To freshen boots, bowling shoes, ski boots, etc., place a dryer sheet in each one when not in use.
By duckie-do from Cortez, CO
I keep giving feedback about the chemicals in dryer sheets, which can be very dangerous. I suggest that you at least do not put your bare feet into any footwear that has had dryer sheets stored in them - always wear socks. If your feet sweat, you shouldn't use dryer sheets at all, as your feet will absorb these chemicals. Please read my TF post from last November in response to folks who were sending suggestions for using dryer sheets on their pets. (Link below) It's no joke - these chemicals are dangerous.
I put rubbing alcohol on a cotton square and rub the insides of my shoes to disinfect them.
Sorry to disagree, but health experts are warning against using dryer sheets at all. Do a search and you'll see that artificial fragrances in dryer sheets have extremely toxic chemicals that may also be carcinogenic.
Listed are chemicals found in fabric softeners and dry sheets (eMediaWire website - Press release February 21, 2005):
Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
Alpha-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list
Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled
Additional side effects from any of these chemicals can cause: Nausea, Vomiting, kidney/liver damage, Headaches, Blood pressure reduction, pancreatic cancer and irritation to the skin, mucus membrane and respiratory tract.
If shoes smell it is because bacteria is growing in them. Fragrances should not be used to cover up bacteria, but instead shoes should be washed or dried completely between wearings and rotated with other shoes.
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I store unused fabric softening sheets in my shoes at night. It keeps them from giving the bedroom that locker room odor.