How To Get Rid Of Shoe Odors For Good
This post may contain affiliate links that wont change your price but will share some commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Follow these steps to get bad smells out of your shoes and keep them from stinking again with homemade shoe deodorizers and proper foot care.
Have you ever slipped off your shoes and noticed an embarrassing, bad smell? Or maybe youve been about to put on a pair of your favorite shoes but were almost bowled over by the stink? It can happen to anyone, though some types of shoes are more likely to stink than others.
Wear Socks With Closed
Some of you are going to protest:
But it gets hot during the summer! Socks are unbearable!
Thats true. But not wearing any socks means your shoes will end up absorbing all the sweat.
If you struggle with socks in the hot weather, try no-show socks. This style of sock is designed to sit below the top of your shoe so it appears as though youre not wearing any at all!
If All Else Fails: Spring For New Shoes
All the above remedies for smelly shoes have been tested, tried and proven. But if your favorite shoes just dont respond well to one or more of these methods, it may be time to hang em up for good and buy a new pair. New shoes smell great for a few days. But then, the creeping bad shoe smell will return. So, keep experimenting with these cures for stinky shoes. The inevitable occasion will arrive when your shoes must come off in public. And this time? Youll be ready.
Read Also: Cost To Ship Shoes
Smelly Running Shoes Happen Find Out Why And Follow These Steps To Rid Your Shoes Of The Stench
Get access to everything we publish when you .
Did you know that sweat itself doesnt smell? The odor you find in your running shoes actually comes from bacteria: It comes out in the chemical process of bacteria on your skin breaking down acids in your sweat. Though the sweat glands in your arm pits vary from those in your feet, the process of breaking down acids is the same and can also leave behind an odor.
Along with the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet contain the greatest concentration of sweat glands with each foot containing 600 to 700 per square centimeter. In total, the human body has between 1.6 to 5 million sweat glands.
So its no wonder when all that sweat and bacteria get trapped in our running shoes and socks that our shoes would retain the smell after going unwashed day after day. On the other hand, our feet and socks get washed and disinfected regularly.
Just as with all other organisms, bacteria need fluid to thrive, and your foot sweat does that job perfectly, explains Sara Landvik, who works at Novozymes and is an expert in bacteria and other microorganisms.
Our skin is covered with bacteria, including staphylococci, micrococci, and corynebacteriumand thats quite normal. When your feet sweat, corynebacterium and micrococci break down the sweat into a fatty acid called isovaleric acid, which causes the smell in your running shoes.
How To Remove Shoe Odor From A Car
Remove the seats from your car and vacuum underneath them. This will help get rid of any dirt, grime or excessive sweat that may be causing the smell. Never clean leather seats with a water-based cleanser because it can damage the finish. You need a solvent-based cleaner that can remove the sweat without leaving behind a residue. If you dont have the solvent, rubbing alcohol will do the trick.Remove your cars floor mats if they are removable and vacuum them thoroughly before putting back in place. Then take some baking soda out of its container and sprinkle it right on top of each mat. Close your cars doors and let the baking soda sit overnight. The next day, open up your cars doors and let some fresh air in. Vacuum away any excess baking soda before driving off.
Don’t Miss: What Shoe Size Does Lebron Wear
Use Shoe Insoles To Fight Foot Odor
Another way to minimize shoe odor is with specially treated insoles. Several varieties are available at your favorite grocery or drug store. Theyre treated with activated charcoal or baking soda and neutralize unpleasant odors. They not only provide long-lasting odor protection , but they can also absorb foot moisture and add extra footbed cushioning.
Most brands come in a standard size that can be easily cut to fit any size shoe. These odor-neutralizing insoles are especially useful in taming those smelly gym shoes.
You May Like: How To Clean White Leather Shoes With Toothpaste
Use Mouthwash And Vinegar/baking Soda
Mouthwash has antimicrobial properties, so it can be used to kill germs/odor-causing bacteria. All you need to do is follow the steps outlined above , but use mouthwash instead!
- Step 1: Mix baking soda with water until you have a thick paste.
- Step 2: Apply the paste to shoes and allow it to sit overnight.
- Step 3: Brush off any excess powder in the morning.
- Step 4: Spray mouthwash onto shoes and allow them to air dry.
- Step 5: Follow the same procedure as outlined above for vinegar or ammonia, but use mouthwash instead.
- Step 6: Then allow them to air-dry overnight. Repeat until they are odor-free!
