The next time you take your flats off at a friend’s house, consider the consequences of those actions.
For the most part, women are all too aware of the risk associated with wearing flats ... and we’re not talking about cuts to the back of your ankle.
The problem is the overwhelmingly pungent smell they give off when you take them off. We’re not talking any ordinary unpleasant stench either. We’re talking about a smell that makes body odour favourable.
The impending hot weather won’t help the cause either. So what can you do to keep your old flats and sandals looking good and smelling even better?
Here’s the scoop:
1. Wash them regularly with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
When our clothes stink, we wash them. The same should apply to your flats. Not only will they look better when they’re clean, they won’t cause your friends and family to keel over.
Since the scent of a sweaty foot is especially putrid, washing them with detergent is just not enough. To really get the smell out, use a bit of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to get them looking and smelling their absolute best. For the best results, use an old toothbrush and give them a good scrub.
You’ll be surprised at how shiny and new they’ll look if you invest a little time in cleaning them.
2. Buy new insoles
Sometimes, it seems there’s just no saving those shoes. The smell lingers no matter how many times you wash them because the bacteria has become ingrained in the fibres.
Don’t throw out those flats yet! The solution is probably waiting at your local drugstore. Rip out the insole (if possible) and replace them with a brand new one. In some cases, your new insole will be even better than the original, giving new life to your worn in flats.
You can even take preventative measures by purchasing an insole that prohibits odour-causing bacteria like a cedar wood sole.
3. Toss your shoes in the freezer
If you don’t have time to put some elbow grease into scrubbing your shoes, this is a great lazy girl tip. Put your flats in a large zip lock bag and toss them in the freezer for a few hours.
The sub zero temperatures will kill the bacteria causing that god-awful smell.
4. Fix little nicks with nail polish
I remember wearing new shoes to school and walking sort of funny because I was trying to protect them from creasing. Unfortunately, that technique isn’t exactly sustainable. Inevitably, your shoes will get scuffed, bent, crushed etc…
Leather or patent leather flats can be revived with a little nail polish in a similar colour. Start by cleaning your shoe of any debris and dab a little polish on the nick and let it dry completely.
5. Stuff your shoes with newspaper to maintain the shape
Unpacking your summer wardrobe can be disappointing when you realize you’ve inadvertently ruined something. You may have tossed all your flats in a bin only to find that they’re literally bent out of shape from being crushed for five months.
You can attempt to fix the issue by stuffing newspaper in your flats to reshape them. The bonus is, newspaper actually serves as a pretty decent deodorizer as well.
6.Essential oils to the rescue
Tea tree oil has incredible anti-bacterial properties. It’s used regularly to treat acne and fungal infections.
Sprinkle a few drops in your flats overnight and you’ll notice a difference come morning.
Eucalyptus oil and lavender are also great essential oils to have around the house. Not only will they help with the smell issue, you can use them to buff out small scuffs on your leather and patent leather flats or sandals.
7. Surprise! Kitty litter does more than you think it does
Feline parents will be happy to know that cat litter serves a more profound purpose than just as a toilet liner for your fur-babies.
Kitty litter is designed to deodorize for obvious reasons so a good little trick is to stuff a handful into an old sock or nylon. Place them inside your stinky flats and let the litter do what it was meant to do.
8. Keep your feet clean and wear no-show socks
Your flats will never emerge from a long day smelling like roses but you can do things to minimize the stench and ultimately help them last longer.
Wash your feet and toss in a little cornstarch or baking soda before slipping your feet in.
No-show socks were made for flats so it’s worth investing in a few pairs for the short summer months. The barrier will prevent that awful black gunk from growing in the soles.