Home Remedies For Stinky Smell From Shoes

Home Remedies For Stinky Smell From ShoesExperiencing stinky smells coming from your shoes? It is quite disgusting and a major social hurdle as well. Sweaty feet, bacteria and foot infections are some of the reasons why shoes emit stinky smell.

There are many ways to de-stink the shoe odor. Though if you think your shoes are dirtier and beyond recovery then it is better to toss them away. As the bacteria present in them can cause foot infections.

If you want your shoes to stay odor less then here are some of the remedies you can try at the comfort your home.

Home Remedies to De-Stink the Footwear/Shoes

Here is a list of remedies you can use to de-stink/prevent stinking smell from the shoes. All these remedies are completely safe to try.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great deodorizer. Its alkaline nature deals with the bacteria and prevents bacteria thriving environment in the shoes.

Process 1:

  • Daily after using the shoes, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of baking soda into them.
  • Leave it on for overnight.
  • Next morning, remove the baking soda before wearing the shoes.
  • Repeat daily.
  • Alternatively, you can use boric acid instead of baking soda.

Note: Don’t forget to remove the baking soda, or else your socks will absorb the leftover baking soda and gets discolored.

Process 2:

  • Take an old sock and cut the foot of the pair.
  • Fill it with baking soda and add a few drops of any essential oil.
  • Tie it and place it inside the shoe.
  • Repeat the three steps and make another one.
  • Place in each of the sock in each shoe.
  • Leave it overnight and remove the next morning.
  • Repeat regularly.

2. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds discourage the growth of bacteria and its aroma removes the stinky smell.

  • Place some ground coffee in a muslin cloth.
  • Tie it and place each of it in each shoe.
  • Leave it overnight and remove next morning.
  • Repeat regularly.
  • Alternatively, instead of tossing out used coffee grounds, sprinkle them into shoes. Leave it overnight and dump out the coffee grounds from shoes in the morning.

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils give a very good smell and some also contain anti-bacterial properties as well. You can use any essential oil like lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, clove oil or tea tree oil.

  • Put some drops of essential oil the shoe.
  • Now place some crushed paper in each shoe.
  • Set it aside for few hours to overnight.
  • Repeat every time after using the shoe.

4. Alcohol

Apart from removing the smell of the shoes, its disinfectant properties kill the bacteria. It also helps in removing the dirt as well.

  • Put enough amounts of alcohol inside of the shoe.
  • Let them sit aside where plenty of air and heat is present.
  • Repeat the process as often as possible.
  • Alternatively, mix rubbing alcohol and water and swab them with cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • If your shoes are extremely smelly you can rinse them with this mixture.

Note: If your shoes are made up of leather, avoid applying alcohol on the outer area of it. As alcohol can ruin or change the color of the leather.

5. Black Teabags

Tannins present in the black teabags kill the bacteria or fungus present inside the shoe.

  • Take a cup of boiled water and add 2 teabags into it.
  • Leave it aside for few minutes.
  • Remove the tea bag and let it cool down for few minutes.
  • Leave an each tea bag into each shoe.
  • After few hours remove the tea bag and wipe off any leftover tea solution in it.
  • Repeat regularly.

6. Kitty Litter

Kitty litter acts as a deodorizer and removes the stinky smell from the shoes.

  • Place the shoes in kitty litter.
  • Stuff a sock with fresh and unused kitty litter. Seal stuffed socks with knot and place them in each shoe.
  • Leave them overnight or until the smell disappears.
  • Remove the kitty litter properly.
  • Repeat regularly.
  • Alternatively,

7. Dryer Sheets

If you are going to wear the shoes for a longer period and feeling anxious of removing them in a public place then you can follow this process. Crush the newspaper and stuff it in shoes. The newspaper will absorb the moisture and leave the shoes dry. This process is very helpful if your problem with shoes is moisture.

  • Cut a dryer sheet as per the size of the foot wear.
  • Place it inside the shoe.
  • Now wear the shoes comfortably. They will not add any weight, so you should be completely comfortable with its presence.
  • For extra benefits, add a drop of peppermint or cinnamon oil on dryer sheet before placing them in the shoes or boots.

8. Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Soak a washcloth or wipe in hydrogen peroxide.
  • Using it, wipe the inside of the shoe.
  • Leave it aside to dry completely.
  • Repeat regularly.
  • Alternatively, you can use vinegar instead of hydrogen peroxide.

9. Vinegar

  • In a spray bottle, mix 50% each of water and distilled water.
  • Spray the mixture inside the shoes and sole.
  • Leave it to air dry for 30 minutes. Or else use a hair dryer in hurry situations.
  • During night, add baking soda into the shoes and leave it overnight.
  • Dump out the baking soda in the morning.

10. Citrus Fruits

You can use citrus fruits like lemon, orange, grapefruit or lime for this process. The aroma of the citrus fruits remove the odor and citrus acid kill the bacteria present in the shoe.

  • Slice any citrus fruit of your choice.
  • Place the slices inside of the shoe.
  • Leave it on for overnight.
  • Remove the slice in the morning, and leave it to dry completely.
  • Repeat regularly.

11. Zinc Oxide Powder

Both zinc oxide and baking soda contains deodorizing and antibacterial properties.

