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Freezing shoes to get rid of odor but it's not working

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3 Quick Tips on How to Eliminate Shoe Odor

If my how to get rid of smelly shoes above are too much for your to deal with? Try these time-saving tips, last-minute tips:

  • Leave dryer sheets inside your shoes to freshen them up
  • Stick a bar of soap inside your shoe. These provide a fresh scent & soap aids in killing bacteria
  • Clean cat litter inside shoes. Just dump it out when it’s time to wear them! 

Steps to Clean Your Stinky Shoes

The best way to deodorize shoes depends on whether your shoes are washable or not. If they’re leather or suede shoes or have non-washable accents, your shoe deodorizing efforts will focus on cleaning the interior. In between cleanings, use homemade shoe deodorizers to keep them smelling fresh. If they’re canvas shoes or made from fabric, wash them using the steps below.

Step 1: Washing Shoes

This step is for canvas and fabric shoes that do not have non-washable elements like leather, sequins, or lights. It also works well for plastic or rubber shoes, like Crocs or flip-flops. To keep your shoes fresh, wash them every couple of months or any time they start to look or smell dirty. 

To wash canvas and fabric shoes: Add your shoes to the machine and use your normal amount of laundry detergent. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle, or pour it into your machine’s empty fabric softener dispenser. Use a long, warm wash and rinse cycle. (Hot water will shrink your shoes.)To dry shoes: Remove your shoes from the machine after the cycle is complete. Then, stuff a couple of dry cloths into each shoe to absorb excess moisture. Pull the damp cloths out and insert fresh, dry cloths. Then put your shoes in a sunny spot to dry. Sunlight will also help deodorize your shoes by killing any lingering bacteria.

Step 2: Washing Inserts and Insoles

Even shoes that can’t go in the washing machine may have removable insoles that you can wash to get rid of shoe odors. If you have orthotic inserts, you should wash them, too.To wash shoe insoles, fill a sink with 2 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar then let your inserts soak for 5-10 minutes. Rinse them well then press the inserts between dry towels to blot excess moisture. Let your inserts fully air dry before putting them back in your shoes. Do this monthly to keep your inserts and insoles fresh. Replace inserts every 6 months, especially in running shoes.

Step 3: Use Homemade Shoe Deodorizers

Use homemade shoe deodorizers to control odors between washings. Apply deodorizers immediately after you remove your shoes, then give them at least overnight to work. A full day is even better.

How to prevent smelly shoes

There are steps you can take before you even start wearing shoes, to minimise the smell. The NHS advises:

  • Using a spray deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet.
  • Putting medicated insoles, which have a deodorising effect, in your shoes.
  • Using a foot powder to absorb sweat.
  • Trying socks for sweaty feet – some sports socks are designed to keep feet dry, and you can get special antibacterial socks.
  • Wearing leather or canvas shoes, as they let your feet breathe, unlike plastic ones.
  • Always wearing socks with closed-toe shoes.

It’s also not advisable to put shoes on immediately after showering – water between the toes can encourage bacteria. Also, where possible, let your shoes breathe somewhere ventilated for 24 hours between wears.

How to Get Rid of Shoe Odor Fast

Once your shoes have become stinky, the onus is on you to restore them to their original condition. If you are worried about how you will achieve that feat, do not worry because there are some natural DIY methods of removing shoe odor that will prove to be very useful in these circumstances.

You can choose either the non-chemical method or the chemical method, both of which are fairly easy.

