Do you cringe at the thought of having to remove your shoes in public? Has a funky odor started to permeate the area surrounding your shoes? If the answer is yes, then you may have a problem. If you want to tackle this sticky situation, you’ll need to learn how to get rid of smelly shoes once and for all.
Having smelly shoes is both embarrassing as well as unsanitary, and foot odor can quickly make any situation uncomfortable. There are several reasons why you might have stinky shoes. The top reason why you may be suffering from smelly feet and shoes is bacteria.
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Both moisture and heat promote the growth of microbes, and once the bacteria find a home in your shoes, they will cling to your feet when you take off your shoes.
Your embarrassing foot odor could also be caused because of your naturally sweaty feet. The good news is, there are several home remedies to eliminate your stinky shoes. Here’s how to make shoes not smell.
How to Remove Odor from Shoes
Just about everyone has had to deal with smelly shoes at least once in their life. If you’ve noticed that your shoes, and subsequently feet, have started to take on an unpleasant smell, you’ll want to tackle the problem quickly. Discover these simple life hacks and learn how to get the smell out of shoes.
There are so many benefits of baking soda. From its use in the kitchen to its cleaning abilities and even its effectiveness as the best shoe deodorizer on the market, baking soda is a super product.
Baking soda is known for its deodorizing ability, making it the perfect product to deal with shoe odor, as well as foot odor. To tackle the unpleasant smell in your shoes, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda in your shoes and let it sit overnight.
In the morning, shake the baking soda out, and you’ll be good to go. Use this homemade odor absorber every week for the best stinky shoes solution. You can also use the following homemade foot powder to eliminate odor.
Homemade Deodorizing Powder
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
Combine the ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed. Liberally sprinkle the powder into your sneakers and allow it to sit overnight. Shake out the excess powder the next day and enjoy pleasant smelling shoes.
When using linseed oil on leather boots to clean your shoes, it is best to use the bake soda/cornstarch deodorizing powder sparingly because the baking soda can dry the leather out, leaving your shoes looking a little worse for wear.
Rubbing alcohol is a great product to use when you are trying to kill bacteria in shoes or elsewhere throughout the home. That’s why it does such a fantastic job eliminating shoe odor.
The great thing about isopropyl alcohol is that not only does it help to reduce the bad smell associated with smelly feet, but it can also act as a disinfectant and kill the bacteria that causes stinky feet, and remove dirt.
To use alcohol to eliminate shoe smell, soak a clean rag with the liquid and rub down the inside of your shoes, including the insoles. Leave the shoes in a well-ventilated area and allow them to air dry.
Another awesome product for getting rid of smelly shoes is essential oil. Many of the essential oils on the market today are great for eliminating the stinky smell from shoes.
Whether you are using tea tree oil, eucalyptus, or clove, the oils will help take away the shoe smell that is caused by bacteria. Here’s how to deodorize shoes using essential oils.
Essential Oil Odor Eliminator
- 2.7-ounce spray bottle
- Witch hazel, unscented
- 6 drops peppermint essential oil
- 4 drops of tea tree oil
- 2 drops of eucalyptus oil
- 1 drop thyme essential oil
- Distilled water
Fill the bottle halfway with the witch hazel. Fill the rest of the container with the distilled water, making sure to leave enough room to add the essential oils. Add the essential oils to the bottle and replace the top.
Shake the bottle vigorously to combine the ingredients. Use as a shoe deodorizer by lightly spraying the inside of the shoes. If your shoes smell bad, place them in a sealed bag or container after spraying and let them stand overnight.
Black Tea Bags
After you’ve enjoyed a warm cup of black tea, place the tea bags in your shoes to fight the bad odor. Black tea contains tannins, which have been shown to be extremely useful in killing the bacteria found inside shoes.
If you’re not a tea drinker, you can still use tea bags to eliminate foot odor from your shoes. Here’s how to deodorize shoes with black tea bags.
Place a couple of tea bags in a pot of boiling water and let steep for several minutes. Remove the bags and let them cool for about five minutes. Place the cooled tea bags on your shoes and let them sit for nearly an hour. Remove the tea bags and wipe off the excess liquid.
Believe it or not, you can use kitty litter to eliminate the shoe smell. Many of the kitty litters that you can purchase at the store are infused with deodorizers to neutralize urine and poop smells, which can also help you remove the foul odor that has taken up residence in your favorite pair of shoes.
Line the inside of your shoes with the kitty litter and leave overnight. In the morning, throw the kitty litter out and clean your shoes.
White vinegar can also be used to neutralize odors and remove the bacteria found in shoes. So right after using dish soap to clean shoes, you should use a vinegar-water mix to battle the odor. In a spray bottle, mix one cup of vinegar and one cup of water.
Spray the solution inside your shoes and allow them to dry. The vinegar will eliminate the odor and keep your shoes smell fresh for hours.
To make a homemade shoe polish combine a little oil with vinegar and rub it on the outside of leather shoes. They’ll shine in no time!
If your feet experience excessive sweating, baby powder can help keep your feet and shoes dry, reducing the chance for bacteria to grow on your feet and shoes. Like baking soda, baby powder can help to neutralize odors and deodorize your shoes.
Before you put your shoes on, sprinkle some baby powder on your feet or socks. If your feet start to sweat during the day, reapply the baby powder to keep your feet dry.
Washing Your Shoes
You may be able to wash your shoes to get rid of the smell. If you are cleaning canvas shoes or other washable footwear, you can eliminate odors by throwing them in the washing machine. Start by removing the shoestrings, then place the shoes in a pillowcase or mesh bag.
Put the pillowcase in the washing machine and run the shoes through a regular cycle using detergent and hot water. If the shoes are incredibly smelly, you may need to run them through a second cycle. Let the shoes air dry in the sun, for best results.
Once you’ve successfully learned how to get rid of smelly shoes, you will want to do everything you can to prevent it from returning.
The best way to keep your shoes from smelling is always to wear socks and clean and wash your feet daily. Removing funky smells from your shoes is easy as long as you are willing to put in the effort. Using the natural products and remedies listed above will keep the embarrassing foot and shoe odor at bay.