There’s no use denying it—we’ve all had stinky shoes! Feet can perspire heavily, especially when we’re active or the weather is hot. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to help combat this embarrassing problem. You can use essential oils to fight the odor!
- 1 Why Do Shoes Get Stinky?
- 2 Essential Oils for Stinky Shoes
- 3 How Can You Use Essential Oils to Prevent and Combat Shoe Odors?
- 4 Other Natural Remedies for Stinky Shoes
- 4.1 Lemon juice:
- 4.2 Kitty litter:
- 4.3 Apple cider vinegar:
- 4.4 Baking soda:
- 4.5 Black tea:
- 4.6 Epsom salts:
- 4.7 Dried sage, rosemary, or lavender leaves:
- 4.8 Wear cotton or hemp socks and change them more often:
- 4.9 Keep your shoes as dry as possible:
- 4.10 Baking soda and coffee filter:
- 4.11 Rubbing alcohol:
- 4.12 Old stockings and kitty litter:
- 4.13 Freezer:
- 4.14 Charcoal insoles:
- 4.15 Rosemary, sage, and ginger soak:
- 4.16 Mint scrub:
- 4.17 Vinegar soak:
- 4.18 Cedar chips:
- 4.19 Move your shoes:
- 4.20 Wash your shoes, if you can:
- 4.21 Use antibacterial or deodorant soap:
- 4.22 Salt soak:
- 4.23 Choose shoes made of natural materials:
- 4.24 Go to the doctor if the smell is very persistent:
- 4.25 Lemon and baking soda:
- 4.26 Rosemary and sage soak:
- 4.27 Cut your toenails:
- 4.28 Rubbing alcohol:
- 4.29 Use antiperspirant or deodorant on your feet:
- 4.30 Vicks:
- 4.31 Oatmeal:
- 4.32 Vodka:
- 4.33 Lemon tea bags:
- 4.34 Listerine:
- 4.35 Ginger root:
- 4.36 Sugar and isopropyl alcohol:
Why Do Shoes Get Stinky?
Our feet perspire heavily throughout the day. This is especially the case when we are active or exercise. The resulting sweat is a friendly environment for bacteria and fungi, which cause unpleasant odors.
Essential Oils for Stinky Shoes
Here are some essential oils that you can use to combat odors:
Eucalyptus essential oil:
Eucalyptus essential oil is also referred to as eucalyptol. It is well-known for its ability to remove odors. Once popular way to use this oil is to soak a rage in water infused with eucalyptus oil and use it to wipe over items. People often allow the items in question to dry in the sun.
Thyme essential oil:
Thyme, also referred to as Thymus vulgaris, is a fragrant herb. Its essential oil is derived through the steam distillation of fresh thyme flowers and leaves. Thyme essential oil can help to fight unpleasant smells in the household.
Peppermint essential oil:
The peppermint plant a hybrid of the spearmint and watermint plants. Peppermint essential oil is created through steam distillation of the whole peppermint plant. Peppermint has a fresh and lively fragrance that is effective in fighting unpleasant odors.
Tea tree oil essential oil:
Tea tree oil is derived from an Australian plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. It has well-known anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Lavender essential oil:
Lavender essential oil is extracted from the lavender plant, through steam distillation. This essential oil is famous for its delightful fragrance. e
How Can You Use Essential Oils to Prevent and Combat Shoe Odors?
Below are essential oil recipes that you can use to keep your sneakers sweet smelling:
Eucalyptus, thyme, peppermint, and tea tree oil spray:
To make this spray, you’ll need unscented witch hazel, distilled water, and thyme, eucalyptus, and tea tree essential oils. A 2.7- ounce spray bottle will also be necessary. Fill the spray bottle halfway with witch hazel. Use distilled water to fill most of the rest of the bottle. If you don’t have distilled water, you can use boiled water that has thoroughly cooled.
After this, add in one drop of thyme oil, two drops of eucalyptus oil, four drops of tea tree oil, and six drops of peppermint essential oil. After you have put the top back on the bottle and secured it, shake the bottle thoroughly. Remember to shake the mixture before each time you use it. Spray the inside of your shoes lightly.
Remember to put enough in the toe box area, as germs and smells are especially prone to lingering there. Give your shoes enough time to dry before wearing them. If your shoes are so smelly you don’t think this will do the trick, spray them more thoroughly and then leave them overnight in a sealed container or bag. You’ll still need to let the shoes properly dry before you wear them.
Lavender and tea tree spray:
For this spray, you’ll need a small funnel, half a cup of rubbing alcohol, a 4-ounce amber spray bottle, 20 drops of lavender oil, 20 drops of tea tree oil, and 20 drops of lemon oil. If you prefer, you can use ylang ylang or geranium oil instead of lemon. These are generally considered more feminine scents. Pour half a cup of rubbing alcohol into the bottle using the small funnel. If you prefer, you can use vodka instead. Add lemon oil (or ylang ylang or geranium oil), lavender oil, and tea tree oil. Spray a heavy layer of the spray on the inside of your shoes, and allow them to thoroughly dry.
