Please tell me if there is anything I can do about my smelly sandals! I don’t know what to clean them with to get the odor out. (Nahunta, GA)
Shoes made from synthetic materials, have a rubber sole, or plastic innersole are usually the main culprits for producing foot odor because your feet cannot breathe and perspiration wetness breeds bacteria which starts to reek.
If the shoe is sturdy, like a sneaker, toss it in the wash on the gentle cycle and let it air dry. Do this on a regular basis so smell doesn’t build up.
If shoes are too delicate for the wash, try what works to remove odor from your refrigerator: Sprinkle the inside of shoes with baking soda and let it neutralize overnight. Shake shoes out before wearing. If you’re having a crafty moment, make a re-useable baking soda sachet by filling a pretty hanky with some Arm & Hammer. Secure hanky ends with a rubberband, and then cover the band with a velvet ribbon.
Don’t laugh at this one, but kitty litter is fab for eliminating more than the obvious kind of strong smell. Find an old, clean pair of pantyhose and cut them so you can stuff the foot portion with enough cat litter to fill your shoe. Knot ends to secure. Presto, you have an instant shoetree that removes odor!
In the same way that Dryel or fabric softener sheets wipe out light body odor from clothing, the sheets can also freshen-up shoes if tucked inside them overnight.
The medical term for smelly feet is Bromhydrosis. If all simple solutions fail to tame your tangy tootsies, you should consult a podiatrist.
–July 26, 2002
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