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.
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
Sure, there are many things you can do to try and remedy the long-time battle of the "stinky shoe". You can mix various concoctions, sprinkle dust, make magic potions or whatever, but why not invest that valuable time somewhere else? Want to get rid of the stink? Stuff the shoes with newspaper. That's right. Newspaper. Shoes should be "stink-free" come morning!
Source: I'm the grandmother of the boy with the world's stinkiest shoes!
By FranFran from Zebulon, Georgia
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!
My daughter also had a new pair of shoes that were a little tight fitting, so we just stuffed the litter filled socks tightly into those shoes (I did spritz the inside of the shoe first, ever so slightly) and it did loosen them up to fit her better too! Just in time for school.
Here is a picture of this handy tip:
To freshen boots, bowling shoes, ski boots, etc., place a dryer sheet in each one when not in use.
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
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.
November 16, 2013
My son's Under Armor football cleats, Nike and Adidas basketball shoes smell like cat pee. From what I understand, it's not the inside of the shoe, or sweaty feet. It's the outside, the material and glue. My son has casual basketball and running shoes that he wears and they don't smell at all. I keep wondering if it's not the synthetic stuff they use to make the shoes lighter. It seems to be the ones that have the netting material. Real leather doesn't smell like that, but it's heavier and not used in performance athletic shoes. I just make sure that they aren't left in a bag. When they dry out, the smell fades. They need to fix it...it's gross.
By On Point 1
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. If all else fails you need to just toss the shoe.
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
January 19, 2013
A Dr Oz guest says to put them in the freezer.
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. Loop an old string or shoelace and hand stitch it to the straight end of the sock and use it to pull the inserts out of the shoes when you're ready to wear them. Hang them to dry between uses.
By Monica from Cortez, CO
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
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
September 25, 2013
Get some Borateem and wash with that. It gets rid of nearly any odor.
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!
By Casey from Chicago, IL
By Nativeluv 1
How do I remove odors from sneakers?
By Nativeluv from Sacramento, CA
September 19, 2011
I've heard that you can stuff them with newpaper and set outside over night and that helps. It's not a permanent fix though you may have to do it once a week or so.
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
September 15, 2013
Silica gel is perfectly safe just keep it in the little baggies. As per poison control it is practically non toxic. The warning on the baggies state "do not eat" reason they put that on there because it is not food and people have mistaken them for sugar or salt. They do very well to adsorb moisture.
By Mea M. 1
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?
May 24, 2015
I do not buy leather or any other animal by-product shoes, etc. Many man-made material shoes can be washed in the washing machine on delicate, and then air-dried. As an alternative, I have had much luck wiping the foot bed with rubbing alcohol and then let dry.
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!
How do I remove foot odor from shoes?
October 30, 2014
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!
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!
Source: From my Grandson's stinky feet!
By lbhntaz 1
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
By barbara 1
How do you get a dead mouse smell out of leather sneakers?
By Barbara from San Antonio, TX
By austin 1
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?
December 11, 2010
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.
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.
I have some Dexter boat shoes. I have worn them a lot! They smell very bad. I tried putting deodorant on them, spoting with perfume, and also foot powder, and they still smell! Please help :) I can't stand it. I love these shoes!
Is there any way to remove odor from shoes. The shoes are still like new but they smell terrible from sweating feet, etc.
Grandma B from Coshocton, OH
Place a sheet of Bounce fabric softener in your shoes overnight so they'll smell great in the morning. (08/20/2004)
Spray heavily inside with Febreeze and allow to dry overnight. Works on my stinky old feet (08/28/2004)
By Suzanne S.
Soak them in Tide and spray any soiled areas with Shout and rinse. If that doesn't help then its time to go shoe shopping.
If they are white shoes, try diluted bleach, usually this works really well on grubby stained shoes. (01/20/2005)
Thankfully, years ago, a friend told me she washes all of their good leather "tennis" (athletic) shoes in her washer. I was so afraid to try it but my children's stinky shoes made me desperate. It really works and has never hurt or damaged any shoes in the 30 years I've been doing it.
I always remove the laces, and wash the laces by hand, plus that opens up the shoe more for better washing. I also lift out the insole (if it's removeable...and it usually is) and let it float free in the washer also. My favorite way is to wash one pair with a load of light colored towels. Once the washer is full of soapy water you can take a scrub brush and work on any really dirty areas just using the soapy wash water. Don't use any other cleaner. I once decided to spray a dirty spot with 409 cleaner. The cleaner caused the rubber sole to turn a beige color instead of white! I also don't use any chlorine bleach. Don't wash white shoes with dark items, for example blue jeans. You will likely get streaks of blue on your white shoes)!
I always put the regular amount of liquid fabric softner in the last rinse too. I think it helps condition the leather and keeps it nice. I washed all the "good" brands (Nike, Reebok, Addidas, Converse, etc) of shoes and never once had a problem. I washed them about once a month and they usually wore them for a year or so. I think washing them actually helped them last longer because perpiration makes the leather rot and crack.
