Treating those smelly shoes

    can you smell the odor of those shoes?Shoes are perfect incubators for bacteria – they are usually closed, very close to our smelly feet, we sweat in them (during sports or even on our stressful daily routine), don´t ventilate them, imprison them in drawers, and sometimes wear them continuously, day after day. How would they not smell?

    What can you do if your shoes stink? How can you make your shoes smell fresher?

    • Dry your shoes: When we sweat, the inside of our shoes gets moist as well. A wet environment is a natural habitat for odor-causing germs. After wearing your shoes, especially if these are sports shoes, you should remove the insoles of your shoes and let them dry separately, place your damp shoes in the sun or next to a heater, and untie the shoelaces to let them ventilate. If your shoes breath, the germs will no longer have a damp environment and the your shoes´ odor will most likely disappear.
    • Clean your smelly shoes: First of all, make sure you haven´t stepped in a dog´s byproduct, and scrub the soles clean. Most types of sneakers (probably not leather-made) can be laundered – make sure it´s allowed with the specific shoes you have and follow the manufacturer´s instructions. If you´re allowed to wash your shoes, place some baking soda inside your shoes overnight, and then wash your shoes (preferably a few pairs together) in the washing machine, using warm water at high spin speed, together with some scented washing soap. If these are white sports shoes, consider using bleach together with the wash. After washing your shoes, dry them well before you wear them again.
    • Use anti-bacterial shoe spray inside your shoes right after you took your shoes off. Let the sprayed shoes rest for a few hours, so they can dry and the antibacterial spray will take its action.
    • Expand your wardrobe: Walking with the same pair of shoes, day-in day-out, will not let them dry thoroughly. Buying two pairs of athletic shoes will let one pair dry while you use the other.
    • Change your socks: If you sweat a lot and can´t stand the smell of your shoes, consider changing your socks in the middle of exercise. Make sure you wear lightweight 100% cotton socks, so your feet will be able to breathe. If you don´t like to wear socks at all – do your friends a favor, and clean your shoes and your feet more often!
    • Change your insoles: Use insoles with anti-bacterial formulation to reduce bacterial growth, and replace them from time to time.
    • Personal hygiene: Wash your feet thoroughly when you shower, and make sure to dry them well. Use foot powder to reduce perspiration before athletic activity. This way, your feet will not sweat and smell, and your shoes will be less likely to suffer from offensive odors either.
    • Freeze treatment? According to a common belief, freezing your shoes will kill the odor-causing bacterial and will help you get rid of the disagreeable fragrance. Unfortunately, there´s not much truth behind this myth. Freezing your shoes will only temporarily reduce the reproduction of the germs, and once the shoes are worn again, the germs will multiply and cause a repulsive aroma once again.

    Got more tips for smelly shoes? Be sure to share them with everyone on the SmellWell forum!

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