Shoes stink: what to do? Those are the best tips

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If the shoes stink: you can do this against unpleasant odors

After repeated wearing, an unpleasant odor can spread in shoes

© emapoket / Getty Images

Not only do we sweat a lot on our feet in the warm summer months, but also during all kinds of sporting activities. In addition, the (wrong) materials in the shoes can contribute to the formation of odours. But what to do if your shoes stink? The star tells you simple tricks.

If our feet (and therefore also the shoes) smell unpleasantly, this is not a sign of poor hygiene. In fact, special bacteria in human sweat are responsible for the fact that we stink. And they feel particularly comfortable in humid and warm environments – such as the inside of our shoes. If we take off the sweaty shoes, the bacteria react with the air. This creates the unpleasant odors. Unfortunately, these stubbornly remain in the shoes through regular wear, so that they have to be treated every now and then. We have summarized for you below which (home) remedies help to minimize the stench.

Quick help against odors: shoe sprays & powder

You can buy special shoe sprays to eliminate bad odors in numerous drugstores as well as online. They are sprayed directly into the shoes and mask the stench with fragrant fragrances – but they do not eliminate the cause. For this reason, it can make sense to match your shoes with a disinfectant spray should be treated regularly, as these also fight bacteria (and fungi).

Alternatively, there are microbiological ones shoe powder against foot odor, which consists of 99 percent natural ingredients and – according to the manufacturer – should last for up to six months. Or you use special ones anti-odor pillow with natural activated charcoal, which is placed in the shoes and is supposed to absorb unpleasant odors and thus neutralize them. According to the manufacturer, these last up to a year.

By the way, there are also special ones foot deodorantthat reduce bad smells. However, you should use them with caution, as they can sometimes contain harmful and skin-irritating ingredients. Be sure to pay attention to the ingredients and better choose a brand without aluminium salts.

Another tip: With a voucher from Otto, you will receive a discount of up to 50 percent on new items in the online shop.

Shoes stink: what to do? The best home remedies

To banish bad smells from worn shoes, you can use proven home remedies – such as:

baking powder (or baking soda)
If your sneakers stink, you can use a packet of baking soda (alternatively a teaspoon baking soda) sprinkle in the shoes. Let the home remedy work overnight to bind the moisture and remove the powder the next morning – preferably with a handheld vacuum cleaner. Or you can first put the baking powder in an old nylon sock and then tie it up. This saves you the hassle of removing it afterwards.

citrus fruits
Citrus peels are also said to help neutralize bad odors in shoes. The essential oils it contains work their magic by placing the peels on the stinky insoles overnight. This trick is supposed to work with all citrus fruits, by the way, so it doesn’t matter if you use a lemon or orange, lime or grapefruit.

As is so often the case, coffee is a popular household remedy – also when it comes to eliminating unpleasant odours. Its strong aroma should easily neutralize the stench in shoes. Just put some coffee powder (dried) on the insoles and leave it to work overnight. But be careful: Coffee can stain the soles, so it makes sense to first put the powder in a thin cloth bag or nylon stockings and seal it.

Extra tip: Put your smelly shoes in the freezer for 24 hours. The odor-causing bacteria do not tolerate such cold temperatures. However, it is advisable to put the shoes in a freezer bag beforehand.

Hygiene tips: How to avoid smelly shoes

To prevent bad smells from spreading through your shoes, you can take a few preventive measures:

  1. Wear a fresh pair of socks every day.
  2. Leave worn shoes to dry in the fresh air.
  3. When buying shoes, look for breathable materials.
  4. use insolesthat you exchange regularly.
  5. Change your shoes regularly so that they air out long enough.
  6. Clean non-sensitive shoes (e.g. sneakers) in the washing machine.

Sources: Eco test / Utopia

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