How to Clean Smelly Sneakers

Are your new sneakers starting to pick up some grime? Need some nasal relief from stinky feet? If so, here are a few tips that can help you with keeping your sneakers looking brand new!

1. Wash stinky sneakers in the washing machine.
For those shoes can be tossed right into the washing machine, if they have laces, make sure to take them out. If the laces are dirty as well, the best way to wash them is putting them inside a mesh laundry bag and washing separately.

Prior to putting the shoes into the washing machine, you should try to get rid of any tough stains which can be done with 409 and a little elbow grease in the form of an old tooth brush. Scrub away the stains and then put the shoes into a mesh laundry bag (separate from the laces). This will prevent your shoes from getting scuffed up as well as prevent the drum of your washing machine from possibly getting damaged.

Make sure to set your washing machine for “delicate cycle” and to use cold water with about a half of a cup of detergent. After the wash, you’ll want to allow your sneakers to air dry as opposed to putting them in the dryer which can cause damage to your shoes. You can either put your shoes outside if it’s a warm day, or otherwise put them on a newspaper.

2. Clean the insoles with vinegar.
Put a ratio of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part hot water in a large bowl and then place the insoles inside to soak for a few hours. Vinegar is a great disinfectant, so it’ll kill any stinky bacteria.

3. Put smelly shoes in the freezer.
I’m not suggesting that you put them in without any type of barrier though… do make sure to put your sneakers in a freezer bag or zip-lock bag and then leave overnight. This trick works surprisingly well, especially for shoes that shouldn’t get wet.

If you still find that your shoes smell after freezing them, try using some baking soda which is a natural odor absorbent and then put back into the freezer for 24 – 48 hours. If your shoes still smell and you can’t bear to part with them, you can try getting an odor remover from a pet store – these odor removers typically contain enzymes that should eat away at the odor… if it’s good enough for cat urine, it should be good enough to kill your stinky shoe smell!


Posted in DIY

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