Remedies for Stinky Shoes

The smell of stinky shoes can be overwhelming and make you want to throw them away. There are a number of good ways to remove and prevent the odors. This is a guide about removing odors from stinky shoes.
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Solutions

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9 found this helpful
October 29, 2009 Flag

To get the smell out of shoes, I put a mixture of baking soda, baking powder, and cornstarch in a pair of cotton socks and stick in the shoes overnight. It works like a charm.

By Sherry from Onset, MA

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November 1, 20090 found this helpful
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I wipe out the insides of shoes with rubbing alcohol.

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4 found this helpful
February 18, 2011 Flag

To freshen boots, bowling shoes, ski boots, etc., place a dryer sheet in each one when not in use.

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

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February 20, 20110 found this helpful
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I keep giving feedback about the chemicals in dryer sheets, which can be very dangerous. I suggest that you at least do not put your bare feet into any footwear that has had dryer sheets stored in them - always wear socks. If your feet sweat, you shouldn't use dryer sheets at all, as your feet will absorb these chemicals. Please read my TF post from last November in response to folks who were sending suggestions for using dryer sheets on their pets. (Link below) It's no joke - these chemicals are dangerous.

http://www.thri  9225487.tip.html

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January 20, 2012 Flag

If you have someone who has sweaty feet all the time, here is a solution to get rid of the smell in their shoes. Throw shoes in the washer. Once dry, double bag them and put in the freezer overnight. This will kill the bacteria that causes the odour. Once thawed and dry, spray with vinegar, rubbing alcohol or Pinesol. Cover entire inside of shoe. Once dry, dust with powder. Works well.

By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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June 3, 20120 found this helpful
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So many steps? I only need two things to get rid of foot smell:

1. I wash my feet daily - do it thoroughly (drying primarily).

2. I wear cedarsoles inside all of my shoes. Cedarsoles are chemical-free insoles made from natural cedarwood. The cedarwood has antibacterial features and eliminate any bad bacteria on my feet skin. So the smell has no more basis.

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4 found this helpful
April 3, 2015 Flag

Use regular kosher salt or any salt. Just sprinkle in shoes after heavy use, then wear with socks or without. It will kill the odor. Repeat if necessary.

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6 found this helpful
September 5, 2015 Flag

litter filled sock in shoe

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Pour some cat litter, scented or unscented, into a pair of heavy socks or sock slippers and close it with a rubber band. Drop the litter filled socks into the pair of shoes or sneakers. Litter was created to reduce and remove some heavy duty odors, so it's perfect for this!

0 found this helpful
March 16, 2012 Flag

To get rid of smelly feet and stinky shoes you can use insoles made from cedar material. For example special Cedarsoles made from antifungal and fresh smelling cedar wood. It tackles the cause of the problem, foot bacteria!

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11 found this helpful
May 16, 2012 Flag

Want to get rid of the stink? Stuff the shoes with newspaper. That's right. Newspaper. Shoes should be "stink-free" come morning!

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6 found this helpful
November 11, 2011 Flag

Make shoe inserts from old socks. Stuff each sock with fiberfill or cotton from old pillow or stuffed toys, add a small amount of baking soda to help absorb odors, and machine stitch or hand stitch the opening closed.

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5 found this helpful
March 4, 2013 Flag

Dryer sheet in sneaker.

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Dryer sheets are a great way to deodorize stinky shoes. Here is this tip in action.

April 17, 2014 Flag

Put a drop of peppermint or cinnamon oil on some used dryer sheets and tuck them into athletic shoes or work boots. Great for teenage boys!

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0 found this helpful
November 8, 2013 Flag

To get the stink out of your tennis shoes use tea tree oil. Put the shoes in the washing machine. Set the water level to low. Add 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil.

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0 found this helpful
December 28, 2009 Flag

To get moisture or stink out of shoes, fill two old socks with baking soda and knot at the ends. Shove deep into the shoes and let them sit overnight.

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Questions

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0 found this helpful
August 2, 2016 Flag

I went to a watering hole and was wearing my water shoes. I then packed them in a plastic pack and promptly forgot about them. I opened the bag 2 days later and they smell horrible. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the smell? I'm willing to try anything to make them smell normal again!

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September 22, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

1.Wash and dry them then leave in the freezer overnight. 2.Stuff socks full of kitty litter and place inside shoes overnight to absorb the odor.

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2 found this helpful
November 24, 2012 Flag

What can you put in shoes to make them smell less? My grandson stays in his tennis shoes. I would like something that he could slip into his shoes at night, that would help get rid of the odor. Thanks.

By Cookie 17 from Roanoke, VA

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November 27, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Baking Soda! It neutralizes odors like nothing, just sprinkle it in the shoes at night and tap it so it disperses around and then in the morning just shake the remnants in the trash.

