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This spray says it will stomp out shoe odors for good – so we tried it

And we actually liked it.
Shoes in a row.
Shoes in a row.= / Shutterstock stock
/ Source: TODAY

I’m a sucker for a punny product name, so when I first heard about Poo-Pourri, the “before-you-go toilet spray,” years ago, I just had to try it.

I was impressed with its ability to mask bathroom odors with a variety of pleasant scents, so when I saw the brand’s new product, Shoe-Pourri, I was intrigued.

Shoe-Pourri promises to stomp odors out of your favorite stinky pair of shoes, and although I jokingly deny it, I do occasionally suffer from shoe odor, especially with pairs I wear regularly.

Here’s how it works: Shoe-Pourri says it uses a blend of cedarwood, eucalyptus and grapefruit essential oils to destroy odors on a molecular level by actively reacting with bad smell molecules. By using mal-odor neutralizing essential oils and natural enzymes, it eliminates shoe odors. Pretty cool, right?

The instructions on the Shoe-Pourri bottle recommend spraying shoes once or twice, and I started off with two spritzes. I wasn’t sure just how potent the product might be, so I didn’t want to overdo it. I tested the spray on one of my smelliest pairs of shoes, some ballet flats I wore the heck out of this summer. As any woman knows, wearing shoes without socks can sometimes result in a less-than-pleasant odor, and ballet flats, in particular, can get quite ripe.

Man with foul odor shoes.
Man with foul odor shoes.Shutterstock stock

After letting the Shoe-Pourri spray dry for a few minutes, I sniffed my flats (gross, I know) to see how well it had worked. Initially, I was underwhelmed, but I did appreciate how the fragrance distracted from the existing odor. I went about my day and checked my shoes again that night, noticing the Shoe-Pourri smell was still there, but only faintly. I decided to spray even more the next two mornings, and sprayed all over the inside of the shoe. I let them dry a bit, and noticed by the end of the day that the original odor had subsided more.

After a few days of spraying this particularly ripe pair of shoes, the odor didn’t disappear entirely, but it was definitely masked by the Shoe-Pourri fragrance — which, by the way, is best sprayed in small batches (the smell is powerful, but not in a bad way). The original odor is much less pronounced now and I can detect much more of the Shoe-Pourri than I can the odor, so I call that a win. I also love the fact that the product is made in the U.S. and is free of nasty parabens and phthalates!

This spray won't permanently eliminate smelly shoes — sometimes your shoes are just too far gone to save. But chucking smelly shoes in the trash isn’t always the most practical option, so I’ll definitely use Shoe-Pourri in a pinch to treat shoe odors, and to prevent them in the first place.

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