Do you have stinky shoes at your house? If so, today I shall become your new best friend as I reveal my fabulous (but weird) secret to getting the stink out of shoes.
You can be very sure that my methods work as I am, most definitely, an expert on shoe stink. Is my profound wisdom on the matter a result of time spent doing extensive research on the subject? No. In fact, my expertise comes from living with five male, adult-sized athletes. We have four pairs of basketball shoes plus ten pairs of soccer shoes (because, of course, they all need both indoor and outdoor varieties).
The stink here is real, folks. Anyone who opens our front closet does so at their own risk, as the stench of 28 athletic shoes rises up inside in a thick, green cloud that makes a person wonder if a dead animal lies therein.
We tried airing the shoes outside, stuffing newspaper inside them to draw out the smell, and used multiple commercial products that promise great results.
And yet, the stink remained. The tears rolled down our faces. We thought we might have to move out of our house, but of course, the shoes would move with us, so then what would we do?
See? I told you we tried the “stuff newspapers inside” method.
It works. Sort of.
The Easiest Way to Get the Stink out of Shoes
Not to worry. There’s a simple remedy for shoe stink and you are about to be amazed!
I should warn you that as excited as I am that my shoe stink removal methods work so fabulously, my grandma would likely shake her head in dismay were she alive to read this article. “Surely there is another way, Laura,” she might say. But I would say no. I’ve tried all the other ways and nothing else works as well as this.
So ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid it’s time to buy some vodka. Yes, this is what it’s come down to.
Vodka just so happens to be a magic ingredient in Grandma’s baking vanilla extract, a fact of which I’m sure she was blissfully unaware. And, as my husband and I have recently discovered, it also works fabulously, mixed with tea tree oil, at immediately killing the stink in shoes.
This fabulous discovery became known to us on a day we had finally had enough. The shoe stink has somehow risen to a new level. There were no words.
My husband did a quick online search to find that simply spraying a mixture of vodka and tea tree oil into the offending shoes would immediately remove the stink. Could it be?
Well, I always have a bottle of vodka on hand so that I can make batches of Homemade Vanilla. So we quickly got out our vanilla-making vodka and poured it into a spray bottle. We added some tea tree oil from our collection of essential oils. We sprayed the mixture into a pair of shoes.
Miracle of miracles. The shoes immediately smelled fresh. I’m talking, you can put your face right down into the shoe, live to tell about it, and even come up smiling.
I double dog dare you to try this amazing concoction. Spray it into your most offensive shoes. Put your face into the shoe. Be filled with joy.
Now this spray is not a one-and-done stink removal remedy. We’ve found that we must spray our shoes down after every athletic event because while the DIY spray is powerful, so is fresh sweat. Good talk.
DIY Shoe Stink Spray
- 2 cups plain vodka (the cheap stuff is just fine)
- 8-10 drops tea tree oil
- Pour vodka into a spray bottle.
- Drop tea tree oil into the bottle and shake to mix.
- Spray mixture into stinky shoes and be amazed!
Why this works
Vodka kills bacteria and Tea Tree Oil is both antibacterial and antifungal. The combination works magic. So now the only reason I make sure our closet door stays closed is because well, have you ever seen 28 shoes thrown haphazardly into one space? Someone give me a DIY remedy for that mess. :)
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