For a little over a year I was lucky enough to call rainy Seattle my home. Upon moving there, I discovered, to my complete and utter dismay, that my regular crocs would not suffice in the rainy town. The holes simply let in way too much water, and during the time it took for one walk through Pikes Place Market my socks were absolutely soaked.
The moody, drizzly weather took no time in showing me just how woefully underprepared I and my wardrobe were when it came to meeting my new needs for living somewhere that rained on and off again every other day.
So I got some really cute rain boots, thinking that they would be the final end to my soggy shoes woes. Oh boy, was I wrong. See, apparently, damp shoes tend to become even stinker than whatever you were wearing previously.
It was like: Get two problems for the low, low cost of one! Feet that squelch and feet that smell– buy yours now, and get an extra dose of low self-esteem WITH free shipping!!!!!!!!!
Heck to the freakin’ no, thank you very much! Is it too much to simply ask for shoes that smell great and that also protect our feet from a damp environment?
It totally isn't too much to ask, my dear, yet stinky reader. You can absolutely save your rain boots from the dreaded funk AND from any puddles you might encounter WITH EASE!
I can now wear my rain boots confidently without having to fret about that damp funk after any kind of rain. Seattle (or everywhere else with the foggy drizzle– or any other kind of moisture) can throw down its worst, because we’ll be prepared with fresh-smelling boots!
Table of Contents
1. Distilled White Vinegar Foot Soak Defeats Stink
2. Omgoodness look another foot soak (Charcoal Foot Soak)
3. Soap to Save the Day
4. Stick it to the Stank with Cinnamon
5. DIY Sweat Absorber
6. Newspaper knows what’s up and Gets Rid of Funk
7. LUMI’S Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer
1. Vinegar Foot Soak
Let’s first talk about a myth about stinky shoes that you’ve been unwittingly led to believe. Alright, so you think that it’s your own two feet that are rank? WRONG! That's absolutely, and most unequivocally wrong!!!
It is, in fact, bacteria that live on your feet that make the stank. Said bacteria thrives and jives off of moisture and dead skin cells, which are easily found in abundance on your feet. The epic problemo of shoe stink comes into play when some of those bacteria migrate from your feet to your socks and shoes.
What was initially just plain rain boots is now a literal ark for all of the bacteria that made the epic journey from your feet.
When your lovely rain boots get even a little bit of water in them, they essentially feed all of the bacteria, making everything that much more stinky.
SO our goal here is to stop the bacteria in its tracks! A quick vinegar foot soak will do just that, and will definitely help to keep your rain boots fresh and fabulous for good.
In order to deodorize your rain boots, soak your feet twice a week in a solution made up of ½ a cup of distilled white vinegar and then 2 quarts of warm water. Soak your feet for just about 20 minutes each time, and then rinse it all off!
Make certain to be consistent with this option, as you’ll be wanting to make sure that the bacteria won’t have any kind of chance to make a comeback. Twice a week for these vinegar foot baths, and you’ll totally be just fine, though!
2. Charcoal Foot Soak
Another super amazing foot soak for the win– charcoal takes the place of distilled white vinegar in this one, making it not only supes amazing for keeping your rain boots smelling fabulous, but it’s also kind of cool-looking as well.
Charcoal is basically just superheated carbon, and nowadays it typically comes from heating coconut husks, coal, bamboo, peat, petroleum, etc to crazy hot temperatures.
I mean, you could perhaps do a DIY version, and just use all of the carbon from your last camp-out, but you know they typically sell charcoal in these easy-to-use tablets at your local grocery store, right? Right!?
Said tablets are usually marketed as “activated charcoal,” and simply contain charcoal already in powder form, which makes it a whole heckin' lot easier to use than your broiled BBQ leftovers.
So when charcoal is originally getting made (which, if you’ll remember, is just basically making some carbon super super hot), it gets exposed to oxygen, and these wee little microscopic pores (read: holes) form on the carbon.
Foot stink gets absorbed into these microscopic pores, you see.
For a foot soak with this stuff, you just have to get yourself 2ish gallons of warm water, and then you’ll empty a few of the activated charcoal tablets into the water. Soak your feet for a good 20 minutes, and rinse it all off!
Once again, twice a week is a good benchmark for how often you want to treat yourself to a de-stinkifying spa day. Honestly, you could probably just alternate between the activated charcoal and the distilled white vinegar, if you’d like. For real, the stinky bacteria won’t stand a chance with either of these foot soaks!
3. Soap in the Sole
The third option we’ll be chatting about with you today is plain old soap!
And I don’t mean just to scrub your smelly shoes with. I mean like, okay those rank rubber rain boots of yours could probs handle a quick round with some soap and suds, but that’s totally way more work than we originally wanted to put into this whole deodorizing adventure, am I right?
Nah, we have a way more simple, much more hands-off approach that I’ve got lined up for you. You literally just need two dry bars of soap. That's actually it.
