Foul odors represent the main reason that people discard shoes and boots, and this often happens long before they wear out. While this isn’t a big deal now, protecting our footwear is vitally-important during a survival situation when replacements may not be readily-available. Fortunately, there are a number of tricks that can be used to neutralize odors and extend the life of our footwear, and many of them are worth trying because they are so simple and effective. Let’s take a look at a few popular options that involve using some common, household items that most of us will probably have in our long-term emergency stockpiles.
Baking soda is by-far one of the best odor neutralizers out there, and they can work wonders on stinky footwear. All you need to do is place a couple of tablespoons (at least one for each shoe) in a small bowl before adding in some essential oil. The fragrance of the essential oil will help to freshen the shoes while the baking soda soaks up most of the odor. While you can use baking soda by itself to hopefully experience significant results, essential oils round everything out nicely.
Mix the oil with the baking soda before adding equal amounts to the inside heel area of each shoe. Give the shoe a few good taps and jiggles in order to spread the baking soda over the entire inner-area, and let it rest for at least a few hours. For extreme odors, you may need to add more baking soda and let the footwear rest for a day. In any case, all you need to do is dump out the footwear and you’re good to go. If the odors persist, re-apply as necessary until they reach tolerable levels.
Tea bags not only neutralize odors, but they also infuse the insides of footwear with pleasant fragrances as well. Tea has compounds with antibiotic and antimicrobial properties that attack microorganisms that grow inside of footwear and produce offensive odors. Keeping one or two teabags inside can also go a long way with minimizing the smells that come out of footwear even if the source of the odors can’t be eliminated. There are differing opinions as to whether or not the tea bags should be wet or dry, and people have experienced positive results with both, so feel free to experiment with both options.
Cat litter is designed to be absorbent and fragrant at the same time, and this is a perfect combination for dealing with smelly footwear. All you need to do is fill a sock with the litter and shove it inside the shoe or boot. Pull it out when you want to put them back on, and you’re good to go.
An anti-perspirant can help to create a protective barrier between our feet and the insoles in order to make the footwear more-resistant to developing odors in the first place. It can also help to reduce the intensity of existing odors and curb future problems as well. However, it’s important not to confuse Anti-Perspirant with deodorant because deodorants do not have a moisture barrier.
Keep in mind that some odors will be easier to prevent or control than others, and there are times when nothing can be done to control the smell. However, all of these techniques can help to reduce odors or temporarily cover them up, and this can be very useful when you want to prevent footwear from stinking up your living area.
Try these for yourself, and feel free to share some other tips that can help all of us to extend the life of our footwear by keeping odors at bay.