Do All Socks Stink When they are Sweaty?

We’ve likely all smelled stinky socks. Whether they’ve been our own or the socks of a friend, family member, or other loved one. Some socks smell a lot worse than others, and there are a lot of factors that go into that. Unfortunately, sometimes stinky socks can stain your shoes and leave that smell in your shoes. There are ways to both get that smell out of your shoes as well as reduce how smelly your socks are after they get sweaty.

Why do Socks Stink?

Before getting into how to reduce the smell of your socks, it’s good to know exactly what causes this phenomenon. After a lot of research, it turns out that the smell doesn’t actually come directly from the feet. The smell that we’re all familiar with actually comes from bacteria that live both on the foot and in the sock. Just like any other living organism, these bacteria produce waste. The waste that these bacteria expel smells rotten and, well, you more than likely are at least somewhat familiar with the unpleasant smell they produce. Extra sweaty feet can host extra gross smelling bacteria and so on. Fortunately, having smelly feet is not a sign of any major health problem even if it is a little embarrassing.

How to Reduce Sock Smell?

There are a few easy ways to make sure that you reduce the sock smell as much as possible. The easiest way is to be sure that you’re regularly washing your socks, and if that’s not enough soak them for around 20 minutes. It’s recommended to use a mix of warm water and either vinegar or Epsom salt. Keeping your feet dry is another easy way to cut down on the smell of your socks. Bacteria feel at home in moist environments, and dryer environments are much more inhospitable. This includes changing your socks if they get too wet or sweaty, wearing breathable socks, and even putting cornstarch or another powder that’s good for absorbing moisture in your shoes.

How to Save Your Shoes from the Stink?

If your shoes have already taken on the smell from your socks it may not be too late, but you do have some work ahead of you. The first and easiest course of action is to check the insoles and see if those are the source of the stink. If they are you can either clean dry them out and clean them or simply replace them. If not you can try the freezer method. This method involved putting your shoes in a zipper bag and putting them in the freezer overnight. This should kill all of the offending bacteria.

If the freezer method doesn’t work don’t give up hope. Some smells are resilient, but so are we. After trying the freezer method, you can try putting baking soda in your shoes and leaving it in them overnight. This should do the trick because baking soda is specifically designed to help with getting rid of smells. If it doesn’t for some reason, you can try a citrus peel or steeped black tea bags. If those still don’t work you could invest in a shoe smell spray, or just buy a new pair of shoes.

Keeping Your Socks and Shoes Smell Free

It’s a hefty task to ensure that your socks don’t stink, but it can help you in a lot of ways that may not be immediately obvious. Smelling nice can help you act more confidently throughout the day, and people respond well to the natural confidence that comes when you know you look good and smell good. Maintaining clean-smelling socks and shoes ensures that you don’t smell like feet when going throughout your day, and considering most people find that to be an especially offensive odor it’s a double win.