Don’t Miss: Shoes Width D Means
How To Prevent Odours
Prevention is better than cure, so its worth knowing how to help stop shoes smelling in the first place. Here are three methods to try:
- Wear shoes that are made from breathable materials or allow your feet to breathe by wearing sandals in hot weather.
- Rather than sticking to the same shoes every day, switch them up and alternate your pairs. That will allow for some essential airing-out time between uses.
- If your shoes get wet, filling them with sheets of absorbent kitchen paper to soak up excess moisture will help them to dry off quickly.
Why Do Your Shoes Smell Bad
The reason your shoes stink is that your feet contain 250,000 sweat glands. When those glands get confined in a shoe, the sweat and warmth create a breeding ground for bacteria. To get rid of the smell in your shoes, you need to destroy the bacteria causing the stink. You can do this by cleaning them properly. Using homemade shoe deodorizing sprays or powders also helps. Then follow good shoe and foot care to help keep feet from stinking.
You May Like: How To Clean White Leather Shoes With Toothpaste
Additional Ways To Prevent Smell
These methods do not make shoes suddenly smell bettertheyre simply ways to further reduce the chance of smelly shoes. They also all have downsides.
- Take your shoes off between climbs. This prevents your feet from heating up and sweating more, and it starts airing out/drying your shoes, too. Caution: Walking around with your shoes off will pick up other crap that you dont want in your shoe, so make sure if youre taking your shoes off between climbs youre not adding more contamination and funk to the problem.
- Wear thin wool socks. Wool is anti-microbiotic, so socks may absorb some of the nastiness to get it out of the shoe / prevent further stench from getting trapped. You can do it occasionally and itll still help. Caution: Wearing socks will reduce sensitivity, could stretch your shoe, and is generally considered a newbie move.
- Only buy unlined leather shoes. Leather shoes breath the most. Synthetic shoes breath the least. The more natural materials involved, the better the breathability. Caution: Buying only leather will limit your shoe options and your shoes will still smell if not taken care of, just not quite as bad.
- Rotate the use of your shoes so each pair has more time to dry out
Can Putting Baking Soda In Shoes Get Rid Of Odour
This does work, depending on the level of odour in your shoes and it fights odour-causing bacteria too.
Baking soda is used in lots of products such as cat litter to absorb odours and moisture, which is why its handy for freshening up smelly shoes.
For particularly pleasant results, wed recommend combining two tablespoons of baking soda with four or five drops of a bacteria-fighting essential oil such as tea tree. Mix together and apply liberally to the inside of your soles.
Shake your shoes to ensure the mixture reaches the toe area and leave for about 24 hours. Afterwards, you can tip the baking soda into the bin and vacuum the inside of your shoes to remove any residue.
Recommended Reading: Usps Cost To Ship Shoes
Don’t Miss: Wash Hey Dudes
Unexpected Ways To Get The Odor Out Of Your Shoes
For a totally fresh start.
Okay, so your shoes smell. Youâre only human, after all. Itâs not like you wanted to stink up the elevator on the way to the 17th floor or create one of the most awkward rideshare experiences in the history of all time.
Let us offer some advice because this isnât our first Dear HMS situation. Weâve been helping people solve their stinkiest shoe conundrums for a while now and weâve discovered that there are 7âyes, count âemâ7 unexpected things you can do right now to liberate your feet from the oppressive reign theyâve had over your friends, family, and coworkers.
Take Advantage Of Uv Power
The suns UV rays are the natural enemy of bacteriathe reason heat can purify water.
This might not eradicate all of the smell, but it will likely eliminate some of it, and its definitely natural and free.
Just remember not to keep your running footwear in the direct, hot sunlight for a long period of time as doing so can damage them and compromise their life span.
Recommended Reading: Vans Steel Toe Boots
Keep Shoes Fresh Smelling With Dryer Sheets
If were going to talk about how to deodorize shoes, we should mention using dryer sheets. Its another unusual idea to freshen stinky shoes.
Take a standard dryer sheet, tear it in half and place one half in each shoe. Let the shoes sit overnight. Really stinky tennis shoes may require more time. Just remember to pull the dryer sheets out before putting on the newly freshened shoes.
Bonus tip: If you keep your gym shoes in a gym bag, throw a dryer sheet into the bottom of the gym bag. It will act as a shoe and gym clothes deodorizer.
