You’re a manly man, doing manly things, which inevitably leads to you sweating.
Which is fine until the smell hits you; your sneakers and work boots often smell like something crawled inside and died.
There’s nothing wrong with that, we all sweat, but I bet you’ve sprayed deodorant into your footwear and found out it’s not made a bit of difference, right?
So have I.
How do you eliminate that smell with minimal effort and maximum results? Sneaker balls, that’s how.
Thanks to this neat little widget, every pair of footwear I own smells better than me.
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Do Sneaker Balls Really Work?
You don’t have to have body odor to have smelly sneakers. After all, heading for a jog and then home to shower, you don’t shower with your sneakers on. Safety boots are great for keeping your feet protected, but you’ll soon have hot, smelly feet after a day strapped in.
I’m not a fan of buying something for the sake of it; I’m immediately suspicious of that new thing that I apparently can’t live without. Who needs a frying pan that doubles as a satellite dish anyway?
I’ve tried multiple ways of getting that horrible smell out of my sneakers, from washing them in soapy water to spraying half a can of deodorant into them and hoping for the best. It either takes too long or simply doesn’t work, so I tried sneaker balls, and I’ve not looked back.
Sneaker balls work exceptionally well; they remove the pungent smell from your footwear and leave behind a much nicer smell. They don’t mask the smell as deodorant does, and you can use them for more than just your smelly sneakers.
The Sof Sole Sneaker Balls come as a pack of six, which should last you around 18 months and can be used in any size or style of footwear, from kids’ sneakers to your favorite dress shoes. Add one to your gym bag, and your clothes will also come out smelling fresh and clean.
Sneaker balls actually absorb the smell from your footwear while simultaneously releasing a fragrance such as cologne or a floral scent.
One of our go-to sneaker balls for eliminating shoe funk. We like the size and fresh fragrance of these. They come as a pack of six, which should last you around 18 months and can be used in any size or style of footwear, from kids' sneakers to your favorite dress shoes
How Do Sneaker Balls Work?
Sneaker balls are around 1.5 inches in diameter. They are filled with a combination of absorbing chemicals to help remove the odor from footwear and a fragrance to freshen up your sneakers. The chemicals used to absorb odor can be either charcoal-based, baking soda, or cyclodextrin.
In the same way a sponge would soak up water, the absorbing chemicals soak up the bacteria that produce the odors in your footwear. At the same time, the fragrance, be it cologne, floral, or even a fruity smell, is released into the footwear gently overnight.
What are Sneaker Balls Made Of?
With an outer plastic casing, a sneaker ball is made up of two halves that can be twisted to open the ducts on the sneaker ball. In the open position, the ball is essentially activated, and that’s when you should place it into your sneakers.
Internally, a sneaker ball comprises a slow-releasing fragrance and absorbing chemicals. None of the ingredients of a sneaker ball are hazardous, although I advise keeping them away from your pets.
At around 1.5 inches in diameter, a sneaker ball makes an appealing toy for a pet dog, but they’re the right size to choke a family pet potentially. If your dog swallows a sneaker ball, the ingredients could make your pet sick.
The Sneaker Deodorize Balls, which release a fresh Jasmine scent, are made from a sturdy plastic that’s not easily smashed, though a dog would make short work of them.
These sneaker balls come in a gift box, making them ideal for family and friends, although you’re admittedly saying, “Happy birthday, your feet stink.”
I recommend that when using a sneaker ball inside your footwear, it’s best to put them in a dry, confined space overnight to allow the sneaker ball to absorb and destroy the odor-inducing bacteria. Not only will that keep pets away, but it helps freshen up your sneakers.
How Long do Sneaker Balls Work For?
A good quality sneaker ball can last for up to six months, and given most come as a pack of six, you’re looking at around a year and a half of solid use from each pack. It’s important to remember to twist the sneaker ball off when you’re finished with it, the absorbing chemicals will dry out, and the fragrance will escape if you don’t.
I don’t use a sneaker ball every time I remove my sneakers, and I find that sticking a sneaker ball in perhaps once or twice a week keeps the odors fresh.
