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February 29, 2020

Have you heard anyone saying that you can get rid of shoe odor with tea bags? Is there any truth to this, or is it just an old wives’ tale? In this article we will cover how to get rid of shoe odor with teabags and if it's really possible 

So you are facing difficulty in getting rid of shoe odor. Maybe you just want to take preemptive measures, so your shoes never reach that point. Whether you are a casual walker, an athlete, or an office worker, do you ever face the situation where taking off your shoes gets you the filthiest looks and tut-tuts?

It is a huge embarrassment if someone ever points out ‘what is that smell?’ when you know it is coming from someone’s shoes, you just pray inside that they ain’t yours.

You really want the ground to swallow you when you have to take off your shoes. You know that your shoes will stink the place down, and you just wish that you had anticipated this situation in advance to be prepared.

But it is too late, and you just have to act as if you are unaware of the disaster that has been right under your nose – Literally.

How to Get Rid of Shoe Odor with Teabags

Why do Shoes Smell?

how to get rid of shoe odor with teabags

If you are wrestling with the predicament of shoe odor, do not be embarrassed. Shoe odor is a very common phenomenon that all of us battle through at some point in our lives. You just need to understand why it happens and how you can nip it in the bud.

What happens that makes your shoe odor so vile?

San Diego Podiatric Medical society revealed that there are approx 250,000 sweat glands on both feet collectively, and they can excrete up to half a pint of sweat per day. You might ask, but a person sweats all over, they why do my feet or shoe odor smell so bad and not the body?

The answer to that question is simple; your body is cooled down by external factors such as a ceiling fan, air-conditioning or a breeze if you are outside. However, your shoes are wrapped in socks and shoes all day long, whether you are indoor or outdoor.

This keeps them warm, damp with sweats, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria to flourish. This bacteria feasts on your dead skin cells, and as it feeds, it starts releasing gases, including ammonia. Yes, that is where the stench comes from.

So not only do your feet stink, but some of these bacteria make your shoes their home. That means wherever you, whatever you do. This bacterium is always there, breeding and growing inside your shoes. Yuck – I know

But do not be grossed out; you are not the only one battling this issue. We all sweat, some more than others, but it is natural. Fortunately, we can take some precautionary measures to counter this predicament.

You may get a lot of suggestions on how to get rid of shoe odor, but I find one to be most effective. And it is with an item that is available in every household at all times –mostly, I believe. Teabags – yes, they are one of the most effective and affordable home remedies to help you fight shoe odor.

How to Use Teabags to Fight Shoe Odor

There are two ways of doing this. I am giving them both to you, so you can try them as per your convenience.

Method 1: Wet Black Teabags

Take two steep black teabags – one for each shoe. Now, boil some water and pour it in a cup. Next, drop the teabags in hot water, and leave them in for 2 to 3 minutes. After that, take the teabags out and let them cool down for a few minutes. This is to ensure you can handle the teabags with fingers, without getting burned.

Do you know black tea has a substance called ‘tannin, which has odor-producing bacteria-killing properties?

The teabags will still be moist, though, the idea for the tannin to seep through the shoe insole. This will take care of the odor-producing bacteria, and soak up the entire odor in your shoe and the insole.

I generally use one teabag per shoe. If you want extra fragrance or believe the stench to be stronger than normal, feel free to use two bags per shoe. You can also line up the insole with additional teabags from heel to the toe for thorough sanitization.

I usually leave it in for an hour. However, if you have time or think one hour will not do the trick, leave the teabags in for longer.

The time is more than enough to eliminate the odor. Once you take the teabags out, just use a wipe to soak extra moisture and leave your shoes to air dry. If you are rushing somewhere, feel free to use a blow-drier.

Method 2: Dry Teabags

This is not a quick fix but a lengthier process. However, it is more effective, as well.

If you do not want to wash your shoes, or maybe your shoes are just not the washable type, then you can always use the dry teabags method. It is a simple but fun part is, you can experiment with different flavors of tea.

So you want your shoes to smell of mint, maybe lavender, or strawberry fresh? Have a new pick every time, and you will be amazed.

Just get dry teabags of your choice and plant them in your shoes. Add one or two teabags based on your preference. If you feel the stench is too overpowering, use more tea bags.

Now, leave these teabags to sit in the shoes for at least 24 hours. After the time, not only will you come back to stink-free shoes but smelling fresh of the flavor you have chosen.

I love to try different flavors; it is more of a game for me now. Have you already got a flavor in mind? By the way, if you are not in a rush, you can let the teabags sit in the shoes for a longer period; it will just ensure the fragrance seeps into the shoe thoroughly, giving a long-lasting whiff of freshness.

Always Rotate

We all have our favorite pair of shoes; we feel comfortable wearing them. Now you have the home remedy to use teabags for shoe odor problem; I would still suggest that you switch between different pairs.

This enables your shoes to get some air and dry out, stopping any buildup of moisture and bacteria.