8 Best Ways to Remove Shoe Bad Smell

Published On: Tue Jul 16 2024

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Why Do Shoes Smell?

But before proceeding to the solutions, let us know the causes of smelly shoes in the first place. The major offenders are bacteria and fungi that are most comfortable in warm and moist conditions. Since your feet sweat, what results is moisture trapped in shoes, a favorable environment for these microorganisms to thrive. When they dissolve the sweat and dead skin, they emit toxic substances that give that unpleasant smell.

How Do You Get a Bad Smell Out of Shoes

1. Apply a Foot Powder

Foot powder is considered as one of the most effective single solutions concerning shoe smell eradication. Foot powder works with the solution for a sweaty feet situation since it’s in a position to absorb moisture and the bacteria causing smell. Foot Powder is used by tossing the content of the packet on the affected feet then wearing shoes. This will in one way or the other assist you in maintaining dry and non-sweating feet throughout the day.

2. Spray Disinfectant

Spraying can also be used as one of the most powerful methods to deal with shoe smell using the disinfectant. Majority of these sprays contain antibacterial compounds which are efficient in eradicating bacteria that cause smell. Directions for usage and removal of shoes’ insoles and make sure that you spray the interior part of insoles. In washing them, ensure that they are allowed to dry before further use is made on them. It is recommended to use this exercise more than once to get the most wanted result from it.

3. Try Charcoal Insoles

Charcoal is excellent for absorbing odors, both when they are wet and dry. Nowadays charcoal insoles are available in most of the show shops which will help you to remove the odors from your shoe. The insoles are designed to capture some of the particles that cause odors and absorb moisture. They are even safe to use for cycling time and again since they can be removed easily when not required, left in the open for freshening up. 


4. Experiment With Cat Litter

Some people cannot believe it, but using ordinary cat litter can help clean the shoes perfectly and get rid of bad smells. Cat litter acts as an excellent dust as it is specially formulated to readily absorb moisture and eliminate odor. For example, wear a pair of stockings and stuff the cat litter inside then leave it in your shoes for the night. In the morning, you should take off the socks and be able to have shoes with a refreshed smell.

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5. Bicarbonate of Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, also referred to as baking soda, is an excellent agent used in the eradication of different kinds of smells. How to use: 

  • If you have problems with smelly shoes, try wiping the insides of the shoes with a thick layer of baking soda and then wearing the shoes all day. In the morning, tap off the loose powder that would stick to the surface of the skin.

  • Baking soda can be put in small cloth bags, socks, and placed inside your shoes. Use them when you’re going to be home the whole day or when you do not need them in the morning.

  • As a final step, take baking soda and add a small amount of water and create a paste consistency. Some of the procedures are rubbing the paste on the inner parts of shoes, allowing it to dry for several hours before washing it off with a damp cloth.

6. Spritz of Vinegar

Vinegar is another natural and effective way of removing the bad smell and killing germs as well.

Take a spray bottle and mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and spray the solution after using your shoes then after spraying the solution keep it for dry. For better results before applying the solution, clean your shoes properly.

7. Essential Oils

Some of the essential oils such as tea tree, clove and cedarwood naturally have antibacterial properties. That not only enables them to fight against bacteria but also to get rid of odors and leave a nice fragrance. Those oils also contain antifungal agents. How to use:

  • Place a cotton ball soaked in your preferred essential oil into your shoe during bedtime and let it sit all through to the morning.

  • You can mix other ingredients like baking soda or vinegar with essential oils and apply it to your shoes and let it dry.

  • Directly put some drops of essential oils to your shoes and keep it for sometime to let it dry before you wear it again.

8. Good Foot Hygiene

When washing your feet there are few extra precautions you need to consider. Ensure that after washing with soap or applying a cleanser, you rub it between each toe and across the sole of the foot and then wash it off well. Here are some tips to get rid of shoe odor:

  • Try to rotate shoes regularly because they need some time to air out before you wears them again.

  • Make sure to dry your feet completely before wearing socks and shoes.

  • Try to make your feet shoeless and sockless when possible. Because it will help air out sweat and eradicate bacteria.

Actually, fighting with shoe odor is very annoying, but now you know what actions to take to ensure that your shoes won’t smell bad. Whether you prefer using foot powders, disinfectant sprays, charcoal insoles, or going natural with baking soda and vinegar, there is an option that will suit you. Keep in mind that proper foot hygiene will help avoid all those nasty smells in the first place. Therefore, see your feet and your shoes as well, and have that feeling of satisfaction that comes from putting on a fresh pair of shoes.


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