Like Little Tiny Air Purifiers For Your Shoes
Iâm entirely in love with using natural bamboo charcoal bags to purify the air in my home, but these ones are specifically made to fit right inside your shoes. Theyâre made from 100 percent organic activated charcoal, which absorbs moisture, smells, and bacteria without any chemicals or hassle. They can be used again and again for up to two years, and all you have to do to “renew” them is place them out in the sunlight to rejuvenate. One excited reviewer says, âThese are probably the coolest and most useful little things that ever came in a package! When it says they absorb odors, man do they ever!â
Don’t Miss: How To Sell Shoes Fast
The Trick Of Talcum Powder
Talcum powder works in the same way as baking soda. They have the virtue of absorbing humidity and thereby silencing the bad smell. In this case, you have two options:
- Apply a little talcum powder to each shoe and allow them to spend the night like this. In the morning, we can remove the rest of the powders.
- Apply talcum powder to the sole. In this way, we limit the sweating caused by the bad smell of the shoes.
Lock Laces Odor Drops
Tester Smell Score: 4 out of 5
- Easy-to-use with very powerful fresh scent
- Wasnt as effective at getting rid of odors
These long-lasting deodorizer balls from Lock Laces keep your shoes, bags, or locker fresh with minimal effort from you. Simply twist open the vents and drop one or two in. One tester found the Drops extremely effective, but others thought the super strong laundry detergent scent did more to mask odors than truly eliminate them.
You May Like: Priority Mail Shoe Box Size
How To Clean Smelly Sneakers
wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 57 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.The wikiHow Video Team also followed the article’s instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 1,252,613 times.Learn more…
Shoes can get smelly easily, especially if you walk a lot throughout the day. Shoe odor can be an embarrassing problem and buying new shoes can be expensive. There are plenty of ways to eliminate the odor in old shoes. You can try washing the shoes, by hand or in the machine. If you’re uncomfortable washing your shoes, you can try applying things like dryer sheets and orange peels to remove the scent. To prevent a recurrence, be sure to do things like wear socks and use foot powder to keep odor away.
Interesting And Unconventional Tips To Fight Against Smelly Shoes At Home
Don’t Miss: Do Saucony Run Big Or Small
Seconds Shoe Disinfectant And Deodorizer
Tester Smell Score: 5 out of 5
- Neutralizes odor without an overpowering smell
- Helps absorb moisture from wet shoes
- Odor-fighting prowess diminishes after 3 months
These amazing little bean bags received top marks from every one of our testers. Since the beads are activated by heat, we suggest tossing them in your shoes while theyre still toasty from a run for the best results. Even at room temperature, Gear Halos pouches wicked moisture, eliminated nearly all stink, and smelled clean and fresh. This actually smells really nice! one tester said. Its a pleasant, lightly floral scent with no trace of the cheese.
How To Prevent Smelly Shoes
There are steps you can take before you even start wearing shoes, to minimise the smell. The NHS advises:
- Using a spray deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet.
- Putting medicated insoles, which have a deodorising effect, in your shoes.
- Using a foot powder to absorb sweat.
- Trying socks for sweaty feet some sports socks are designed to keep feet dry, and you can get special antibacterial socks.
- Wearing leather or canvas shoes, as they let your feet breathe, unlike plastic ones.
- Always wearing socks with closed-toe shoes.
It’s also not advisable to put shoes on immediately after showering water between the toes can encourage bacteria. Also, where possible, let your shoes breathe somewhere ventilated for 24 hours between wears.
Read Also: Cleaning Hey Dudes
How To Solve One Of The Stinkiest Summertime Problems
Dont just cover up the smell of stinky shoeseliminate the odor at its source!
Summertime is all fun and games until someones smelly shoes are stinking up the house! It happens in a predictable cycle: hot temperatures lead to sweaty feet, and sweaty feet leave behind moisture in shoes causing unpleasant odors.
But dont give up on those smelly shoes just yet, because today Im sharing the best and most effective methods for eliminating odors in shoes. If youve been wondering how to get the stink out of shoes, youve come to just the right place!
More Ideas Youll Love
The secret to removing odor from shoes is to deal with the moisture issue. Many people simply try to tackle the odor itself by using a deodorizing spray, but that only covers up the smell. By drying out the moisture, you can cut the smell off at the source by killing the odor-causing bacteria.
There are a few different ways to do this, so Ive included a few different options for you in this post. Use whichever method you like best, or whichever method you can do using stuff you already have at home.
Heres to a stink-free summer!