I always air dried the shoes which takes a day or two, but it is well worth it to NOT have STINKY shoes! I never tried this on the cheaper vinyl athletic shoes so I honestly don't know if they could withstand this or not. I found that buying the more expensive shoes (but buying them on clearance a year or more later) was actually cheaper in the long run as they did not wear out nearly as fast as the cheap variety. I hope you will have the courage to try this. It really does eliminate the stinky shoe problem in my house. (02/06/2005)
When my son was in high school athletics, his basketball and track shoes could really smell bad at the end of the day. I used an old pair of pantyhose, cut off both legs and put fresh kitty litter inside the legs. Tie a knot and stick inside the shoe. Much Better! Refresh as needed.(02/21/2005)
BAKING SODA! It's is the best foot powder our family has ever used. Coming from a long line of stinky feet we tried just about everything we heard of until I heard that a high school coach tried an experiment with different things to rid the gym of the bad odors after basketball practice. The end result was that he placed a bucket of baking soda in the locker room of the gym with a feather duster in it. Each player was to quickly dust under arms. etc. before starting practice. After a time the gym didn't have the strong smell of body odors it used to. I figured if that were true it could rid our shoes of some of that stinky smell too. So, I sprinkled it in all our shoes at night. After a few days I discovered that we were all able to kick off our shoes and sit around in our stocking feet without anyones nose curling up. We have used this for shoe powder ever since. What I like about it is that it is not expensive and has no perfume or any other smell in it. I also use it in summer as a body powder. It keeps you cooler and absorbs sweat and underarm odors. I sometimes use it in the laundry as well. (02/21/2005)
I take used dryer sheets and fill them with baking soda and close them with a rubber band and place them in the "smelly" shoes. (06/27/2005)
Make a packet of fresh coffee grounds (right from the can) by putting grounds in an envelope or end of panty hose and place inside the shoes. May take a day or more, would help if you seal the shoes and coffee grounds in a plastic bag. (10/31/2005)
By Anna from Maine
Another important word of advise to PREVENT smelly shoes is to own a few pairs you can rotate each day so they have time to air out. Clean socks each day is a must, and dry feet to start with.
Foot powder, baby powder, baking soda, corn starch or whatever...or just give your feet time to dry before putting on socks. (11/18/2005)
Baking Soda and White Vinegar for sneaker. Pour 1 cup baking soda 1cup vinegar. This will cause a fizzing reaction. Put sneaker in sink and pour mixture into each sneaker insole. Let sit 15 minutes then rinse with warm water and liquid soap. Gets rid of bacteria and the smell. The vinegar smell will go away once dried. (12/01/2005)
My stink is bacterial (as most of the foot funks out there are) using cornstarch based things just gets them all excited. I would suggest a good washing with disinfectant soap for your feet. for the shoes i have found only 2 solutions, (though freezing with baking soda paste is not something i have tried)
1. Bowling shoe disinfectant, it actually will kill the bacteria, make sure you thuroughly dampen your sneakers with the stuff and let it dry, brunswick makes a good one.
2. Lysol, (not the foaming kind) this is a kill all disinfectant, It worked great for me, however while the can says it kills athletes foot fungus, (not of particular interest for the stinkiness) it does not encourage using it on clothing.
Anyway, suff like bounce, kitty litter, cornestarch, baby powder, and every foot powder i have tried, have been conqured by my offensive afluvian microbes. moreover some actually combine with the stench to create a special super funk, I swear you can see the stink lines wafting out of my sneakers, really bad stuff. (03/29/2006)
By shoe shiner
To prevent smelly shoes, prevent smelly feet. Soak your feet in plain cold tea. Get a dishpan and box of tea bags from the dollar store. Use hot tap water and about 6 bags to make a dishpan full. Let cool, and soak clean bare feet for 15 minutes each night. This will stop feet from smelling bad, and thus shoes as well. (04/01/2006)
Baking soda - easy, cheap and it works. Sprinkle a little less than a teaspoon into each shoe before wearing them and odor will be gone. I do this regularly with almost all of my shoes. Works beautifully. (04/15/2006)
wash and dry your feet and then apply "surgical" spirits in between your toes and all over your feet, it is a miracle, it really works, you can also just pour a little bit into a leather shoe and slide your foot on top of it, I have tried everything and this is the only thing that has ever worked. (05/21/2006)
By m hope
Most tennis shoes can be washed in the washing machine. I've always done it with new and used shoes. It won't hurt the shoes. Put shoes in the washer with hot water and detergent and old towels or rags and let sit overnite. Wash in the morning and dry in the sun or on top of the dryer. Clean and fresh. (08/07/2006)
I have always used warm water with great results. Tide has always been my detergent of choice. I try others occasionally but always go back to Tide! I use about 1/4 to 1/3 of the amount they recommend unless the load of clothes is exceptionally dirty. If there is a stain I just rub a little full strength Tide on the spot and scrub a little before putting it in the machine. Folks who have hard water may need to use more detergent than I do. (09/17/2006)
By Grandma Margie
My ex-husband had the stinkiest shoes ever when I first married him. (you could smell his shoes over 5 feet away when he wore them!) We tried everything. We had great success with those fancy odorless socks, but they cost to much.
