How to Disinfect and Deodorize Smelly Shoes?

We’ve all experienced it – you take off your shoes after a long day and get hit with an unpleasant odor. Smelly shoes can be caused by sweat, bacteria growth, or wearing your shoes without socks. Not only are smelly shoes embarrassing, the odor can also linger in your closet or home. Luckily, there are several easy methods to disinfect, deodorize, and freshen up your stinky kicks.

First, get to the root of the smell. Use a disinfecting wipe, cloth, or paper towel dampened with rubbing alcohol to thoroughly wipe down the interior of the shoes. Rubbing alcohol naturally kills bacteria and germs that cause odors. Pay close attention to the damp areas inside like the heel, toe, and insole where sweat and bacteria accumulate. Allow the shoes to fully air dry after wiping down.

Baking soda is another miracle ingredient for absorbing tough odors. Lightly sprinkle baking soda directly into the shoes’ interior. Let the baking soda sit overnight, or up to a couple days if the odor is strong. The baking soda will help absorb and neutralize smells. After letting it sit, simply shake out the baking soda from your shoes.

For an even deeper clean, mix together equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz the solution liberally on the interior and exterior of the shoes. Vinegar is a natural antibacterial that kills germs and freshens odors. Let the shoes air dry completely after spraying them down. Stuff them with crumpled newspaper to help absorb moisture and odors as they dry.

Keep your shoes dry in between wears to prevent odor. Wooden shoe trees or crumbled newspaper work great for absorbing excess moisture and maintaining the shape and form of your shoes while in storage. Rotating between different pairs of shoes allows each pair ample time to fully dry out before your next wear.

Maintain fresh smells by using shoe deodorizing products. Foot powder or scented shoe balls placed inside shoes helps combat odors. Baking soda can also be shaken into shoes and socks to absorb odors. Place dryer sheets in your storage bag or box to make shoes smell laundry-fresh. Essential oils also work wonders for naturally scenting shoes – just apply a few drops to the shoe inserts or inside fabric.

Prevention is key for keeping shoes stench-free. Apply foot powder or antiperspirant to your feet before wearing shoes to curb excess sweating. Opt for moisture-wicking socks to keep feet dry and comfy. Avoid wearing the same shoes two days in a row allowing them to dry fully between wears. With a simple cleaning routine and these handy tips, you can effectively remove shoe odors and keep your favorite kicks smelling fresh.