The Short Answer is:
To clean smelly cycling shoes, remove the insole and rinse with warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly with warm soapy water, and begin air drying immediately. Use a cleaning spray to eliminate germs and odors, and stuff the shoes with newspaper to absorb excess moisture. Scrub stubborn dirt with a nail brush and rinse well in fresh water.
Cycling shoes are an essential piece of equipment for any cyclist, but they can quickly become smelly after a few rides. This is especially true during damp winter and sweaty summer rides. Bacteria build-up in shoes not only causes smells but can also lead to the decomposition of the materials and stitching, especially in synthetic and natural leathers.
Therefore, it is important to clean your cycling shoes regularly to remove bacteria and extend the life of your footwear. In this article, we will discuss how to clean smelly cycling shoes using tips from various sources.
Table of Contents
Preparing Your Cycling Shoes for Cleaning
Preparing your cycling shoes for cleaning is an important step to ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned and maintained. First, wet cloth or sponge and wipe away large chunks of mud or debris. Then, add a small amount of mild dish soap to the cloth or sponge and scrub the outside of the shoe.
Use a soft brush to clean areas like buckles and cleats. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe away the remaining dirt and soap. It is also recommended to remove the insoles, loosen up straps and buckles, and dunk them in a bucket of water mixed with a bit of mild dishwashing soap.
Scrub them gently but thoroughly with a soft brush, paying close attention to buckles and cleats. Rinse your shoes in cool water once you’re done. Finally, stuff your shoes with newspaper and leave them to air dry. Never put your shoes in the dryer or leave them to dry near a heat source.
Removing Dirt and Debris from Cycling Shoes
To remove dirt and debris from cycling shoes, start by wiping away large chunks of mud or debris with a cloth or sponge. Then, use a brush or damp towel to wipe away dirt, grime, and sweat on the outside and undercarriage of the shoes.
Pay attention to areas like buckles and cleats, which can be cleaned with a soft brush. Use a mild dish soap and a cloth or sponge to scrub the outside of the shoe, and apply a cleaning solution to the interior surfaces of the shoes.
Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean, warm water to remove any remaining soap or cleaning solution. Finally, air-dry the shoes before reattaching the cleats. Regular cleaning and maintenance of cycling shoes are important to extend their lifespan and ensure optimal performance and hygiene.
Addressing Odor-Causing Bacteria and Fungi
To address odor-causing bacteria and fungi in smelly cycling shoes, the following tips can be helpful:
- Use baking soda: Fill two socks with baking soda, tie them off at the top, and slip one sock into each shoe. Let them sit overnight. This will help get rid of odor-causing bacteria and fungus.
- Disinfecting spray: Spray the shoe’s interior with a disinfecting spray like Lysol to get rid of odor-causing bacteria and fungus. You can also sprinkle foot powder or baking powder inside for similar effects.
- Clean your shoes regularly: Bacteria build-up in shoes not only causes smells but also leads to the decomposition of the materials and stitching, especially in synthetic and natural leathers. Removing bacteria will reduce the chance of the fabrics rotting and extend the life of your footwear.
- Dry your shoes: To avoid a funky smell, keep your shoes as dry as possible. Try to rotate shoes regularly, so you’re not wearing the same pair day after day. If they are damp or wet, let them dry completely before wearing them again.
- Freeze your shoes: The freezing temperature inhibits the growth of germs and fungi. Put your shoes in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer overnight.
- Use rubbing alcohol spray: Spraying rubbing alcohol on your shoes can help kill bacteria and eliminate odor.
- Use a dedicated cleaner: Use a dedicated cleaner such as Nikwax Sandal and Sports Shoe Wash to deep-clean your cycling shoes.
- Remove shoe insoles and wash with soapy water: This will help remove dirt, sweat, and bacteria from your shoe’s insoles.
- Store your shoes outside: Don’t store your shoes inside as they have residual sweat in them after you use them. Store them out under the sun for quicker drying time and less bacterial growth.
Treating Stubborn Odors with Natural Remedies
Treating stubborn odors with natural remedies is a great way to clean smelly cycling shoes. One option is to use Boot Bananas Shoe Deodorisers, which are made of all-natural ingredients. Another option is to use Nikwax Sandal and Sports Shoe Wash, which is a dedicated cleaner that can help remove bacteria build-up in shoes.