----> I read somewhere that if your feet smell to wear only white socks because white socks don't have dye in them, & the dyes cause your feet to sweat & smell. So we bought all white socks & every time I washed them, I added bleach to the wash. This worked miracles. I also washed his tennis shoes in the same load (with bleach). His feet & shoes never smelled again! Bleaching his socks really worked. What a change! If for some reason, you don't want to buy all white socks & bleach them. At least wear the bleached white socks as much as possible. You'll be very happy with this solution! Bleach kills the bacteria & helps you avoid getting athletes foot & other not so nice foot infections. Bleach, doesn't cover up the smell, it kills the bacteria that causes the smell...
Other ideas that could help:
----> To de-smell the shoes you have: First start by washing them (& add bleach if you can as this disinfects and immediately cuts out the odor). If you can't wash the shoes, sprinkle in baking soda. You can either wear them with the baking soda in them, or shake out most of the baking soda before putting your shoes on. You can also buy a pair of Dr Shoals charcoal foot pad inserts.
---> If this doesn't work, take 2 tiny cups, lids or any small containers that will fit in your shoes, fill each container with straight white vinegar. Leave undisturbed at least 24 hours. The white vinegar will take the odor out (the vinegar works for taking musty odors out of dresser drawers or cabinets as well)
---> You can also take cut up nylon stockings filled with new cat liter & hang them in your closet, or stuff a sock or nylon filled with new cat litter in your shoes. This helps to take out odor and mildew. The cat litter is super absorbent. Cat litter in nylons works great for keeping your car trunk dry and must free too!
---> One more hint: With 6 in our household & each having many white socks. I simply bought 6 different colored permeant pens & marked a small dot or line on the toe of each white sock when new so each would know what sock was theirs. (09/18/2006)
Odor in shoes comes from the mixture of bacteria and the sweat of feet. To prevent NEW shoes from getting smelly you have to wash your feet with soap and water, dry them, then rub them with rubbing alcohol, wait until alcohol evaporates, then put on socks and shoes. You cannot go around walking barefoot or with the socks on because you will pick up bacteria from the floor and the shoes will get smelly.
Another way is to prevent sweat in your feet with a product called Drysol but this needs prescription by a doctor.
By Dr Bou
Wear socks. That's my lesson learned.
If you want to get the smell out of your shoes than you should put baking soda in the shoe and then put it in the freezer over night. It works alot better than any of those sprays for shoes. (02/20/2007)
Thanks people! Right now I'm trying the kitty litter trick. I tried shampooing them, filling them with mint leaves and hot stones. Don't do Vinegar my mom did it to my shoes to get the mudd smell out and it made them stink worse! (05/11/2007)
By Crazy Lulani
I have found that washing our smelling fingy infected shoes with peroxide works very well. If you think about it you use peroxide on any cuts and sores so why not try it on fungi. I did and it works very well. Mainly all you do is put one cup of peroxide per pair of shoes in the wash once a week. Next after you get out of the bath have a mixture of peroxide and water in a spray bottle to spray on feet each night. Hey peroxide kills just about any germs I even use it to clean my floors, countertops, bathroom, teeth, any where that has odor or any place that food touches. It really works. (06/01/2007)
Contrary to popular belief, freezing the shoes will not kill the bacteria (unless you are able to flash-freeze the shoes). Freezing only retards the growth of bacteria and will likely just slow the bacterial reproduction during the stay in the freezer. This might help to fight the smell for the next day as the shoe "airs out" in the freezer, but as soon as the temperature warms up again, the bacteria will go back to making your shoes smell. Unless you've got a 'fridge to devote to your shoes, I would suggest looking for a lasting solution. (06/05/2007)
By Cornell Undergrad
If you use tea, I have found that black tea works the best. My 2 year old has the stinkiest feet. My mom recomended Black tea and boy did it work great. My little guy just loves standing in a bucket of luke warm tea. If its luke warm it is also soothing. I do the tea thing once a week on top of regular bath time. I did soak shoes in it also and it worked. (06/20/2007)
If the person who owns the shoes ALWAYS wears WHITE socks & you ALWAYS bleach the socks when you wash them you'll NEVER have a problem with stinky shoes again!
---> REALLY! This works EVERY time... of course it does help if you first start out with either clean or new shoes... but even if you don't, just bleaching your socks will make all the difference. The bleach disinfects the socks & kills the smell-causing germs & helps get rid of athletes foot too!
*** Bleaching does shorten the life of the socks... so it helps to buy quality socks. But compared with the price of those fancy "non-stink" or "charcoal" socks...
Bleaching is a down right cheap way to go!
*** The reason you wear WHITE socks is because the dyes in the socks make you feet sweat more because there's often a reaction to the dyes, and also, because you can only bleach light color socks.
-----> I SWEAR THIS WORKS! (my ex-husband had shoes that smelled so bad, you could smell them from across the room... No kidding!... we tried EVERYTHING! & by just simply bleaching his socks during EVERY wash, the smell was gone FOREVER!... No muss, no fuss! (06/20/2007)
At the shoe repair place I used to go to, I asked about smelly shoes. The person there told me to get newspaper, and put it inside the shoes. "Nothing will work permanently", I was told. Tried it for a couple days, turning it or replacing it. It seems to help absorb the moisture. I live in Hawaii, and that's just not a good place to have feet in shoes all the time.
I also inquired about why some shoes smell worse than others. I was told that it depends on the dying process. Some dyes or the process makes the shoes more prone to smelling bad. I guess it's like how some laundry detergent makes me smell like I have bad B.O.
