Monday, 11 July 2011

Day 10: Smelly Shoes

Just a quick post today.  On an unpleasant topic.

My shoes stink.

It's my own fault. They were a cheap pair, obviously very synthetic.  But they are neat and professional-looking, and have been very comfortable.  And that is a rare thing for me, because I have appallingly awkward feet: a seriously high instep combined with what my mother calls 'hammer toes', and an extra-wide fitting.  (I also have double-jointed big toes, but that's another story.)  Long ago I resigned myself to spending over-the-odds on shoes, because the alternative is such a false economy.  But this pair was an exception to the rule.

So I have been wearing them fairly constantly over the last couple of months.  With nylon stockings.  Now the smell has got to the point that when I take them off, it fills the room.

The Heroic and Humble Bicarb
Now, buying a new pair is not an option.  Even a pair of insoles costs money - though it may yet come to that.  So I have been seeking solutions.  My first attempt has been bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).  I use this already to keep the fridge smell-free, and it seems to work.  (Just sit an open tub in a corner of the fridge.)  So yesterday I sprinkled a teaspoon in each shoe and swished it around.

And d'y'know, it seems to be working.  At least, it is working a little bit.  The smell no longer fills the surrounding airspace.  But close up (i.e., nose in shoe), and it is still pretty rank.

Something more drastic was clearly needed.  So I did some googling, and was gratified to see that my first instinct of Bicarbonate of Soda was a good one.  The other suggestion I found was to freeze the shoes for a few days in order to kill the bacteria that make the smell.  It sounds sensible - a few days in a freezer would kill me as well. Therefore, my shoes are currently in a plastic carrier bag and lurking in the bottom drawer, the frozen bacon bits having first been transferred.  I can hang around in my sandals for a few days, this being summer and all.

The ideal result will be entirely smell-free.  But I will settle for mildly musty.  And if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.

Total Daily Spend = £0.00


Jane said...

As the embarrassed owner of sweaty feet you have my sympathy. I determinedly fill my sandals with talc every time I wear them and hadn't thought that bicarb may be more to the point. And have insoles breeding in my wardrobe with the shoes. I think my sister did the plastic bag and freezer thing when she had a case of damp in her wardrobe upsetting her shoes.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your shoes smell better, but on a side note you can find some very cheap shoes on eBay. We saw a pair of Campers for £3 last week and they looked brand new! You will find some amazing bargain as well the 26 of December when people sell their unwanted gifts. Sad but you can find some very good stuff. Nadege

Fran said...

Thanks for the tip re. eBay, Nadege. I am nervous of buying shoes online, as my feet can be so difficult to fit. But when this pair fall apart, I'll have a look.

You have my sympathies, Jane. Seemningly, the Bicarb of Soda neutralises the Ph of sweat as well as absorbing moisture. Or so says google :) Maybe someone with scientific knowledge could comment.

Jason said...

RE: the stinky shoe thing, have you considered putting them in a box (or bowl, large plastic tub etc) of cat litter? Also works for musty books.

Fran said...

Excellent suggestion, Jason, and also re. the books. I have some terribly musty ones, and this might be worth a try. Thanks :)

Jason said...

De rien, FM!