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Remedies for Stinky Shoes

Category Odors
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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By 9 found this helpful
October 29, 2009

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

Comment Was this helpful? 9
November 1, 20090 found this helpful
Top Comment

I wipe out the insides of shoes with rubbing alcohol.

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By 3 found this helpful
May 15, 2017

If you ever have a pair of shoes that don't smell very good then I have an easy solution for you! Just take some tea bags and place them in your shoes while not in use, in a day or two your shoes won't have any bad smell!

Comment Was this helpful? 3
May 22, 20170 found this helpful

I'm going to have my daughter try this!!!

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By 4 found this helpful
February 18, 2011

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

Comment Was this helpful? 4
February 20, 20110 found this helpful
Top Comment

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

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

Comment Was this helpful? 4
June 3, 20120 found this helpful
Top Comment

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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By 4 found this helpful
April 3, 2015

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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By 6 found this helpful
September 5, 2015

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!

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By 11 found this helpful
May 16, 2012

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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By 6 found this helpful
November 11, 2011

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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By 0 found this helpful
March 28, 2017

Get Rid of Bad Odor in Sneakers

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Put your smelly sneakers in the washing machine with a half a cup of vinegar and some laundry detergent. Fill the washer with water and allow sneakers to soak for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes wash as usual. The sneakers will come out odor free and smelling as good as new.

By 5 found this helpful
March 4, 2013

Dryer sheet in sneaker.

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 5

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

By 0 found this helpful
March 16, 2012

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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By 3 found this helpful
March 17, 2010

To freshen up smelly training shoes/sneakers, put a sheet of fabric softener in them overnight.

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April 17, 2014

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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By 0 found this helpful
November 8, 2013

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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October 27, 20040 found this helpful

To keep shoes smelling fresh(er), fill the foot portion of an old pair of nylons with baking soda and stuff into the shoes when not being worn. Makes a big difference! By Leann D

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December 28, 20090 found this helpful

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

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
August 2, 2016

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!

Answer Was this helpful? 1
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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By 2 found this helpful
November 24, 2012

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

Answer Was this helpful? 2
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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November 4, 20110 found this helpful

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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September 24, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 0 found this helpful
May 11, 2015

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?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 0 found this helpful
September 15, 2011

How do I remove odors from sneakers?

By Nativeluv from Sacramento, CA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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October 18, 20140 found this helpful

How do I remove foot odor from shoes?

By T

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October 30, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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By 0 found this helpful
August 16, 2013

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 16, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try vinegar and water.

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October 21, 20110 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 3 found this helpful
January 30, 2011

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

By Barbara from San Antonio, TX

Answer Was this helpful? 3
January 31, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
December 9, 2010

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 1 found this helpful
December 28, 2009

Does anyone know if it safe and effective to use the disposable silica gel bags (found in new shoes) to absorb sweat and odour in running shoes in between uses?

By JOFA508 from Toronto

Answer Was this helpful? 1
March 20, 20160 found this helpful

Refrain from eating even a few mouthfuls of this silica gel.

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August 30, 20050 found this helpful

I can not get the odor out of my son's New Balance suede tennis shoes. The bottom of the inside of the shoes have a flannel feeling fabric. I have:

1. Sprayed with Kiwi Fresh Force shoe freshener
2. Washed with baking soda, vinegar, detergent, spray and wash, etc.
3. Left outside for days to air out. Even the animals don't want to run off with them....lol

None of his other shoes smell like this. He marched in these at band camp and I suppose he sweat excessively in them. The just have a really rank odor that resembles the odor that happened one time when the towel underneath the dog's water bowl didn't get replaced when I was flat on my back from an injury. The guys let it go and it got full of mold or mildew underneath. Ew...gross. Anyway, the towel washed fine. But I sure can't get these shoes to stop stinking. They sure are clean though!

