DIY shoe cleaning tips for the frugal family. As with many families, we are always on the move. Running errands, working out, exercising at the gym, working from home, and keeping the house running smoothly. The demands of the day require being on our feet and sometimes the entire day. Over the course of the day, our feet sweat from the constant movement which can lead to smelly feet! And needless to say, can be a little embarrassing.
Because of the many sweat glands our feet have, it can be challenging to control foot odor. However, there are a few DIY tips and tricks to help control foot odor. Foot odor causing bacteria can be absorbed by shoes which over time will smell.
Periodically cleaning and deodorizing your shoes helps minimize foot odors. It is important to neutralize foot odors before they become overwhelming. Store bought foot creams and powders are pricey. As an alternative to pricey store bought foot products, use basic ingredients to help minimize foot odors. Take a look at these tips to help control foot odor that can help keep your shoes from absorbing smelly odors.
DIY Shoe Cleaning Tips – Cleaning the Shoe Insides
First, clean the insides of the shoes then follow up with a deodorizer to reduce or eliminate foul shoe odors.
In a small container, mix one part distilled white vinegar to five parts water. With a sponge dipped in the solution, clean any insoles and the interior of the shoes. Carefully wipe the interior then place shoes in a protected outside area to dry out.
To help eliminate foot odors, we’ve listed a few shoe cleaning tips to help keep your footwear odor free. Take a look at these tips.
To deodorize shoes, in a pair of old socks pour 2 spoonfuls of baking soda in each one. Tie each sock into a knot. Drop one sock into each shoe leaving them overnight. Remove each sock from the shoe the following morning. As an alternative to old socks, use cheesecloth or a double piece of gauze fabric to contain the baking soda. Discard the used sock wrapped baking soda deodorizers afterwards.
2. Tea Bags
Boil two black tea bags for 2 to 3 minutes. With a spoon, squeeze any excess water from each bag. After cooling down, drop one bag in each shoe for one hour. Remove the black tea bags from each shoe and clean any residue left from the tea bags. Tannins is a group of compounds found in black tea that help eliminate odor causing bacteria. The tea bags freshen shoes.
In two shallow bowls or jar caps, fill with salt and place one bowl in each shoe. Let the salt filled bowls remain overnight in the shoes. Salt eliminates the odor and absorbs any moisture in the shoes. Periodically, place salt bowls in each shoe to deodorize them.
4. Baby Powder
Add baby powder to two shallow small containers and place one in each shoe. Leave the baby powder filled containers in the shoes overnight to deodorize them. Discard the baby powder the next morning.
5. Rubbing Alcohol
Spray rubbing alcohol on the insides of shoes to help minimize the foul odor. Rubbing alcohol evaporates faster than water does. The rubbing alcohol deodorizes and disinfects the insides of shoes.
6. Fabric Softener Sheets
Take two dryer fabric softener sheets from the laundry room. Place one fabric softener sheet in each shoe. Leave sheets in shoes overnight to neutralize shoe odors.
7. Essential Oils
On two small pieces of paper towels, add 2 to 3 drops of your favorite essential oil. Place one of the scented paper towels in each shoe. Leave the scented paper towels overnight to freshen shoes. Discard the paper towel pieces in the morning. As far as which scents to use, try tea tree, eucalyptus, orange, or lavender essential oils.
8. Machine Washing
Wash shoes such as sneakers or gym shoes in the washing machine by adding a cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash cycle. The vinegar eliminates odors and cleans shoes.
TIPS TO KEEP SHOES DRY
To keep shoes from absorbing foot odors, keep your feet dry with these tips:
Wear cotton socks to absorb moisture from your feet during the Summer season. Over the Winter season, wool is a good choice for socks. Moisture-wicking socks draw moisture away from your feet. Keep your feet dry with moisture-wicking socks so that shoes do not absorb sweat. Neither your feet nor shoes should absorb sweat, instead have the socks absorb any moisture. And during Summer outings, if socks become damp with sweat replace the socks. Always carry an extra set or two of fresh socks to quickly change if needed.
Anti-fungal foot powders help keep feet dry. Or sprinkle cornstarch on your feet to keep them dry and odorless.
Wear the appropriate shoes for the appropriate activities. Especially on warmer days, canvas and leather shoes are breathable materials which allow air to circulate. Air circulation allows moisture to escape rather than be trapped inside the shoes.
On warmer days, wash your feet after you’ve been outdoors and if your feet have become sweaty. Washing feet with cool water flushes away sweat and odor causing bacteria. The cool water also cools the skin down, reduces sweating, and reduces swelling in the feet. Wash your feet more frequently after hot, sunny outings unless you are at the beach. The ocean saltwater helps control bacteria on your feet. Afterwards, dry feet thoroughly especially between toes to prevent any flare ups of fungus. And follow up with either anti-fungal powder or cornstarch to help keep feet dry.
Soak Feet to Help with Foot Odor
Soak feet in a tub of warm water and two black tea bags. Black tea has tannins which aid in closing the pores of the skin and reduces sweating. Soak feet for 20 minutes to freshen your feet. Periodically soak feet in tea as needed.
Change shoes more frequently during the day especially when shoes become damp and warm from use. Carry a second pair of shoes for days when the first pair become sweaty or soiled. Slip into a second pair of shoes to avoid the first pair from absorbing any foot odor causing bacteria. Frequently clean and air out shoes. Allow shoes to dry outside for a few hours on a warm dry day.
Occasionally, apply rubbing alcohol between toes and sweaty areas of the feet. Dab rubbing alcohol on problematic feet areas to dry out and prevent foot odors. However, not too frequently because rubbing alcohol dries the skin out.
DIY Shoe Cleaning Tips – Cleaning the Shoe Outsides
Remove Salt and Water Residue Stains
Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 cup water in a container or spray bottle. Either stir the container mixture or shake the spray bottle to mix the contents thoroughly. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution or spray the solution on the microfiber cloth. Rub the vinegar water solution on the residue stains to remove them. Then with a clean microfiber cloth dry any excess moisture and afterwards, buff the previously soiled area.
Dirt and Scuff Marks Removal
On canvas and rubber shoes, use a Magic Cleaning Pad to erase scuff marks. Wet the cleaning pad and carefully wipe dirt and scuff marks from the shoes. This is especially effective on white sneakers.
For leather shoes, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. Using a microfiber cloth clean off any dirt or mud from the shoes. After shoes are dry, rub shoes with a soft, dry microfiber cloth. Remove scuff marks with a wet cloth dipped in baking soda. Wipe shoes one final time, then buff them after they’ve dried.
Clean scuff marks from patent leather shoes with a cotton swab dipped in petroleum jelly. Rub until the marks fade away. Follow up with a mild glass cleaner to give the patent leather its original shine.
To help curb foot odor, soak feet to get rid of bacteria. For a foot soak to eliminate odor causing bacteria, fill a dishpan about ⅓ full of warm water. You most likely want this dishpan dedicated for a foot soak and not for other purposes. Add ½ cup of table salt or ½ cup of baking soda to the warm water. Then soak your feet for 30 minutes.
After the salt or baking soda soak, follow up the next day with an apple cider vinegar water soak. Using 1 part apple cider vinegar to 8 parts warm water ratio.
On a final note . . .
These are a few ideas to help with DIY Shoe Cleaning Tips. Maintaining your shoes so that they are clean and free from odor takes a few minutes. Clean shoes are by far more comfortable to wear.
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We are sure you’ll enjoy these DIY shoe cleaning tips for the frugal home. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We always are ready to help you out. Thank you for dropping by.