:)

Katrina

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0 found this helpful
November 4, 2011 Flag

I bought my son a pair of leather Jordon's at the Finish Line 2 months ago. They smell like cat urine and we have no cats! I have washed them, let them dry, and stuffed them with newspaper. I also bought a new shoe deodorizer and the shoes still smell like cat urine, to the point the shoes make my house smell like cat urine. What do you suggest for me to resolve this problem? Thank you.

By Rhonda M.

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November 8, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would go to a farm supply or hardware store to buy a product designed to eliminate urine smell. Then I would apply the product, and allow the shoes to dry outside in the sun, while I treated the inside of the house.

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0 found this helpful
May 11, 2015 Flag

I purchased some sandals from JCPenney a few months ago. The brand is Yuu and it says they are made from "man made materials". After wearing them quite a bit they have become smelly and there is a dark imprint of my feet on them. How do I get rid of both the smell and the footprints?

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May 12, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

This is a sour smell? It's bacteria. The heat and moisture grow bacteria in sandals, and "man-made materials" are the worst culprits.

Some people recommend a solution of tea tree oil and water in a spray bottle, then let dry completely.

Your feet will pick up the bacteria, so you will need to soak your feet as well, in a solution of water and apple cider vinegar.

Personally, I'd stop wearing the shoes and get real leather ones. It's doubtful you'll be able to permanently disinfect them.

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0 found this helpful
September 24, 2013 Flag

I went to Arkansas and I got my Jordan's all wet. I threw them in the washer, but it seems that the odor of the inside is just worse now. It's part of the shoe, if that makes any sense. If anyone has a way to get rid of the odor please help me.

By Raul from Bartlett, TX

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September 25, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

You may want to put some charcoal inside some socks and put them in and leave them for a few days. Other people swear by stuffing them with news paper. I would try the paper first as it's pretty much free.

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0 found this helpful
September 15, 2011 Flag

How do I remove odors from sneakers?

By Nativeluv from Sacramento, CA

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September 19, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I wouldn't have believed you could wash leather sneakers in the washing machine, but you can. I first tried it with a pair that I would have thrown out could I not clean them. I took the insoles out to wash separately. Dry everything in the sun and they're almost brand new. Use a higher end laundry soap for this dirty job and that will also help with deodorizing.

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0 found this helpful
October 18, 2014 Flag

How do I remove foot odor from shoes?

By T

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October 30, 20140 found this helpful
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I have done this in the past with a pair of sneakers that had even odor eaters running for the hills. Generously sprinkle baking soda all inside of the shoes, then place both shoes in plastic bag. You can put additional baking soda around the inside of the bag. More the merrier. Tie and secure opening. Allow the shoes to be inside the enclosed bag for several days. If they still have a low level of nose holding odor, replace the old baking soda with fresh, and repeat. Works wonderful!

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0 found this helpful
August 16, 2013 Flag

I have a pair of Keen watershoes that I wore kayaking. They were soaked and I left them in a hot car and now they smell like cat pee! I have left them out in the sun for 2 days, washed them with baking soda/water and put dryer sheets in them. I love these shoes, but I can't stand the smell! I would appreciate any help. Thanks!

By Linda H

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August 16, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try vinegar and water.

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0 found this helpful
October 21, 2011 Flag

I washed my sneakers in the washing machine. Now they have a petroleum-like odor. I have tried baking soda, bleach, vinegar, dryer sheets, and repeated washings. Any other ideas? The shoes were relatively new and this was the first time to be washed. Thanks for any help.

By Ray

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November 14, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try sunlight. Put them in direct sunlight on deck or porch in a plastic bag so they don't get dirty. Also try hanging them on clothesline if you have one.

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3 found this helpful
January 30, 2011 Flag

How do you get a dead mouse smell out of leather sneakers?

By Barbara from San Antonio, TX

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January 31, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Baking Soda. Just pour a little of it in the shoe and let it sit.

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0 found this helpful
December 9, 2010 Flag

Today I stepped in something really smelly. I can't quite figure out what it was or what the smell is, but I don't really want to know. I have washed them with the garden hose and then threw them in the washer, but I just can't get rid of the smell. It isn't as strong, but is still there. Does anybody have any ideas?

By Austin

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December 11, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

So your shoes are able to go into the washer okay? Then try adding some vinegar (like 1/4 cup) in with the wash cycle--vinegar removes odors and also acts as a disinfectant. The vinegar "smell" will dissipate when dried. (Vinegar is used to rid washing machines of lingering odors, too). After that, you could put them into a plastic bag big enough to tie closed, but add some baking soda to absorb the odors and lay the shoes on their sides carefully, leave sealed overnight.

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