The Stinky Shoe, Gym Bag, And Car Struggle Is Real (And I Have Found Something That Works!)

by Samantha Angoletta
Originally Published: 
A woman holding her nose with her left hand due to stink and an air freshener in her right hand
izusek / iStock

Besides showering regularly, of course.

Because even with regular booty, armpit, and feet scrubbing, some items in this house still smell bad enough to send me running for the hills.

I’m sure many of you out there understand the struggle that is trying to eliminate odors from tennis shoes, gym bags, and your minivan.

And since that money tree I planted in 2009 is still not sprouting Benjamins, I can’t replace the vehicle, shoes, or bags nearly as often as I’d like. There’s also a 0.0% chance that I will follow through on rules like “No more eating in this car ever again, no matter how loud you are while I’m trying to navigate heavy traffic!” It just won’t happen.

I loathe the smell of artificial air fresheners that claim to smell like mountain springs and fresh-squeezed citrus because they all just smell like a freaking migraine to me. I’d almost prefer the putrid smell of sweat-soaked running shoes to that awful crap.

But recently, after having my husband’s gym bag stink up the entire hallway, I knew I had to do something to preserve my senses. So on a whim, I ordered these odor eliminators because they are fragrance-free and do not involve spraying anything into the air.


And here’s the thing, they work! I stuffed them into athletic shoes, under the seats of the car, and into the aforementioned noxious gym bag and was pleasantly surprised. They certainly do soak up excess moisture (ew, I know) and eliminate many of those offensive odors.

Some odors are beyond repair, of course, but I loved these enough to go hunting for other charcoal-based odor killers. I opted for these as they are a little bigger and seem to be more effective in larger areas like the car, bathroom (why do boys spray everywhere?) and closets.


I’m not claiming they work miracles, but they save me from wanting to lose my lunch every time I walk by the laundry room or hop in the car on a hot day. So I’m counting this as a win, money very well-spent, and I figured I would spread the word to my fellow parents who may also be holding their noses and retching whenever they pick up a sweaty baseball uniform or open the door to their teenager’s lair.

This will help. You’re welcome.

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