I don't know about you but stinky shoes rank right up there with stinky bathrooms.
I don't like either one.
And I really don't like putting my hands into stinky shoes to clean or polish them. Most of the time I will either spray white vinegar into the shoe and wipe out with a cloth or just use a cloth dampened with white vinegar to wipe down the inside. That usually works.
As for the stinky bathrooms...that is another problem here at the castle. SweetiePie likes the aerosol sprays but they make me sneeze and they are way too strong and expensive, even from the $ store. So to the web I went. I found a homemade copycat recipe for Poo Pourrie spray and it worked. Just alcohol, water and the essential oil of you choice. Simple ingredients, fantastic results.
The poo spray is sprayed into the toilet before you go. The essential oil in the spray creates surface tension on the water and when "something" enters the water the surface tension returns and the odor is contained. I tried several mixtures with different amounts of essential oil and finally found one that really worked. I just modified it slightly to use in shoes and on stinky things.
Here is my recipe:
2 oz spray bottle
2 Tbs alcohol
40-60 drops of essential oils
Put a small amount of water, about a tablespoon, in the bottom of the bottle, add the alcohol and add the essential oils. Finish filling the bottle with water. Put the spray top on,shake gently, and spray. About 2-3 sprays are usually enough to cover the water in the toilet bowl. The mixture may get cloudy and settle but just a shake is all you need to do to remix the formula. The alcohol helps the essential oils mix better with the water. You can also use witch hazel for a little bit thicker mixture but it does make the mixture permanently cloudy.
I used a small travel spray bottle to do my trials and I purchased an 8 ounce bottle at the $ store for my final mixture. One that has a very fine spray and just doubled and doubled the recipe.
You can use any essential oils that you like but you want the oils to neutralize the odor, not overpower the odor. I used lemongrass and lavender. Lemongrass smells like Ivory soap and lavender is soothing. I used 40 drops of lemongrass and 20 drops of lavender. You can adjust according to your nose. Or use something else altogether. It is totally your choice. Some people don't like lemongrass and some people are allergic to lavender. Bergamont oil is also a favorite.
This also works on stinky shoes. I had a really stinky pair of leather Sperry Top Siders that reeked of cigarette smoke. I cleaned and polished them, used vinegar and nothing helped. When I walked in the room where they were I could immediately smell them. I thought about freezing them but I was in the bathroom and saw the Poo spray and thought if it contained the poo smell surely it would work on shoes.
I gave it a try and WOW it worked. I did adjust the formula and put a little more alcohol and lemongrass essential oil and less lavender essential oil. I wanted to get the smell out but didn't want to leave an oily residue. To me the lemongrass makes the shoes smell clean, like Ivory soap, and not perfumey. I did have to spray the shoes 3 times before I got the smell out. But it was worth the extra effort to be able to sell them and know that they didn't smell. I have used the spray on a pair of sandals and really sweaty smelling chest protector. Works like a charm.
So if you have stinky shoes give this a try and let me know what you think.