I have many pairs of Cole Haan shoes that are near 20 years old, and they don't smell, but those that have padding, or "man made uppers" which absorb the sweat tend to go bad in a short time. I've learned to not buy those, and just stick with full leather. I actually spend less money and time on maintenance. (07/06/2007)
I have kids very active in sports, so had a garage filled with stinky equipment and shoes. I was introduced to a volcanic mineral that absorbs both smell and moisture. I repackaged the mineral into a more user friendly pouch and for the past year, I have been in business. The products are Diva Diamondz for womens shoes, Gentlemen Gems for mens shoes, and Sportzgemz for sports equipment. It works! Best of all it is completely renewable and reusable. Place the pouches in the offending footwear and leave. The smell is gone overnight, or in a few days if the shoes are older. When the pouches begin to smell - about 6 months - simply place them in the sun. So far we haven't found a smell this product won't remove (even skunk). If you google the products or just add ".com" at the end, you will find the products. (10/09/2007)
One remedy I heard was to get odor absorbing cat litter, and put some in an old sock and put that sock in the shoe and leave it overnight. (11/22/2007)
I have a husband and 3 kids with horrific smelly sneakers. I just toss all the family sneakers in a large load in the top-loading washer with hot water and a generous amount of bleach. Run the load and viola fresh and clean smelling sneakers. For the more soiled sneakers I'll spray Shout and pour half a cup of bleach generously on the surface and inside (color-safe bleach). Works great for grass stains, mud stains, egg toss (and broken), and general dirty socks/feet.
My daughter hates to wear socks with her sneakers making them extremely unbearable, I wash her sneakers once a month and it holds up pretty well.
I also spray Lysol Disinfectant liberally inside all the family shoes. This helps on a daily basis. (12/28/2007)
If you're like me, you walk around barefoot all the time! However, stinky shoes are a problem and people say walking barefoot, or in just socks, allows you to pick up the bacteria that causes the smelly feet/shoes. I don't want to wear shoes all the time, so (u)I wipe my feet with an anti-bacterial wipe(/u) before I put on my new socks and shoes. That way the bacteria doesn't stink up the shoe. (12/31/2007)
If you have stinky feet, try a zinc supplement for a month and see if your smell disappears. After 30+ years of super stinky feet, I tried this and it's just gone... as long as I remember my zinc supplement. After about 2 weeks of no supplement, it will come back. (01/24/2008)
Take a dryer sheet (like Bounce!) and put it in your shoe over night. A used one will do just fine. Guaranteed, the smell will be gone. (01/31/2008)
I was so disappointed when my favorite pair of Puma sneakers got so offensively pungent that I simply couldn't wear them anywhere. (I had worn them all summer on the beach with no socks, so it was my own fault.) I bought odor-eater sprays that just seemed to tint the stink with a baby powder flavor. I then found the solution - I tore out the old insoles, doused the entire shoe, inside and out, with (b)Anti-microbial Febreeze(/b), let them dry, and then inserted a new pair of Dr. Scholl's athletic insoles. Not only were my shoes now more comfortable, but the stink was 100% GONE. I now wear them all the time. It's been about 3 months and the stink hasn't come back yet. Of course, I haven't worn them without socks again, but probably will this coming summer. At least now I know what to do when they get offensive again. Hope this helps someone with a similar problem who doesn't want to go through the messy hassle of dealing with baking powder, oils, or alcohol. (03/02/2008)
Just leave them in a plastic bag and put baby powder in them to make em smell good then leave them over night. (05/19/2008)
By girlly girl
Any anti bacterial spray works. I use that, then throw the shoes in the dryer for a little while. (06/17/2008)
How do I get rid of shoe odor? The commercialized sprays aren't cutting it at all. We're talking room-clearing nuclear clouds emanating from around my ankles every time I take a step. it's humiliating.
C A M from Roy, UT
I have nuclear bomb smelling shoes too. I found if I alternated shoes a few times a week it helped. I use cheap stick deodorant on my feet when it is very hot out. I make an effort to scrub my feet everyday. I use peppermint foot odor spray on my feet (Dollar General - about $1.50) and sometimes peppermint cream (same price). The fabric softener sheets really work, also baking soda, baby powder, newspapers, and the like. Good luck. (06/19/2008)
The best thing to do is remove the laces and soles from your shoes/trainers and put them all in a single pillow cushion. Put a small towel in there too and then put on a single 40 or 50 degree wash. Make sure you put more than the average dose of washing powder or tablets in the machine too. if the shoes/trainers are really smelly and previous washing has not worked then it is best to exactly repeat this procedure again immediately after the first time. After this the smell will be completely removed and the trainers will be like new. Just be careful you don't sweat in them too often again or you will have to repeat this whole procedure again. (06/21/2008)
I put rubbing alcohol on a cotton square and wipe out the insides of the shoes that are not washable. (06/22/2008)
Mr Fix It, on WGN radio tells that he has not found an odor that FRESH WAVE will not remove. Google FRESH WAVE and read about it. Comes in spray or crystals (06/22/2008)
Some shoes/boots hold more odors than others. Alternating shoes allows shoes to dry out. What worked for me was placing the shoes/boots on large rocks in the hot sun for the day when possible. This allowed the shoes/boots to dry out well. In the winter months, I would place them near a heat source to dry out. Also, if there are inserts in the shoes/boots, take them out to dry along with the shoes/boots. (07/02/2008)
I have found that if you fill the offending sneakers with boiling water and then add a little bleach (bathroom bleach is fine) you will kill 100% of the bacteria that cause the odour. Even the worst sneakers can be cleaned like this, and it doesn't seem to damage them.
