We’ve all been there – you open your closet and are hit with the stench of stinky shoes. No matter how much you love your sneakers or favorite heels, foot odor can make them unbearable to wear. Before resigning yourself to buying new shoes, consider using baking soda. This common kitchen ingredient is an effective and affordable way to freshen up stinky shoes.
What Causes Stinky Shoes?
Several culprits contribute to foot odor in shoes. Sweaty feet or socks allow bacteria to thrive, producing unpleasant smells. Closed-toe shoes trap in moisture and prevent ventilation. Certain materials like synthetic leather are more prone to odors than natural materials. Regardless of the cause, baking soda can help combat foul shoe smells.
How Does Baking Soda Work On Odors?
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is well known for its odor absorption abilities. The soda’s chemical makeup allows it to neutralize acidic scents that cause unpleasant smells. By turning acidic compounds into neutral salts, baking soda effectively deodorizes objects. This makes it a versatile freshener for things like refrigerators, carpets, kitty litter – and yes, stinky shoes!
Sprinkling baking soda directly on the source of odor allows it to go to work absorbing foul scents. For shoes, the baking soda pulls odor from insoles, linings, and other interior surfaces. As long as you allow enough time for it to act, baking soda can eliminate shoe smells rather than just masking them.
Easy Ways To Use Baking Soda On Shoes
One of the simplest ways to use baking soda is to sprinkle it generously inside shoes overnight. Shake a few tablespoons all over the bottom insole, sides, and roof of the shoe interior. If possible, blow or puff additional soda inside to reach all crevices. In the morning, turn the shoes upside down and tap out the baking soda. Repeat as needed for tough odors.
For quick freshening, baking soda can also be combined with other pantry staples. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a spray bottle filled with distilled white vinegar to make an odor-eliminating spray. Mist the interior surfaces of stinky shoes and allow to dry fully before wearing again.
You can also fill old socks with a few tablespoons of baking soda each, tie them off, and tuck one in each shoe overnight. The sock prevents loose powder from getting everywhere while keeping the baking soda right up against odor hot spots.
Tips For Baking Soda Shoe Freshening
- Allow shoes to dry fully after baking soda treatment before wearing again. Any lingering moisture will reduce effectiveness.
- Replace socks or insoles that may be harboring odors even after shoe cleaning.
- Alternate pairs of shoes to allow them a full 24 hours to dry between wears.
- Clean shoes regularly by wiping interior surfaces with a gentle cleaner and cloth.
- Sprinkle fresh baking soda directly on feet or inside socks to curb odors at the source.
- Store shoes with 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda tucked inside when not being worn.
The Verdict: Yes to Baking Soda
With its natural deodorizing abilities and neutral pH, baking soda is perfectly safe for freshening shoes. It’s also inexpensive, non-toxic, and easy to use. Just a bit of routine cleaning with baking soda can keep your shoes smelling – and you walking around – much more pleasant. No need to replace favorite kicks; simply grab some baking soda and get rid of shoe odors for good.