How to Remove Foot Odor From Socks


Bacteria, fungus and sweat by-products cause foot odor. Sweaty socks, trapped in shoes all day, easily pick up this odor. Sometimes the stench lingers on the socks, even after they've been laundered, and can be embarrassing. A simple ingredient in the home (or available at grocery stores) neutralizes sock odor safely and at little expense. In just under an hour, you can get rid of foot odor from your socks, with little effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Sink basin
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fill a sink basin with 1 gallon of warm water and 2 cups of white vinegar. Place the socks in this solution to soak.

  • Soak the socks for half an hour. When the time is up, drain the sink and rinse the socks under warm water,

  • Launder the socks in the washing machine with a regular load of laundry, using your regular laundry detergent. If you don't have other clothes to wash at this time and don't want to machine wash a small load of socks, fill the sink back up with water and a capful of detergent. Hand wash the socks and rinse well.

  • Dry the socks in the dryer with a dryer sheet, or hang socks outside in the sun to dry. Socks should be completely dry before you wear them, or fold them to put them away (otherwise they'll develop a musty odor).

Tips & Warnings

  • Sprinkle the inside of your socks (and shoes) with deodorant foot powder before putting them on. This will help prevent sock odor. If you can't launder sweaty socks immediately after wearing them, hang them up to dry as quickly as possible. Sweaty socks, left damp and stuffed into a hamper, only grow more malodorous.
  • Don't mix any bleach with the vinegar (it can cause hazardous fumes). If socks are white cotton, you can run them through the wash with detergent and bleach, skipping the vinegar. Bleach effectively rids socks of odor, but should not be used on colored socks.

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