How to clean shoes that leave a trail of stink!

Whether it’s a pair of smelly best walking shoes, your child’s muddy kicks, or just a pair of sneakers that haven’t been cleaned since you bought them two years ago; shoes get smelly and pretty soiled at some point. Particularly when it comes to kids who enjoy playing on muddy grounds or out in the rain, the condition of their shoes will require a thorough deep cleanse.

For many individuals, dirty, smelly shoes have gotten them into some pretty embarrassing encounters! The foul odor of running shoes or a pair of sneakers that hasn’t been cleaned in a long time cannot be concealed when you bump into a mate on your morning run so it’s best to clean and freshen up your shoes as often as possible! What’s more, cleaning your shoes can also help maintain their condition. So, without any further ado, here’s how to clean a pair of stinky, stained shoes!

Round Up Things You’ll Need

For a smooth sailing cleaning experience, gather all the items you’ll need before you begin the cleaning process. Here’s the list:

  • Soft-bristled shoe brush
  • Laundry detergent (liquid or powder)
  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda

Now that you’ve got everything you need, let’s get your stinky shoes clean and fresh again!

Soak Removable Items

Any removable items in the form of laces, soles and padded inserts should be taken out and soaked in a soapy solution of water and detergent. Set a timer for 20 minutes so that you can continue cleaning the rest of the shoe before coming back to finish off with the removable parts. It’s best not to soak these items for a longer time than this as the material can weaken. For the cleaning process, dip an old toothbrush in laundry detergent and brush both sides of the soles/inserts. Place them flat on the bathroom floor when you do this to clean with more ease and efficiency. To clean your laces, roll each one around the length of your finger and give it a good brushing. Rinse out all the removable shoe parts under running water and leave them to air dry.

Rinse Shoes Thoroughly; Scrub Thereafter

Before you can start scrubbing away stains, you need to rinse off dirt, mud and other debris from the shoes. Pay close attention to the bottoms as wet dirt stuck underneath them can easily be spread while attempting to clean the rest of the shoe. Before you use any cleaning product, check to see if it is safe or compatible with the material of your shoes. For regular nylon sneakers with synthetic mesh, we suggest making a mild solution of water and laundry detergent. Dip the shoe brush in the cleaner and gently brush the shoe at different angles. As the shoe and brush starts to get dirty, rinse them out and continue cleaning until all the stains have been removed.

Rinse Out Thoroughly

Rinse both shoes thoroughly under running water until the soapiness has come off. If you happen to find any leftover stains, pour just enough liquid laundry detergent over them and leave the shoe aside for 10 minutes. After the detergent has penetrated the material, wet an old toothbrush and use circular motions to scrub the stain away. Rinse the shoe out again and move on to the finishing steps.

Leave Shoes to Dry

Most people wash their shoes and leave them out to dry in the sun which is strongly advised against. Leaving your shoes to dry without any packing can lead to the material caving in and losing shape, while keeping them in direct sunlight can cause the material to fade. Therefore, we suggest stuffing the shoes with paper towels and leaving them on a window sill without direct sunlight to air dry. Once they’re completely dry, replace the removable parts and your shoes will be as good as new!

Caroline, Cleaning Expert at Simply Maid shares her most useful shoe deodorizing tip “Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes once a week to keep them fresh. The powder helps absorb foul smells and keeps your shoes smelling fresh for longer periods.”

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