Disinfecting Old Hats And Shoes

I read recently somewhere that among the things you should NOT buy used are shoes and hats. Hmmm - I have been doing that for years with no bad results, but in this day of proliferating bugs, I suppose we all should be very careful.


So - before wearing those vintage or new-to-you-from-the -thrift-shop shoes, you can disinfect them by spraying the inside with spray disinfectant, available at the dollar store. The same with the inside crown of old/used hats. For added protection, I also use medicated foot powder (also from the dollar store) in my shoes.

It makes one wonder if one should carefully scrutinize shoes at the shoe counter, as they may have been tried on once or twice, too.

By pam munro from Los Angeles, CA

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June 24, 20110 found this helpful

This sounds good, but check the ingredients in that spray they may be toxic, absorbing through the skin may not be a good idea. A better idea is to wash a ball cap by placing it on the top rack of the dishwasher. Bath toys, makeup brushes, and hair brushes can also be disinfected in the dishwasher.

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June 24, 20110 found this helpful

Actually the "proliferating bugs" are coming from brand new items bought from various department stores. Most of our goods are now made overseas and they're infested. It doesn't matter if the garment came from Wal-Mart or from Macy's or Nordstrom's or even Nieman Marcus.

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June 25, 20110 found this helpful

I gave up on used shoes years ago. No matter how much I tried to disinfect, ick would come up from deeper layers when I wore them. Hats don't have a thick layer of inner padding so I spray them down and I'm fine.


Years back, in the early 70s, I picked up a lice from flipping through coats in a second hand store. It turned out to be a crab lice, the kind that heads for the nether regions. The vile little thing attached itself to the base of my eyelash. A doctor removed it and suggested I keep an eye out for more. Took a long time before I was willing to darken the door of another second hand store. I still tend to head for the housewares.

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June 25, 20110 found this helpful

I don't buy shoes from the thrift stores that I can't throw in the washing machine unless they still have the store label on them & are obviously new.I tried spray disinfectant, but spraying it doesn't get the dirt out, it only turns to mud, dries, then every time you wear them & your feet sweat, your feet get a bath in someone elses dirt & the disinfectant chemicals.

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June 30, 20110 found this helpful

I learned the hard way never to trust a used hat. My son found an abandoned hat on the grounds of the elementary school they attended at the time and tried it on. (I think he was 6 then, maybe.) His beautiful, thick head of curls had to be sacrificed to stop the nasty little buggers.


MizLou, I feel for you! I've never caught lice of any type while browsing in a thrift shop. However, I have to join the ranks of those who refuse to buy used shoes, unless they're machine washable. There's a very good reason some things shouldn't be bought used. I haven't even bought new lately, so wouldn't know about infestations in new items.

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May 24, 20190 found this helpful

Does this work?

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Consumer Advice Clothing BuyingJune 24, 2011
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