How to Get Smell Out of Flip Flops

When flip flops are used on a regular basis they can easily develop a foul foot related odor within the material.  This pungent is almost always a direct result of dead skin particles and sweat building up that creates an odorous bacteria rich environment.

Fortunately, there remain several household remedies for removing the foot related odor and have you sandals smelling like new.  By following the below solutions you will be able to get the funk out of your flip flops.

Flip Flop Deodorizing Solutions

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1. Soapy Scrubdown + Direct Sunlight

Often all that is required is a soapy scrub down of the sandals outside with a hose.  Using dish detergent, rub down the top side of the sandals ensuring that you have scrubbed within all of the difficult to reach cracks.  Follow this by rinsing the sandals down outside with a hose and leaving them to dry within direct sunlight for the day.  The soap will have the effect of removing much of the buildup as the open space, fresh air and ultraviolet rays will go to work in killing of the last of the bacteria.

2. Soak within White Vinegar

This household acid can work wonders in eliminating flip flop odors.   Fill large tray with one part white vinegar and four parts warm water and place your sandals face side down within the formula.  Allow the flip flops to sit for 3-4 hours as the acid within the vinegar gradually strips allow foot related buildup and kills off any unwanted bacteria that may have made a home for themselves within the sandals.  Once they have soaked for the required time, place them outside within direct sunlight dry out.  Please note that white vinegar will have an acidic odor while wet, however it will evaporate odorlessly with the unwanted foot odor after it's application.

3. Rubbing Alcohol Soak

In a similar fashion to white vinegar, rubbing alcohol can work to remove an unwelcome stench from flip flops.  Mix a solution of one part rubbing alcohol with five parts water within a large tray and place your flip flops within it face down.  The alcohol within the mixture will have the effect of killing any odorous bacteria while loosening any foot residue that may have built up.  After 3-4 hour of soaking, place the sandals outside within direct sunlight to air out and dry.

4. Deodorize with Enzyme Cleaner

The active enzymes within this cleaning solution will literally eat through any loose organic materials within the surface of the flip flops and kill the bacteria.  Fill a large tray with a low level of enzyme cleaner and place the flip flops face down within the product cleaner.  After 4-6 hours you can remove the sandals and finish the deodorizing process by placing them outdoors within the sun.

5. Sprinkle Baking Soda

This kitchen ingredient has been used for decades for it's odor absorption capibiltites.  If you are dealing with a minor foot odor, baking soda can simply be sprinkled over the top surface in heavy quantities and allowed to sit for 24 hours.  Alternatively, you can also mix a solution of one part baking soda with ten part water within a large tray and allow you sandals to soak face down within the solution for no less than 12 hours.

6. Scrub and Freeze

Another effective method for deodorizing flip flops is to scrub the top side down within the sink and proceed to ziplock bag them and place them within the freezer.  the scrubbing will help to strip the flip flop of any residual foot residues while the freeze will effectively freeze any remaining bacteria living within the flip flops.  For best results, make sure that sandals are kept within the freezer for 48 hours before removing to to thaw out within the sun.

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski

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