I'm new to Thrifty Fun and see this is quite an old posting but I am responding in case others check it out in the future. Place a small amount of regular rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball (sponge, dischloth, etc) then use it to clean inside the shoe. No need to have alcohol dripping from the applicator just keep it fairly damp and it will kill any germs. I've used this same method to also clean games and small toys purchased at yard sales. Recycling shoes for kids is a great idea as their feet grow so quickly shoes are outgrown long before they have a chance to wear out.
Take Care, Grammy 007
Are you sure white vinegar will do the trick to clean with a damp cloth ?
Editor's Note It should work and kill any foot problems that might be in there and also remove odors.
For 2ndhand shoes - I apply medicated footpowder/spray - put in and then turn over the shoes to get the powder onto the inside top lining of the shoes. That way you can short-circuit athlete foot fungus - If it does appear - & the shoes are leather - treat the shoes as you would your feet with anti-fungal cream.
No problem about wearing second hand shoes if you wear clean socks with them. Even if someone had sneezed into the shoes, which is highly unlikely, any germs that might have been there would not survive the journey from home to the thrift store, sitting on the thrift store shelf, and then to your home. And don't EVER wash leather in a washing machine!
I wouldn't throw them in the washer in case the leather would shrink after drying. But regular white vinegar should do the trick to clean and disinfect both the inside and out of the shoes and once it dries the smell of the vinegar will disappear!
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