Remedies for Stinky Shoes

October 29, 2009

Blue canvas tennis shoes steaming.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



Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
October 31, 20092 found this helpful
Top Comment

Crumbled newspaper works great too because of the carbon in the news print :-) Thanks for this extra tip :-)

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More Solutions

This page contains the following solutions.

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 297 Posts
February 18, 2011

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


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
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.


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.


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!


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 555 Posts
September 5, 2015

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!

litter filled sock in shoe

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 297 Posts
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.


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!


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!

Tea Bags for Smelly Shoes - tea bags in Converse shoes


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 124 Posts
March 4, 2013

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

Dryer sheet in sneaker.

March 17, 2010

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


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 118 Posts
July 18, 2017

I used my dryer sheets in my shoes and my kids' shoes. This removed the odor from the shoes. You can also put a dryer sheet in your stored shoes to absorbed odors. This simple tip works well.

Use Dryer Sheets for Shoe Odor - dryer sheets in a pair of shoes

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 390 Posts
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!


March 28, 2017

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.

Get Rid of Bad Odor in Sneakers

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.


October 27, 2004

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


39 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

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


November 25, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't have smell troubles, but I put in Bounce Dryer Sheets every night into my shoes to keep them fresh. Works for me.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 121 Feedbacks
November 26, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try wadding up newspaper and slipping it in his shoes over night or even for a weekend. It should get rid of the smell

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November 4, 2011

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.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 450 Feedbacks
November 7, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

You should have taken them back and maybe you still can if they have not been worn much. They were probably made in China and it is probably the glue they used.


Don't buy shoes made in China. You don't know what they are made of.

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.

October 14, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

The smell is not due to the shoes being made in China, it's from teenage boy (can happen with girls, too) sweaty feet. Trust me, I have 17 year old twin boys. Their shoes smell like cat urine as well. Bleh! I don't notice the smell until they get wet...usually.


I'm going to try the baking soda method I've heard about and maybe the freezing method as well. Regardless, I'll let you know if I find anything that works. Good luck!

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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!

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September 24, 2013

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

By Raul from Bartlett, TX

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September 15, 2011

How do I remove odors from sneakers?

By Nativeluv from Sacramento, CA


September 15, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have to wear athletic shoes for work, and I wash mine at least once a month in the washer, then set out to dry outside with the laces out, and tongues pulled back, which helps greatly.
Otherwise, you could try filling the insides with baking soda and leaving at least overnite, or trying an unused fabric softener sheet tucked down into the toe area.
Hope you find something that works for you!


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 407 Feedbacks
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.

September 19, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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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?

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October 18, 2014

How do I remove foot odor from shoes?

By T

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