So if you own a pair of TOMS, you know that they are pretty cool, but also pretty smelly even if you don’t generally have super stinky feet (and especially if you walk in any water). TOMS are meant to be worn without socks and comfortable enough to wear all the time, but can thus create a need for more odor control. Before we get into some natural cleaning solutions for them, here’s a little background in case you haven’t heard why TOMS are so neat.
For every pair that you purchase, another new pair is donated to a child in need somewhere around the world (as of last year over 1 million pairs of shoes were donated!). It might not seem initially that shoes are an extremely important human need, but this donation actually protects children’s feet from burns (in hot parts of the world), cuts, infection, bacteria, sewage, etc. They even make it possible for some kids to go to school if they can’t afford shoes, but are required to have them to attend.
TOMS also takes the environment into account as you can choose to purchase vegan shoes (no animal products used) as well as Earth-friendly ones made with sustainable and recycled materials. The shoes most environmentally friendly are specified on the web site and are still really great looking.
So now on to the cleaning part. The instructions for cleaning on the website state to hand wash using cold water and a mild detergent and air drying. They state that washing with a machine “gentle” cycle works, but never to put TOMS in the dryer. Some people suggest washing the shoes and then drying them in the sun (which is a great way to kill bacteria), but the website states that this can cause fading (although not affecting the durability), so be aware of this potential issue.
Another suggestion is to wash them on your most gentle machine cycle using detergent and then adding them to the dryer (on low or no heat) with a bunch of wet towels. Wearing them again afterwards is supposed to stretch them right back to normal.
Some other ideas include wiping down the insides with rubbing alcohol (perhaps try that in a small spot first), stuffing them with paper (which can be reused) to help absorb moisture after wearing, sprinkling baking soda in them which absorbs odors (leaving overnight if necessary), and placing them in a freezer overnight to kill bacteria.
If you decide to take the baking soda route, you can also try making this natural odor killer with essential oils by shaking in a sealed container 1 cup baking soda with 4 drops tea tree oil, 3 drops lavender oil, 3 drops rosemary oil, and 2 drops peppermint oil. These essential oils together offer disinfecting, antibacterial, and antifungal properties which should greatly help with odor when sprinkled regularly in the shoes. Hopefully this solution could increase the time needed between washings.
Now last, but not least, I’ve even heard of some people using Efferdent (denture cleaner!) for odors in certain shoes, but that could be an especially risky trial- since it’s blue. ;)http://www.toms.com/ http://www.helium.com/items/1641060-foot-odor-smelly-shoes-how-to-clean-shoes-eliminating-shoe-odors http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf199146.tip.html