I just took two things that kill bacteria (heat and chlorine) and applied them. I would imagine that zapping the shoes in a microwave for 30 seconds would have the same effect, but haven't tried that yet. (07/15/2008)
It is true that some peoples' feet do smell, more than others, but it is also true that a lot of the new man-made materials in joggers, for instance, are the source of the problem. I only have one pair of shoes that smell, a pair of Diana Ferrari joggers. They don't have much ventilation and I think that that also, plus the sweat, causes the problem. (08/01/2008)
Depending on the type of material I usually soak the sneakers in a bucket of hot water and diluted bleach, let it soak several hours, or overnight and then thoroughly rinse with cold water. Fresh smelling shoes!
I hate dirty shoes so I always throw them in the washing machine when they get too dirty. For that I put in a scoop of Oxyclean and use Spray and Wash for the insides of the shoes. Gets them real clean! (10/02/2008)
Rubbing alcohol! Douse tennis shoes in it, let soak for a couple of hours. Wash in machine! Presto, no trace of any odor! Kills all the bad stuff! (10/16/2008)
If you wear flats or tennis shoes without socks 24/7, you are bound to get bad foot odor. I would recommend choosing different shoes, or only wearing shoes like these once every two weeks. This helps them air out. (11/05/2008)
I had this problem also. I found a product called BioWorld Odor Neutralizer that has helped a lot. I keep it around the house for other odors as well but when my shoes start to smell, I just spray it on and leave it overnight. By the morning, there is no more odor! I do have to do this offend, especially during the summer time, because it is a reoccurring odor and no odor remover will take care of the smell forever. But it has worked out great for me. I used to throw away several pairs of flip flops during the summer but not anymore!
Hey Roy, if you want a natural treatment, just try special cedarsoles (for example Zederna insoles). For me they worked perfectly. The woodside absorbs any moisture and prevents my feet from getting other foot diseases. Maybe try this! (05/21/2009)
How do you get rid of a smell in tennis shoes?
Bev from Bay City, TX
Do your shoes have an odor problem? Don't want to spend five dollars on those chemical inserts? Odors in shoes are caused by bacteria. Simply take your shoes and put them in the freezer for a few hours. Any bacteria living in the inside of the shoes will be frozen and thus killed. Result? No shoe odors!
P.S. Don't put the shoes on immediately after removing them from the freezer. It's best to let them air out and warm up for an hour before you slip them on.
Sprinkle baking soda in each shoe, tapping the shoe so that the baking soda is spread evenly throughout. Dump out excess baking soda, and wear. (Make sure you have clean feet or socks beforehand.) (02/02/2005)
Try wearing socks. When going sockless in shoes, body oils and sweat accumulate inside the shoe lining causing bacteria to grow and thus producing smelly shoes and feet. (02/02/2005)
Soak your feet in a basin filled with tea. Simply let a couple of tea bags steep in warm water for a few minutes, then soak smelly feet. Give it another few minutes. (02/02/2005)
I spray Febreeze in the kids shoes every night before bed or as often as necessary and it does the trick around here. (02/14/2005)
By Suzanne S.
Try putting deodorant on your feet, spray cologne in your shoes, and then never wear socks. You can also use that spray deodorant in your shoes, and put lots of lotion on your feet, then slip your shoes right on, no socks of coarse. I am 16, and i have never worn, or do i own socks. (03/28/2005)
By Robert Funston
Clean Cotton Socks
Rotate shoe use - Spray shoes with antifungal and and anti-bacteria spray (some air fresheners are)
Use clean natural fibre socks
Soak feet in epsom salts daily.
Clean feet when bathing - yes, between the toes.
Make odor eaters for your tennis shoes by filling the feet of knee highs with kitty litter, tying both ends, and leave in shoes overnight
By Joyce (06/14/2005)
I put baby powder in my shoes every day to keep them from smelling bad, this is especially great for work-out shoes that tend to smell bad from all the sweating.
By Crystal (06/17/2005)
Spray with white vinegar, or put crumpled up newspaper in shoes to absorb odor and wetness. Vinegar should kill growing bacteria. (06/18/2005)
Okay, everyone has different bacteria, and the post about the 170 degrees scares me, unless you have an autoclave (uses combination of pressure and steam and temperature to work) you can't kill all the bacteria, bacteria are all different, some die in cold, others don't BUT some people have more stinky bacteria than others.
I'm a Microbiologist but I don't know everything. I do have stinky feet and so does my dad. I use baking soda or odor eaters powder in my shoes at least once a week for sneakers. I've also found that once the shoes get wet it is harder to keep the smell away. Ocean water being the absolute worse and I just tossed my tennis shoes after that. But puddles, wet grass etc get similar stinky effects for me so I use baking soda to get the smell out and them dry inside ASAP. I think the kitty litter odor eater is worth a try. I'm going to give it a whirl.
