Effective Solutions for Smelly Shoes That are Guaranteed to Work

Solutions for Smelly Shoes
Many people have smelly feet and shoes, which makes them a taboo at social functions. So what can you do to deal with those stinky, smelly shoes? Here are some solutions which will help you in getting rid of the foul stench from your shoes.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Stinky shoes or feet act as people repellent at any social occasion. Apart from putting a person in an embarrassing situation, it also reflects poorly on his/her hygiene and grooming quotient. Hence, it becomes all the more essential to ensure that your shoes or feet are clean. If you are planning to throw away a pair of stinky shoes, just wait and try the following easy solutions to get rid of the stench.

Solutions for Getting Rid of Smell in Shoes

There are many solutions for treating this disgusting stench, and they vary depending upon the reason behind the stink. If your shoes stink just because they were wet for a long time, you may just have to dry them, but if it is due to a sweat problem, there is more to do than just drying them.
  1. Wash your Shoes: If the stench is due to excessive sweating, it is essential that you wash your shoes well with soap. If you do not, then there may be a bacterial or a fungal buildup which can even cause athlete's foot.
  2. Exposure to Sun: A simple solution to this problem is to leave the shoes out in the sun. Direct exposure to sunlight kills all the bacteria which cause the pungent smell.
  3. Deodorizers and Disinfectants: There are special deodorizers and disinfectants designed for this problem. So you can disinfect your shoes daily before wearing, or after removing them. You can also spray perfumes and antiperspirant deodorants for fragrance.
  4. Alcohol and Activated Charcoal: Use rubbing alcohol to clean your shoes. It disinfects the shoes and stops the foul odor. Activated charcoal can also be left in the shoes overnight to make them odor-free.
  5. Lysol and Febreze: Like alcohol, Lysol and Febreze, act as active disinfectants for killing the bacteria, and cleaning the shoes.
  6. Baking Soda: Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda can be sprinkled, or spread inside the shoes, and kept overnight to get rid of the stench.
  7. Hydrogen Peroxide, Bleach, and Vinegar: You can use hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and vinegar to clean your shoes. Spray any one of these on your shoes, and keep them aside for a day. It will not only remove the odor but also make your shoes cleaner.
  8. Ice Box Trick: One of the easiest solutions to get stink-free shoes, is to pack them in an ice box and thaw them out in the sun, then use inserts which absorb the odor.
  9. Newspapers: Newspapers can be used in multiple ways for cleaning shoes. Stash loosely crumpled newspaper inside your shoes, and keep them in your closet, or you can also wipe your wet or sweaty shoes with newspaper as it helps to absorb the moisture.
  10. Natural Materials: It is best to wear shoes made from natural materials like, canvas, leather, etc. instead of artificial materials. Sports style cotton socks which are thicker than the usual ones are recommended, to keep your shoes from stinking. You can also put grommets on shoes for air ventilation.
  11. Silver Lining Insoles: Put silver lining insoles in your shoes to keep them from getting sweaty and stinky.
  12. Cedar Insoles: You may use insoles made from cedar wood as it does not allow bacteria to grow and emanate a foul smell.
  13. Cleanse your Feet: Do not forget to wash your feet regularly if you have the problem of stinky feet as it helps in eliminating bacteria. You can also clean them with the help of soaps, disinfectants, or even drops of lemon in hot water. In addition to this, do not forget to clean your nails everyday after bath.
  14. Dead Skin: Use a scrubber, pumice stone, brush, or loofah, to exfoliate the dead skin cells on your feet. This will help in keeping your feet soft and bacteria-free.
  15. Powders: If the stench is due to excessive sweating, you can sprinkle some sweat-absorbing foot powder, talcum powder, or baby powder on your feet before you venture outdoors. This also helps in giving fragrance to your shoes.
  16. Foot Care Products: Use foot care products like powders, deodorants, creams, salts for foot baths, soaps, and foot-healing balms, for keeping your feet clean and healthy.
  17. Home Remedies: You can also utilize other home remedies like filling your socks with coffee beans, and keeping them overnight in the shoes. Tea tree oil, lemon oil, or clove oil, can also be used for removing the stench from shoes. Placing petals of lavender in your shoes will give a pleasant smell. Also, try soaking your feet in warm black tea to remove the stench from your feet.
Dos and Don'ts
  • Change the soles inside your shoes on a regular basis.
  • Change your socks regularly.
  • Visit a doctor to get antibacterial treatment, if necessary.
  • Avoid wearing shoes at home. Let your feet be free for sometime.
  • Remember to remove chemicals like baking soda, etc. before you wear your shoes.
  • Don't wear shoes that are too tight for your feet. Wear the ones which will let your feet 'breathe'.
  • Avoid wearing the same shoes everyday.
Remember, people do not appreciate a person who has smelly shoes. Hence, prevent your shoes from stinking by using any of the above-mentioned ways. Maintain hygiene by washing your feet regularly with soap and water. This will also help prevent infections.