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Odor Control

Using Borax to Clean Smelly Shoes

Using Borax to Clean Smelly Shoes Image

The summer brings with it warm breezes, beautiful flowers and... sweaty feet. Hot temperatures can bring out perspiration in your family’s feet which leaves you with a smelly home. Luckily, Borax is here to help you beat the heat.

Common Causes of Foot Smells

The ripe scent of a freshly used pair of sneakers is enough to ruin anyone’s day, so how do these smells occur? Most of the time the culprit for smelly feet comes down to one thing, sweat. During the hotter months of the year, feet tend to sweat more than usual which can lead to an unpleasant odor spreading around your home. But, contrary to popular belief it isn’t actually your feet that cause the stench.

When you wear socks or tight-fitting shoes and your feet sweat, there’s nowhere for the moisture to go so it all stays in one place, in your shoes. Once the moisture is trapped in there, tiny bacteria will actually grow there and eat away at the sweat itself. The byproduct of this is that these critters produce isovaleric acid which causes the gross, mildew smell. To get rid of these mildew smells you must treat the shoes that have the odor.

How Can Borax Help?

When sweat bacteria take root in your shoes, Borax has a number of different properties to eliminate them. The tiny Borax crystals first work to stifle the odor emitted by the bacteria by trapping odor molecules before they can disperse. Not only that, but Borax is an all-natural way to clean your shoes without using chemical treatments.

What Will You Need?

  • Borax
    This is the ingredient and will deodorize your shoes. Be sure to wash your hands after using and keep away from children.
  • Warm Water
    A solvent to help spread the Borax over the shoe surface. Make sure that the water is warm so that the Borax can become easily solvent in the solution.
  • Spray Bottle (Do not reuse or recycle one!)
    To help apply the solution and spray it over the area. Be sure to label the spray bottle and turn the nozzle to the closed position after use. Ensure it is kept out of reach of children and pets, like all household cleaning products.

How To Use Borax to Deodorize Smelly Shoes

1. Mix Solution
Pour about a liter of water and two tablespoons of Borax into the spray bottle. Use a dedicated spoon and spray bottle. Put the spray top back on and shake the bottle to mix up the solution. Properly label the mix solution to avoid confusion with other products.

How To Use Borax to Deodorize Smelly Shoes Image

2. Apply Solution to Shoes
Use spray bottle to coat the inside of your shoes in the Borax spray. Be sure to not coat them too heavily so it does not stain and you can easily wash out of the shoes.

3. Place Out Of Reach
Once the shoes are covered be sure to close the spray nozzle and place the shoes and spray solution out of reach of children and pets. Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes.

4. Clean
Scrub the inside of your shoes and be sure to remove any excess Borax.

5. Repeat As Needed
Continue this process for 2-4 days or until smell subsides. Usually only one wash is necessary, but it may require multiple depending on the intensity of the smell.

Related Uses

  • Mildew Smell in Your Home

    Of all the odors that can invade your home, this a moldy, mildew smell is one of the most flagrant. 

  • Pet Urine Smells

    When Fido can’t make it to the fire hydrant, your house can end up smelling like a litter box. 

Even More Uses

Our fans are always finding more uses for 20 Mule Team Borax™. Check them out on Pinterest.