You may think you’re the only woman in the world with stinky flats that smell worse than a Porta Potty at a musical festival, but rest assured there are millions of other gals out there knocking out their friends and loved ones as soon they kick off their yucky, stinky (yet oh-so-comfy) shoes. There’s even an Instagram tag for the stinky situation (#smellyflats) because let’s face it: Short of wearing socks with your ballet flats and other non-high-heels, those puppies start to reek — fast.
The reason flats in particular seem to be smellier than other shoes is because, as mentioned above, you typically don’t wear socks with flats, and most flats — ballet or otherwise — aren’t the most breathable of footwear options. This recipe causes your feet to start sweating in their comfy, confined space, and odor-causing bacteria start to thrive. Luckily, there are several ways to combat the problem of smelly flats and banish that funky foot odor until it's flat out gone for good.
De-Funkdafied Tip #1: Have a Tea Party
One way to get rid of odor in your flats is to have a tea party — but go ahead and forgo the teapot, because you’ll be placing the tea bags directly into your shoes. Yes, you read that right: Placing dry Earl Grey tea bags into your shoes at the end of a long day will help dry out the moisture that has developed and draw out the stink.
Stop the Stink Tip #2: Steal the Baking Soda from the Fridge
To get those flats smelling fresh, snag that box of baking soda out of the back of your refrigerator. It does wonders cutting down odors from onions and fish, so naturally it can do wonders for cutting down foot odor, as well. Simply take an old pair of pantyhose, cut off the toe of each leg to create two little pouches, fill each with baking soda, tie with a rubber band or ribbon and place each small pouch into your shoes. The powder will draw out extra moisture and get your flats smelling fresh. Once you’ve done this, you can try sprinkling baking soda directly into your shoes every couple of days to keep future bacteria and odor from forming.
READ MORE: 6 Embarrassing Foot Issues Tackled
Repel the Smell Tip #3: Borrow Your Kitty’s Cat Litter
The best way to take the “crazy cat lady” mentality one step further is to steal some cat litter from your furry friend and put it in your shoes. It sounds completely whacked out, we know. But the same way cat litter cuts down on kitty’s stink, it will cut down on the funky stench in your flats, as well. All you have to do is snip off the toes of a pair of pantyhose to make little pouches, fill each with a small amount of CLEAN litter, tie the ends and place the kitty litter pouches in each smelly shoe. Let them sit for a few days, and voila: No more odors. (We recommend using Fresh Step cat litter, simply because the name itself is just too perfect for this purpose.)
Get Over the Odor Tip #4: Put ‘Em in the Freezer
It may sound cold, but anther way to banish shoe odor is to make like a cop and order your flats to freeze. Just make a little space next to your emergency ice cream and frozen pizzas for your stinky shoes, leave them in the freezer for about 24 hours and then let them dry in the sun. You may want to place them in a grocery bag first, as mixing shoes and food isn’t exactly a smooth idea ...
Wreck the Reek Tip #5: Reposition Your Panty Liners
Why let your underwear have all the fun when your stinky shoes can benefit from panty liners, as well? It sounds really, really out there, but placing panty liners in the soles of your shoes while you wear them can help absorb foot sweat and therefore cut down on the stink. It’s as simple as that. Period.
Beat the Stink Tip #6: Use Dryer Sheets
You probably already know the amazing way dryer sheets can erase deodorant stains from your clothes, but did you know they erase shoe odor, as well? The next time you find yourself washing laundry, grab a couple of dryer sheets and place them in your sweaty, smelly flats. Then both your clothes and shoes will smell cotton fresh!
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Once you’ve spruced up your stinky flats, keep them smelling good by using odor-absorbing insoles and sprinkling either baking soda or baby powder in them each day. This will deodorize the shoes and keep them from knocking you and your loved ones flat. You can also try rolling on some antiperspirant to the soles of your feet, which is another method to cut down on foot sweat and odors. If all else fails, there are no-show “flat socks” made specifically for women who love wearing flat shoes and ballet flats but don’t want nasty odors. Nobody will see them, and they’ll help keep your flats from smelling, well ... flat out disgusting.