How to Clean Stinky Tennis Shoes

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Smelly shoes
Smelly shoes (Image: abc.net)

Tired of having that constant smell of feet in your house every time you work out or go for a run? Well, exile your tennis shoes to the front porch no longer! Here are a couple great options on how to get rid of that smell from your stinky tennis shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Disinfecting spray
  • Clorox Clean-Up
  • Towel
  • Sponge
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer

Try a household spray that advertises the elimination of bacteria. Foot odor is caused by bacteria on your feet that get aggravated to release a smell. This is usually caused by the added heat and moisture from working out or running (or just working all day). You can use just about any disinfectant. If your tennis shoes are white, try a good spray of Clorox disinfecting spray. If your tennis shoes are colored, skip down to Step 3 or use a spray that does not contain bleach.

Bring in the big gun of all cleaning weapons, Clorox Clean Up, if the spray just isn't enough. Mix about 2 capfuls of the bleach in about 4 cups of water. Slightly dampen a sponge or towel and wipe down the insides of the shoes. Be careful to do this on a surface that the bleach will not affect, and wear clothing that you don't mind them getting ruined if some of the bleach should happen to get on you.

Try the washer method if the above bleach methods don't work, or if you have colored tennis shoes. Put your shoes in the washer with either a load of towels or a load of jeans (this keeps your washer/dryer from going off balance). Wash them on a regular cycle with regular detergent.

Use your household dryer to dry your shoes. Your dryer reaches temperatures that can quite often kill some of the bacteria that may be causing the odors in your shoes. You could also let your shoes air dry, but a dryer takes much less time, getting you back into the gym that much faster.

Check your results. Depending on the type and quality of your shoes, some of these methods could possibly leave your shoes ruined. However, if your shoes smelled bad enough, you probably would have had to buy a new pair anyway, so it's worth a try to clean them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use bleach in well ventilated areas and always wear gloves.
  • Invest in odor eaters or shoes that will let your feet breathe. This will help prevent the odors from coming back.
  • Never mix any other cleaning products with bleach. This can result in potentially deadly gas vapors.

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