To Top

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

How do you get rid of a smell in tennis shoes?

Bev from Bay City, TX


Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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.

By Doyle

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By kritta

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By kritta

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By kritta

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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.

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

Clean Feet
Clean Cotton Socks
Clean Shoes

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.

By Guest

Make Your Own Odor Eaters


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)

By ThriftyFun

Tip For Keeping Your Shoes Smelling Good

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)

By ThriftyFun

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

Spray with white vinegar, or put crumpled up newspaper in shoes to absorb odor and wetness. Vinegar should kill growing bacteria. (06/18/2005)

By Diamondee

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By P

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By Constance

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By Powerage

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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??

By me


Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By Miley

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By charminsharmin

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

Put them out in the sun for a day or two and that should do it.


By Ziggee

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)

By Judy

Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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)


Remedy for Stinky Shoes

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.


  • Spray and Wash solid roll on (not spray)
  • baking soda
  • olive oil
  • coffee filters
  • sage (seasoning)


  • roll on Spray and Wash solid inside shoes
  • Sprinkle on baking soda and rub in lightly
  • Olive oil on paper towel; wipe over Spray and Wash and baking soda
  • Slip 2 coffee filters inside each shoe and put on feet
  • After few minutes, take shoes off. Throw away filters.
  • Sprinkle in a few clumps of Sage (seasoning), letting it remain inside shoes a short or a long period of time as wanted. Then when ready to wear, dump the sage, put on socks, anklets, knee-highs, or reline with coffee filters, LOL. surprise.

      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)

      By BJsRemedy

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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.

      By Rhea

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By Dustin

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By Alka

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By Jim

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      Has anyone tried the The XJ-301 Ionic Shoe Stink Eliminating Dryer? If so does it work? (11/03/2007)

      By Julie

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By Rosemary

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By George

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes 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

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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.

      By mommynah

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By Heather

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By fluffy

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By Ella

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      I had never heard of some of these remedies! They're great! (08/05/2008)

      By C

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By charlotte

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By catyah

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By jenna_graham08

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By NV

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      Boric acid. Enough said. (12/15/2008)

      By Kimberly

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      Scrub the insoles of the shoes with the powder oxyclean(just get it a little wet) with a sponge or especially well with the shoes that it may not be safe to put the whole shoe in the washing machine. (01/21/2009)

      By Christina

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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 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)

      By MichelleJohn

      Remedy for Stinky Shoes

      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)

      By dwedenoja

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

Related Content
In This Guide
Picture of a man holding up stinky shoes.
Remedies for Stinky Shoes
November 5, 2009
Laundry Basket Full of Dirty Towels
Cleaning Stinky Towels
Dirty tennis shoes.
Cleaning Tennis Shoes
Man Repairing a Shoe
Repairing Shoes
Changing Vacuum Bag
Cleaning a Stinky Vacuum
Back to School Ideas!
Summer Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/08/10 07:39:12 in 1 secs. ⛅️️
Loading Something Awesome!