In my first couple of months of college, I decided that I would try out basically every club or activity that my close group of friends wanted to. I had had really tightly knit friendships from high school formed through extracurriculars, and I thought that this goal of mine could totally be a cool way to replicate that.
And I truly did end up meeting some really cool people! I learned some neat skills, had more than a few rad adventures, and all of this also helped me to broaden my palate when it came to clubs and different hobbies.
One night, my friend told me about how after class someone had been handing out flyers for SALSA NIGHT at the nearby student community center. Now, did my very food-centric self first think about chips and dip? Oh yes.
I very much thought that any proper kind of “salsa night” meant that I was about to be sampling the most lovely (and hopefully spiciest!) dips with some very fine (and also hopefully not crumbly) tortilla chips. I was picturing tomatoes, jalepeños, parsley, essentially all of the ingredients we would be seeing at this here salsa night.
I was a wee bit wrong– salsa night, as it turned out, was all about salsa dancing. While there were sadly no culinary masterpieces for me to sample, it was totally way cool to learn a new kind of dance! I had no idea that salsa dancing took so much skill, grace, or technique! I mean, I had known that any kind of dancing was probably pretty difficult, but the really professional dancers at that salsa night took on rhythmically difficult music, moved synchronously with their dance partners, and– ok, I’ve totally just got to say that they also absolutely had the coolest clothes!
Glittery fashion, stunning shoes– oh the shoes! Seriously, I had shown up in my old (yet very much beloved) sneakers, while some of these people had the most gorgeous footwear! Sparkly, heeled, almost anything you could want in a fabulous set of shoes was there!
I had worked up a sweat by the end of salsa night, and I can’t imagine how sweaty those actually amazing dancers were. My one remaining question for them (besides whether or not there would be a salsa night take two, where chips and dip might be involved this time around) was how the freakin’ heck everybody cleaned all of their gear!
I mean, exactly how does one go about figuring out how to deodorize salsa dancing shoes? It’s not exactly like those flashy shoes could survive a trip through the washing machine!
Since salsa night, I’ve learned some pretty swell stinky shoe deodorizing hacks, so read on if you’d like to learn how to fix those stinky shoes of yours ASAP (and you most definitely do, so onwards we go)!
1. Steam Clean
So, steam cleaning? As in, the magic wand that suddenly waves away the wrinkles on formal clothing when you’re in a pinch for time? As in, bibbity-bobbity-boo, go be wrinkle-free? Yep, that’s the one! And how does it all work? How, exactly, can you use a steam cleaner to fix stinky odors for good? Ah well listen up, ma’ dear yet rank reader, because it all comes down to just a wee lil’ bit of science.
First off, you see, it’s not actually your feet that are making your shoe smell off. As it turns out, the footwear funk is actually a result of some stank-producing bacteria that just so happens to live on your feet, in your shoes, and on your socks– yeah, the bad-smelling bacteria are kind of everywhere, which totally sucks. Said stinky bacteria feeds on the spare moisture from any leftover sweat hanging out inside of your shoes after your fabulous salsa dancing and also on dead skin cells which sort of naturally slough off of your feet– all of this is totally natural and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of btw. Literally everybody has stinky feet for the exact same reason, alright? Literally, EVERYBODY, got it? This doesn’t mean that we can’t try our best to shake the bacteria and that rank stank, though!
Steam cleaning is absolutely amazing for taking on the aforementioned stank because the super toasty temps of the steam basically sock it to the bad-smelling bacteria. The hot water takes care of the root cause of the smell, so you can go on and salsa, free from worrying about smelling like literal death itself.
Stick the steam cleaning wand into the shoes, and hold for just about 20 or so seconds (not too much longer, as we don’t want to melt anything important in your fave set of salsa dancing shoes).
Then just make sure that you allow your dancing shoes to properly dry out after you steam clean ‘em. Sticking your feet back into your freshly-cleaned footwear will just allow the stinky bacteria on your feet to have easy access to the moisture from the soggy shoes you just put on. Bad idea! Very VERY much a bad idea! Like what did we just do all of this deodorizing for!?
Allow your shoes to really (and I actually mean QUITE thoroughly) dry out– perhaps even leaving them out for a night– before trying to put them back on your feet again.
2. Soap in the Sole
Now, I know that you know, and we all know, that soap is definitely super great for washing hands and such with a bit of warm water and about 30 seconds or so. Soap is that oh-so-wonderful thing that takes out stains, grime, dirt, literally all kinds of things, but it turns out that that’s not quite everything soap is really great for! Is soap a sort of superhero? Oh yes, and it’s totally capable of helping us out with saving all of our poor used and abused nose hairs from a certain dank doom.
So how, precisely, does all of this work? Don’t you worry your perfect (yet probs just a bit pungent) pungent self. I’m totes not going to be asking you to break out the scrubber and spend hours scrubbing at your funky footwear. I mean, as much as we obviously love our stinky salsa dancing shoes, who the actual freakin’ heck has time for any of that?
