Cleaning Stinky Sandals??!??

Old 06-21-05, 02:08 PM
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Cleaning Stinky Sandals??!??

I have a pair of sandals, that I love because they are so comfortable...but they smell AWFUL!! Which in turn makes my feet smell not so great either =) Any ideas on how to get the smell out?? It's in the cushioning of the sandal. I took a soft brush to them with some antibacterial soap...but the smell is still there.

Old 06-21-05, 06:07 PM
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Cleaning cushioned sandals is like cleaning upholstered furniture. You can clean the surface, but you can not clean the cushioning within. You can drop the sandals into a bag of kitty litter, coffee grounds, activated charcoal or other odor absorbing material. Seal the bag and don't get them out for several days. You can also spray with enzyme digester cleaner/deodorizer. If sandals are leather, this is not recommended. Enzymes digest organic stains and odors. Leather is organic. You can also set them out in the sun to air and let the ozone in the atmosphere attempt to deodorize them. There are also commercial deodorizers marketed for smelly tennis shoes that may work. You might try rubbing anti-fungal powder into sandals and let set to absorb odors & kill fungus and then brush out.

Odor tends to be caused by the interaction between your perspiration and the bacteria that thrive in your sandals. You must address both your feet and the shoes. Feet contain more sweat glands than any part of the body (about 3,000 glands per square inch). So, for some people it can be a real problem. You probably also have sweaty palms, but they don't sweat like feet. Hands are also exposed to the air so sweat can evaporate and produce no odor.

Trapped areas inside shoes or beneath feet in sandals can reach temperatures as high as 102 degrees. Its an area where bacteria can grow on shoes or skin. If you have very sweaty feet, you will have more odor causing bacteria. Stress, meds, fluid intake, and hormones can exacerbate the problem.

Always wash feet daily and dry thoroughly. Dust feet with non-medicated baby powder. Check feet for fungus or disease and go to doctor if there is a problem. Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Alternate with another pair of sandals so they can dry out. Shoes and sandals need at least 24 hours to air out and dry between wearings. If odor does not go away, discard them because they are infested with bacteria. Athlete's foot is a common disease among folks with sweaty feet. Anti-fungal powder and good foot hygiene is necessary for treating foot disease.

If foot odor is an issue and persistent, you might want to discuss with your doctor. There may be a low-grade infection or heriditary sweating. There are special ointments and other prescriptions that can get the problem under control.

Herbalists recommend soaking feet for 30 minutes a day for a week to kill bacteria and close pores. They recommend 2 tea bags per pint of water after boiling for 15 minutes. Let solution cool and then soak feet. Others recommend soaking feet in solution of one part vinegar and two parts water. And, I read that soaking feet in weak chlorine bleach/water solution once a month will kill fungus and bacteria and keep odors under control.

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