Good Luck. (08/13/2005)
I have tried many remedies for stinky shoes and only one that I have used personally has worked. Just put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray your smelly shoes inside and outside completely. Let your shoes dry out overnight and the smell will leave your shoes because the alcohol will kill the bacteria. Repeat this step each day and your shoes will remain odor free. (10/10/2005)
By Odor Hater
Never-never-never wear shoes without some kind of clean hosiery and you'll never ever get stinky shoes. If you ALWAYS wear your shoes with clean socks or hose, you will never have the problem of stinky shoes. But if you wear your shoes, even for only a minute, just one time, over bare feet, bacteria will take the momentary opportunity to implant in your shoes and you'll find your shoes remain infected after that. From then on, no matter what, you'll always have to treat them daily with something to eradicate the odor.
That said, leather shoes don't seem to have same smelly problems as the man-made materials do. (Don't know why, but it's true!) That's why folks fork out the extra bucks for real leather shoes, they're tired of stinky shoes. If you really want to avoid stinky shoes forever, buy only real leather shoes and always wear socks/hose with them. If you're the type who is tempted to throw on your shoes over bare feet just for a minute to do some fleeting task, invest in some slippers so you won't ruin your shoes. (12/25/2005)
This is what worked for me on a pair of suede and mesh uppers shoe and zero harm to the suede. My shoes smelled horrible, to say the least, from not wearing socks. I washed them in the washing machine on the longest cycle, let them air dry for 3 days, sprayed heavily with 70% alcohol a few times and dried for another day. It has been 2 weeks now and they are odor free after fairly heavy use. I also spray a little alcohol in them before going to sleep every night. (01/08/2006)
The kitty litter thing sounds good. I've tried dryer sheets but then it's just a mix of bounce and stink. so they don't really work. Better than nothing I suppose. any other ideas??
Your Mom would probably suggest to just wear socks, but some shoes don't look cute with socks. I tried using a clorox bleach pen on the inside soles of my Gap shoes. The bleach got rid of the bad odor, but the shoes were pretty stained, so then Iused a Tide To Go pen, that took away some of it. then I dried them over a vent. Slightly a time consuming process, but worth it! Your mom. (08/10/2006)
I bought some anti-fungal spray, bathed my feet in a light peroxide + water solution, then sprayed anti-fungal spray on my feet. Also sprayed in affected shoes. Next day, after workout, when sox were soaking wet as usual, they smelled lovely! I must have had a bacterial or fungal film on my feet. Will get the kind of sport sox that "wick" the moisture away from skin, but I think the anti-fungal medicine did the trick ! (09/30/2006)
Put them out in the sun for a day or two and that should do it.
After reading ALL those ideas about stinky feet and shoes,I would have thought someone would have mentioned my suggestion. I can't remember where I heard it, but it works. Start taking Zinc on a daily basis. I, as well as one of my sons had horrific problems with foot odor, and this did the trick. Give it a try. (10/01/2006)
Fill a sock with baking soda, seal it with a twist-tie, then let it sit inside the shoe for a day or two. Good luck. (10/02/2006)
This is a new test by trial only. I was desperate. Therefore I started thinking like a cook for removing my new shoes worn in bad odor. If you follow these steps diligently, it will make you proud like I was at the end results of getting nice, sweet smelling shoes again.
WHAT TO DO:
Don't use horse liniment for trying to clean out shoe odor. I did and that cool, strong medicine odor remained.
The above remedy worked great! Use a little olive oil to wipe down the outside part of your shoes. It seems to upgrade them pretty nicely. (10/28/2006)
Dump a little kitty litter box deodorizing powder in a coffee filter and add baking soda. tie the coffee filters with any sort of string or twist tie and then put them in the shoes. Also, you can go to cabela's outdoor gear and they have an awesome shoe drier. If you put the coffee filters in the shoes and put them on the shoe drier, it will take away the odor! and just keep putting your shoes on the drier each day and wear clean knee high stockings or hose.
I too have problems with stinky shoes and fungus on my feet. However, I have learned over the years that wearing a CLEAN pair of socks each time you put on a pair of shoes no matter how many times each day, and wear different pairs of shoes. In other words, when I work in construction, I wear shoes for that and then when I take a shower or take off my dirty socks, I wear clean socks and a different pair of shoes and so forth.
I have a system of having at least one pair of shoes each day, in which I rotate them daily. (I have at least 12 pairs of shoes with 3 pairs as being Sunday dress shoes). Hope that makes sense.
PS. By the way, some of those suggestions are worth a shot, such as"Rhea", "BJsRemedy" and "Guest"(03/17/2007)
Exactly what I was looking for- thanks- I'll try a one or two of these remedies, and see what works best- will let you know. (04/30/2007)
Vinegar and baking soda. Foams up in the sneaker. Let it sit 10 minutes then straight to the washer for rinsing. You could eat out of my track shoes. (08/24/2007)
Has anyone tried the The XJ-301 Ionic Shoe Stink Eliminating Dryer? If so does it work? (11/03/2007)
Insert scented dryer sheets inside your shoes. Do this whenever you are not wearing them. It's ok to wear the shoes with sheets inside, but not necessary. It's also a good idea to wear clean socks before during and after the process. (11/09/2007)
Boric acid! The odor comes from bacteria digesting the sweat and skin flakes you shed in your shoes. Sure, keeping clean absorbent socks on will help, but many kinds of shoes can't be worn with socks.
