Stinky Shoe Solutions
Since we moved to the country, down a dusty gravel road, I have become an expert in all things dusty and dirty. To give all this dirt a good home, I even set aside a room in our home and named it in honor of the great outdoors, "The Mud Room". (Yes, I lead a glamorous life.) An even though dirt/mud has a room named in its honor, it doesn't have the presence of mind to stay contained in one room - but instead moves freely throughout my home.
One thing that has stayed put in this room is the collective stench of smelly shoes. I found this little video clip (45 seconds of funny!) and thought it was a good depiction of the effect of my mud room/stinky shoe room. Go ahead - laugh a little.
As hard as it is to believe to me, it seems my running shoes (the many pairs) have been a big contributor to this ambience in this room. Many long runs, wet trails, rainy conditions...etc, etc...it all adds up. So I am on a mission to fight all that is smelly and evil in this room and return it to its prestigous Mud Room status - minus the stink. I have armed myself with some great tips from ehow, how to clean, thriftyfun, tipnut, startsampling. Here is a sampling of the top ideas:
1. Wash your feet. Ok, I do this - swear. This was the top tip on all the lists - wash your feet with soap and water. Check. Got it. Easy one. Now - my kids feet - that is a different story - they are continually dirty - makes it clear why their cute little shoes smell like a small but rancid animal has taken up residence deep inside. One other tip mentioned that bleaching socks each washing helps too. Soaking in black tea was mentioned - but its a "nope" on my list.
2. Baking soda sprinkled in the shoe. Seems to be a favorite of many because it is cheap, safe and environmentally safe. Alum, baby powder, and foot powders were also in this group of tips. There were a couple tips about swirling a shot of rubbing alcohol around the shoe and letting it dry to kill odor and bacteria.
3. Freezing your shoes. Many, many suggestions of putting shoes in the freezer to freeze out the odor causing bacteria. Some variations suggested putting them in plastic bags and then freezing. Others - throw them out in winter. There was some mention that USC did a study and this was the number one solution. I couldn't find it - so we will leave that as a internet myth. First, I can't believe this works (my shoes are smelly in the winter and I regularly freeze to death) and second, this is gross - no can do for me! Could you imagine cooking dinner for your family and one of them saying, "gee, hon, dinner has a different taste - what did you try?" "Oh, just a subtle marinate of my running shoes." Ick!
4. Amazing household products. Many tips on using "Bounce" dryer sheets in shoes, Febreeze sprays, Clorox Antibacterial sprays/cleaners, rolled up newspapers, etc. Worth a shot if you have them laying around.
5. Kitty litter. Bag up a little (unused) litter in panty hose or netting and place in your shoes to attract moisture and smell.
And my favorite tip - although I probably won't try it - came from the Start Sampling link:
"charcoal also helps absorb odors. but not the bricks that or premoistened with lighter fluid. unless they are real bad then add them and a lit match."
Alright, I am armed and I am going in. If you don't hear from me in a few days, call my husband first and then 9-1-1. Better let them know to send the hazmat crew. In the meantime, if you happen to fight the battle of stinky shoes in your house, feel free to send your tips my way.