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February 1, 2023

Since our shoes house our feet, which have more sweat glands than any other part of our bodies, it is not hard to see why there may be times when said shoes become hot and moist. This is especially so if they have been worn for prolonged periods of time or when the wearer is taking part in activities that would make them sweat more, such as running, dancing, or hiking.

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of sweaty feet is a buildup of bacteria. Bacteria breed in dark, warm, moist environments. When this bacteria mixes with sweat, it can result in an acid byproduct that does not smell particularly nice.

So, while there is nothing that can be done about sweaty feet, there are things that can be done to prevent them from smelling bad. Here are just a few ideas:

Don’t Wear Your Shoes Every Day

We all have a favorite pair of shoes but if you are wearing the same shoes every single day, chances are they are not getting a chance to air out and dry. The longer your shoes stay warm and damp, the more bacteria will spread and the higher the chances of the shoes becoming stinky.

Clean Your Shoes Regularly

You should also get into the habit of cleaning your shoes regularly. Some shoes can be put on a cool wash in the machine, but others will need to be hand washed only. Whatever the recommendations are for cleaning the exterior of the shoe, you should give the inside a good clean with a cloth and some warm soapy water. Dip the cloth in the water and give it a good squeeze. You can then use it to get right inside the shoe. Allow it to dry and then sprinkle some baking soda inside. Leave this in for a couple of hours before removing by shaking out.

Some people like to spray their shoes with white vinegar after removing the baking soda. If doing this, the shoes should be allowed to dry fully before being worn again. Alternatively, you could use a shoe odor spray such as those made by ShoeFresh. These commercial sprays are designed to eliminate odors for up to three months.

Other Ways to Make Your Shoes Smell Nice

Essential oils are a terrific way to make your shoes smell nicer. Just put a couple of drops of your favorite scent on to cotton balls and put them in your shoes overnight. However, do not just try to mask the bad smell with a scent you like. You do need to clean the shoes first, and you should still avoid wearing your shoes every day.

You could also try different methods to make your shoes smell good. Some people like to place bars of soap inside their shoes while others will use tumble dryer sheets.

If you prefer your shoes not to have any smell at all, try charcoal briquettes or soda crystals in them. Just remember to remove these before you put your feet in!

Conclusion

Shoes can often become smelly, and this is typically caused by a buildup of bacteria combined with sweat. When shoes do not get a chance to air, bacteria can grow in the damp, warm environment. Over time, this produces a strong, unpleasant smell.

To prevent shoes from becoming smelly, you should avoid wearing them every day and get into the habit of cleaning them regularly. You can then use products such as shoe deodorizers, essential oils, bars of soap, or baking soda to make them smell nicer.

Garth Gregory

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