Without chemicals:

  1. Begin by looking for the cause of the smelly shoes. Examine your shoes properly to find out what is causing the odor. This will help you figure out which method will work the best. If you notice damp or damaged insoles, then you can take them out and dry them so that they become fresh again. You can also invest in insoles that can prohibit bacterial growth.
  2. Dry out the shoes with the help of a heater. You can also put the shoes out in the Sun to dry. If you want the shoes to dry fast, you can take out the laces and lift the shoes’ tongue. Dry shoes are not susceptible to bacterial growth and hence do not fall prey to odor.
  3. Use cedarwood insoles to ensure that your shoes remain smell-free. Cedarwood has antifungal properties that hinder the growth of odors inside your shoes. Moreover, cedar has a fresh, light, and crisp smell that can quell the effects of stinky odor.
  4. Before you put in the cedarwood insoles, you can take an extra step. Freezing your shoes can help kill the bacteria in the shoes. This helps the odor to disappear as well. You can pack your smelly shoes in a plastic bag and keep them in the fridge overnight to see results, although temporary, in the morning.
  5. You can also use sheets soaked in fabric softener or conditioner to make your shoes fresh and clean again. All you need to do is ball up one or two of these sheets and then insert them into your shoes. Make sure that the sheets are semi-dry when you use them. The sheets will impart a pleasant smell into the shoes and also wick away the excess moisture in the shoes, leaving you with wearable shoes.
  6. If you want to take an extra precaution, you can choose to steam your shoes with the help of a steam machine. Your washer or dryer should also have a steam feature. Hot steam can help kill bacteria and fungus that are responsible for odor. If the idea of damp shoes does not bother you, then you can definitely give steaming a shot because it can give you great results.
  7. Once you have completed all the above steps, you are ready to wear the shoes the next day. Place a piece of fresh orange, lemon, or lime peel inside the shoes overnight. All kinds of fresh citrus peels have a great refreshing smell as they are rich in essential oils. You can remove them in the morning before you wear them.
  8. In the morning, if you want your shoes to be extra fragrant and fresh, then you can directly put a few drops of lavender oil inside your shoes. Not only does the essential oil have anti-bacterial properties, but it can also overcome the stinky odor completely.

With chemicals:

  1. You can try using antifungal foot powder or antibacterial spray to restore the freshness of your shoes. They will cure any infection in your feet that is causing the stink to develop. If you are into essential oils, you can mix a few drops of tea tree oil into a lotion and apply it to the affected area. Tea tree oil has excellent anti-fungal properties.
  2. If you are not suffering from some infection, the logical conclusion is that your shoes have become extremely dirty and need a heavy dose of cleaning. Take out the soles and laces. Place the shoes in a pillow cushion and turn it in a water cycle at around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Repeat the process and let the shoes air-dry.
  3. As mentioned before, baking soda is a formidable enemy of stink. You can put a fair dose of baking soda inside your shoes and leave them overnight. The powder will absorb the odor overnight. If you want the baking soda to make a greater impact, mix it with zinc oxide powder to create an anti-fungal powder that will eliminate odor. The mixture has both deodorizing and antibacterial properties. Make sure that your drain out the mixture completely before you wear the shoes.
  4. Try to use store-bought odor removers if your shoes are already smelly. They contain certain bacteria and enzymes which eat away the odor, hence eliminating it.
  5. If the store-bought removers do not do as great a job as you want, you can take matters into your hands. Rubbing alcohol can help you remove the odor from the shoes if you swab the shoes with a cotton ball. The odor will dry out, and you will be able to use the shoes again without any problem. Not only is rubbing alcohol an effective antiseptic, but it also helps other liquids evaporate quickly when it mixes with them.
  6. You might not feel like using fresh cat litter to clean your shoes, as the idea is oxymoronic. However, cat litter does work wonders when it comes to restoring freshness to your shoes because of its amazing deodorizing properties. Fill a sock with fresh, unused kitty litter and knot it. Stuff this into the shoes overnight to see changes.
  7. You can also use a mix of water and vinegar as a spray to get rid of the unwanted stink. Spray the shoes with a mixture that has 50% water and 50% distilled vinegar. Spritz the liquid mixture into the lining and sole. You should let it air dry for at least half an hour. If you are in a hurry, then you can always use a dryer.

The above techniques will definitely help you tackle the problem of smelly shoes with finesse. You will no longer have to worry about your stinky shoes and the effect they are going to have inside your house anymore.


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