Oooh, that smell.

You know the Skynyrd song. I think I know what it was written about. My mud room.

With 3 tween boys (and a husband) kicking off their sweaty sneakers and tossing them into this 5×5 foot space devoid of ventilation, one can only imagine the joy that tantalizes my senses when I open the door. There are times that I honestly check the bottoms to see if they walked in something. Scary.
I’ve sprayed Lysol (ewww) and Citrus scent (too bathroomy). I’ve bought Sneaker Balls which turn out to be very fun cat toys, FYI.

So I started looking around. Do you know that a Google search for “Sneaker Odor Solution” yields 314,000 results. Yikes. Some ideas:

Baking Soda: A smelly shoe or sneaker is no match for the power of baking soda. Liberally sprinkle soda in the offending loafer or lace-up and let it sit overnight. Dump out the powder in the morning. (Be careful when using baking soda with leather shoes, however; repeated applications can dry them out.) You can also make your own reusable “odor eaters” by filling the toes of old socks with 2 table-spoons baking soda and tying them up in a knot. Stuff the socks into each shoe at night before retiring. Remove the socks in the morning and breathe easier.

Odor-causing bacteria thrive in dark, damp spaces and that makes your sweaty sneakers, shoes or boots an ideal place for them to grow. To get rid of the smell, you need to wipe out the bacterial population. Deo Plus+ uses a special enzyme mixture to break down the bacteria and get rid of the unwanted odors. Using all-natural ingredients, Deo Plus+ is designed to get rid of the worst shoe odors.

But this little research project led me to this info:

”Frequently, children’s feet will sweat more than adults’ feet,” says Rosario Labarbera, D.P.M., chief of podiatry at The General Hospital Center at Passaic and at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey, and board member of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Often that perspiration is foul-smelling–a condition doctors refer to as bromhidrosis. The odor is very similar to that of rotten cheese.

Bromhidrosis in kids is mainly caused by the presence of fetid bacteria on the foot, according to Morton Walker, D.P.M., formerly a podiatrist in private practice in Stamford, Connecticut, and author of The Complete Foot Book…

Well, ewwwww. Fetid bacteria. Just ewwwww.

And that brings me to my other odoriferous issue.


Not mine, fortunately. I have worked that out nicely. It’s those boys again. (Andrew does a fine job with his hygiene, in case you were concerned…)

When exactly does puberty start? And why do the boys smell like men already? Okay, the 12 year old. I get that.

But my baby smells like a hippie on the Grateful Dead road tour. Scary stuff. Looks like we might have to start enforcing a 2 shower a day rule around here.

Or, I could start wearing a face mask.


7 thoughts on “Oooh, that smell.

  1. Funny, Monday night Marcy told me that Matilda has stinky little feet, and she’s only 8 weeks old. I’ll have to make sure she check this out.

    And I remember vividly the point that Bri’s friends started smelling up my car; I’d give ’em rides home after playing basketball in the driveway for a few hours, and peee-U! All windows down on that ride, baby.

  2. oh yeah. now that they have reached a certain age (read: if they even think about gym they smell) we now have the rule that the boys come into the house through the garage (no mud room, unfortunately), take off their shoes and leave them in the garage on a shoe rack, immediately disrobe and head to the shower without passing “GO” (I keep bathrobes in the entry area so there is no privacy issue. although my kids have no problem running around naked. it is more for me ;-)) Seriously. I am not supervising homework and eating dinner with that. My husband has to do the same thing, by the way, after he mows the lawn. Mean, I know. And so you don’t think there is a double standard, I do the same thing when I come home from swimming. But I always smell like a spring garden anyway. of course 🙂

  3. I can’t wear any shoes made from synthetic materials because they make my feet smell bad. I don’t know if it is possible with a 12 year old boy, but you could try shoes with leather or canvas uppers (the sole doesn’t matter). And make sure they always wear clean socks. Socks are easier to wash than shoes.

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