So you know how when we regularly use soap to wash our hands? Ok, so soap works to clean in part because first off we’ve got the water mechanically (like physically forcing) the bacteria off of our hands, and then secondly because bacteria helps us (and our smelly shoes) out on the microscopic level.
Soap is able to burst the fatty membrane that helps to hold bacteria together (kind of like its skin, or an exoskeleton, if that makes any kind of sense). Without the fatty membrane holding it all together, the bacteria falls apart and couldn’t stink up your shoes if it tried its darndest.
All you have to do to get rid of the stank in your shoes is stick a dry bar of soap into each of your stinky rain boots, and let it sit overnight! For best results, you can totally leave it in there for a bit longer– honestly, just be careful if your shoes are like absolutely dripping, because that would really just melt the soap, and then you might get residue all over the insides of your rad (yet rank) rain boots, so let your smelly shoes air out first if you just got out of a downpour before sticking in your bars of soap.
There’s little out there that does more than the smell of cinnamon when it comes to reminding us of rainy autumn days, all curled up indoors, hopefully with a soft blanket and a cuddly dog, next to a roaring fire, with you ensconced in a lovely book.
*Sighs* Don’t you just love literally everything about fall? I mean, I know I love the smell of cinnamon– it also definitely doesn’t hurt that it can easily help to deodorize our fab rain boots.
I know, I know– Yankee candles and Starbucks with their pumpkin spice lattes called and want their cinnamon back. Who the heck wants their smelly shoes just to smell like something else? I mean, you do you boo, but I would absolutely adore it if my funky footwear smelled like the real-life fairy dust that is cinnamon.
I mean, like there are totally several other options on this list if cinnamon simply isn’t your thing, in which case there’s really no judgment here! Totes get that we’ve all got our own preferences, especially when it comes to something like smell.
The directions for this one are fairly simple– you just need either powdered cinnamon or cinnamon sticks. Either or will absolutely do the job, but I mean, typically cinnamon in its stick form does tend to be on the pricier side. To be frank, I would just go with whatever you’ve already got in the spice cabinet (so like if you’re bougie you may already have some cinnamon sticks to deodorize your shoes with, and we totes won’t judge you– totally am going to be envious though, because dang dude your hot cocoa or mulled apple cider or whatever you use those cinnamon sticks for is probably freakin’ amazing in the flavor department).
Stick the cinnamon in your shoes, leave it in for as long as possible (overnight, at the very least, ya’ hear?). If you’re using the powdered cinnamon then you can also put the powder into a sock, tie off the top, and then just stick the great-smelling sock into the shoe for the same amount of time we just chatted about. It totally just makes for easier cleanup, and you’re absolutely welcome.
5. DIY Sweat Absorber
To deodorize your rain boots, you can also just directly try to absorb the moisture that would otherwise go and feed the stinky bacteria.
So, like obviously we can pat our shoes dry, or simply let them air dry, but there’s always going to be small bits of moisture that will be missed, especially on the scale that’s too small for us to see, and we end up with smelly shoes anyway, despite all of our best efforts.
BUT there are plenty of things out there that are fully capable of absorbing those small bits of moisture, and we’re going to be using them all at once in a DIY sweat absorbing mixture, because as they absolutely and most definitely say: go big or go home smelly;)
The first ingredient we’ll be taking a look at is good old baking powder. It’s totally an old reliable in the kitchen, but it also ROCKS at absorbing odors and moisture.
Cornstarch is also pretty freakin’ amazing at absorbing moisture– seriously, your boots are going to be a dessert with it. Beside making your baked goods light and fluffy, cornstarch is also going to be saving your rank rain boots.
Then there are essential oils– if the baking soda and cornstarch is going to take out the moisture, essential oils will be replacing it with whatever scent you choose. Essential oils, if you weren’t already aware, are basically just tiny (like, microscopic) bits of plants suspended in a kind of carrier oil, so when you put drops of the oil on something, that something will smell like the original plant itself. Peppermint, citrus, lavender, and so forth tend to be way popular scents, but you do you, ma’ dude.
So, mix up ¼ cup baking powder, then ½ cup of cornstarch, and a few drops of some rad (but not rank) essential oil, and evenly mix it all up. Put that mixture in a sock, rubber band the top shut, and stick it into the rain boot you’re trying to save from stinky doom and leave it in for at least overnight, longer if you can manage it.
Up next we have the super super simple option of deodorizing your rain boots with literally just newspaper.
Assuming you still get paper news (RIP to all those email inboxes out there that are otherwise cluttered with the electronic format of the daily rag), newspaper that you’d otherwise just recycle or throw away can go to way better use by utterly annihilating your shoes’ stank!