Essential oil foot soak:
Helping to prevent your feet from becoming stinky in the first place can help prevent malodorous shoes! To do an essential oil foot soak, you’ll need 10 drops each of eucalyptus and tea tree oils, as well as half a cup of Epsom salts. Add all of this to hot water and stir. After that, mix in a quarter of a cup of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Soak your feet for around 15 minutes. You can do this three times each week.
Baking soda and essential oil powder:
Using this powder will help to keep both feet and shoes pleasant smelling during the day. Put some baking soda into a cheese shaker, and then add in 10 drops each of eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil. Mix this well. Shake this mixture into your shoes and leave it there overnight. Remove the powder from your shoes in the morning. If you wish, you can directly apply this powder to your toes and feet, as well.
Drops of essential oils:
You can directly put drops of the essential oil of your choice (out of the ones we’ve listed) in your shoes to sit overnight. Before doing this, it might be a good idea to do a sensitivity or allergy test if you’re planning on wearing the shoes with bare feet.
Cedarwood oil is antibacterial and antifungal. Mix five drops of cedarwood oil with one tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. Massage your feet. Let the oil sink in several minutes before you walk or put on socks. You can do this every day for one week. This will help to prevent your feet from developing smelly odors and your shoes from becoming stinky.
Lavender oil soak:
Add three drops of lavender oil to warm water. You can soak your feet in this for 20 minutes twice a day for a few days. You’ll find this to be a very relaxing experience, as lavender is known for its soothing qualities. Perhaps do this just before you go to bed, as it will help you sleep.
Tea tree oil rub:
Massage a few drops of tea tree oil (preferably mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil) on your feet before bed and in the morning. Put on socks immediately afterwards. Tea tree oil has strong antibacterial properties that will help to kill bacteria that might be causing odor. This will help your feet and shoes retain a pleasant smell throughout the day. It is advisable to do a sensitivity or allergy test before doing this.
Other Natural Remedies for Stinky Shoes
It’s the volatile compounds in lemon juice that make it effective against odor. Use the juice of half a lemon and mix it with water. Wipe the inside of your shoes one or two times a day using a cotton ball or cloth, and let it thoroughly dry.
Fill your shoes with kitty litter overnight. When emptying your shoes, tape them to help dislodge the litter. Using kitty litter in your shoes should help to absorb odors.
Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has deodorizing and antibacterial properties. Rub the inside of your shoes with apple cider vinegar on a cloth each night. Allow the shoes to properly dry.
Baking soda will help to deodorize your smelly shoes. Sprinkle it into your shoes and leave it to sit overnight. Shake it out before putting on your shoes. You can also soak your feet in water with baking soda. Remember to dry your feet afterwards.
Black tea can help to prevent foot odor, thus making it less likely that your shoes will begin to stink. That’s because of the tannic acid that it contains. Tannic acid is an astringent that can prevent foot perspiration. It can also help to combat bacteria that can lead to odors through its drying effect. To use black tea, first let five black tea bags steep in boiling water. Let the liquid cool, and then soak your feet in it.
Epsom salts can make your shoes less likely to smell. After you have dissolved some Epsom salts in water, use a cotton ball or cloth to dab it on the inside of your shoes.
Dried sage, rosemary, or lavender leaves:
Crush some dried sage, rosemary, or lavender leaves and sprinkle them inside your shoes when you are not wearing them. The pleasant fragrances of these leaves will help to combat unwanted odors.
Wear cotton or hemp socks and change them more often:
Choose socks made of cotton, hemp, or another natural fiber. They are better than other options at absorbing sweat. Also make sure to change your socks more often during the day. Doing so will help to protect your feet and shoes from the development of unpleasant odors.
Keep your shoes as dry as possible:
Keeping your shoes as dry as possible will help to avoid unpleasant odors. This is because the bacteria that causes smelly shoes are more likely to grow in moist environments. If possible, wear different shoes every day. This will give each individual pair more time to dry out.
If your shoes ever get wet, try to put them in a sunny spot for as long as possible, even a few days. You could put them in the dryer, if you prefer. Before you put your shoes on at the start of the day, sprinkle in talcum or cornstarch powder. You could also put the powder directly on your toes and feet.
Baking soda and coffee filter:
Use baking soda to fill an unused coffee filter. Tape the ends to secure the baking soda inside. Alternatively, you could use a rubber band or staples. Put one of these packages in each shoe when you take your shoes off and leave them there overnight. The baking soda will help to neutralize the odor in your shoes.
Use a spray bottle to apply a spritz of rubbing alcohol to the inside of your shoes. This will kill bacteria that may cause odors.
Old stockings and kitty litter:
Fill some mismatched socks or old stockings with kitty litter. Use a rubber band to secure this and put it in the shoe overnight. This will soak up extra moisture and get rid of offensive smells.
Put the shoes in a large resalable bag and put in your freezer at night. Ensure that you seal the bag properly. You don’t want your shoes to come into accidental contact with your food. While you sleep, the bacteria in your shoes will be killed by the low temperature.
Charcoal is an excellent deodorizer. Purchase a pair of charcoal insoles and put them in your shoes.
