Banish Funky Shoe Odors With The Help Of This Common Kitchen Ingredient

Hygiene is an important component of society, and not just for you, but for those around you. No one wants to be the one to kick off their shoes on the train or the plane and have people turn their noses up in disgust. Harboring smelly feet is considered a heinous social crime, which is why you can't afford to have them. No amount of perfume or essential oil will banish that wicked shoe stench because you need an absorbent substance to do so. That is why cornstarch, a common kitchen ingredient, is one of the easiest and most affordable ways you can get a handle on your stinky footwear.

Cornstarch is ideal for solving your smelly shoe problem for a couple of unique reasons. Firstly, it's a fine powder with hygroscopic properties. This means that it can cover a large surface area at once because its particles are so tiny and it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. Cornstarch is typically used in the kitchen as a thickening agent for soups and such. That same quality is what makes it great at soaking up all the moisture and sweat in your shoes that cause terrible smells. Also, cornstarch is exceptional when it comes to binding volatile compounds like flavors and scents. With a pinch of this kitchen staple, your funky shoe odor will be gone in no time.

Sprinkle some cornstarch in your shoes

Putting cornstarch in your smelly shoes is pretty unconventional, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Since cornstarch is great for neutralizing odors and absorbing moisture, you'll have to leave it in your shoes for a while without use, preferably overnight. Grab some cornstarch from your kitchen cabinet and sprinkle a small heap into each of your shoes once you've taken them off for the day. Come back the following day, clean them out, and dust the shoes free of the resulting starch. The smell and moisture would have been greatly reduced. 

You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the cornstarch during your overnight deodorizing sessions. The oil on its own wouldn't change the smell because it's not a neutralizing agent. However, with the cornstarch doing the work, it could add a refreshing quality after the stench is dissipated. Just mix a couple of drops of oil with the cornstarch before then sprinkling it into your shoes for an extra kick. 

Mix baking soda with the cornstarch for a more thorough cleanse

If you want to go further and do a deeper smell cleanse for your shoes, add some baking soda to the mix. Baking soda is another odor neutralizer that works wonders on bad smells. Cleaning expert and TikTok user @cleanmyspace gives a simple recipe for the ultimate shoe de-funker. Mix three parts of cornstarch with one part of baking soda and sprinkle some of it into your shoes.

The good thing with this neat hack is that you can put your socks and shoes on immediately afterward and go on about your day. The DIY foot powder will keep your feet in a better condition than if they were bare and minimize the smell. Make sure you wear socks though because raw baking soda can irritate your skin. Don't be afraid to double it up. Put on one thin pair of socks and then a thicker one over it just to be on the safe side.