These $11 deodorizing inserts solved one editor's stinky shoe problems

They can even be used on gym bags!
Jen Birkhoffer / TODAY
By Rylee Johnston

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If your child's cleats are becoming unbearably smelly, or if you've had to retire your favorite pair of sneakers because they've suddenly developed a strong stench, you know that shoe odors can be tough to tackle.

Amazon shoppers seemed to have found a solution in a pack of $11 shoe deodorizers. They currently have over 400 verified five-star reviews, with one reviewer even describing them as an act of "wizardry."

Shop TODAY's very own director of e-commerce Jen Birkhofer recently discovered her love for these inserts after a long search for the perfect solution to her stinky shoe problems.

NonScents Shoe Deodorizer

"I don't know what it is about my family, but my husband and I both have really smelly shoes," Birkhofer said. "That's probably something I should be more embarrassed to admit. I've tried everything to get rid of the smell. I've frozen our shoes, bought a highly rated spray and washed them repeatedly — but nothing seemed to work."

She eventually tried these inserts by NonScents, and now they're hidden all over her house.

"I finally found these inserts that are nontoxic and would easily slide into my shoes while they were in my gym bag," Birkhofer said. "Problem solved — the smell is gone by the time I need to put them on again! I like how small these are and that they are unscented."

"Definitely a product I would recommend for moms of teenagers, or just 30-something women with smelly shoes," Birkhofer told TODAY.Jen Birkhofer/TODAY

The key ingredient in these inserts is a type of rock called zeolite. The brand says the mineral contains tons of "tiny tunnels" called micropores that can be used to filter and absorb odors.

Amazon shoppers are using them in everything from drawers to laundry hampers. One parent even went as far as using them to mask the smell of their baby's dirty diapers.

"We used this in our Ubbi diaper pail," applauded a verified reviewer. "It completely masks the smell of dirty diapers ... I was impressed with how fast these worked!"

Many reviewers have pointed out that the inserts seem effective at completely eliminating smells, rather than masking them.

"Our teenage son's soccer bag and shoes had reached a legendary level of rotten aroma that we didn't think was achievable," wrote a verified reviewer. "I bought four of them, and placed one in each shoe, one in the front of his bag, and one in the back of his bag. I left it like that for less than 36 hours and...voila!"

Amazon

Some shoppers are also pointing out the long-lasting effects after just one use.

"My husband plays multiple sports throughout the week and had a prominent shoe odor that was quite strong," wrote another verified reviewer. "He was very doubtful when I first gave him this product since he had tried many things in the past that didn’t work. After the first use he asked me to order more! He couldn’t believe how it eliminated the odor and lasted. Will be stocking up!"

Rather than retire your favorite shoes, consider investing in this affordable deodorizer to get rid of those pesky stenches.

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