Shoe Care

11 Ways to Freshen Smelly Sandals


freshsandal3 Summer heat plus bare feet is the perfect recipe for smelly sandals. Here’s a few odor-eliminating remedies to freshen up your favorite pair:


  1. The main cause of foot funk is sweat, so keeping your feet clean and dry is key to preventing sandal odor when that summer glistening kicks in. Post-activity, remember to wipe those tootsies down.


 2.  Lifehacker and Prevention Magazine say swabbing feet with isopropyl alcohol can be an effective way to eliminate bacteria. Just make sure feet are completely dry before putting on shoes so you don’t damage footbed materials. And if you have any kind of cut/wound on your feet, it may be a good idea to skip out on this remedy since contact with isopropyl alcohol will often create a burning sensation.  If in doubt, consult your doctor.

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3.  Leave your shoes out in the sun. UV light is a deterrent to fungus and certain bacterial growth.

yellow flowers and morning dew


4.  Dilute white vinegar with water to make a solution.  3-parts water and 1-part white vinegar is good place to start. Put the solution into a spray bottle and mist sandal footbeds. Allow 30 minutes to dry, preferably in the sun.

Image: yourfairygodmothers

Image: yourfairygodmother


5.   At the end of the day, cover the footbed with baking soda. Dump out whatever doesn’t absorb the next day. If you want to avoid getting powder on your shoes, try putting kitty litter or coffee grounds in a fresh pantyhose or sock that’s tied off at the end. Just make sure nothing’s going to spill out!

Image: thedailysheeple

Image: thedailysheeple


6.   Coat shoes with baby powder or anti-fungal powder to absorb moisture throughout the day.



7.   Leave one or two orange peels in the shoes overnight, suggests the Huffington Post.



8.  Simply wash the footbed with mild soap and water. Allow time to dry. Some sandals, like Keens, can even be thrown into the wash on the cold cycle with a small amount of detergent and then set out to air dry, preferably in the sun. If in doubt whether your sandal is washer-friendly, consult a footwear specialist like those at Schuler Shoes.

Image: organic authority

Image: organicauthority


9.  Spritz with an odor-neutralizing spray like Odor Check® (available at many Schuler Shoes locations).



10.  For added freshness, either rub the area with a dryer sheet or place the dryer sheet in the shoe overnight to help wick away moisture and add a nice scent.

Image: picocleaners

Image: picocleaners


11.  Eat an odor-fighting diet. Eliminating refined carbohydrates will help starve bacteria and fungus in the body before they ever reach your feet. Opt for a balance of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein.



What odor-eliminating remedies work for you?

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