How to de-funk my Tevas?

I live in my Tevas about 9 months out of the year. Every single pair develop an awful smell after a day or so of wear. I try to rotate through several pair to minimalize the odor but it is always there. Is there some sort of magic potion I can use to get rid of the funk? Is there anything I can use on them as an odor preventative?

POI, these are the only shoes/sandals that I own that have this problem so I know it cannot be my feet…it has to be these sandals. :wink:

soak them in a bucket of water with a couple of capfuls of big-name brand fabric softener. The poison chemicals in the big-name brand fabric softener will soak the fun out the petrochemical products used to make Tevas.

I’ve had a lot of luck defunkifying Tevas using Oxy-Clean[sup]TM[/sup] or similar products. Probably the bleach in it kills all the nasty critters.

I had the same problem with Tevas. Apparently there is something about the Teva material that soaks up bacteria. On the advice of my sister, I put mine in a Zip-lock bag and stuck them in the freezer overnight. This kills the odor-causing bacteria.

It sounds weird, but it worked for me!

I have scrubbed the bejebus out of mine with a brush and hot soapy water to some degree of success, but the freezer option looks interseting.

How to clean Teva’s…Same way you clean a funky baseball hat. Throw’em in the dishwasher on high heat. Heat kills the bacteria, and soap makes’em smell good.

**never try said technique with Birkenstocks…I ruined an awesome pair of Arizona’s that way…

Had the same problem with my Tevas. I tried baking soda. I tried washing. I tried leaving them out on the porch overnight. I tried leaving them in the sunshine. The funk persisted: an incredible, other-worldly, confusing funk. It was just mind-boggling that anything could smell like that. Putrifying corpses don’t smell that bad. It made my eyes water. A positively abstract funk.

Note: I do not stink. My feet do not stink. I have the feet of Jesus. Twelve hours in a factory wearing work boots never made my feet stink. Tevas, however, made my feet stink. And “stink” is not nearly a strong enough word. Never had the problem with any other sport sandals, or any other footwear of any kind. Tevas are fine, design-wise. But that smell. I threw mine out when they were almost new, in a hazardous materials disposal site.

My advice: don’t try to de-funk your Tevas. Just de-Teva your feet.

I too have had this problem with my (otherwise much loved) Tevas. It’s a wierd, synthetic smell. On a car journey across Europe I had to eventually relegate mine to the boot, but the smell still pervaded the car. The closest I came to a solution was to smother them in talcum powder for a couple of days to suck out all the moisture. This kept them within socially acceptable limits for a couple of months.

I think I’ll try the freezer method though, thanks for that Pilot!

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I concur ** MrO **, the funk is otherworldly. j.c., I don’t think the fabric softener would work in this case as I think the source of the funk is alive. I need to kill it.

I’ve tried leaving them floating upside down in my freshly shocked swimming pool and it didn’t make much of a difference. I think I may try combining the two remedies suggested by ** pilot141 ** and Waenara. Hopefully it will work as I cannot bear the thought of giving up my Tevas.

Teva actually has a few suggestions of their own in their faq.

They suggest cleaning every 2-3 weeks, and suggest that putting them into the pool for a while will help kill bacteria.


Didn’t Teva come out with at least one model with an anti-bacterial footbed to cut down on “Teva funk?”

They do offer several styles with the anti-bacterial footbed but in my experience it has not made one bit of difference in the funk department.