  • Combine enough amounts of zinc oxide powder and baking soda.
  • Dust the mixture inside the shoe.
  • Leave it overnight and dump out the powder next morning.
  • Repeat regularly.

12. Baby Powder

Baby powder makes sure the feet smell good and deodorized. Make sure to avoid baby powder with strong scents.

  • Before wearing shoes, apply baby powder on the feet.
  • Repeat whenever you feel sweaty.
  • Make sure not to add too much baby powder as it looks odd when it shows up.

13. Washing Machine

It helps to remove the dirt, dust, bacteria and stinky odor.

  • Remove the laces and foot soles of the shoes.
  • Place them in a pillow cushion.
  • Wash them in a water cycle in around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Repeat a second cycle as soon as first cycle completed.
  • Put them under sun to ensure complete drying.
  • Repeat regularly.

Note: If your washing machine contains steam option then it is better to steam the shoes as well. Steam contains anti-bacterial properties which kill 99.9% of the bacteria present in the shoes.

14. Kosher Salt

  • Sprinkle some kosher salt inside the shoe.
  • Let it rest overnight and dump out the next morning.
  • Repeat regularly.

15. Newspaper

  • Crush some newspapers.
  • Put them inside the shoes.
  • Let them sit overnight.
  • Remove the newspapers next morning.
  • Repeat regularly.

16. Charcoal

Charcoal has amazing properties of absorbing the smell.

  • Fill a cloth bag or sock with charcoal.
  • Place each bag in each shoe.
  • Leave it overnight and remove the next morning.
  • Repeat regularly.
  • Alternatively, you can use activated charcoal.

17. Cloves

  • Place some cloves in a cloth or handkerchief.
  • Tie it and place in shoes.
  • Leave it overnight and remove the next morning.

18. Vodka

  • In a spray bottle, mix 1 part vodka and 2 parts of boiled water, a few drops of essential oils.
  • Spray the inside of the shoe and let it dry completely.
  • Repeat regularly.

19. Freezer

If every method mentioned above fails, then try this methods. The temperature in the freezer discourages the growth of bacteria.

  • Place the shoes in a zip lock bag and seal properly.
  • Place the bag in freezer until the smell completely vanishes.
  • Check after few hours and if the smell still persists, place them back again for few hours.

20. Natural Foot Spray for Foot Odor

This amazing recipe is all-natural foot spray which capable of killing the bacteria and de-stink the shoes effectively. Why? The grapefruit seed extract, rosemary essential oil and tea tree oil contains antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic agents. The lavender oil and geranium oil soothes the skin. Apart from making you feet smell better, this recipe also heals them.

  • To a small bottle, add 1 ounce witch hazel, 20 drops each of tea tree oil and lavender oil, 35 drops of grapefruit seed extract, 15 drops of geranium oil, 10 drops of peppermint oil, 5 drops of rosemary oil and 1/2 ounce of rubbing alcohol.
  • Close the lid of the bottle and shake well to incorporate all the ingredients.
  • Spray the mixture as many times as you want on your feet. Especially after a shower and before putting on your shoes.
  • The mixture is quickly absorbed by the skin and leaves an amazing herbal scent.
  • Note: Make sure to shake the mixture well before each use.

21. Homemade Shoe Deodorizer Powder

This process can be a little messy but the result makes it quite worthy of trying. This process can be used when you really need to dislodge some serious stench.

  • Combine some baking soda, arrowroot powder and essential oil.
  • Sprinkle the mixture generously inside the shoes.
  • Leave it on for 2 – 3 days.
  • Dump out the mixture and your shoes will smell amazing.

Tips and Precautions:

  • Socks are the best way to de-stink the shoes. Wash your socks regularly and add a drop of essential oil to it before wearing.
  • Before placing shoes in shoe rack, make sure they are completely dry.
  • Wash your feet before wearing the shoes as the bacteria present on the feet can thrive more in moist environment of shoes.
  • Often take out the soles of the shoes and dry them under the sun or heater.
  • Regularly, dry the shoes completely under the sun or heater
  • Wear or buy shoes that have breathable fabric that will lessen the sweat odor. Leather, hemp, cotton are some of the breathable fabrics.
  • Avoid wearing same pair of shoes two days in a row. This helps the shoes to breathe and dry.
  • Damp some foot powder or corn starch on the feet before wearing the socks.
  • Deodorize the shoes regularly.
  • Fabric Softener/Conditioner Sheets: Crush 1 or 2 fabric freshener sheets and place stuck them in your shoes. The sheets will absorb the moisture that is present in the shoes and spread the pleasant perfume.
  • Use a steam machine or steam feature of your washing machine. Steam is one of the effective ways to kill the bacteria and fungus. It also efficient in removing bad odor from the shoes. If you aren’t worried about dampness then try it.
  • Cedar Wood insoles. Cedar wood is antifungal which prevents bacterial growth. Cedar wood smells light and fresh which makes it smell great.

Once you have removed the stinky smell of the shoes, wear clean socks, wash your feet properly and use insoles. If necessary, apply an antiperspirant before wearing shoes. To make your feet fresh and dry, perform an occasional foot soak.

Since we’re in the topic of shoes, did you know that there’s a way you can prevent flat feet pain? Special insoles have been made and you can learn more about them when you view this page.

Try the above methods to de-stink and freshen up your shoes. Share your suggestions and queries in the comments section below.

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