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Serious Shoe Smell

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Serious Shoe Smell

Old 07-08-19, 05:13 AM
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Serious Shoe Smell

So...a couple weeks back, I had to go through a little flood water along a river corridor. Nothing unsafe, but my shoes were submerged in the mucky grossness for about 100 ft. I let them air dry, but didn't do anything more than that. Yesterday, I noticed that they stink to a level I have never experienced before...in any shoe or boot. I did a Clorox wipe, some Lysol, then once dry I threw in some talcum powder. They got a little better, but not much. Any advice in getting rid of this nastiness would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:53 AM
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You are going to have to submerge them again. Try a bucket of water with a little bleach to kill the smelly critters. If you don't have shoe dryers, stuff with newspaper to help them dry.
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Old 07-08-19, 08:09 AM
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Synthetic shoes, not leather? Try Febreze pet odor eliminator or similar strength deodorizer. That stuff is remarkably effective.

I don't have stinky feet or shoe problems, but with three cats, including one that's 15 or 16 now with a sensitive tummy and digestive and urinary tract problems, there's some occasional messy and stinky cleanup. I use a combination of Woolite or other fabric cleaners with enzymes designed to neutralize bad odors, followed by Febreze. Works great.

Also, try hydrogen peroxide. Very effective for stains, including blood from cuts and scrapes that get on light colored socks and jerseys, and many odors.

Don't use bleach, vinegar, ammonia, etc. Too strong, will damage the materials and may leave an equally bad and persistent odor.

For damp and mildewy or moldy leather or leatherette, I'd probably try a good clumping cat litter too. Something like Arm & Hammer Slide or Clump & Seal. These are the best I've found for cat litter boxes, and might help dry out damp, mildewed leather shoes as well, if nothing else works.
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Old 07-08-19, 08:20 AM
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A handheld steamer might sterilize them. It's gotta be something living inside the shoes that's causing that funk. Maybe leave them out in the sun to dry out really good?
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Old 07-08-19, 08:48 AM
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Add some Oxyclean with a little dish detergent to water and soak shoes for an hour or two; then rinse and let dry thoroughly - you can put in sun and/or stuff with newsprint. Spray with Lysol when dry.

Ive also heard of using Natures Miracle when all else fails to neutralize odors.
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Old 07-08-19, 09:54 AM
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Zinc Oxide powder (non-nano) works great on common foot odor. It saved me from having to toss out a $200 pair of hiking boots that had become unwearable. I just put some in an old talc shaker container and gave the boots a good dusting every few hikes along talc every hike. It completely eliminated the foot odor and it never came back. Not sure if it will work as well on swamp creatures but since they are probably a bacteria I'm guessing it would be effective. Stuff is cheap too.
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Old 07-08-19, 10:30 AM
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The problem is the water permeated the shoe. But your application of Clorox wipes (or whatever you use on the surfaces) is only hitting the surface. I agree the solution is to submerge them again.

You might start with a pretty strong vinegar solution, follow that up with a good soaking in a mild Clorox solution at 1/4th the concentration you would use on white shirts. After they've soaked awhile, soak them again in pure water. The residual clorox in the shoes will purify the water, but the water will also dilute the residual Clorox to the point that it won't keep eating away at the shoes.

After the soaking and rinsing is done they need to dry thoroughly. You can drip-dry them in a warm/dry climate. If you're in a more humid climate, go buy a 10 pound sack of rice and pour it into the shoes.

All this might be too much for the glues in the shoes. Hopefully it doesn't ruin them. But the stink is already ruining them, right?
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Old 07-08-19, 10:51 AM
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Try Fabreeze. The smell is probably a bacteria of some sort. I have had very good luck with the stuff. I like the heavy duty variety both because it does seem to work best and it comes with the best sprayer.
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Old 07-08-19, 08:55 PM
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A $30 boot dryer will absolutely fix it.

Just hang your cycling shoes on it after use overnight.
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Old 07-08-19, 09:17 PM
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All these posts and nobody has asked if it's not really a funny smell the OP just doesn't get?
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Old 07-09-19, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
All these posts and nobody has asked if it's not really a funny smell the OP just doesn't get?
Hahaha, it is dead animal in the crawl space serious. In fact, my wife smelled it first and she thought there was a dead mouse in the laundry room. Noting funny about that. :-)
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Old 07-09-19, 11:34 AM
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Thanks everyone for the responses. All good ideas. I am currently trying heavy duty Fabreze. I'll apply every day for a week and see what happens. If that doesn't work, a laundry detergent soak and a boot dryer investment will be in order.
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Old 07-09-19, 12:17 PM
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chuck 'em
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Old 07-09-19, 12:31 PM
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Yeah, if your shoes get that wet, you want to be proactive with drying them. I'll take the insoles out, stuff them with newspaper for a half hour (to get the bulk of the moisture out). Then I'll take out the newspaper and either put them on the stationary rack in the dryer or I'll open them up as wide as I can and put them in front of a fan, positioned such that the fan is blowing inside of them, overnight.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:35 AM
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After doing all of the other things, let them sit in the sun for a day or 2.(Someone else mentioned this) I had a pair of running shoes I had to do this to.
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