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Thread: Two stinky canvas questions

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    Varsity Member JayS's Avatar
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    Two stinky canvas questions

    So, #1: I have a few pair of canvas sneaks that are getting pretty ripe. Iíve tried the sneaker deodorizer balls but not very effective. Anyone found a good tool or technique to handle this?

    And, #2: I have several canvas bags (likely NOT cotton) that smell, musty maybe? Itís a unique smell that Iíve associated with camping since I was a little kid. I have a large canvas duffle with several canvas bags inside that I keep in the garage. Is there a way to eliminate that odor from the bags? It makes everything i put in them stink. How do I prevent them getting that way in the first place? Should I change how they are stored or is it more a matter of the synthetic materials?

    Not just I but those around me thank you for any suggestions.


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    1. This is probably not the best for them long term, but I would put the shoes in the washing machine. I would try the gentle cycle (or hand wash) first, and then work up to a more aggressive cycle if the gentle cycle is not effective. Use an appropriate detergent that is color safe. Air dry.

    2. You need to wash the bags with bleach to kill whatever is growing in them. Again, I would use a washing machine and start with a very small amount of bleach. (If the first wash doesnít work, re-wash with a larger amount of bleach until the bags no longer smell musty.) Air dry, preferably outside in bright sunshine. The mold causing the smell is probably environmental (itís the garage environment), and so you may want to find another place to store the fabrics that you are putting in the canvas bags. Otherwise, you will be doomed to repeat this again and again (assuming it works in the first place).




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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    So, #1: I have a few pair of canvas sneaks that are getting pretty ripe. I’ve tried the sneaker deodorizer balls but not very effective. Anyone found a good tool or technique to handle this?

    And, #2: I have several canvas bags (likely NOT cotton) that smell, musty maybe? It’s a unique smell that I’ve associated with camping since I was a little kid. I have a large canvas duffle with several canvas bags inside that I keep in the garage. Is there a way to eliminate that odor from the bags? It makes everything i put in them stink. How do I prevent them getting that way in the first place? Should I change how they are stored or is it more a matter of the synthetic materials?

    Not just I but those around me thank you for any suggestions.


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    Have you tried dryer sheets? Before I discovered the importance of having shoe trees in my leather shoes, I used to put dryer sheets inside them, did a decent job of keeping odors in check.
    With my canvas sneakers, I make sure they are aired out as much as possible, and would sometimes give a gentle scrubbing with soap using old toothbrush dedicated for that task.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    TBH I will chuck certain non-leather shoes into the washer with some old towels to clean them up. Remove shoelaces first. Stuff with newspapers and air dry.
    Ben

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    Canvas shoes are fine to run through the wash.

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    yep, washer for the shoes. stuff them after to retain shape. Dryer sheets and foot powders do help too.

    for the bags, try washing them. Also try things like Lysol or febreeze. Synthetic materials are harder to deodorize but it can be done. Alternatively, if they arent high dollar or sentimental, get new ones and start storing them better to avoid the recurrence. I keep my camping gear in the garage but I hang everything so that it dries fully.

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    Soak in oxi clean. Also downey makes an additive with febreeze that I soak my sneakers in.

    Just make sure to air dry. The heat from the dryer can break down the glue etc.

    Also if really bad there are some hockey gear companies that make some funk removers. And man do they work but aren’t cheap.

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    Varsity Member JT10000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    So, #1: I have a few pair of canvas sneaks that are getting pretty ripe. Iíve tried the sneaker deodorizer balls but not very effective. Anyone found a good tool or technique to handle this?
    Wash them.

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    Oxygen-based stain removers/deodorizers -- basically powdered hydrogen peroxide -- are probably your best bet: Oxiclean, Resolve, etc.

    Less chance of discolouration than bleach, and they will remove deposits that bleach cannot. They are particularly good at removing bodily fluids and other organic materials which give bacteria a food source, which is vital since it's bacterial digestion which causes the stink.

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    My wife has a UV shoe sanitizer and it works well for my stinky shoe issues. I don't know what brand she has but it's pretty good. Sometimes I have to do them twice to remove all stench. It's probably most effective to treat shoes before they get to that point.

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