Having smelly shoes can be just as annoying as it is disgusting.
One can simply not seem to take off their shoes in public without threatening to thicken the air with choking smell.
The bad smell coming from shoes can be so bad that it makes you want to get rid of the shoes for good.
Well, there is no need to waste shoes that are in perfect shape by getting rid of them just because of bad smell.
In this article, we have given you 9 top-notch tips on how to get rid of the horrible shoe smell.
Causes of Shoe Smell
Shoe smells are generally caused by bacteria. These organisms produce stinky organic acids and sulfur compounds which are known for awful smell.
Other causes include:
- Poor breathability
- Dirty feet
- Athlete foot-fungus
- Poor shoe hygiene
- Improper washing
- Dirty insoles
- Old socks, dirty socks or no socks
Different ways to eliminate shoe smell
1. Identify the cause
If you can identify the cause of the shoe smell from the list above, your problem is already half-solved.
Because only then will you know exactly which of the following methods to use.
2. Change insoles
One of the proven ways to get rid of shoe smells is to remove the shoe insoles.
They can be washed too, but most of the time, it’s better to just get new ones and get it over with.
3. Put them in the freezer
Might sound a little bit weird, but freezing shoes does help to get rid of the smell.
But direct exposure cold temperature/environment has been known to damage shoes. So you have to get around this by putting the shoes in a resealable bag.
Seal it properly and put it in the freezer. Leaving it there overnight should help eliminate all (or at least most) of the odor-causing bacteria.
Do not wear the shoes until any ice around it has melted away and it’s dried.
4. Use Baking Soda
Another trick you might want to use is the baking soda powder trick. Baking soda is known to have certain smell absorbent properties.
So sprinkling the shoes with baking soda and leaving it that way overnight can help get rid of some of the bad smell.
5. Use black tea bags
Black tea bags are known to extinguish bacteria because they contain a substance known as tannins.
Keeping black teabags in your shoe can help eliminate the bacteria, hence reducing or removing the odor. The process of doing this is as shown below:
- Place the teabag in boiling water and let it stay there for about 5-10 minutes.
- Keep one tea bag in each shoe for 50-70 minutes.
- Take out the teabags and clean up any excess liquid from the shoes. There should be a decrease in odor.
6. Make use of citrus peels
Fresh citrus fruits are known to have a good scent. And placing their peels in your shoe will not only help eliminate the smell in your shoes but will probably leave them with a pleasant smell.
Just place a few orange or grape peels in your shoes and leave them overnight.
By morning, you should notice the change.
7. Wear your shoes with socks
Never get into your shoes bare footed if you want to stop it from smelling. Wear socks alongside.
The socks does not just give you cushioning and fitting, it also helps to absorb moisture in the shoes.
When you maintain a dry shoe, germs and other organisms that cause foul smell will not thrive.
8. Store your shoe with a shoe tree
Another effective method of eliminating shoe odour is to use a shoe tree.
As explained in our shoe tree guide, it is any object you insert in your shoes to help is retain its shape and keep it dry at the same time.
Nonetheless, we recommend you use a lasting or split-toe cedar shoe tree, which has the ability to absorb moisture and keep your shoe dry.
The cedar shoe tree also has a unique fragrance that would dispel any foul smell your shoes may have developed due to moisture or bacteria.
9. Wash the shoe
Or, you can just wash your shoes to get rid of the smell.
Unfortunately, you cannot wash every shoe like those of suede and leather categories. You can wash some textile-like shoes and sneakers.
Above all, it’s important you keep clean feet, clean shoes, and wear clean socks with your shoes. You’ll never have to suffer bad shoe smells again.