How to remove odor from gardening shoes

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All of us Fort Worth gardeners have on occasion noted that our favorite pair of garden shoes, the loafer type, really need to have something done about them!  We slip our barefoot in and out with abandon never realizing that the odor is building up! Here are a few tips to help remove that odor.

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How to remove odor from gardening shoes

Things you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Box corn starch
  • Scented baby powder
  • “Odor-Eater” powder from dugstore
  • Leather cleaner dressing
  • Scented dishwash detergent
  • Bleach
  • Hot water
  • Sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • New inner sole gel inserts
  • Plastic shoe bag, airtight
  • Sunny day
  • Newspapers or cardboard

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Remove old inner soles and discard. Mix solution of ½ table spoon bleach, ½ teaspoon of detergent, hot water, in container, shake to suds.  Use rubber gloves and liberally sponge out inside of shoes.  Do this outside on sunny day and avoid bleach fumes and possibility of spilling solution on anything other than newspapers. Leave shoes in sun to dry for several hours.

You can try this on old tennis shoes by washing them first, then do all the steps except the last part about leather dressing (see last step).

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When shoes are almost dry, sprinkle mixture of scented baby powder, corn starch, and baking soda liberally in side shoes. Place shoes inside airtight bag and bring inside or leave on enclosed porch in case it rains.  Leave bag sealed overnight.

Option:  Mix powder mixture in baggie, shake liberally, then sprinkle inside shoes as directed.  Save any excess powder mixture for future shoe treatments.

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After 24 hours, take shoes in bag outside. Remove shoes from bag and knock the soles together to remove powder as much as possible. Take old brush and brush out remaining powder from inside shoes, wipe inside of shoes with cloth. Take old toothbrush and apply slight amount of leather cleaner to inside bottom, sides and top of shoe.  Let dry for two hours.

Note:  For tennis shoes, apply sneaker dressing instead of leather dressing.

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Place new gel inserts inside shoes. Lightly sprinkle scented baby powder and Odor-Eater powder together inside shoes. Slip them on and marvel at the new leather smell! Mmmmmmm!!    Nice!   Just like leather seats on a new car!


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Tips and Warnings:

  • Mix your bleach detergent solution carefully.
  • Save your powder mix for future treatments.
  • Make sure plastic shoe bag is airtight.
  • Don’t let shoes sit out in rain after washing.

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