How to Get Rid of Shoe Odor

shoe odor
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Natural ways to get rid of the unpleasant shoe odor

Fortunately, there are multiple natural ways for smelly shoes using products you may already have at home. Some of the options are:

  1. Baking soda has proven to be an effective odor removing agent. Sprinkle some baking soda in your shoes and let it stay there overnight. The next day, just shake off the soda from the shoes, before wearing them. If this is a recurring problem, you may need to repeat this process every time you wear them.
  2. To get the smell out of shoes, make a mixture of baking soda, baking powder, and cornstarch taken in equal amount. Put the mixture in a pair of cotton socks and stick the socks in the shoes overnight.
  3. Another effective way to get rid of foul smelling shoes would be to use orange peel. Put one or two orange peels in the shoes and leave them overnight. Next morning your shoes will smell great.
  4. Fill each shoe with boiling water and add a small amount of bleach. Let this set for a few minutes. When the water has cooled, dump out the water and wash your shoes. The bleach will kill the bacteria, thus removing the odor.
  5. Add one cup of vinegar to each shoe. This will cause bubbling and fizzing. Let this set and work in your shoes for about 15 minutes. Remove the mixture from the shoes, rinse, and wash following the instructions above.
  6. White vinegar can also neutralize odors and remove bacteria inside of your shoes. In a small spray bottle, mix equal parts vinegar and water and spray the inside of the shoe thoroughly. Let your shoes dry for a few minutes before putting your feet in them for a fresh feeling that will last for hours.
  7. Cut off the ends of an old pair of socks. Fill each piece with about half cup of coffee grounds and tie off the end. Place in shoes overnight to absorb odor.

Choose your shoes wisely

Often the reason behind smelly shoes is wearing a wrong kind of shoes. Wearing tennis shoes, leather shoes, or suede footwear with limited ventilation often makes the shoes smelly. Choose a shoe that offers proper ventilation.

At the same time you need to replace your shoes when you know that you need new ones will also reduce shoe odor. When your shoes are a few years old and you can’t do anything to get rid of the smell, even if you’d tried the remedies above, it’s time to simply invest in a new pair. Also try to alternate between pairs of shoes to give them a chance to dry out and air out in between wearing. This way there will be a less of a chance that either pair of shoes will develop an offensive odor that is beyond repair.

Take care of your feet

After you have eliminated the odor from your shoes, prevent it from returning by keeping your feet clean and wearing socks as often as possible. Try to wear clean leather shoes and cotton socks and change shoes daily. Make sure to wash your feet once but preferably twice a day with an antibacterial soap and use a good quality foot spray at night. Also buy two pair of shoes for wearing on alternate days. To know about how to remove foot odor you can check our previous articles on ‘how to get rid of foot odor‘.

Final Words

To sum up, removing shoe smell is easy if you are ready to put in some efforts and a bit of care. Just follow the above mentioned tips and suggestions and nothing can stop you from wearing favorite pair of shoes for years to come.

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  1. douha

    November 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you so much this really helped

  2. Tutugirl

    February 23, 2014 at 6:32 am

    At home we use DryPointe Shoe Inserts they use silica to dry the shoes and keep them smell free.

  3. Stephanie

    March 16, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Do NOT use antibacterial soap regularly unless it’s medically necessary. Triclosan in antibacterial body washes is a bad practice. Regular soap and warm water work just fine to clean hands, feet, and body.

  4. Vincent

    February 4, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    What I’ve been doing BEFORE ordors become a problem is place a small scented candle in each shoe.Small scented soap works too.

  5. George

    June 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Please remove the comment about putting smelly shoes in the microwave

    I did this and it’s melted my very expensive shoes. Very disappointing that you have such unreliable suggestions.


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