Rosemary, sage, and ginger soak:
To use this soak, you’ll need dried powdered ginger or one tablespoon of finely grated fresh gingerroot, ten drops of tea tree oil, one tablespoon of dried sage, one tablespoon of rosemary, four cups of water, crushed ice or small ice cubes, one tablespoon of Epsom salts, and one tablespoon of baking soda.
Put the water, ginger, sage, and rosemary in a saucepan. Boil this. Take it off of the heat and steep for around 10 minutes. Strain the liquid. Add in the tea tree oil, Epsom salts, and baking soda. Mix this in. Put this in a shallow basin or foot spa. Put in the ice or extra water. After you have soaked for 15 minutes, pat your feet dry.
You’ll need five drops of peppermint essential oil, the juice of one lemon, one tablespoon of natural yogurt, two tablespoons of dried peppermint, one tablespoon of sugar, one tablespoon of cornmeal, and one tablespoon of coarse-grounded oatmeal. Mix peppermint, sugar, cornmeal, and oatmeal in a bowl. Add in the oil, lemon juice, and yogurt. To use this paste, massage it into your feet.
A vinegar soak will help your feet (and therefore your shoes) be less stinky! Mix half a cup of vinegar in eight cups of hot water. You can soak your feet in this for fifteen minutes. To get rid of the vinegar smell, wash your feet with soap. Use a towel to thoroughly dry your feet afterwards.
Make packets full of cedar chips and put them in your shoes when you’re not wearing them.
Move your shoes:
Never store your shoes in dark closets. They need to be somewhere ventilated and bright.
Wash your shoes, if you can:
If you have shoes that can go in the washing machine (check the label), put them in once monthly. Read the label inside your shoes to find out if you can wash them.
Use antibacterial or deodorant soap:
Use antibacterial or deodorant soap when washing your feet. Remember to properly address the area between your toes. You must properly dry your feet with a towel, including between your toes, after washing them. Leaving any area of your feet damp will make you more prone to odor.
Soak your feet in four cups of water with half a cup of salt for 15 minutes. Dry them thoroughly afterwards, making sure to go in between your toes.
Choose shoes made of natural materials:
Buy and wear shoes made of natural materials, such as leather and canvas. Natural materials breathe much more than synthetic ones, allowing your feet to benefit from air circulation and less likely to accumulate sweat and odor.
Wear socks: Avoid going without socks. When you have bare feet, the sweat, dead skin cells, and bacteria will go directly on your shoes and odor will more likely.
Go to the doctor if the smell is very persistent:
Make sure to see your doctor if the smell is especially persistent. It could indicate a bacterial infection of some kind. Getting a medical examination as soon as possible is especially important if you’re diabetic or have a compromised immune system.
Lemon and baking soda:
You will need the juice of one lemon, eight cups of water, and a quarter cup of baking soda. Put the baking soda into very warm water in a foot basin. Add the lemon juice. Soak your feet in this for 20 minutes, and then thoroughly dry them.
Rosemary and sage soak:
Rosemary has antibacterial and antifungal properties, while sage is antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial. The astringent properties of rosemary will also make the feet sweat less. You will need one or two teaspoons of dried sage and one teaspoon of dried rosemary.
A small foot basin and warm water will also be required. Allow the herbs to steep in the water until the liquid has cooled a little (but is still warm). Soak your feet in this for 30 minutes twice a day. This will help to prevent your feet and shoes becoming smelly. Use a towel to thoroughly dry your feet.
Cut your toenails:
It’s important to cut your toenails regularly. Also, remove hard skin on your heels using a foot file. This is crucial because when hard skin is damp, it can get soggy. Soggy skin is hospitable to bacteria that can cause odor. Remember to dry your feet properly after washing.
Use cotton wool to dab rubbing alcohol between your toes after you shower. This will help not only to fight bacteria but also to dry out the skin. Dry your feet with a towel, as well.
Use antiperspirant or deodorant on your feet:
Using an antiperspirant or deodorant spray on your feet will help to cut down on foot and show odor. This may be especially useful on hot summer days.
Smear some Vicks rub on the inner part of a bucket and then fill with hot water. Soak your feet in this for about 10 minutes. Dry thoroughly and apply some talc or cornstarch powder. You can do this once weekly.
Add oatmeal to warm water. Once the oats have become soft, rub it onto your feet. After you have massaged this in for a while, rinse with lukewarm water. Dry properly.
Some people think that soaking your feet in vodka or vodka and water can combat odor. This is because it can kill bacteria.
Lemon tea bags:
Soak three lemon tea bags in warm water. Put your feet in the water and soak for 15 minutes. Apply some moisturizer and put on a pair of socks. It is best to do this at night before bed.
Add Listerine (the traditional yellow one) to warm water and soak your feet in this for a while. This will help to kill odor-causing bacteria.
First mash some ginger root. Once you have done that, brew it for about 15 minutes. Use a coffee filter to filter the solution. Massage it on your feet and then wipe it off. You can do this each night before bed, for two weeks.
Sugar and isopropyl alcohol:
Mix 91 percent isopropyl alcohol and sugar to create a paste. Massage this into your feet, and then rinse. Thoroughly dry your feet with a towel afterwards, making sure to get in between your toes.
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