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Keep Your Shoes Fresh and Odor-Free: Tips and Tricks

How To Keep Shoes Smelling Fresh

Are you feeling conscious of the odor coming from your shoes? Say goodbye to smelly feet with these simple solutions.

Tip #1 - Place a Tea Bag In Your Shoes

tea bag in shoe absorbs moisture


Place a tea bag in each shoe to keep them fresh and odor-free. Tea bags don't kill bacteria that cause foot odor, but they can help to absorb the moisture that bacteria thrive on. The main cause of foot odor is bacteria on the feet 'eating' sweat and secreting a bad odor. So, the first step is to get rid of the moisture in order to keep the bacteria under control.

Tip #2 - Use Zinc Oxide Powder

zinc oxide powder for smelly feet


Another tip is to use Zinc Oxide powder to keep bacteria under control. Zinc Oxide powder doesn't allow the bacteria that cause foot odor to survive, period. Rub it on your feet, between your toes, and into the sides of your nails where the bacteria can hide. Sprinkle it in your shoes, spread it around so the insides are covered. It'll take about a week but after that, you will notice much less foot odor and your shoes won't smell at all! 

Tip #3 - Rotate Your Shoes

multiple shoes for smelly feet


This is something I wish I had known when I first started working. Never wear the same shoes two days in a row! There isn't enough time for the bacteria to die. Your shoes need to be unworn for at least 24 hours. Wearing the same pair day after day causes the bacteria to build up, and that makes your shoes stink.

Rotating shoes is a simple way to keep shoes fresh and odor-free. Have at least 2-3 pairs of shoes and rotate them. Once you start rotating your shoes, you're going to notice an immediate difference in the level of stink.

Tip #4 - Use Isopropyl Alcohol

alcohol spray to stop foot odor


After COVID, we're all familiar with isopropyl alcohol now. Fill a spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol and spray the inside of your shoes after each use to kill the odor-causing bacteria. You could also use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers are a great way to control foot odor, especially alcohol-based sanitizers, because the alcohol acts as a drying agent.

Tip #5 - Wear the Right Socks

Darn Tough Socks Prevent Foot Odor


Wearing the right socks can also help to prevent foot odor. You should stop wearing cotton or plastic socks and start wearing wool ones like Darn Tough socks. While they are a little more pricey, they last a lot longer than cotton socks and also have a great return policy. Alternatively, you could also look out for socks with at least 50% cotton to prevent foot odor.

Tip #6 - Clean Your Shoes

From time to time, remember to  clean your shoes. Some sneakers like the Adidas ones with foam bottoms or Vans shoes can be thrown into a washing machine. But remember to use a laundry net or a pillow case before you throw them in!

Tip #7 - Remove Dead Skin

Baby Foot Skin Exfoliation Remove Foot Smell


Still noticing foot odor despite trying all of the above suggestions already? Perhaps other suggestions are not addressing the root cause, which could be dead skin. Start a dead skin removal routine using something like “Baby Foot” that's available on Amazon. As long as you practice decent hygiene, healthy skin shouldn't smell.

Reducing Foot Odor: Putting It All Together

In this post, we covered various ways to keep your feet and shoes smelling fresh and odor-free. Tea bags in your shoes are a good starting point, but it may not be the most effective way to kill odor causing bacteria. Other methods include using zinc oxide powder, isopropyl alcohol, rotating shoes, wearing the right socks, cleaning your shoes, and removing dead skin. Remember to maintain good foot hygiene and if all else fails, consult a medical professional.

There are certain medical conditions, fungus like athlete's foot, that can cause foot odor. Frequent cleaning, keeping your feet dry, and OTC ointment can help, but it is best to consult your doctor or the pharmacist.

In full disclosure, we have a couple of affiliate links to products on Amazon. Buying via these links won't cost you any extra but will help us to keep the site going. Thanks for all your help.


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