Smelly Shoes

smelly shoes

OK, I admit it. Not the sexiest topic on the City Walk menu, but shoe stink: it’s an issue. So here are 6 easy ways on how to get rid of smelly shoes, whether it be from your flats, sneakers to your boots!

Stinky Shoes? How To Get Rid Of Smelly Shoes

As a shoe blogger, I get asked a lot of shoe care related questions on how to remove shoe odour from shoes. If this has or happens to you, it’s totally normal. Nothing to be embarrassed about! How to get rid of smelly shoes, thankfully doesn’t require throwing them away! 

I have some great shoe odour eliminator tricks up my sleeve that include home remedies for stinky shoes.

One, or a combination of these hacks will surely help you deodorize your shoes in addition to give you tips on how to prevent shoe odour in the first place. 

But…What Causes Shoe Odour?

But what causes stinky shoes, you ask? Well, the biggest cause of shoe odour is the bacteria & fungus behind it. Kinda literally. Have sweaty feet? Yep, moisture caused by sweat in shoes provides a good home for bacteria & fungi. Yummy, right!?

Other, less widespread reasons for stinky shoes include foot injury & certain medical conditions, which can cause feet & consequently your, shoes to smell foul. 

     This article will provide tips on how to get rid of shoe odour including, but not limited to:

  • how to eliminate moisture in shoes
  • how to kill odour causing bacteria in shoes
  • how to freshen up your shoes

So no need to buy new shoes just because they stink. You can revive them by following some or a mix of these tips!

How To Get Rid Of Shoe Odour – 6 Hacks

Tip #1: Put Your Shoes in the Freezer

Trust me, this is a goodie. Placing shoes in the freezer kills the shoe odour causing bacteria. Because bacteria, my friends, cannot live in such a cold environment.

Freezing also helps dehydrate & eliminate the moisture that this nasty bacteria feeds on in shoes.

But don’t just stick ’em right in. Eww. Put them in a bag plastic bag, or even better — a ziplock bag — in order to avoid getting your freezer dirty!

If you live in deathly cold Limuru, then you can also opt to putting them outside during the winter months for the evening. 

Tip #2: Put Your Shoes Out in the Sun

Instead of freezing your shoes, you can also take the opposite approach. Or try a little of both if you’re up for it! Leaving your smelly shoes exposed to the hot sun allows for UV rays to kill the bacteria, acting as a natural disinfectant. 

The heat also dries out the shoe, taking care of the moisture issue. The sun is an awesome natural shoe odour eliminator!

Putting shoes by (but never directly, on) a heater can also work because it dries out the shoe (a good winter solution) but the downside is that your shoes won’t get the benefits from the sun’s UV rays.

Just be aware that UV rays may also fade out any colour in your shoes, especially on canvas materials. 

Tip #3: Try Shoe Odour Spray

Shoe odour sprays are easy to use & very effective at removing shoe odour & killing stink-causing bacteria that allow that bad odour to live in shoes. There are a slew of great shoe odour sprays available on the market.

Alternatively, you can create your own shoe odour spray, as follows:

  • Mix a half cup of water with a half cup of white vinegar (vinegar helps kill bacteria) as well as 5 drops of an essential oil of your choice for scent (optional).
  • Spray the inside of your shoes after use and then let the solution air dry into the shoes.

Another option is to use pure rubbing alcohol to spray inside smelly shoes will also help to kill bacteria and reduce odour. This makes for an easy DIY home remedy shoe odour spray. 

Tip #4: Use A Few Drops of Essential Oils

Ah, the many benefits of essential oils, I tell you!  Use essential oil to add a fresh scent to your shoes. Great contenders that are all safe for most include lavender oil, tea tree oil & eucalyptus oil.

Essential oils are great to remove odour from shoes. You can easily drop the oils right into the offending shoes, or drop some on a cotton ball (tissues also work) & leave it inside your shoes when storing them & let them work their magic.

Alternative DIY home remedy for smelly shoes: you can put citrus fruit peels into shoes as they contain essential oils that do the same job. Just might be a little messier.

Tip #5: Try Out Shoe Odour Powder

Like deodorizing shoe odour sprays, shoe odour powders work effectively to remove moisture & absorb odour. They also act as a disinfectant & freshener. Some people prefer the powders to the shoe sprays since many shoe odour powders also double as foot deodorizers. 

Just dust your bare feet with the shoe odour powder of choice & sneak some into your shoes in order to prevent shoe oduor. Many shoe odour powders are made by companies that also create a deodorizing shoe spray.

Alternative DIY home remedy for stinky shoes? You can put baking soda in a coffee filter & place these into your stinky shoes. Add a couple drops of an essential oil if a scent/fragrance is desired. Shake to evenly distribute powder in the shoe once a day or as needed. 

You can include corn starch in the mix as well. The ratio is 3 table spoons of baking soda to 1 tablespoon of corn starch.

Baby powder also acts a great foot deodorizer & moisture absorber. Only problem is that the white baby powder doesn’t hide itself well, so best used solely as a foot deodorizer vs sprinkling it in your shoes! 

Tip #6: Use Black Tea Bags

Black tea contains tannins, which is a compound that has been found to resist the growth of bacteria & fungi which will helpremove odour from shoes. I personally recommend Earl Grey black tea, because the scent of bergamot will leave your shoes smelling extra lovely 🙂 

How to use tea bags to solve your stinky shoes problem? First, place a black tea bag in boiling water for 4 minutes & then let it cool. After about 4 minutes, put the tea bag into your shoe and leave it in your shoe for 1 hour. Repeat as necessary. Perfect stinky shoes solution if you drink tea on the daily like I do!

You can also put dry tea bags into your shoes overnight to dry & eliminate shoe odour. Think of them as a natural (& budget friendly) shoe deodorizer pouch!

Quick Tips To Eliminate Shoe Odor:

If my how to get rid of smelly shoes above are too much for your to deal with? Try these time-saving tips, last-minute tips:

  • Leave dryer sheets inside your shoes to freshen them up
  • Stick a bar of soap inside your shoe. These provide a fresh scent & soap aids in killing bacteria

Eliminating shoe odour doesn’t have to be a challenge since there are many ways to deal with it. Remember that keeping shoes dry to prevent bacteria from building is the first step to preventing future shoe odour from developing.

A great overall tip is not to play favourites with your shoes. That means rotating frequently between the shoes you own, allowing them ample time in between uses to dry & air out. Always wearing fresh socks & obvs keeping your feet clean is essential!

Did we miss a tip? Which shoe odour eliminating tricks work for you? If you have any comments or want to share an old home remedy for stinky shoes, let me know!

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