How to Clean Smelly New Balance Shoes

How to Clean Smelly New Balance Shoes
Good running shoes can quickly become smelly from constant usage. Sweat, dirt and other factors aid in the growth of bacteria that can produce foul-smelling shoes within a very short amount of time. Although getting a new pair of shoes is always an option, most shoes can easily be cleaned and sanitized to reduce odors. Because New Balance shoes are generally expensive to replace each time they begin to smell, cleaning and disinfecting them to rid them of smelly odors is the most effective solution.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tube sock
  • Cat litter (crystal or clay based)
  • Five-gallon bucket
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Soft-bristled scrub brush
  • Construction paper
Step 1
Take a tube sock at least 16 inches long and fill it with 6 inches of cat litter. Tie a knot in the sock as close to the cat litter as possible to prevent it from spilling out and to form a ball.
Step 2
Place the sock with the cat litter inside the New Balance shoe. If necessary, stuff the sock inside the shoe so that the litter "ball" you have created keeps the shoe tongue slightly pushed outward. This will absorb some of the odor and moisture in the shoe and make cleaning it easier. Leave it in place for 12 to 18 hours.
Step 3
Remove the sock and shake out the shoe to remove any litter that may have spilled. The sock and the litter in it may be used multiple times.
Step 4
Fill the 5-gallon bucket halfway up with warm water. Add 2 cups of baking soda to this and stir it well to dissolve any powder lumps created. The baking soda will help absorb smells.
Step 5
Unlace and then immerse the shoes in the baking soda water and scrub the outside and inside of the shoe using the scrub brush. Drop the laces in as well, but just let them soak.
Step 6
Soak the laces and shoes for an additional 45 minutes after you scrub them, ensuring they are fully submerged. If necessary, weight the shoes down with a paper weight.
Step 7
Take the shoes and laces out of the water and stuff them with non-colored construction paper to prevent bleeding. This will help them dry and keep their shape. Also, don't rinse the shoes---the leftover baking soda will continue to deodorize them. Lace them back up for use.

Tips & Warnings

You may use scented or unscented cat litter based on your preference.
Never use any colored socks or paper with the shoes to prevent bleeding while washing them.

Article Written By Justin Chen

Justin Chen is a freelance writer and photographer with 6 years of professional experience in outdoor activities, extreme sports, travel and marketing topics. His professional work experience includes publication with KOMO 4 News Seattle, Fisher Interactive Network, and Demand Studios. He is a current Pre-Med student at Walla Walla University.

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