Natural Approach to Freshening Shoes

Odor Zappers are new, all-natural shoe stuffers that eliminate shoe and boot odors. The 100% cotton bags, filled with minerals mined in Arizona, absorb moisture and odor buildup.

They fit all types and sizes of shoes. Each pair can absorb more than 200 grams of moisture, says their manufacturer, Al Letcher of Lancaster. They also eliminate the need for bulky charcoal insoles.

"You can leave them in your shoes whenever you're not wearing them," says Letcher. "And you can regenerate the bags by hanging them outside on the clothesline in the sun for a couple of days or putting them in the oven (at 200 degrees Fahrenheit) for a couple of hours." Since the mineral that fills the bags is natural--it is from the zeolite family--there's nothing harmful to people or pets.

Odor Zappers are available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99 in selected shoe repair shops, sporting goods stores and specialty stores. In Southern California, you can find them in all Nike retail outlets; Pic 'N Save stores; Chick's Sporting Goods in Covina, Upland, Laguna Hills, Yorba Linda and Oceanside; Anthony's Shoe Repair in Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Santa Ana and Costa Mesa; Windham's in Redondo Beach; Vincent's Shoe Repair in Fullerton; Universal Shoe Repair in Newhall; Everett's Shoes & Repair in Claremont; Joe Panza Shoe Repair in La Habra; Rossmoor USA Shoe Repair in Fountain Valley, and Guarantee Shoe Center in Bakersfield.

If you can't find Odor Zappers in your area, for the nearest location, contact Letcher & Associates, P.O. Box 107, Lancaster, Calif. 93534; (805) 942-0428.

Colorful Straws for Brand-Loyal Sippers

Sip Top is a new vented straw-like device that fits most standard water, cola and seltzer containers, so you can drink your beverage of choice right out of the bottle, instead of transfering it to one of those plastic sports bottles.

"Studies show that brand-loyal consumers want to be seen with their brand," said Randy Hanson, president of Sip Top Marketing Inc. in Culver City. "Sip Top affords them that, and it has the additional feature of a vent that seals airtight to retain carbonation and freshness and prevents leakage if tipped over."

The capped straw fits most small, medium and large standard-neck bottles and comes in various colors, including neons. Sip Top is being introduced nationally in convenience stores, health food shops, discount and drug stores, and health and sports clubs. Its suggested retail is $1. In the Los Angeles area, it is available at many 7-Elevens and am/pm mini-markets.

If you can't find Sip Tops in your area, contact Sip Top Marketing, 8780 National Blvd., Suite 222, Culver City, Calif. 90232; (213) 838-9874.

A Hip Way to Hike With the Children

Hip Hiker can be a big help to parents who may want to take a child where strollers are not permitted. Good for infants to toddlers, it's a cotton carrier that fits over the shoulder and slips through a ring near the waist, so the baby's weight is distributed across the parent's back and shoulder.

It comes in solid colors--navy, red or gray--with a print lining and is machine washable. Rosie Puff, the Santa Barbara woman who developed the carriers, says she got the idea from watching mothers in Indonesia carry their children.

To order Hip Hiker, write to On the Go, P.O. Box 2352, Santa Barbara, Calif., 93120; (805) 965-1408. It costs $25, plus $3 shipping and handling.

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