Wondering How To Stop Your Shoes From Smelling? Come Check!

Bad odours are all around! From your washing machine to your fridge. But what happens with shoes? Does everyone squint their noses or grumble when you take off your shoes? The chances are that your shoes smell. Let’s be frank; smelly shoes can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It not only passes the message that you are unhygienic, but it also singles you out of the crowd like a plague.

A woman keeping smelly shoes

If your lifestyle revolves around wearing shoes, mainly covered ones, then you already have your share of discomfort when you pull them off in public. The bad smell can be overwhelming and make you wish to throw them away as soon as possible. But, do you want to know how to stop your shoes from smelling? Continue reading this article to learn more.

What causes smelly shoes?

Stinking shoes can be a pain in the neck, especially when the smell lingers even after doing everything possible to eliminate it.  But what causes them to get smelly in the first place? It’s not entirely your fault! Your feet are prone to getting sweaty every day because they have close to 250,000 sweat glands

Most feet are clothed in socks all day, building up moisture, creating a cosy, conducive breeding ground for bacteria that make your shoes their abode. Consequently, they let out stinky toxins into your shoes, disturbing the peace of everyone’s nose.

On the other hand, the breathability of your shoes also goes a long way to determine how smelly they will be. If they are too tight and less breathable then the chances of stinky situations are high!

Stinky shoes don’t have to dominate or control your life; it’s pretty easy to learn how to eliminate the odour and create a stench-free environment. Take a look at these practical ways to get rid of this unpleasant smell—that stubborn bacterial growth won’t have a fighting chance.

How to get rid of unpleasant odour from shoes

It is time to get rid of the unpleasant odour and eliminate stinky feet. Whatever option you choose from the list below, the offensive smell coming from your shoes will significantly be a thing of the past.

Fresh lemons with tea bags

1. Use fresh lemon, tea bags, lime peels or their essential oils

A great option is to throw some lemon or lime leaves into your shoes and leave it for some time, preferably overnight. It works wonders! Why? Because their peels have antibacterial and antiseptic acid that will cure your shoes of their stench and leave an appealing fruity scent. 

Similarly, you can also use lemon or lime essential oil to achieve the same result. Spray a moderate quantity of the oil into the shoes. If you don’t have any essential oil, rub the back of lemon or lime peels inside your shoes. 

Or you can put a tea bag in boiling water for a few minutes. Then, take it out and let it cool down before placing it inside your shoes. Leave it in the shoe for about an hour. Place it in a cup to avoid staining.

2. Get rid of the bacteria with anti-bacterial wipes.

It would help if you sanitised your shoes before you wear them. For example, after a long day at work, you’ll likely have sweaty feet when you come back home. So, stop the bacteria by pulling off your shoes immediately and wiping your feet with antiseptic wipes.

These disposable wipes help to remove any grime and dirt that may have accumulated during the day. They are perfect for shining shoes and removing scuff marks as well. The wipes may not disinfect your shoes thoroughly, but they will remove any germs on the surface.

3. Freeze Your Shoes

Bacteria naturally thrive in warm environments. If you place your shoes into the freezer overnight, the bacteria won’t survive the cold. Go ahead and put your shoes inside a pillowcase case or a plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. Leave them to defrost before their next wear.

4. Apply rubbing alcohol

Another way to eliminate stank is to use a spray mixture or disinfectant to kill the bacteria that causes odour in your shoes. 

For instance, rubbing alcohol is an antiseptic that evaporates quickly. It works by forcing the moisture in your shoes to evaporate along with it. So apply rubbing alcohol into your shoes and leave it for 24 hours for the best result.

5. Use vinegar spray

Vinegar is a powerful disinfectant for tackling bacteria. Combine it with water into a spray bottle and gently mist your shoes, emphasising on the lining and sole.

Leave it for at least 3 hours to dry before wearing them. By keeping them dry, you help prevent bacterial growth that causes odour. You may also do a vinegar soak by combining two cups of water with one cup of vinegar (white or apple) in a tub or big bowl of warm water and soak your shoes for 20 minutes once a week—Air-dry for a day to keep them fresh.

Bakind soda ,lemon and vinegar

6. Use baking soda

Instead of going to the store to get an expensive mixture to clean your shoes, your kitchen can provide you with everything you need. Baking soda is not just good for cooking but also for getting rid of germs. 

Pour some baking soda powder directly into your shoes, and leave it for a couple of minutes to absorb the built-up moisture that contains bacteria. Then, clean it out with wipes.

7. Use an antiperspirant or a spray deodorant

If the odour from your shoes has defeated all you have done, consider getting a foot antiperspirant or deodorant

Deodorise the places you keep your shoes, including your gym bag. Drop a dryer sheet or spray into your gym bag and repeat the process as often as it’s required.

Another excellent remedy is foot powders. They work well in absorbing the sweat from your foot when you are putting on your shoes. When going for this option, consult a pharmacist to advise on the foot powders suitable for you.

How to keep your shoes from smelling 

Now that you know how to remove offensive odours, you need to learn how to prevent your shoes from smelling bad. You can use one of the tips or combine two strategies; Depending on how bad your shoes stink.

1. Don’t wear the same shoes too often

Have more than one pair of shoes so you can change them often. It’s understandable if you like those particular shoes more than others – we all have a favourite. But to keep your shoes from smelling, it’s good to have a pair of new shoes as a backup while leaving the others to air dry. That way, the moisture dries out and kills the bacteria.

If your shoes are washable, put them inside a bag or pillowcase and throw them in a washing machine. Ensure you air dry them in direct sunlight or high temperature. Also, do not wear your shoes when they are still wet. 

A man keeping a smelly sock

2. Wash your feet regularly

Preventing smelly shoes should be your priority if you can’t stand the odour. So, make it a regular habit to wash your feet every day. Exfoliate with gentle pressure to avoid injuries and apply some antiseptic lotion to keep them clean and shiny.

3. Treat feet fungus

We all know the leading cause of smelly feet is bacteria, but not in all cases. Your feet can also stink due to the presence of fungus. The two common fungal infections that affect your feet are tinea pedis (Athlete’s foot) and onychomycosis (toenail fungus). Although these two are different infections, they co-occur and work together to make life a living hell for your shoes. 

If you notice that you have a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging, and burning, it may be a sign of an athlete’s foot. You should see your doctor immediately for powders or creams, simple home remedies, or prescription treatments. Treating foot and toe problems will contribute significantly to decreasing your foot and shoe odour.

4. Choose sweat-sucking socks

With the myriads of socks out there, it can be overwhelming to choose one that can help reduce the smell that lingers in your shoes. Ensure you go for breathable socks or socks with sweat-wicking and anti-odour properties instead of the regular cotton socks you get for less. 

Socks with anti-odour properties are usually infused with silver anti-odour technology that attacks bacteria and stops them from producing more foul smells. In addition, moisture-wicking socks contain fabric that keeps sweat away from getting to the feet. As a result, the less sweat you have on your feet, the less stink your shoe produces. Meanwhile, not wearing socks with covered shoes is a fast lane to invite bad odours into your footwear.

Feet sweat is a natural phenomenon in our body, but it sometimes causes discomfort when the accumulated perspiration starts giving off a foul smell in your shoes. Moving around in such stinking shoes is embarrassing and uncomfortable for others. Thankfully, you can apply the simple measures mentioned in this article to eliminate foul odour and keep your shoes smelling fresh.

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