in green tea for a while once a week or so. Sorry that it’s more of a proactive measure than reactive. I still haven’t tried it, but she swears it worked for her and my nephew!

FluffyChicken's avatar

I’ll have to try that. I’ll snag a couple packets of the free tea next time I’m at the bank.

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