Additionally, you can stuff your shoes with newspaper and let them hang out overnight in a well-ventilated area to dry completely. To get rid of odor-causing bacteria and fungus, you can spray the shoe’s interior with a disinfecting spray like Lysol or sprinkle foot powder or baking powder inside for similar effects. Baking soda is also a cheap and effective way to treat smelly shoes.
Using Odor Absorbing Products and Inserts
Using odor-absorbing products and inserts can be an effective way to clean smelly cycling shoes. Here are some options to consider:
- Shoe deodorizer spray: These sprays can be used to kill bacteria and eliminate odors in your shoes. Simply spray the inside of your shoes and let them dry before wearing them again.
- Odor-absorbing pouches: These pouches contain activated charcoal or other materials that absorb odors. They can be placed inside your shoes when you’re not wearing them to help eliminate smells.
- Boot Bananas: Boot Bananas are made from naturally absorbent salts, minerals, and plant extracts from lavender, lemon, patchouli, and tea tree. They can be placed inside your shoes to absorb moisture and eliminate odors.
- dor-fighting insoles: Insoles with sweat-wicking technology and odor-fighting properties can be inserted into your shoes to help keep them fresh.
- Natural odor-eliminating sprays: Natural sprays made from essential oils can be used to eliminate odors in your shoes. These sprays are typically safe for use on skin and clothing as well.
Overall, using odor-absorbing products and inserts can be a simple and effective way to clean smelly cycling shoes.
Proper Storage and Maintenance of Cycling Shoes
Proper storage and maintenance of cycling shoes are important to keep them in good condition and prevent them from becoming smelly. Here are some tips:
- Store them in a dry place: After each ride, make sure to store your cycling shoes in a dry place to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to odor and bacteria growth.
- Clean them regularly: Wipe your shoes with a damp cloth if they’re dusty and dirty after a ride. If they’re grimy and crusted with mud, remove the insoles, loosen up straps and buckles, and wash them with mild soap and water. Allow them to air dry completely before wearing them again.
- Check the cleats: The cleats on your cycling shoes should be checked regularly for wear and tear. Replace them if they are worn down or damaged.
- Use a shoe deodorizer: If your cycling shoes are already smelly, use a shoe deodorizer to help eliminate the odor. You can also try stuffing them with newspaper or dryer sheets to absorb moisture and odor.
- Properly store them when not in use: Consider using a shoe storage solution like the Neat Cleat to keep your cycling shoes organized and off the ground when not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Cleaning Smelly Cycling Shoes:
Can I put my cycling shoes in the washing machine to remove the odor?
It is generally safe to wash your cycling shoes in the washing machine, but it is recommended to use cold water on a gentle cycle and to wash them with other items such as large towels to prevent damage. However, it is not recommended to put them in the dryer or leave them near a heat source.
How often should I clean my cycling shoes to prevent odor buildup?
For those frequently riding in wet or muddy conditions, it’s best to clean the shoes every few rides. For casual riders, cleaning them once a month or when visibly dirty should suffice. However, airing out the shoes after each ride is recommended to minimize odor and moisture buildup.
Are there any specific cleaning products recommended for removing odor from cycling shoes?
Yes, there are specific cleaning products recommended for removing odor from cycling shoes. Some of the recommended products include Nikwax Sandal and Sports Shoe Wash, baking soda, and mild dish soap.
Additionally, it is recommended to remove the insole and rinse it with warm soapy water, rinse the shoes thoroughly with warm soapy water, and stuff them with newspaper to absorb excess moisture. Scrubbing stubborn dirt with a nail brush is also suggested.
Conclusion: How to Clean Smelly Cycling Shoes?
In conclusion, smelly cycling shoes are a common problem that can be solved with proper care and cleaning. Bacteria build-up in shoes not only causes smells but can also lead to the decomposition of the materials and stitching, especially in synthetic and natural leathers. Therefore, removing bacteria will reduce the chance of the fabrics rotting and extend the life of your footwear.
There are several ways to clean and cure smelly cycling shoes, including using a dedicated cleaner such as Nikwax Sandal and Sports Shoe Wash, pre-treating shoes with baking soda prior to a cycle through the dishwasher, spraying with Lysol after each use, stuffing dryer sheets in them between use, using Stuffitts or cedar inserts, washing them down in the shower, and putting newspaper and dryer sheets in them before storing them on a rack in the airing cupboard. By following these tips, you can keep your cycling shoes fresh and odor-free for longer.