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Discover how to disinfect shoes from athlete's foot

4 mins

Iulia Claudia Dumitru

The nasty smell, the shame of taking off your shoes, the fear that fungus will spread, they have to stop: here is how to disinfect shoes from athlete's foot!

Can it be anything more horrible than that nasty itch and smell on your feet when you get the fungus?

Yes, athlete’s foot spreading all over your shoes, gym equipment, laundry. And... even home. 

Discover how to disinfect shoes from athlete's foot and choose the perfect way for you to remove the microbes lurking in the shadows!

Table of Contents:

  • Can athlete's foot fungus live on shoes?
  • Do you need to throw away your shoes if you have athlete's foot?
  • How long does athlete's foot stay in shoes?
  • Here is how to disinfect shoes from athlete's foot
  • Does bleach kill athlete's foot in shoes?
  • Can you kill off athlete’s foot in shoes with anti-fungal detergents?
  • UV shoe sanitizers are an effective way to go
  • Does foot powder help get rid of athlete’s foot in shoes?
  • Does it help to let your shoes in the open air and sunlight?
  • Do essential oils kill off fungus from athlete’s foot in shoes?
  • Do apple cider vinegar and baking soda get rid of the fungus in your shoes?
  • How to keep fungus away from your shoes
  • How to prevent athlete's foot from spreading to your laundry

Can athlete's foot fungus live on shoes?

Yes! It’s the perfect environment for fungus! 

All fungal infections thrive in warm, moist, and dark places. And, let’s face it, unsanitized shoes after a workout or a long walk provide the perfect area. 

Wearing the same dirty shoes will likely enhance the fungal and bacterial infection on your feet and nails. 

shoes, athlete feet and shoes

Do you need to throw away your shoes if you have athlete's foot?

Keep your smelly, stinky, sweaty feet away! Throw away those pesky shoes! You’ve probably heard it! 

Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus are to blame, but you don’t have to throw away your shoes! 

You can disinfect them and kill off Tinea Pedis (athlete’s foot), the fungus responsible for the odor, and your infected feet. 

How long does athlete's foot stay in shoes?

Hot, humid, filled with bacteria and fungi. Your athlete’s foot infected shoes can be the ideal home for microbes to multiply and thrive. 

Even after you’ve removed them from your feet. Unless you disinfect your footwear, fungi and bacteria can live long enough to trigger reinfections. This is especially the case if you wear the same shoes.

Here is how to disinfect shoes from athlete's foot

Disinfecting your feet before putting your shoes on can help keep an athlete’s foot at bay. But you will not be risk-free. 

At one simple stroll to the store, you will be able to find cleaning agents that disinfect and deodorize.

The usual banal shoe disinfectant or antibacterial spray will remove the spores and kill off the infection, removing the smell in the process. 

But there are many other solutions!

Does bleach kill athlete's foot in shoes?

A bleach solution is highly likely to destroy athlete’s foot fungal infection inside your shoes. However, bleach can be dangerous and can cause skin irritation or inflammation. 

how to disinfect shoes from athlete's foot

Can you kill off athlete’s foot in shoes with anti-fungal detergents?

Toenail fungus and athlete’s foot don’t stand a chance if you throw your infected shoes in the washing machine with hot water and anti-fungal laundry detergent. 

Clean shoes, purified feet, new socks, and you’re fresh!

UV shoe sanitizers are an effective way to go

UV shoe sanitizers, placed inside the shoes, eliminate fungi, bacteria, and other microbes within 25 minutes.

Does foot powder help get rid of athlete’s foot in shoes?

Bacterial foot infections stand no chance in front of foot powder. Foot powder is specially designed to weaken the cell membrane of the fungi. Hence, they will not replicate. 

Does it help to let your shoes in the open air and sunlight?

Yes. Dark, warm, moist environments are the ideal spots for fungus and bacteria to thrive. 

