How to deodorize sandals?

After a couple of wears, you may notice that your sandals have an odor to them. This is not out of the ordinary especially when you consider the fact that feet have approximately 250,000 sweat glands. Therefore, when your feet are in sandals that are not particularly well-ventilated on a warm day, it is inevitable that the heat and sweat will create the ideal breeding ground for bacteria which will consequently lead to the unpleasant odor. If you have experienced this issue, read on to find out how you can get rid of the odor in your sandals.

How to deodorize sandals?

  1. Wash the sandals, whether by hand or tossing them in the machine. In many cases, dirty sandals also smell, and by cleaning them you will also get rid of the smell.
  2. Spritz your sandals with a deodorizer spray
  3. Mix rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle and spray your sandals.
  4. Use activated charcoal briquettes to get rid of the smell as they are effective at absorbing odor.
  5. Using cat litter is another great option to eliminate odor – simply stuff some cat litter in a pair of old socks and leave them in the sandals overnight.

Sandals tend to get smelly quite easily as they are primarily worn when the weather is warm, which means that the feet will be sweatier than normal. Here is how you can get rid of the odor and how to prevent your sandals from smelling.

Techniques on how to deodorize sandals

1. Wash the sandals

One of the easiest solutions when it comes to eliminating odor in sandals is to wash them. Depending on the material of the sandal, there are two main ways you can clean them;

  • Hand wash them – Hand washing is an effective technique that will not only leave your sandals clean but also odorless when done right. One of the ways you can hand wash your sandals involves using a sponge and a mixture of water and dish soap. Simply dip the sponge in the soapy solution and scrub thoroughly. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water in place of a soapy solution and work it in with an old soft-bristled toothbrush. These techniques are suitable for sandals made of materials such as rubber and canvas. For leather sandals, hand wash them using only a bit of water and some leather cleaner to reduce the risk of damaging them.
  • Toss them in the washing machine – Eliminate the odor in your rubber or canvas sandals by placing them in the washing machine. For this cleaning technique, use the gentle setting on the machine and cold water. Add a mild detergent and allow the sandals to go through the rinse cycle before taking them out of the machine. If there is any soap residue left on them, splash them with some cold water to get rid of it.

2. Activated charcoal briquettes

Activated charcoal is known for its ability to attract odor and absorb it, consequently making it a great option for use on smelly sandals. For this procedure, place several blocks of charcoal briquettes in nylon leggings, then insert each legging under the upper of each sandal and leave them there for about 24-48 hours depending on how strong the smell is. There is no need to worry about the charcoal briquettes leaving your sandals dirty as they usually don’t leave residue behind.

3. White vinegar

White vinegar is something that you will find in most homes, and even if you don’t have it, you can easily grab a bottle for an affordable price on your next grocery run. Because it is an acid, it works superbly when the odor you are trying to eliminate has a basic pH. For this technique, mix a bit of the vinegar with water then use a soft cloth to apply this solution to the sandals. Be careful not to use too much of the vinegar as you will end up with sandals that have a strong vinegar scent to them, and who wants that?

4. Sprinkle baking soda

Baking soda is undoubtedly one of the most useful items to have in your home as it serves multiple purposes, one of them being odor elimination. Baking soda is suitable for this purpose thanks to its basic properties – many odors have a high pH, so when you apply baking soda, it lowers their levels and effectively neutralizes the smell.

To deodorize your sandals, pour some baking soda in each sandal and allow it to sit overnight, then shake it out on the next day before wearing them. Alternatively, you can sprinkle a mixture of baking soda and cornflour in equal proportions in each sandal instead of just plain baking soda. Corn flour is known for its odor absorption properties, so mixing it with baking soda will enhance this property.

5. Apply a deodorizer spray

Another effective technique you can use to get rid of odor in your sandals involves using a deodorizer spray. There are a variety of deodorizer sprays online, but before you settle on one, ensure that it won’t cause damage to the material of your sandals. You will also want to follow the instructions that may be provided on the package on how to apply the spray.

If you prefer a more DIY approach, mix some rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle and spritz your sandals to achieve a similar effect. Take care not to oversaturate the sandals – a light mist should be sufficient.

6. Use cat litter

Cat litter is very effective at absorbing odor and moisture, which is why it is a great option for deodorizing sandals. Stuff some old socks or stocking with cat litter and secure them with rubber bands to keep it from spilling. Place the stuffed socks on the footbed of the sandals and let it sit overnight to soak up all the odor and excess moisture.

7. Freeze the sandals

Bacteria tend to thrive when the temperatures are warm and the environment is sufficiently wet. This is the environment that your sandal provides when you sweat in them on a warm summer day. To prevent this, you can subject the bacteria to cold temperatures to kill them off. For this technique, place your sandals in a Ziploc bag, put it in the freezer, and leave it overnight. On the next day, remove your sandals and let them cool down before putting them on.

8. Put teabags in the sandals

Black tea is rich in tannins, which is a compound that is capable of killing odor-producing bacteria causing a stink in your sandals. Place the tea bags in boiling water for approximately 2-3 minutes, then remove them so that they can cool before you put them in the sandal and leave them for a few hours. Clean the excess liquid that may be left on the sandals once you remove the teabags.

9. Air dry the sandals

Sometimes the stink in your sandals may be because you did not allow them to dry properly when you were caught in a downpour. In such cases, consider placing your sandals in a warm dry room or near a window away from direct sunlight so that they can fully dry and subsequently stop smelling.

10. Use fabric freshener sheets

Ball up several fabric freshener sheets and put them in your sandals after you take them off. These sheets will impart their pleasant perfume into the sandals and get rid of any lingering smells, as well as wick away moisture from sweat.

How to prevent your sandals from smelling

Prevention of odor in your sandals is much easier than having to deal with eliminating the stink when it has already set in. Here are some tips on how you can prevent your sandals from smelling:

1. Clean your feet

Other than sweat, odor-producing bacteria are also attracted to dead skin cells that are frequently shed by your feet. To prevent the dead skin from building up, wash your feet well before you go out in your sandals to reduce the risk of odor.

2. Clean your sandals regularly

Don’t wait for the odor to build up in your sandals before you clean them. Ensure that you clean them after every couple of wears to keep them fresh

3. Apply an antiperspirant or foot powder to your feet

As previously mentioned, feet sweat and attract odor-producing bacteria that cause the smell in your sandals. Prevent this by applying foot powder or antiperspirant specifically made for use on the feet.

4. Switch up your footwear

Never wear the same sandals for several days in a row. Opt to rotate them with other footwear to reduce the risk of them becoming smelly.

Final thoughts

Deodorizing your sandals regularly is very important especially since this style of footwear is mostly worn when the weather is warm and the feet are more prone to become sweaty and consequently attract bacteria that lead to unpleasant odors. By utilizing any of the suggested techniques, you will not only maintain good hygiene but also save yourself from the embarrassment of having smelly footwear.

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