The Ava Prime Shoe Deodorizer Ball can last up to a year, although most sneaker balls I’ve tried usually last around six months each. As long as you remember to re-lock the ball when you’re finished with it, you should have plenty of use out of each sneaker ball.
I go through a pack of six quite quickly because I’ll use them in every pair of footwear I own, but even then, I’m getting around 12 months of good use out of a pack.
Considering that a good quality pack of sneaker balls costs less than $15, it’s a great solution to an annoying problem and works much better than my satellite dish frying pan ever did.
3 Easy DIY Sneaker Ball Alternatives
If you’re into DIY, there are several ways you can make your own sneaker ball alternatives with just a few household items. Environmentally friendly and easily repeatable, these three methods can have your sneakers smelling great for zero cost.
1. The Teabag Method
- Baking soda
- Scent blend
A tea bag is an ideal container to allow the scent out and the smell in, and it is a quick and surprisingly fun project. All you have to do is gently cut open the teabag, remove the tea leaves, and then fill up the bag with the scent of your choice.
I tried this with my kids, and they loved messing around with the different ingredients and creating something useful. Filling one bag with baking soda and another with potpourri and then stapling them together works really well.
If you’ve got things like lemon juice or eucalyptus oil lying around, you can put a few drops onto the baking soda and then fill the empty teabag. It can be a bit fiddly, but it’s a very viable homemade solution.
2. Freeze the Smell Out
If getting creative isn’t your cup of tea (sorry), then another simple, quick, and effective way to eliminate the odor from your sneakers is to freeze the smell right out of them. Bacteria cause the smell in your footwear. As they grow, the bacteria produce organic acids, which cause the odor.
Freezing your sneakers will kill the bacteria and remove the smell from your shoes with minimal effort. Simply ensure your sneakers are dry and place them in a sealable plastic bag. Leave your sneakers in the freezer overnight; the smell will have gone by morning.
You’ll have to repeat this process whenever you notice the smell returning. But for the effort it takes and the results you get, this is one of the cheapest and easiest methods I’ve found for removing those unwanted odors.
3. Rubbing Alcohol Kills Bacteria
Alcohol has been used to kill bacteria for thousands of years, and it’s another excellent way to kill the foul smell that’s emanating from your sneakers. You can apply rubbing alcohol to your footwear in two ways, and both are equally effective.
What you’ll need;
- Rubbing alcohol (not Budweiser or whiskey!)
- Cotton balls or a spray bottle.
If you have a spray bottle, add a 50/50 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle and spray both the inside and outside of your shoes. You don’t want to wipe off the mixture, but instead, leave them somewhere well-ventilated and dry and leave your shoes to dry naturally.
If you’re using cotton balls, soak them in a bowl or rubbing alcohol and then place them into the toe box of your sneakers, filling all of the space inside each. Leave your sneakers to stand overnight; the smell will have gone by morning.
Remove the cotton balls, wipe the inside of each shoe with a dry cloth, and you’re ready to face the world with fresh-smelling sneakers.
No More Stinky Feet
If you’re wondering if sneaker balls are the real deal, then don’t worry; they’re an excellent addition to your armory. Compact, reusable, inexpensive, and practical, sneaker balls are a great way to keep your much-loved and much-used footwear smelling fresh.
The Sneaker Deodorizer Balls that I use last around a year and are great for throwing in your bag when going on a trip and have multiple uses.
How do I eliminate foot odor?
Regardless of how often you wash your feet, as soon as you begin sweating, the bacteria on your feet will start to secrete acids that will inevitably smell. You can’t stop this, but you can combat it by keeping your feet clean and wearing the appropriate footwear.
Allowing your feet to breathe, wearing the right socks, and keeping your footwear clean will help reduce, if not eliminate, odors.
Does putting tea bags in your shoes work?
Tea bags are highly absorbent and can be put inside your shoes to absorb moisture from your insoles. They aren’t the perfect solution to removing odors, but they will reduce the smell slightly and certainly help to dry out your footwear.
How do you use smelly shoe balls?
Smelly shoe balls, or sneaker balls, to give them their correct name, are a simple device that you place inside your footwear overnight to help remove odors. Acting like an air freshener, a sneaker ball can be activated by twisting it into the open position, then leaving it inside your sneakers overnight.