How to Air Out Shoes

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Air out your shoes periodically to keep them odor-free.
Air out your shoes periodically to keep them odor-free. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

There's no denying that feet sweat when you wear shoes, and the resulting odor can be unpleasant and embarrassing. Unfortunately, throwing a pair of shoes in the washing machine is not usually an option. Instead, air out your shoes periodically to remove the offending smells. Your feet -- and the people around you -- will thank you.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Fabric softener sheets

Take out the insoles from your shoes, if they are removable. Wash the insoles periodically in the washing machine to keep them fresh.

Let the shoes dry at room temperature if they are wet. Do not dry them near a heater or other direct heat source, as this can damage the material.

Sprinkle the insides of the shoes with a liberal coating of baking soda, which helps to eliminate odors. Let the shoes sit overnight. Dump the baking soda from the shoes the next day.

Place a fabric softener sheet into each shoe if they still need to be aired out further. Let the sheet sit in the shoes overnight to freshen the insides.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you’re not wearing your shoes, sit them out in a bright, cool spot. The odor-causing bacteria that can form in shoes thrives in dark, damp places.
  • Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day for extended periods of time. Giving your shoes a day off here and there to air out will help to keep them fresh.

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