Shoe Odor Remedies: How to De-Stink Smelly Shoes

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Nordwood Themes

Eliminating shoe odor is surprisingly easy – all you need are some quick and simple household hacks. Smelly shoes are simply no match for these chemical-free remedies.

Drugstores or online specialty outlets aren’t the only places where you’ll find tried-and-tested solutions for smelly shoes. Some simple and effective all-natural tricks will help you remove shoe odors easily, effectively and sustainably. Here’s how to “de-stink” your stinky shoes like a pro.

Causes for Smelly Shoes: Bacteria

Shoe odor remove smell from smelly stinky shoes purple converse
They might be your favorite pair, but be sure not to wear the same shoes every single day. Mix it up! (Photo: © Utopia)

Proper foot hygiene is essential to keeping your shoes smelling fresh. Washing beats deodorizing: Avoid using antiperspirants or foot deodorants as these often contain potentially harmful aluminium chloride.

Here are a few simple tips on preventing heavy perspiration and the resulting unpleasant shoe odor:

  • Be careful not to wear the same pair of shoes all the time.
  • If possible, leave your shoes outside to air-dry after wearing them for longer periods of time.
  • Most sneakers and sport shoes can be washed in the washing machine at any time. When doing this, make sure to dry them properly, at best in the sun.
  • To prevent excessive perspiration, you can rub baby powder on your feet.

How to Remove Shoe Odor

Remove smells from shoes stinky smelly shoes remedies all-natural shoe spray
Chemical sprays often contain questionable ingredients. Clean your shoes the natural way instead! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Marc Olivier Jodoin)

There’s no need to immediately reach for chemical sprays or retire a pair of shoes the second your kicks start to give off an unpleasant shoe odor. There are numerous household remedies out there that will either effectively neutralize the smell or help to combat the bacteria causing your shoes to smell.

  • Lemons: When it comes to household chores, lemons are simply indispensable. Not only do they clean, but they also eliminate unpleasant household odors and remove smells from shoes. Simply leave lemon peels in your smelly shoes overnight and your shoes will be (or at least smell) as good as new come morning.
  • Baking Powder: Shoes should never be left damp. Wet shoes provide an ideal breeding ground for the types of bacteria that cause shoe odor. In order to dry damp shoes from the inside out und thus prevent smelly shoes, pour baking powder into a thin sock and place it in the shoe overnight. Alternative tip: A cinnamon stick or a piece of chalk will have the same effect.
  • Freezer: You can toss pillows or plush toys into the freezer in order to effectively get rid of bed bugs. This method works the same way with smelly shoes by eliminating bacteria. Put your stinky shoes in a bag and freeze them for 24 hours.
  • Tea Tree Oil: The oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Simply place two to three drops in each shoe and leave overnight. Alternatively, you can also find tea tree oil-based hygiene sprays on Amazon**.

This article was translated from German to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Schuhe stinken: Was tun?- Diese Hausmittel wirken

** Links to retailers are partially affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.

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