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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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.

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    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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    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.

    litter filled sock in shoe
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      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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      A Dr Oz guest says to put them in the freezer.

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

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      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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      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?

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        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.

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        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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        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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        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.

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        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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        Very strong water in Arkansas...best of luck !

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

        Dryer sheet in sneaker.

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        How do I remove foot odor from shoes?

        By T

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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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        How do I remove odors from sneakers?

        By Nativeluv from Sacramento, CA

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        Hide them well in the yard as to deter theft.

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        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

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        It's safe enough, but not really effective. The silica gel is drying but not effective on smells. Baking soda sachets would work better.

        The reason they put these in new shoes is because the shoes are made in countries that tend to have very high humidity, so this can help ward off mold.

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        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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        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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        Try vinegar and water.

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

        By Barbara from San Antonio, TX

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

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        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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        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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        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

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        Read my profile.

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        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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        What can be done to stop terrible odor in sneakers?

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        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?

        By Heidy


        Removing Odor from Shoes

        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)

        By OliveOyl

        Removing Odor from Shoes

        Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda, sea salt, or baby powder in them. It absorbs any odor. (04/27/2010)

        By Dorty

        Removing Odor from Shoes

        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)

        By Maryeileen

        Removing Odor from Shoes

        Put them in the freezer overnight. It sounds crazy, but it will kill the bacteria! (04/29/2010)

        By jdsjkk

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        Home and Garden Cleaning OdorsJuly 22, 2011
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