No, no, we’re actually just going to be using dry bars of soap to help us to deodorize your funky footwear for good. You see, water and soap work in tandem because each is a team player but on their own, each item has a different job. Water is a mechanical force, you see– a sort of literal shove for the grime and grossness that you wash off. Soap now, on the other hand, actually helps to burst apart the fatty, protective membrane surrounding the smelly bacteria that we’ve been chatting about– you know, the actual source of your shoes’ terrible smell. Think about this membrane as the little stinkers’ last line of defense and without it, the sorry stank we’ve all been worrying about will totally be a thing of the pungent past.
So, with just two dry bars of soap, it’s really actually rather simple to fix smelly salsa shoes. All you have to do is stick each dry bar of soap into the stinky shoes in question and leave them to hang out there for at least overnight, although you could absolutely go for longer if you’d like. I can pinkie-promise you that the soap won’t hurt your shoes, and we totally want the dry bars of soap to be able to have enough time to work their magic on your smelly shoes’ stank!
3. White Vinegar
Or maybe you just don’t have too many spare bars of soap hanging around– after all, liquid soap works pretty alright? Who needs ten kinds of the same thing stocked up anyway? Totally all good, ma’ fine (yet just a wee bit funky) friend. There are several more options for easily deodorizing stinky salsa dancing shoes coming right on up for you.
Plain ol’ white vinegar, for one such example! Oh yes, that tangy stuff we use to help dye Easter eggs! The rad base for many a wonderful salad dressing, emulsified to perfection, of course. Or even the amazing acid to the baking soda for some 4th-grade science fair projects– those acid and base volcanoes are absolutely legendary for a reason you know!
And the coolness of vinegar totally doesn’t stop there. You can quickly and successfully use vinegar to fix stubborn shoe odors because this sour stuff has some downright wonderful (and natural!) acidity that can totally take on the terrible stank wafting up from your poor pungent peds.
The acid from the vinegar, you see, is absolutely able to sucker-punch the stink-producing bacteria that have been smelling up your funky footwear! It also doesn’t really matter what kind of vinegar you use, btw. White vinegar tends to be fairly cheap and you also probs already have some hanging out in the dusty back of your kitchen pantry, but if you instead have apple cider vinegar or something that also ought to work just fine for you and your stinky shoes.
I mean, go on and use your fancy, expensive balsamic vinegar for this quick shoe deodorization hack if you’d like to, but you really don’t have to. For real, whatever is cheapest or whatever you already have in the pantry is the kind of vinegar that I’d go for.
All you need to make stinky shoes smell better easily with vinegar is a few cotton pads or rounds. Soak them all in your vinegar of choice, and then stuff everything straight on into the stinky set of shoes that you’re hoping to deodorize. Leave the vinegar-soaked cotton rounds in there for at least overnight, although I’d totally leave it all be for just a lil’ bit longer if you happen to have the time to spare. The longer the better, so that the white vinegar can have the time it really needs to properly pack a pungent punch to the stinky bacteria.
A freezer? What, are we going to try and make our shoes stink-free popsicles? Of course not, we totally wouldn’t do that… absolutely not. There’s not even a whiff of a chance that we’d ever even attempt such a thing. What an idea. What an… idea?
Oh yes, ma’ beloved yet bad-smelling friend, those stinky salsa dancing shoes of yours are going to be taking a quick chill pill in the chilly locker in your kitchen. Better send out a PSA to all of the quarts of sherbet and ice cream, the 6-month old cheesy casseroles you’ve stowed away and definitely *haven’t* forgotten about, or.. well, maybe just let all of your frozen goods know that they’ve got to save a space for your very favorite (if a bit funky) set of stinky salsa dancing shoes!
The smelly bacteria, as it turns out, don’t produce quite so much musty mayhem when they’re cold. I mean, being a popsicle might do that to anyone, I suppose, which totally rocks for all of those of us who still might claim to be the proud owners of any sort of remaining (or functioning) nose hairs– a big stretch, of course, considering the nigh on radioactive levels of funk wafting up from your poor pungent peds.
Deodorizing your stinky salsa dancing shoes is super easy with a freezer. First off, you’ll want to put your stinky shoes into some sort of pillowcase or perhaps even a ziplock bag, seeing as how we *probably* don’t want essence of foot funk settling in amongst the poor ice cream already inside of your freezer (now there’s a Ben and Jerry’s flavor I think I could probs live without). Stick your stinky shoes, now all properly bundled up, straight into the freezer, and then you’ll want to leave the shoes in there for at least overnight, although longer will really help to make your shoes smell better for good.
But maybe the idea of storing your sour-smelling salsa dancing shoes with your ice cream actually makes you want to scream (absolutely understandable!), so thank goodness we have LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder as our fifth fantastic footwear deodorization hack.
LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder is an all-natural and super fabulous shoe deodorizing powder that can easily help you to finally fix those stinky shoes for yours for good!
And you totes don’t just have to just take my word for it! Hopefully, you can instead take the word of the over 600 utterly perfect 5-star ratings left by reviewers over on Amazon, averaging out to a solid 4.6-star rating overall. One such Amazon reviewer, a certain “Joe Navy,” here says that LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder made his funky shoes smell as though they had just come straight out of the box!
LUMI has super amazing, all-natural ingredients such as zinc oxide, bentonite clay, kaolin clay (basically every one of the great clays)-- all of which are ABSOLUTELY fabulous for you and your skin. LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder also is utterly amazing at preventing stinky shoes in the first place by preventing moisture in your shoes. I mean, how rad is that!?
All you need is a lil’ bit of LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder straight on into your stinky salsa dancing shoes, and then you ought to be all set to go! Never ever (and I really do mean ever!) smell like funky old cheese again when you go on and dance it up!
Now I don’t know about all y’all, but I wouldn’t remember my feet if they weren’t securely attached, much less my shoes and how to deodorize ‘em. Like for real, five easy shoe deodorizing tricks, and I need to remember the details for every single one? Not to worry, because I am absolutely a firm believer in summaries, so let’s just run through each of the quick ways to fix stinky salsa dancing shoes, shall we?
First, perhaps you steam clean shoes to make them smell better– in order to show the stinky bacteria who’s really the freakin’ boss around here (that’s you, ma’ dear, salsa-dancing reader, if you didn’t already know). The hot temps from the steam certainly won’t be doing the smelly bacteria any favors, and so in turn they won’t be able to produce as much footwear funk (that’s the goal, if you’ll remember). Simply stick the steam cleaning wand in your stinky shoes for about 20 seconds each, and then that’s it! Just make sure that you allow your salsa dancing shoes an ample amount of time to really dry out, or else you’ll actually just be feeding more moisture to any bacteria that might have survived the hot steam blast– in turn perpetuating the funk and making your pungent peds smell even worse! So, steam clean first, but then allow it all to dry– as in, overnight, if you really need to. Only dry shoes, please and thank you!
Soap in the sole doesn’t sound like it should work super amazingly, but you’ve just got to trust me when I say that it absolutely does. Or, barring that (pun totally intended there), simply go on and try this easy stinky shoe hack out for your own fine (if slightly funky) self! The soap is able to burst apart the fatty defensive membrane surrounding each lil’ stinky bacterium and without that, they’ll definitely be less able to stink up your poor pungent peds. All it takes to make your stinky dancing shoes smell better is a dry stick of bar soap stuck straight on into each of the smell shoes in question, and then you’ll be wanting to leave the dry bars of soap inside of your smelly salsa dancing shoes for at least overnight, although going for longer totally isn’t a bad idea, especially if you want to make sure that you’ve finally gotten rid of the sorry stank for good.
Vinegar is the next fabulous and super easy shoe deodorizer we’ve got for all of y’all to try on out, and it totally couldn’t be much easier. Vinegar, you see, has a sort of natural acidity. While merely tangy and sour for us, this acidity from the vinegar isn’t all that great for the stank-producing bacteria, and what’s not great for them is totes great for our poor used and abused nose hairs. It’s incredibly easy to get rid of bad smells in your shoes when you go on and get cotton pads or rounds, soak them in the vinegar of your choice, and then leave the cotton pads inside of your shoes for at least overnight or even longer if you can manage to not go out dancing for that long of a time (it’ll be difficult of course, but I believe in you!).
Freezers are fabulous for fixing foot funk, and it’s not just because this easy shoe deodorizing hack is simple, but also because it’s fabulously effective. For real, your salsa dancing shoes will totally smell better with literally the same amount of effort it takes to grab your fave quart of Ben and Jerry’s. Freezing your smelly salsa dancing shoes might seem like a bit of an odd ask, but it all works because of how the low temperatures in the freezer lower the smelly bacteria’s ability to produce the dreaded dank stank. The terribly stinky bacteria don’t like the cold, and whatever they don’t like, we love! So go on and stick your funky footwear into a ziplock bag or even just a pillowcase (whatever you’ve got on hand that can help keep your ice cream separate from your smelly shoes) and then stick those stinky dancing shoes of yours straight on into the freezer for at least overnight, or for longer if you want to make sure that the old cheese smell won’t be making any kind of stinky comeback!
LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder is our fifth super shoe deodorization hack. For real, THIS is how to prevent stinky shoes before they start! Dash just a lil’ bit of this stuff straight on into your stinky salsa dancing shoes, and that’s all you need before dancing to your heart’s content!
Salsa dance sans shoe stink! Any or even a combination of these easy shoe deodorization hacks can totally work to help make you smell more fresh and fabulous than ever!