Foot odor and shoe odor are rather complicated topics. So instead of dissecting their causes (of which there are many) let's just get down to the business of getting those feet back to smelling like, well, plain old feet without the funk!
I tend to not really like foot powders. I am rather keen on foot deodorant if you will. Something not too creamy/oily but something that I can put on at night and let go to work on foot odor. It also needs to be versatile enough that I can put it on after a shower without worrying that I will go sliding across the tile floor!
I must say, I have tried a lot of natural concoctions and I have never really been all that impressed. They are either effective but dry out my feet or they keep my feet soft and smooth but don't really combat foot funk.
As I was doing research for my Salve Made Simple book, I stumbled on an ingredient that really piqued my interest. Orris root powder.
I know, right? What the heck is that?
Orris root, also known as Iris germanica or German iris, is the root of a particular iris which is sometimes used for its fragrance as well as its curative properties. It has a very mild violet scent that blends well with other natural fragrances.
Specifically related to foot care, orris root helps in the maintenance of skin elasticity and moisture content. It also acts as a mild astringent – regulating moisture exchange, exfoliating, and removing toxins in the skin. It is known as an excellent foot odor absorber.
I found the best deal on orris root powder through my affiliate partner Amazon. I snatched up this one pound bag of orris root powder. I have not tried any other brands but this one works great in this particular recipe!
Now about those stinky sneakers, or sandals, or work boots, or five finger shoes…
You could put your stinky shoes in the freezer for up to 36 hours. But who wants shoe stink mixing and mingling with your favorite ice cream, cow share, and summer garden abundance?
You can stick your shoes out in the sun for the day but in another week your shoes are back to their familiar funk.
You could also pour kitty litter or coffee grounds into pantyhose legs or and old sock, tie off the end, and fit it to the shoe for an overnight odor remover. But from what I have read, you end up with shoes that now smell like kitty litter of coffee grounds. Hmmmm….
If you have all kinds of disposable income, I suppose you could invest in this Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer. My affiliate partner Amazon has it for $129.95 which is apparently a great price. I dunno…I kind of like to keep my shoe odor removal under $10 personally.
So what's a stinky shoe to do?
Well I'll tell ya. I have NEVER had issues with shoe odor. Even when I wore nylons and cheap leather heals for work, my shoes never got stinky. But then, I become addicted to Vibram Five Finger shoes. I loooove these shoes but good gracious oh my! It does not take long before the shoe itself is trying to run away from its own funk!
I tried everything I possibly could to rid my favorite shoes of the stink. Nothing helped. So I ditched my shoes and got a new pair figuring it was an isolated incident. Nope. Love you Vibram but you need to improve the stinkability rating of your shoes. Seriously. But until you do, I have finally created something that actually does get the stink out. Bonus – it lasts quite a while too!
Ready for my top secret recipe? It's easier than you think although you probably will need to get one key ingredient. But it will last a long time!
First, wash those shoes! If possible, use an Oxygen Bleach like this one from my affiliate partner Tropical Traditions. (I think it works the best!)
Allow the shoes to air dry and get them some sun if possible.
Washing and air drying won't remove all the odor typically but what it does is sets the shoe up to be able to better absorb my top secret stink remover and repellant. You should not need to regularly wash and dry your shoes either. This stink remover really takes care of business!
Ok – are you all ready?
And the secret recipe is….
Er? Come again?
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a soft white powdery mineral predominantly made of pure silica. It has formed from fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. It has numerous uses, including insect and pest eradication (including bed bugs and lice), flea control for pets and livestock, household uses for metal cleaning, tooth cleanser, removal of oil stains on concrete, household odors, garbage can odors, and carpet stain removal. Additionally, it is an excellent product to use for lawn and garden eradication of insects and various fungi.
Quite by accident I discovered that DE can also work wonders on smelly shoes. I spilled some in my shoes one day but did not get around to shaking it out until the next morning. Color me shocked when I realized that my once putrid smelling shoes were actually smelling like something closer to that new shoe smell we all enjoy!
There are a few ways to deodorize a smelly pair of shoes. The first way is to sprinkle some DE at the bottom of the shoes. Leave it there overnight. Then, clean out the shoes by tapping the shoe upside down. It is as simple as that!
You can also remove foot odor from shoes by placing some DE into the toes of old stockings and then closing the ends of the stockings. Place the stockings inside the shoes and leave until shoes are worn again. This is slightly less messy but I also think it is a wee bit less effective. It does remove odors but does not seem to repel them as easily.
FOOD GRADE DE is completely safe so don't worry if your pets or children get some on them. It is very safe for internal use. The only thing you want to be cautious of is inhaling the dust. It can actually cause some respiratory distress of enough is inhaled. Better safe than sorry. Don't breathe the dust in!
I ordered a ten pound bag of Diatomaceous Earth from Amazon for under $30. It has lasted me over a year and I use it a lot! Totally worth the investment. (It is AWESOME at ant control by the way!) If you only use it to combat shoe odor, ten pounds should last a lifetime. Really. The stuff never goes bad. So buy in bulk! Believe it or not, 10 pounds isn't that much in terms of requiring storage space. I was amazed at how small the bag was.
I hope some of you give this a try and report back here with the results! I'm excited to hear how impressed you were!!!
*Not knocking those of you with stinky feet fetishes. I knew someone who had one. Interesting fetish. Not my cup of tea. But to each their own.