Summer usually means that you can finally wear your flip flops as you run your errands or for a casual stroll down the street as they allow your feet to breathe and keep them from overheating. However, just like with any other footwear type, flip flops tend to get smelly after a couple of wear, and if you don’t take the necessary precautions, the smell will only get worse. Read on for tips on how you can get rid of flip flop odor and maintain a fresh smell.
How to stop my flip flops from smelling? There are several ways you can stop the odor from your flip flops.
- 1st way – you can get rid of the smell is by sprinkling baking soda on them and letting it sit overnight. Baking soda will neutralize the odor and leave your flip flops smelling fresher.
- 2nd strategy – you can use to eliminate the odor in flip flops involves washing them. Give them a good scrub using a sponge and some mild soap, or even toss them in the washing machine if they are made from leather.
- 3rd effective way – to get rid of odor in your flip flops is by spritzing them with deodorizing spray or white vinegar if you prefer a more DIY approach.
To prevent your flip flops from smelling, ensure that you wash your feet regularly. When your feet become sweaty, they will inevitably cause your flip flops to smell, so you want to ensure that they are always clean before putting on the flip flops.
Since flip flops are mostly worn when the weather is warmer, which means that your feet are usually sweatier than normal. When the sweat builds up, your feet will become a breeding ground for bacteria and begin to smell, which in turn will cause your flip flops to smell as well.
How to get rid of the odor in your flip flops
1. Wash the flip flops
One of the more obvious ways of getting rid of the odor in your flip flops is by washing them. Depending on the material of the flip flop, here are the washing techniques you can use to get rid of the odor.
- The washing machine – Get rid of the stink in your rubber flip flops by tossing them in the washing machine. To keep them from potentially getting damaged due to the tumbling action of the washing machine, place them in a mesh bag or a washable bag. Use the gentle setting, a bit of mild detergent, and the cold cycle. Add some fabric softener to the wash to get rid of the smell. Air dry the flip flops once they are clean.
- Hand wash them – If you are too wary about washing your flip flops in the washing machine, opt to hand wash them using a sponge and a bit of dish soap. Dilute dish soap in water to make a soapy solution, then dip the sponge in it and scrub the flip flops thoroughly. Use a clean sponge that is slightly damp to wipe off the soap solution. If the stink is especially musty, soak the flip flops in warm soapy water for about two hours, weighting them to ensure that they remain submerged. Once they have soaked for this period, scrub them and rinse them as normal before allowing them to air dry.
2. Sprinkle some baking soda
Baking soda is one of the most versatile items that you will find in most people’s homes. It is known for its deodorizing properties, hence making it suitable for use to get rid of odor in your flip flops. Baking soda works due to its basic properties, and since most odors have a high pH level, it lowers their pH level and subsequently neutralizes the smell.
To get rid of flip flop odor, pour some baking soda in each flip flop and let it sit overnight or for 24 hours if the smell is particularly strong. On the next day, shake the flip flops to remove the baking soda.
Alternatively, you can combine baking soda and cornflour, mixing them in equal proportions and sprinkling the mixture in your flip flops. Corn flour is known for its ability to pick up odors, and combining it with baking soda makes it even more effective.
3. White vinegar
Not all odors can be eliminated using baking soda, especially if they have a basic pH. In such cases, you will want to use an acid, and the most common acid that you will find in most households is white vinegar. Boil a bit of the vinegar in water and then use a soft clean cloth to apply the solution to your smelly flip flops. You can use more of the vinegar if the smell is very strong, but using too much of it will subject you to an overpowering vinegar scent.
4. Activated charcoal briquettes
Activated charcoal is effective in eliminating thanks to its ability to attract odors and absorb them. To use it on your flip flops, place activated charcoal briquettes in nylon legging and then place each legging on the footrest of each flip flop for approximately 24-48 hours. You don’t have to worry about your flip flops getting soiled by the charcoal briquettes as they do not leave behind residue.
5. Use a deodorizer spray
Another way you can get rid of the smell in your flip flops is by using a deodorizer spray. You can easily find a deodorizer spray online, but before buying one, make sure that it is suitable for the material of your flip flop. Follow the instructions on the package for guidance on how to use the spray.
Alternatively, for a more DIY approach, put some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spritz your flip flops. Be careful not to oversaturate your flip flops – a light mist should be enough. The alcohol will kill the bacteria causing the odor, leaving your flip flops fresher.
6. Freeze the flip flops
The bacteria that cause your flip flops to smell thrive in warm temperatures, which means that when you subject to cold temperatures, they will die. To freeze your flip flops, put them in a Ziploc bag and toss them in the freezer overnight. Remove the flip flops the next day and allow them to thaw naturally.
7. Use fresh cat litter
Cat litter has moisture and odor absorbing capabilities, which is why it is effective in deodorizing flip flops. Take some old socks or worn-out stockings and stuff them with cat litter, and then secure using a rubber band. Leave the socks in your flip flops overnight to allow the litter to soak up the odor and lingering moisture.
8. Use black teabags
Black tea contains tannins, a compound that can kill the odor-producing bacteria that may be found in your flip flops. Put a couple of tea bags in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Remove them and let them cool before putting them in your flip flops overnight. Remove the teabags and clean the excess liquid that may be left on your flip flop.
How to prevent your flip flops from smelling
Prevention is always better than trying to deal with the problem when it occurs. Here are some tips on how you can keep your flip flops from smelling:
1. Wash your feet
It is no secret that feet sweat. However, what you may not realize is that sweat itself does not have an odor – what creates the odor is the favorable environment that the sweat creates, attracting bacteria and allowing them to thrive. Therefore, feet may emit a smell when the bacteria start to break down the sweat, which will, in turn, cause your flip flops to stink. Therefore, to reduce the risk of odor, you will want to wash your feet before you wear your flip flops, or at least ensure that they are clean.
2. Wash your flip flops regularly
Your flip flops don’t have to start smelling for you to wash them. Depending on how frequently you wear them, wash your flip flops at least once a week to prevent odors from building up.
3. Rotate your footwear
Wearing the same flip flops daily will cause them to smell even faster. This is because they won’t get the chance to dry out completely from the previous day’s wear. Therefore, ensure that you rotate your collection of flip flops to avoid wearing the same pair too often.
4. Apply a foot powder or an antiperspirant
If you have naturally sweaty feet that get soaked regardless of the weather, you will want to invest in a quality foot powder. Apply it before you put on the flip flops to ensure that they remain dry throughout the day. You can also use antiperspirants that are specifically designed for your feet for the same purpose.
Odor builds up in flip flops is more common than you might expect, especially when you consider the fact that they are primarily worn when the weather is warm, making it easier for the feet to sweat and attract odor-producing bacteria. While there are several strategies you can use to get rid of the smell, opt to take precautionary steps to prevent it from occurring altogether.