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Getting Rid of Odor From Sneakers and Sports Gear

Everyone has encountered smelly athletic shoes and clothing. Sneakers whose odor carries across a room. The smell from an equipment bag that reaches from the trunk of your car to the front seat. Gloves that have the power to transfer their odor to your hands. Wet clothes left stuffed in a duffle bag that could stand up on their own.

Dirrty soccer shoesShort of throwing them all away, what can be done? You can try to mask the odor with scents, but why not tackle the problem head on and go after the bacteria that causes the odor? Besides, who wants them living there anyway?

Here are some suggestions on how to get rid of the odor from your child's sneakers:
  • Sprinkle the insides with baking soda

  • Replace the insoles or remove them to air out and dry overnight

  • Buy two pair of shoes for wearing on alternate days

  • Stuff them with paper towels soaked in bleach and let sit for 24 hours

  • Soak them in a solution of Simple Green cleanser in your washer for 1/2 hour, and then run the wash. Remember: leather shoes can dry out if washed this way, so be sure to condition the leather afterwards or use leather polish.

Other Tips

Bacteria love moist environments. This is why drying your child's gear out between uses is so important.
  • Pull the gear out from your child's equipment bag and hang it up to dry.
  • Open items up to maximize the exposed area and shorten the drying time.
  • For shoes, remember to loosen laces and remove innersoles.
  • If it's warm and sunny, move the gear outside and let the sun help.
  • Have your child wear a base layer that you can wash after each use. It will reduce the residues passing to her other gear and will be easier to clean.

Do you have a cleaning tip you'd like to share?  Post them in our forum!

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