Practical Ways to Get Rid of Shoe Odor

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    Nov 22, 2012
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If you wear tennis shoes, leather shoes, or suede footwear with limited ventilation often, chances are your shoes smell a little less than pleasant a little more often than you would like. Fortunately, there are plenty of practical ways to get rid of the odor in your shoes, while giving your feet some much-needed antibacterial treatment.

One of the most affordable remedies for smelly shoes is to sprinkle the inside of the shoes with baking soda. A light dusting will neutralize the odor and get rid of bacteria and sweat in the shoes. You can also sprinkle a little on your bare feet before putting socks on to make sure your feet stay fresh all day. Or, sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda in the shoes, spread the baking soda around, and leave it in the shoes overnight to get rid of the excess moisture and foul smells in the shoes. Baby powder can have a similar positive effect.

White vinegar can also neutralize odors and remove bacteria inside of your shoes. In a small spray bottle, mix equal parts vinegar and water and spray the inside of the shoe thoroughly. Let your shoes dry for a few minutes before putting your feet in them for a fresh feeling that will last for hours.

If you wear insoles, make sure that you take them out each night so that your shoes can air out properly. This keeps sweat and bacteria from being trapped inside the shoe, which will cut down on unpleasant odors coming from the shoes. It's also important to replace your insoles often to keep your shoes--and your feet--smelling fresh. You can also treat your insoles with the vinegar and water solution or a solution of baking soda and water to make sure that they are ready to wear the next day. Sprinkling some talcum powder or baking soda on the insoles once you remove them from the shoes is an effective way to get rid of shoe odor as well.
Don't forget to wash your shoes about once a month or so to rid them of foul smells. If there's a special product you need to wash the shoes so that you won't ruin the material, be sure to purchase this from the shoe manufacturer. However, there are a number of sneakers and business casual shoes that you can wash in the washing machine, using regular detergent.

Of course, replacing your shoes when you know that you need new ones will also reduce shoe odor. When your shoes are a few years old and you can't do anything to get rid of the smell, even if you'd tried the remedies above, it's time to simply invest in a new pair. Some people even get two pairs of the same or a similar shoe to alternate wearing them on different days. This way, both pairs of shoes last considerably longer, and there's less of a chance that either pair of shoes will develop an offensive odor that is beyond repair.

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