My shoes and boots get a sprinkling of boric acid powder, and they never stink, and if they do that will stop in a couple days. But sandals made of materials that absorb moisture were a problem, The boric acid powder would puff-out as I walked, and would be gone before killing the bacteria. So the solution is to make a boric acid solution, and saturate the shoes with it.
Alcohol works too, but alcohol stops working after a day, so the bacteria can come back. 70% alcohol will leave 30% water behind, I would use the 97% alcohol to leave the shoes drier. But as soon as the alcohol is evaporated, the bacteria can come back.
Boric acid leaves a residue of acid crystals that are reactivated by moisture or sweat.The downside is that if you sweat a lot, you might see boric acid crystals appear after the sweat soaks through the leather. But it can be buffed off. (11/20/2007)
Sportzgemz.com offer a great solution. Simply place the pouches filled with an absorbent volcanic mineral in the offending shoes. The volcanic mineral draws all the moisture and odor out of the shoes. Continue to use for about six months and then you will have to renew the pouches. Place outside in the sun for the day. You can then reuse the sportzgemz over and over and over. (12/05/2007)
By Wendy Ratel
I throw my husband and children's shoes in a tub full of hot water and bleach and it takes care of any stench that permeates through the house. It cleans the shoes up real good too. For non-whites I use color-safe bleach. Also helps that we leave all the shoes in the garage upon entering inside the house.
I tried baking soda in my own sneakers before but because the inside was a dark blue, this didn't work very well. I ended up having to toss the shoes in the wash. So be careful what shoes you put baking soda in.
In response to Doyle... I completely agree on the freezing method! I'm a dancer and my ballroom and swing shoes could kill migrating birds passing by!
I normally put one shoe each in a gallon ziplock and place in the deep freeze for about 2 weeks. Then I allow them to come to room temperature for at least a day or two to warm up and dry out completely. Putting them in the sun would work too if you lived anywhere dry.
My shoes don't smell anymore! I love it! And while I am OCD on cleaning and washing my feet every morning and night, feet sweat, it happens. Life goes on. :) (01/31/2008)
I have always had problems with stinky shoes so I put my shoes in a ziploc bag, sprayed frabreeze on them, sealed the bag, and put them in the freezer for 2 hours. When they came out, no more odor. (03/29/2008)
I love my Doc Martens, but neither pair are styles that go with socks. And those thin little "no show" socks didn't help the problem. My feet really don't usually stink much, but every time I wear Docs they get stinky. Baking soda didn't work, Odor eaters powder didn't work, spraying my feet with deodorant didn't work, bags of kitty litter didn't work, and if I put these expensive leather shoes in the washing machine, I might as well throw them away! (04/02/2008)
I had never heard of some of these remedies! They're great! (08/05/2008)
After trying everything under the sun and spending a fortune on deodorizers of all types, re smelly feet, one morning after my shower I sprayed the underarm deodorant onto my feet and voila, all fabulous. So now it's a daily routine and NO MORE STINKY FEET. Fabulous, can't believe I didn't think of this before. It really works and cheap and easy. TRY IT and spray your shoes at first as well, to get rid of that residual old stench! Soon, you don't have to bother spraying your shoes at all! FABULOUS and ENJOY! No more embarrassing situations, too easy! (08/09/2008)
Tonight, I am trying "Kids 'N Pets"on my smelly sandals, it is a miracle enzyme formula like Febreeze. I can tell that it is already working, as I smelled it and even when wet, it smelled like nothing.
I think the freezer method does work, but it does not get rid of the particles in the end, so this formula may be longer lasting. Or, if combined, would be the best.
By hairy dog
Scrub shoes out with soapy water. Rinse ans let air dry. Poor some Listerine in a spray bottle and spray the insides of shoes well and let air dry. Shoes will smell extremely fresh! (09/22/2008)
I'm living in a dorm, so I can't put my shoes in the washer or doing anything too intense. My shoes were all kind of stinky because I have been walking so much. I took a paper towel drenched in rubbing alcohol and wiped out everything (mainly leather Pumas). Then I put some baking soda in the shoes afterwards. It has really helped and it cost less than $2! woo hoo! (10/30/2008)
You can't really get all the smell away. And after you do get it fresh, odor will come back if you do a lot of activities like sports or working out so you can't prevent it because it is inevitable.
And a combination of stuff does help so just using a spray won't do it all. I like to wear these nice RocaWear black socks because their like low cut socks that are made of lycra kinda like panty hose but thicker and they hug to your feet better because most socks are made in a range like size 6-12 8-10 and a lot of times there's like a little extra material that hangs over which I don't like.
But if you put baking soda in your shoe because I've shook it all over of the inside lining of my shoe because they were moist from sweat, if you wear it like a day later, during the day when you start walking and stuff and sweat starts to build, the baking inside the show will start to dry your feet and and socks because moisture is exerted out of lycra socks easily but the bad thing is it also absorbs easily so it absorbs the baking soda to your feet and the bottom of your feet will start to "dehydrate" so to speak because baking soda soaks up your feet like a prune and you will have end up with flaky skin under your feet at the end of the day when you take off your shoe and it's gross.
