Shoe odors are caused by bacteria growing in moist, dark places. They can also be caused by sweat and oil from your skin that gets into the fibers in the shoes.
The great news is that baking soda is a great way to get rid of shoe odor – sometimes once and for all.
In this article, you will learn how to remove shoe odors from your home and shoes, along with other crucial tips to remember when it comes to getting rid of annoying odors in your home.
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What the most common sources of shoe odors are
Shoes are often lined with materials that cause odors to build up during everyday use.
This buildup of sweat, bacteria, and oil is known as foot funk, shoe funk, or shoe odor.
Other sources of shoe odor include dirty shoes that have been worn without socks, smelly shoes that were never cleaned before being placed in storage, and smelly athletic gear that needs washing after heavy use.
How to remove shoe odors from your home and shoes
Baking soda will do the trick for most people when it comes time to clean out old stinky shoes or get rid of new stinky shoe smell.
There are several simple ways you can use baking soda to remove the funky smells from your shoes.
Simply sprinkle baking soda into the inside of your smelly shoes and lace them up as usual for a couple of days or until the stench is gone.
Another way to use baking soda to remove shoe odors is to make a thick paste with water and baking soda, apply it to any surfaces that have been affected by the odor, let it dry, then take a damp rag and wipe it away.
It's also a good idea to place a small container of baking soda in your closet, gym bag, or other places where you store your shoes as this will help absorb any lingering foot funk.
When removing shoe odors from carpeting or hardwood floors, porous materials can be treated with a mixture of baking soda and water, or baking soda can be sprinkled on the carpet or floor and brushed with a broom.
Please note that this method will not work for concrete floors, most sealed wood floors, tile floors, linoleum tiles, vinyl tiles, varnished wood floors, granite countertops, etc., because baking soda cannot penetrate the surface to neutralize the odors from below. In other words, these surfaces would have to be stripped of their coating for the baking soda to get through to where it's needed.
However, if you want to clean sticky grease off kitchen cabinets, then baking soda is the way to go.
How do I use baking soda for removing shoe odors? What do I need?
You'll need a jar or container that's big enough to hold the shoes you want to soak, baking soda, water, and an old towel. Then, follow these steps:
- Step 1 – Fill your container halfway with lukewarm water
- Step 2 – Mix in 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water. For example, for every cup of water use 1/3 cup of baking soda or for every liter of water use 10 tablespoons (about 80 grams) of baking soda. Adding more baking soda will lead to better results but it could take longer to dry out.
- Step 3 – Soak your shoes in this mixture for at least 12 hours (for larger shoes like boots you may need even more time).
- Step 4 – After you've soaked your shoes for as long as needed, take them out and put them in a cool dry place to dry off. If you have a fan nearby set it to blow on low. This will speed up the process of drying your shoes and prevent any mildew from forming.
- Step 5 – Once your shoes are completely dry, sprinkle some baking soda inside them and leave overnight so that they can absorb any odors still left behind. You should do this before wearing your shoes again or putting them back into storage.
Why baking soda is the best way to get rid of shoe odor
Baking soda neutralizes odors naturally by absorbing unpleasant smells into itself where it then breaks down into inert components that are not likely to cause any further harm. This makes it much safer than other household cleaners which typically mask bad odors with artificial fragrances or kill bacteria with harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia.
Using these types of cleaners often causes the stinky shoes you're trying to get rid of to smell even worse and in some cases, the fumes can be harmful.
Baking soda is also a natural deodorizer so it will not only remove shoe odor but also any other odors that may be present in your home.
Tips for using baking soda in your closet, on carpeting, and hardwood floors
When cleaning your home with baking soda it's important to keep these tips in mind.
Test an inconspicuous area before applying baking soda to a large surface
Applying baking soda to an inconspicuous area should be enough to test if it's safe to move forward. In addition, this will also help you determine how long you should leave the baking soda on the surface before rinsing it off.
Always use a damp cloth when wiping away baking soda residue – dry surfaces can become scratched.
A damp cloth will help you remove any residue without scratching the surface. This is especially important when cleaning delicate surfaces like wood floors or furniture.
Never mix baking soda with other cleaners – this can create hazardous fumes.
When it comes to removing shoe odors using baking soda it's always best to stick with just the baking soda and water. This is because other cleaners like bleach or ammonia can react with baking soda and create harmful fumes.
Keep in mind that baking soda may not be suitable for all surfaces
You should avoid using baking soda on marble, granite countertops, tile floors, varnished wood floors, painted walls, etc. If you do so, it can leave behind a dulling film or even etch the surface if left to sit too long before being washed away with water.
Do not pour water onto baking soda if it is being used in shoes – this will damage the footwear.
Baking soda should always be used dry in shoes. If it gets wet, for example from a spilled liquid, the material will start to break down and eventually turn into a sticky mess that can damage your shoe.
Baking soda can be harmful to pets
Put your pets away when using baking soda to clean as it can be harmful if ingested. Baking soda is not poisonous to pets but it can cause them to vomit or have diarrhea if they consume too much of it.
Removing Shoe Odors With Baking Soda – FAQ
Why should I use baking soda to remove shoe odors?
Baking soda can help you keep your stinky shoes smelling fresh. It's the best way to deodorize and neutralize smells like those from your athletic shoes, footgear, and boots.
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Is it safe to use baking soda in my shoes?
Baking soda is a safe way to soak up any odor-causing bacteria or fungus which may be living in your sneaks. It's also an all-natural remedy that has no side effects. However, if you happen to have any open cuts on your feet please refrain from using this method because of the risk of infection.
What if my shoes are wet?
If your shoes are wet, removing as much water as possible before using the baking soda is ideal. You can do this by using a shoe dryer, airing them out in the sun, or stuffing them with newspapers. Once your shoes are mostly dry, you can then proceed with the baking soda remedy.
Can I use this method for all types of shoes?
This method should work for all types of shoes, but if you have leather or suede shoes be careful not to soak them for too long. Baking soda can be harsh on these materials and may cause discoloration or damage.
Odors from sneakers, footgear, and boots can be a real nuisance. But with a little baking soda, these smells can be neutralized and removed in no time. Soak your shoes in a baking soda and water solution, or sprinkle some baking soda inside your shoes to help absorb any unwanted smells.
Baking soda can also be used to make DIY laundry detergent so you can keep your clothes smelling fresh too.
Final thoughts on removing shoe odors with baking soda
In conclusion, using baking soda is the best way to deodorize and neutralize smells such as those from your athletic shoes, footgear, and boots. This safe solution can help you ensure your stinky shoes start smelling fresh.