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Stacie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 2, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I've had the same problem with every pair of 991s and 992s that I've bought. They get old, they get wet, then they smell like urine. Despite what some of the older replies say, it's a problem with the shoes made by New Balance. It is NOT mold/mildew or such. It's a "chemical" in the deteriorating heel material that is smelling. Don't waste your time trying to clean them. Fortunately it is usually handled by NB as: "Bring 'em back and we'll replace 'em." And extra fortunate for me: I buy them at Nordstrom = easy return.

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January 3, 20110 found this helpful

I can not get the odor out of my son's New Balance suede tennis shoes. The bottom of the inside of the shoes have a flannel feeling fabric.

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January 30, 20110 found this helpful

What can be done to stop terrible odor in sneakers?

By Elain from Wilmington, DE

Answers:

Removing Odor from Shoes

Wear only white socks and bleach them.

Wear only white socks (dye makes your feet sweat more) that are at least 80% cotton and bleach your socks each and every time your wash them! Your socks won't last as quite as long, but bleaching will take care of the problem! My ex-husband had the stinkiest feet and shoes in the world! They were so bad you could actually smell them from across the room. We tried everything from the expensive odor-eater socks, to fancy sprays, and charcoal insoles, but once I bought him new shoes and I started bleaching his white socks and he quit wearing colored socks, his feet and shoes never had an odor problem again.

The bleach kills the germs that cause the odor. You may have to buy brand new shoes, but if they are white sneakers, they can be washed in the machine, but washing will not kill the germs, you'll have to mix 1/4 cup of bleach with 1/2 a gallon of water and sit your shoes in the bottom of your washer then pour this bleach-mixture into the shoes and let them sit for 10 minutes or so, then wash them as usual, adding more bleach to the load with your detergent. Don't dry in the sneakers in the dryer, just let them air dry. But if I were you, I'd buy new shoes to wear with my bleached socks because your old shoes are full of bacteria and that's what's causing the odor.

If your feet have a fungus or bacteria problem, try soaking them daily for 20 minutes in a plastic dishpan (from the dollar store) in warm water and a little bleach. The bleach will kill any fungus or bacteria. Also when you bathe or shower, wash your feet with dandruff shampoo instead of soap. Dandruff shampoos kill fungus, because it's a fungus that causes dandruff.

If you need to wear dark colored socks for work, buy thin cotton white "footies" (short little ankle socks) and wear these under your dark colored socks (and bleach them). You'll need to buy a larger shoe, but it will be worth it! In the past, my ex-husband always got athletes foot and other problems, but once he switched to white socks that were bleached, he never had problems like those again! Another tip: Around the house wear only flip-flops so your feet get lots of fresh-air and wear sandals whenever you can. (05/31/2010)

By Cyinda

Removing Odor from Shoes

They sell a product in the drug stores called Odor Eaters. I think they are by Dr. Scholl's. Maybe they will help. (05/31/2010)

By Amy3e

Removing Odor from Shoes

Sprinkle baking soda in them and leave over night. Works like a charm. (05/31/2010)

By Thunderlights

Removing Odor from Shoes

Bacteria causes the odor. You can put the shoes in a plastic bag (preferably one of those larger Ziploc bags, the ones used for clothes, etc.) and stick them in the freezer overnight. The cold kills the bacteria, which is supposed to make your shoes smell better. (06/01/2010)

By WildIrish

Removing Odor from Shoes

Well, I throw my son's and husband's leather tennis shoes in to the washer with bleach in them. I have used the furniture smelling sprays in them as well. Febreze I think it is. Be careful of wearing clean socks, change them out a couple times a day if you are a sweater. If you use them for exercise, don't use them for normal wear. Some people just 'contaminate by smell' things more than others. (06/02/2010)

By T&T Grandma

Removing Odor from Shoes

Use a shoe tree that emits strong UV light to kill the bacteria in your shoes. It is dead simple to use and works very well. Not exactly cheap though, but by far the most convenient solution I have tried. Amazon has it when you look for UV Shoe Tree or something like that. (06/17/2010)

By John

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May 30, 20100 found this helpful

I wash my tenny shoes and even after I take them straight out of the washer they still stink so bad and make my feet stink as well. What can I do to take the stinky odor out of them?

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