It’s all due to the miracle that is “sizing,” which is basically just this absolutely way cool glaze, of sorts, that printers paint directly onto their newspapers. “Sizing” essentially acts as a sponge for moisture so that, should the paper come into contact with any kind of moisture, the printed words won’t just smear literally everywhere.
I mean, without “sizing” our newspapers would practically turn the news into a tie-dyed t-shirt the moment it rained (so literally the second the newspaper touched the driveway, back when I was living in rainy Washington).
Seriously, “sizing” is actually pretty amazing– especially when we take into account how it helps us to use newspapers to deodorize rain boots!
“Sizing” isn’t exactly picky about what kind of moisture it absorbs, and so it is absolutely up to the task of absorbing the moisture from your sweat before the bacteria even has the smidgen of a chance to chow down on it and make your beloved booties stink to high heaven and back again.
So just crumple up some small pieces of your newspaper, and then tuck it all into each of your smelly shoes. Leave the newspaper in at least overnight, and longer if you just have a sunny day where your poor rain boots can take a break. Make sure to replace the newspaper if you end up leaving the newspaper in for a while, just to get all of the moisture, even though it’s just inside of the newspaper now (pays to be careful, I always say).
7. LUMI’S Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer
However, if none of these other options work for ya', or if you’re simply looking for the most simple solution to your smelly shoes, look no further than LUMI’S Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer! It’s literally the absolute easiest option on this list– I mean, it’s almost like your rain boots can deodorize themselves.
For real though, just take it from the over 1000 reviewers on Amazon who gave LUMI’S Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer an actually perfect 5 star rating on Amazon, with an average of 4.4 stars. Reviewer “Arch Zada” says beyond fixing their shoes and boots, that the product is totally multipurpose as well:
Like “Arch Zada” mentions, LUMI’S Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is also actually a family-owned business! They proudly make all of their products in the USA, only source the highest quality of natural ingredients, and also they don’t freakin’ test on animals (*yes, you have permission to applaud now, because they’re pretty great).
And LUMI’S Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is also totally effective too! Simply give the insides of each of your stinky rain boots a direct spritz or two and then you get to call it a day! Literally, that is everything you need to do on your end in order to deodorize your smelly shoes. And a little goes a really long way too. There are over 700 sprays in each little bottle!
Another thing our lovely Amazon reviewer, “Arch Zada” mentions-- you can actually spray this stuff practically anywhere that there’s a stench. Bathrooms? Check. Stinky kitchen garbage cans? Also check. Smelly little siblings? Triple check! Wait, actually… um, yeah I’ll actually have to get back to you on that one;)
Ok let’s just do a quick run-through, because that was a whole downpour of information on how to deodorize stinky rain boots, and I want to make sure that it all just makes sense for y’all.
A quick 20 minute foot soak in a mixture of 2 quarts of warm water and ½ a cup of distilled white vinegar will go after the bacteria lurking on your feet, socks, and in your poor lovely rain boots
In order to deodorize your rain boots, soak your feet twice a week in a solution made up of ½ a cup of distilled white vinegar and then 2 quarts of warm water. Soak your feet for just about 20 minutes each time, and then rinse off!
Second up, we can try a charcoal foot soak, which will also take care of that foot funk, but it'll maybe might smell a bit less like… well, vinegar, so just pick and choose between these two, because they’re both totally effective. Get about 2 gallons of warm water, mix the contents of a few of those activated charcoal tablets, and then just soak for about 20 minutes. Easy-peasy.
No foot soaks for the next option, but placing soap in the sole of your rain boots will def make your feet (and rain boots) smell so much better. This option is literally just so straightforward, as all you have to do is put soap inside of your (dry) boots, and then leave it in there for as long as you possibly can.
Or there's always just tapping a bunch of powdered cinnamon into your smelly rain boots to totally fix the funk, or if cinnamon sticks are what you have on hand, those will also totally work as well. If you’re going for the powdered cinnamon, however, you you may or may not want to put it all into a sock, tie it off, and place it inside of your smelly rain boots for easy cleanup after you’ve left the cinnamon in there for at least overnight, and longer, if at all possible.
Then you can go DIY and make your own sweat absorber, with a ¼ cup baking powder, then a ½ cup of cornstarch, and a few drops of your favorite on-hand essential oil, all mixed together and then placed in a tied off sock overnight or longer.
Simple newspaper can also easily deodorize your stinky shoes with “sizing,” which is like a glaze, and it absorbs moisture, and so like bacteria who? Stink when? Haven’t heard of them! Only great-smelling shoes, please and thank you very, very much.
LUMI’S Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is probs the easiest of the lot though, like if you just have to have your beloved rain boots smelling fabulous ASAP then LUMI is totally the way to go.
A spritz or two of LUMI’S Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer into your footwear will fix those smelly shoes for good! So go and enjoy all of the rainy times without a worry or care about the stank that used to follow, because now you literally have shoes that smell magical.
(*Rainy*) Day made!