The perfect environment to destroy germs is outside, in the open air, and in the sunlight. Sunlight soaks the moisture, and fresh air removes the smell. 

athlete feet

Leaving your shoes in such areas once a week is a good, healthy habit. But do not use this instead of anti-fungal methods. 

Do essential oils kill off fungus from athlete’s foot in shoes?

If you have leather shoes and you obviously can’t wash them in the machine, or if you want a more eco-friendly, natural approach, there are other ways! 

You can make your disinfectant spray from water and essential oils. According to scientific data, essential oils can get rid of Tinea Pedis.

tea tree essential oil, wow skin science essential oils, buywow

Tea tree oil is one of the most effective anti-fungal and antibacterial oils, and it’s highly effective on athlete’s foot, according to research. But, be sure to find the best 100% organic tea tree oil like WOW Skin Science's to experience its true benefits.

Do apple cider vinegar and baking soda get rid of the fungus in your shoes?

Your classic anti-fungal sprays will be effective against Tinea Pedis, and they can be antiperspirant too. But if you’re looking for a more affordable disinfecting product, this is the combo to try. 

Adding baking soda to your shoes before wearing them will absorb odor and destroy some of the fungal spores. 

If you prepare a disinfectant solution with apple cider vinegar and water and spray your shoes after each wear, even better! The odds of keeping bacteria and fungi under control are higher.

How to keep fungus away from your shoes

  • Always wear flip-flops inside unknown, moist areas. Make sure to dry your feet and disinfect them. The gym, the swimming pool are breeding grounds for foot fungus. 
    feet fungus
  • Always disinfect your feet after a workout before jumping in your streetwear. 
  • Always disinfect your shoes and change your socks.
  • Always leave your shoes to dry before wearing them again. 
  • Always alternate shoes! As much as possible, wear different pairs of shoes from one day to another.
  • Always clip your toenails. Keep your toe clippers disinfected as well. 

How to prevent athlete's foot from spreading to your laundry

You don’t want that nasty fungus in your shoes to infect other areas. You don’t want that infection that causes blisters, burning, itching, and that fouls smell to replicate. 

That is why dirty, infected socks, gym bags, sports uniforms, towels, and other damp, infected textiles should stay away from your laundry. 

Here are some tips & tricks to keep Tinea Pedis away from your laundry and home:

  • Separate everything exposed to the fungus. Put it in a plastic bag and use anti-fungal detergents or natural solutions to destroy microbes. About 140°F or 60°C for your hot water should do the trick. 
    athlete foot, how to get rid of athlete feet
  • Keep your gym bags and shoes clean, as we mentioned above.

    Athlete’s foot can cause problems for your feet, toenails, for your shoes. It can even spread to your laundry. 

    Not if you know how to stop it. Now you know how to disinfect shoes from athlete's foot! 

    You’ll remove that pesky shoe odor, you’ll get clean shoes, and there are so many ways to do it. You can choose the one that’s for you!

    Let's Share This:

    Iulia Claudia Dumitru

    I feel happy when I get to tell meaningful stories. About people. About the world. About life. About what people need to feel good. Healthy food, a balanced lifestyle, a grateful approach to relationships with others and ourselves. That is how I keep myself grounded and purposeful. That is how I aim to contribute: striving to make ourselves the best we can. Creating life in the little things. Living every day with the joy, wonder, and curiosity of a child. Trying to #seeKbeauty. Inside and out.

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    Author: Iulia Claudia Dumitru

    Latest posts:

    Iulia Claudia Dumitru

    I feel happy when I get to tell meaningful stories. About people. About the world. About life. About what people need to feel good. Healthy food, a balanced lifestyle, a grateful approach to relationships with others and ourselves. That is how I keep myself grounded and purposeful. That is how I aim to contribute: striving to make ourselves the best we can. Creating life in the little things. Living every day with the joy, wonder, and curiosity of a child. Trying to #seeKbeauty. Inside and out.
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