What do you do if your shoes get soaked in dirty flood waters? My solution is baking soda.
It’s rainy season once again. In the metropolis and other low-lying areas, that means floods, flash-floods and stinky shoes. Some people avoid getting their shoes went by wearing rubber boots to and from work / school and switching only to their regular shoes once they are off the streets.
But its not a solution for everyone because the added weight of the shoes can be a burden especially for commuters.
If you’re among those who find it impractical to bring a second pair of shoes, and you get your shoes wet in stinky flood waters, here’s what you can do.
Get the stink off canvas sneakers and other shoes made of fabric
1. Wash immediately in soapy water. Use an old toothbrush to get all the dirt out. Rinse.
2. Dry the shoes. Drying under the sun is best but, if it’s cloudy or rainy, that just isn’t possible, is it? The alternative is to hang the shoes behind the fridge or the room air-conditioner. Trust me, I’ve done this so many times when I was in college. The heat generated by the compressor will dry sneakers overnight as though you have dried them under the sun.
3. When the shoes are dry, sprinkle liberally inside and out with baking soda. Leave the baking soda on for a couple of hours — overnight, if there is time. Just shake off the baking soda before putting the shoes on.
What about rubber slippers and flip-flops?
The same procedure works except that the drying time is so much shorter. Just wipe dry and go on to step #3.
Get the stink off leather shoes
Leather shoes take more work because you cannot wash them. To get the stink off leather shoes:
1. Wipe them dry inside and out.
2. Sprinkle the inside with baking soda and stuff with old newspapers to prevent the shoes from losing their shape. Dry completely.
3. When dry, remove the newspapers and tap out the baking soda. Apply shoe polish on the outside to moisturize the leather and prevent it from cracking.
4. Sprinkle the inside liberally with baking soda a second time. Leave on for several hours — again, overnight, if time allows.
5. Shake off the baking soda and buff the leather where you have applied the shoe polish.
Make your own foot powder
BUT. But… shoes get stinky even when they don’t get bathed in flood waters!
True, that’s because bacteria multiply fast in dark, warm and moist places like the inside of your shoes when you’re wearing them.
To minimize stink in the shoes — and your feet too — use foot powder.
You can easily make your own which is a lot cheaper than commercial foot powder. Just mix together one part baking soda with two parts corn starch. Sprinkle on your feet before putting on your shoes.
You’ll be amazed at how much difference it makes.