Somewhat Simple

How to Get the Smell Out of Shoes


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Smelly shoes are not only annoying, they can be embarrassing too! But don’t throw out those stinky shoes just yet! We’ll show you 6 of the best methods on how to get the smell out of shoes.

The helpful tips are one of my favorite tips for keeping my house clean and odor free. Some of my other favorite cleaning hacks are these tips for Cleaning Your Vents, keeping your Washing Machine Clean and getting that baked on food off of your Oven Glass.

How to Get the Smell Out of Shoes

A Cure for Stinky Shoes

It doesn’t matter who you are, we’ve all had a pair of tennis shoes that smelled really bad. Most people try to get the smell out of their shoes by covering it up with a deodorizing spray or powder. And while this is a quick cover for stinky shoes, this actually doesn’t help solve what is causing the problem to begin with. The deodorizer might mask the smell for a short period of time, but as soon as the fragrance wears off, the stench is back in full force!

Odor-causing bacteria live and breed in moist, dark places. If we can’t eliminate the fertile breeding ground for bacteria, there will be no way get rid of the smell permanently. Therefore, the first step to removing the smell from your shoes is to dry them out and keep them dry.

Tips for Keeping Shoes Dry

  • Toss them in the dryer, put them near a heater, or put them in a sunny window. Canvas shoes should be fine taking a spin in the dryer, but other shoes will get ruined, so just be careful!
  • Go barefoot at home as much as possible. My 10 year literally wears his tennis shoes from the time he leaves for the bus until he gets into bed at night… and his shoes suffer because of it! I’m trying to teach him that the less he wears his shoes, the faster they will dry out and the less they will smell. We’re still working on it. 😉
  • Toss them in the freezer. Place your shoes in a plastic bag, then put them in the freezer. The freezer helps kill the bacteria and dry out your soles.

How to Get the Smell Out of Shoes

Once your shoes are dry, it’s time to get rid of the smell for good. Here are 5 of the most effective methods I’ve found for getting rid of the odors in shoes.

1. Rubbing Alcohol (My favorite method!)

  1. Pour some rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle. (Make sure you mark your spray bottle so people know it isn’t safe to consume.)
  2. Spray the alcohol inside each smelly shoe. You only need a couple of spays to do the trick! Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated room or outside.
  3. Let the shoes dry completely before wearing them again.

2. Dryer Sheets

Place a dryer sheet (or two) inside each of each shoe. This help absorb the moisture and freshen up the shoes at the same time.

3. Charcoal Briquettes or Cedar Shavings

Place a few charcoal briquettes or some cedar shavings into an old sock and then insert them into each shoe. Leave them in the shoes overnight to get rid of the smell.

4. Baking Soda

Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda into each shoe and let it absorb the odor overnight. Just remember to dump out the powder in the morning before putting your shoes back on.

5. Bar of Soap

Place a bar of soap inside your stinky shoes. Not only with the soap absorb the odor, it will also leave a fresh scent behind.

6. Cotton Balls & Fragrant Oils

Another great way to get the smell out of your tennis shoes is to use some fragrant oils. Simply pour a few drops of essential oils onto a cotton ball or two and place them inside each shoe. Nothing smells more like “clean” to me than the smell of citrus, so I like using those scents.

My favorite method is the first one but each one of these will help you get that awful smell out of your shoes! You’ll wonder why you’ve been putting up with stinky shoes all these years! Is there another method you like to use to get rid of the smell in your sneakers? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

How to get the smell out of stinky shoes

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