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Have you ever been to a bowling alley?  If so, I have a question for you. What is the first thing they do when you turn your bowling shoes back into the employee at the desk?  Yep! They blast them with disinfectant and deodorizer. They crop dust those things with aerosol spray to kill odor and fungus and anything else those nasty hooves of yours may have left behind.

Well, I don’t know about you, but my tennis shoes could use the exact same thing. My tennis shoes smell HORRIBLY.  And, look. Why wouldn’t they? I play tennis virtually every single day for an hour to two hours.  And my feet sweat like the rest of me.  Yes, I know that’s gross. But it’s also biology, so we all need to accept it and do something about it.


Speaking of doing something about it, here are five possible remedies for that ghastly stench.


I’ll confess it. I started doing this just a few weeks ago and I am pretty proud of this hack.  I have started spraying Right Guard in my tennis shoes. I figure if it can make my armpits smell better, it can work on my tennis shoes too.

Chad Benefield
Chad Benefield

Whenever I am finished playing tennis or cycling or whatever, I simply spray some Right Guard Sport in each shoe. And it seems to be working.

I usually keep my tennis shoes in the laundry/utility room. A couple of weeks ago, before I started using the deodorant, Kevin opened the door and screamed, “What stinks in the laundry room?”  He quickly, and rather judgmentally, assessed the context clues and realized that odor was coming from my funky shoes. Then, the drama started.  I am pretty sure the suggestions ran the gamut of “Put those things outside on the back deck” to “get a blow torch and set them on fire now.”

But, I have to tell you. I think the Right Guard is working. I haven’t heard any over-the-top complaints or suggestions since I started using it. Well, except for Angel when I asked her to participate in an impromptu experiment this morning on the air.


Because I am curious about exploring and trying additional possible remedies, so I decided to look up some other ways to keep those shoes smelling dry, secure and confident.  Here are four more ways to do so as suggested by the interwebs.


I don’t know why I never thought about this. But, it makes perfect since, doesn’t it?

I mean, you can use baking soda to neutralize all kinds of odors. I know people who keep a slightly opened box in the fridge constantly. I know others who use it in their laundry.  And others who use it in their restrooms and trash cans. If it can make a bathroom smell better, it can certainly make those [email protected]# shoes of yours smell better too.


I have never done this, but I know that some people swear by it.  My radio cohost Angel washes her tennis shoes in her washing machine and she said it works like a charm.  I suppose it makes sense to do that. There are various YouTube tutorials showing you best practices.

But, for me, I am going to have to get beyond the fact that I have a weird laundry room quirk.  I. CAN’T. STAND. HEARING. LOUD. THINGS. TUMBLE. DRY.  That sound drives me insane and the sound of shoes thwacking against the interior of the dryer would make me nuts. #BoyInterrupted But, heck! If it means my shoes won’t smell like Arizona desert roadkill, I’ll consider giving it a try.


Something about this sounds brilliant. Something else about it sounds REALLY gross. When I was searching the internet for tips, I stumbled across an article from It suggested putting your smelly tennis shoes in “the deep freeze.”

Dev Benjamin/Unsplash
Dev Benjamin/Unsplash

The cold temperatures of the freezer will kill all that bacteria in your shoes that ultimately makes them smell.  But, I don’t know.  I like opening my freezer and seeing appetizing steaks and ice cream. In fact, the strawberry ice cream in that photo looks darn good. So, I’m not sure how I’d feel about opening the freezer door and seeing a tennis shoe that I have worn into a public restroom. To borrow a popular command from the 80s- Grody to the max!


And, now for our full circle moment. Why can’t we just get some of that stuff they use at the bowling alley? I was curious if lay consumers like you and I could just by that stuff commercially like the bowling alleys do and guess what?  We can.  Now, I’m not sure if there’s a 2-1 brand preferred by the bowling industry, but there are lots of similar products over at I did a simple internet search for “bowling shoe sprays” and a bunch of different options came up.


Here’s a prime example:

That can costs $12.99 and look! It kills MRSA too. Bargain. That’s a double win. Actually, a triple.  Look at the artwork on the can!  It shows various sports- baseball, football and hockey. You know the feet of the people who play those sports smell like a pig pen and a bag of Fritos that had been set on fire.  If 10 Seconds can work on their shoes and cleats, it can certainly work on ours!

Goosebumps and other bodily reactions, explained


People get goosebumps when they’re chilly or experiencing extreme emotion, like shock or inspiration. This reaction is caused by the contraction of tiny muscles at the base of the hair follicles all over the body, which causes the hair to stand upright. This involuntary response may be nature’s way of helping animals’ bodies look larger and scarier in a threatening situation.


Hiccups are almost like a domino effect in the body. First, the diaphragm experiences a sudden and involuntary contraction. That causes the vocal cords to close, which then creates that “hic” yelping sound to come out of the throat. While hiccups can be a symptom of a medical disorder, they’re generally the result of overeating, getting excited, or drinking too many bubbly beverages.

Knee-jerk reflex

A doctor taps a patient’s knee with a tiny rubber mallet, and suddenly their leg kicks up. What’s the deal with that? It’s called a knee-jerk reflex. The tap of the hammer causes the patellar tendon to stretch, which then causes the spinal cord to tell the body to contract the thigh muscle in response. The reflex is important in helping with balance.


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