Anyone who’s experienced athlete’s foot knows how painful, itchy, and uncomfortable the infection can be.
Dealing with blisters and swellings is one thing but keeping the fungal infection from spreading is a completely different ball game.
Feel free to spend your hard-earned money replacing every piece of footwear on your shoe rack each time you get athlete’s foot. But if I were in your shoes, I’ll rather learn simple and cost-effective ways to keep the bacterial infection from spreading.
If that’s what you prefer, I invite you to keep reading as we explore how to disinfect shoes from athletes foot.
Is It Possible to Disinfect Shoes from Athlete’s Foot?
Throw away your shoes!
That’s arguably one of the most effective ways to ensure that infected shoes don’t spread the fungus back to your feet?
There’s a small problem with that suggestion, though.
It is usually not practical, especially if you can’t afford to lose your shoes. I mean, how many shoes will you throw away in a bid to eradicate the infection?
Fortunately, there are several other cost-effective ways to remove the ringworm infection without parting with valuable possessions.
We’ll get to the nitty-gritty details in a bit.
If you’re like most people who’ve suffered from athlete’s foot fungus, you might be concerned that disinfecting shoes may not effectively prevent spreading and re-infection.
It might interest you to know that a 2015 study found that sanitizing can significantly reduce the presence of bacterial and fungal contamination in footwear.
To answer the question: Yes! It is possible to rid shoes of tinea pedis infection commonly known as athlete’s foot.
Disinfecting Your Shoes from Athlete’s Foot
Now that we’ve established that you don’t have to throw away your shoes just because of an athlete’s foot infection, it’s time to learn how to disinfect shoes from athlete’s foot.
Consider these simple but effective methods:
1. Shoe Sanitizer
Thoroughly clean the insides of infected shoes with disinfectant wipes or disinfectant spray. Remember to air dry the shoes completely for at least 24 hours before wearing them again.
Alternatively, you can use Ultraviolet shoe sanitizers. These small machines are not very expensive and can do wonders in terms of eliminating microbes, fungi, and bacteria.
2. Vinegar and Baking Soda
Combining vinegar and baking soda is one of the easiest home remedies when it comes to combating fungus contamination. The method significantly reduces the growth or activity of fungal spores.
Here’s how to disinfect shoes from athlete’s foot using this method:
- Add diluted vinegar to a spray bottle (apple cider vinegar or white vinegar will do).
- Sprinkle the insides of your shoes with baking soda.
- Spray your shoes with the vinegar
This treatment option will leave your shoes with a vinegar smell. Not to worry – the smell will fade off once the shoes are completely dry.
3. Antibacterial Spray
Thoroughly spray a good quality antibacterial spray inside the infected shoe. Make sure it reaches all parts of the shoe’s interior.
In addition to preventing the notorious fungi from breeding, many antibacterial sprays are also antiperspirants that keep feet dry for extended periods, helping with shoe odor problems.
4. Foot Powder
Foot powder contains antifungal properties that can cause the fungus’ cell membrane to become weak. In turn, the fungus spores cannot multiply and colonize the insides of your footwear.
It is usually best to get medical advice before using any antifungal powder since you need to apply it directly to your bare feet.
You can use a cloth dipped in diluted chlorine bleach to clean the infected shoes. This method is effective for killing the fungus responsible for athlete’s foot but it can also damage your skin.
For this reason, you should be careful if you choose this technique. Make sure the bleach does not have contact with your skin and allow the shoes to completely dry out before putting them on.
Also, use bleach in a well-ventilated area to prevent choking or breathing problems.
Misconceptions about Athlete’s Foot
Now that we’ve covered how to disinfect shoes from athlete’s foot, let’s briefly debunk some popular myths or misconceptions about the infection.
Disinfection is great but if you don’t get the facts right about athlete’s foot, the chance of a reoccurrence is high.
Myth 1: Athlete’s foot only affects athletes
You can get athlete’s foot even if you’ve never done a single exercise in your entire life. Regardless of how the infection got its name, it can affect anyone who is exposed to the fungus.
Myth 2: The fungus only affects the feet
The infection usually begins between the toes but that doesn’t mean it can’t spread to other parts of the body.
If you scratch the itch from athlete’s foot and touch any part of your body, the infection can spread to that body part.
Contaminated clothing and sheets, too, can spread the infection to other parts of the body.
Myth 3: Wearing socks or shoes all day will prevent athlete’s feet
Wearing shoes in the house indeed has its benefits. But the practice does not guarantee that you won’t get athlete’s feet.
Wearing socks or shoes all day will likely cause your feet to become damp or wet from sweat, especially on hot days. That’s a perfect breeding ground for fungus.
Shoes and socks are only good for your feet if they are completely dry.
Myth 4: Walking barefoot where the fungus lives is the only way to get the infection
While it is true that the fungus that causes athlete’s foot is common in swimming pools, locker rooms, and public showers, those are not the only places you can get the infection.
You can get athlete’s foot by sharing personal belongings, such as socks, towels, and shoes with an infected person.
Myth 5: Athlete’s foot only affects people with poor hygiene
Athlete’s foot is not a sign of poor hygiene. You can still get the infection even if you wash your feet several times every day.
This is especially true if you don’t properly dry your feet after washing them. Remember that the tiny infectious critters thrive in dark, damp places.
Throwing away infected footwear isn’t the only solution, whether it is an expensive shoe or something you simply cherish.
Choose any of the cost-effective remedies for removing fungus from your shoes if you ever happen to get the infection.