How to Clean Shoes That Make Feet Stink!

Updated on November 07, 2010
H.P. asks from South Hadley, MA
9 answers

Long ago I saw a great response about how to clean little ones' sandals that get wet and consequently make little ones' feet stink! Can't recall what was said but I really need the advice now! Something about disinfecting the shoes but I can't remember with what. Anyone know or have a bonafide solution? Many thanks in advance!

2 moms found this helpful

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S.G.

answers from Boston on

I'd like to know too. My son and husband's sandles stink terribly. It seems to be after they get them wet in the ocean. The smell is terrible. I can't wash it out.
Good Luck!

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K.A.

answers from Boston on

Found this online and edited the commentary a bit. I'll be trying it myself...I'd recommend shaking the solution before use and after every few sprays. I love that it's all natural!

From PrairieMom: In a 16 oz. spray bottle I combined a couple Tablespoons of baking soda, a few drops of grapefruit seed extract, about 30 drops of tea tree oil and a few drops of lavender. Then I filled the bottle up with water.
I attacked the stinky sandals first. I sprayed them with the solution and left them out side over night. Then I sprayed DS's feet. The stench went away almost immediately! I couldn't believe it. Before, you could have smelled this kid from across the room!
This morning his sandals smelled fresh as can be, and even after wearing them all day in the heat, his feet still don't stink and his shoes are still fresh!!

1 mom found this helpful
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H.C.

answers from Boston on

I don't have a solution on how to clean the shoes, but I do Know of a shoe brand that will help with this issue. Try Geox shoes, they have holes in the bottom of the shoes that allow moisture out of the shoe, but not in. I know this because I work for the company. I have 2 boys ages 4 & 6 and they have worked wonders for them and for me. We have 4 stores in MA: Braintree, Natick Burlington and Peabody. Hope this helps. Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.J.

answers from Boston on

I have the same problem! Seems like there are alot of us with kids with stinky feet! ;)
I looked it up on the web, so I don't know if it will work, but the answer I keep finding over and over is that you should put the shoes in a freezer bag and in the the freezer overnight. Apparently its the microbes on the shoes that make the feet stink, and the freezer kills them. It might not hurt to add some baking soda.

Good luck!

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J.E.

answers from Boston on

I can't offer any advice but I am anxious to see what kind of feedback you will get. My 2 1/2 year olds feet STINK...I never thought such a little kid could have such stinky feet but it's due to the shoes she is wearing and won't wear anything but her "slippers" as she calls them which are Nike sandals that have the plastic/foam like bottoms... I've tried washing them multiple times, nothing seems to work to get the smell out! If nothing else, I know what you are going through! :)

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C.K.

answers from Boston on

Hi
I'm looking for solution for my little girls sneakers that make her feet smell like rotten cheese, they will be hitting the washing machine this week and hopefully they won't fall apart! BUT I may have solution for your sandals....About 6 years ago I bought a pair of leather sandals from Aldo. They talked me into this spray cleaner/refresher that actually worked. I didn't think it would work but surprisingly it did! I don't know if they still make it or if it works on anything but leather. Wish I had remembered it before you posted this question since I've chucked a couple pairs of sandals for stinking since I used up the spray.

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S.S.

answers from Boston on

I don't know if bleach or non-chloride bleach would help. It might be worth a try. My husband swears by foot powder but I'm not convinced that helps. That's more for shoes anyway.

Once sandals and/or shoes get wet, they are much more prone to the big stink! Drying shoes by stuffing newspaper in them helps dry them more quickly (replace the newspaper a few times to help draw out the moisture). Or putting them in the dryer (on a rack, if you have one) can help, too.

But I'd love to know why they all stink to high heaven once they've gotten wet--even if they have subsequently dried out! It drives me nuts! At least our kids are guaranteed to grow so a new pair of sandals or shoes is in the future before too long, right?

Just wait till your kids, particularly boys, begin to mature body-wise. I call it the stinky feet stage! Make sure they wear socks to absorb the moisture. Alternating pairs of shoes from day to day also helps to allow the shoes to more fully dry and air out.

As for sandals like TEVAs, good luck. Once they get stinky, I haven't found a solution! I've scrubbed them with an old toothbrush even and it doesn't seem to help. Leather bottoms don't seem to get as stinky, though. It's the rubber and/or plastic soles that are the worst offenders!

I hope someone comes up with a bonafide solution. I'm looking for one myself!

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L.T.

answers from Boston on

Unfortunately I don't have a solution, either, but we have the same problem!!! I hope someone out there has some good advice for this one...

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S.G.

answers from Boston on

I'd like to know too. My son and husband's sandles stink terribly. It seems to be after they get them wet in the ocean. The smell is terrible. I can't wash it out.
Good Luck!

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V.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Truth is. Little girls tend to have very very very stinky cheesy feet. I never knew one who did not. Girls feet tend to sweat and stink way more than boys. The good news is girls feet smell like cheese, popcorn, corn chips, doritos or cheetos. Boys feet smell like horse poop or a rotten dead animal=(. Girls feet are gonna stink..there is nothing you can do about it, it is nature. Same as bad breath, no matter how much gum you chew or brush, it will not get rid of it forever. After a nice bath her feet will smell better but in no time they will be super stinky again. My daughters feet are very stinky and she is only 4....smells like cheesy popcorn and she tends to think it is funny and wants everyone to have a sniff lol. People think just because they are little, that their feet can't stink but little girls have the stinkiest feet on planet earth, and we just deal with it=P And remember..it's not the shoes that make her feet stinky, it is her feet that makes the shoes stinky=P