So my solution is to wear at least cotton socks and if you put baking soda in your shoe, make sure you shake it all out before you wear them the next day
I use a combination of Baking soda and Kiwi Fresh Force you can get from Walmart in the Shoe Aisle or you can use a Febreeze spray too inside they both smell good.
And don't leave your moist sweaty shoes in the hot sun too long because it will dry your shoes too much and the inside part that was wet will become rough and then when you start wearing and play like basketball and your running, it will start rubbing against your feet more and you'll get blisters. (11/08/2008)
Boric acid. Enough said. (12/15/2008)
Scrub the insoles of the shoes with the powder oxyclean(just get it a little wet) with a sponge or rag...works especially well with the shoes that it may not be safe to put the whole shoe in the washing machine. (01/21/2009)
Hey Bev, I also had serious problems with my running shoes two months ago. At first I tried to wash them in the washer. But the smell recurred after every run, because of my very sweaty feet, but now I found a good natural treatment: Insoles made from cedar wood (I bought two pairs from zederna.com). The wood binds moisture very well and also has anti fungal features. So it's also a good prevention against athlete's foot and nail fungus. So maybe try this! Good luck! (05/23/2009)
For stinky shoes, wad up some newspaper and stuff in shoes. Leave several hours, some shoes need newspaper left in overnight. Odor gone overnight and it free! (11/01/2009)
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. The shoes should be dry or very close to dry and any odor should be gone.
By Beth B. from Lee, FL
My husband has a problem with very smelly feet. I had tried all kinds of powders before I tried this. We were forced to throw his shoes away regularly. This tip works and he is able to keep tennis shoes and boots longer. Place each offending shoe into a plastic bag and place into the freezer overnight. The next day remove from the bag and freezer. Place the shoes outside in the sunlight to thaw, and dry.
Really bad smelling shoes are from candida. It is the worst. The freezing probably kills the bacteria. My husbands feet and shoes were awful. Didn't get better till we got the candida under control. (07/24/2009)
By c t
Cool. I always try leaving them in the sun. Works well in the hot parts of summer, but your way works year round. (08/05/2009)
Put some cat litter into a pair of tights. I suggest you layer the tights twice to keep all the cat litter in. Tie securely and place in each shoe overnight. The shoes will be odorless the following morning. You will need to change the cat litter periodically. It works, cost is minimal and environmentally friendly. (08/10/2009)
By barbara p s
To get the odor out of stinky shoes and sneakers, wad up newspaper and stick in the shoes. Leave several hours or overnight. Odor gone and it is a green idea.
By Dwedenoja from New Creek, WV
Try alcohol and your favorite scent of essential oil. Cedar oil is effective, but strong and not always pleasant to all that smell it. A nice blend of oils is good, a few drops of each. Shake it up, spray inside the shoes to coat and let dry. Spray directly on feet after a shower, let dry and then put on clean socks. Hope it works for you. (01/12/2010)
How do you get your shoes to stop smelling?
By Wildchild from FL
Place them in a plastic bag with some uncooked coffee, making sure the coffee doesn't touch the shoes. Leave overnight. It also helps if you don't wear the same shoes every day. (01/23/2010)
Getting shoes thoroughly dry between wearings seems to be the key; bacteria need moisture. Never wear the same shoes two days in a row if you can help it. Your shoes will last more than twice as long.
Avoid purchasing shoes made of man-made materials. Most do not "breathe" and are much better breeding grounds for bacteria.
If shoes are washable, run them through the washer with a rinse of vinegar to kill existing germs. Or else try misting the inside with vinegar and let dry (in sun if possible). You are out to kill the bacteria, not mask the smell with perfume. Vinegar odor evaporates and does not return.
Sunlight helps because not only does it dry the shoes out, but the UV helps sanitize them. The freezing step mentioned is an interesting suggestion that is new to me, but sounds practical, too.
The kitty litter in a sock or nylon helps dry shoes out, too. The crystal (silica gel) type is what I like. (01/28/2010)
This is so easy and cheap. Just wad up some newspaper and put in the shoes. Keep in overnight and the next day they should be odor free. Repeat if necessary. (01/28/2010)
I wipe out the insides of mine with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or square. (01/30/2010)
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?
If the innersole is removable, take it out and wash it by hand and let it air dry. If it won't come out, spray the inside of the shoe with Lysol disinfectant spray (or a dollar store equivalent) and let it dry overnight. This might have to be done several times. I personally don't advise washing sneakers in a washer. Better to do it by hand and concentrate soap on the critical areas. Bar soap is fine. Rinse several times and place them out in the sun to dry if possible. Hope that helps. (04/25/2010)
Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda, sea salt, or baby powder in them. It absorbs any odor. (04/27/2010)
I use Avon's foot/shoe spray on my feet and shoes and once in awhile I wipe out the insides of my shoes with rubbing alcohol. I also periodically sprinkle the insides of my shoes/slippers with lavender-scented body powder (powder without talc. That's a whole other story). (04/29/2010)
Put them in the freezer overnight. It sounds crazy, but it will kill the bacteria! (04/29/2010)
What can be done to stop terrible odor in sneakers?
By Elain from Wilmington, DE
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)
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)
Sprinkle baking soda in them and leave over night. Works like a charm. (05/31/2010)
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)
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
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)