13 Methods for Getting Stink Out of Your Shoes

When the apocalypse happens, it could mean that you and your friends have to survive for a long time. It is important to learn how to clean up in order not to attract unwanted attention from any roaming bands of survivors or even worse, fellow humans who are less than friendly. Here we will offer some tips on how get rid of stink out of dirty shoes as well as other items.

The “how to remove smell from shoes home remedies” is a list of 13 methods for getting stink out of your shoes. The methods on the list are effective and simple.

How to get the stink out of your shoes.

Your two feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body. It may also stink when bacteria breaks down perspiration. (Yes, it’s the bacterium that smells, not the bacteria itself.) 

Stinky footwear is a regular occurrence as a result of all the perspiration from your feet that unavoidably soaks into your shoes. While it might be a little inconvenience that just affects you, it can also be a really awkward situation – others can smell it even if they’re just sitting next to you on the train, and if you take your shoes off among people, the odor can knock them down!

The quantity of perspiration you produce and the pungency of your body odor are both genetically determined, and if you’re on the stinkier end of the spectrum, you’ll have to work more to combat it (and prevent it). 

You’ll find instructions on how to do so below. We’ll start with a few preventative techniques, then move on to a few largely natural choices you may attempt before you’re forced to toss your permanently soiled shoes in the incinerator.

Foot and Shoe Care Prevention 

The first step in getting rid of smelly shoes is to prevent the issue from arising in the first place. Follow the steps below to keep your feet and shoes odor-free. 

1. Follow a foot-care regimen. Smelly shoes begin with smelly feet. Every day, wash your feet, and no, allowing the suds from bathing your torso trickle down to your feet counts; instead, wash your dogs using a washcloth and soap. If your feet are truly bothering you, wash them even if you don’t plan on showering. Exfoliate your feet with a pumice stone as well; the bottoms of your feet, particularly the heels, are evident epicenters of the kind of calloused crevasses where bacteria love to lurk. After bathing, apply antibacterial lotion on your feet as well.  

In many situations, just washing your feet every day may eradicate foot odor and the stinking shoes that follow. 

2. Take care of athlete’s foot and fungus. Fungus, not germs, may be to blame for the stench on your feet. Athlete’s foot (a fungal infection) and toenail fungus are two examples, and although they’re not the same thing, they often coexist. While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss treatment options for these infections, there are a variety of options available, ranging from over-the-counter powders/creams to prescription medications and home cures. Treatment of these toe and toenail disorders can help to reduce foot and shoe odor. 

3. Change your shoes on a regular basis. This is a common suggestion for caring for shoes and increasing their lives, and it’s also relevant to odor removal. Your feet are sweating once again. Quite a bit. When you wear the same shoes for 8+ hours each day, numerous days in a row, they never get a chance to dry or air out entirely. So you simply keep adding moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, moisture, Instead, let your shoes to air out and breathe for a day or two. Didn’t realize you needed a reason to get some new kicks, did you?  


4. Follow a shoe-care regimen. When you do use your shoes, be sure to clean them thoroughly in addition to rotating them. After a long day, give them a quick wash down with an antibacterial wipe (or use the DIY spray described below) as soon as you get them off, preventing germs from taking root. Insoles should be washed on a regular basis (more on that below too). Wipe soiled shoes with a moist paper towel; dirt and grime, like perspiration, may stink when broken down. The use of cedar shoe trees provides proper air circulation while also absorbing moisture. The simple line is that caring for your shoes will help prevent them from smelling. 

5. Put on a pair of sweat-wicking socks. These days, there are a variety of socks with sweat-wicking characteristics on the market. Make an investment in them. You don’t have to settle with the drab cotton tees you can buy in bulk at Walmart. The socks you wear may make a tremendous impact, whether they’re a low-cut sports sock or a heavy-duty wool alternative. 

It goes without saying that wearing shoes without socks is a recipe for stench. However, in other cases, such as with boat shoes, you’ll be able to wear them without socks. In such circumstances, simply make sure you’re washing your feet every day, wiping down your shoes with antibacterial wipes at the end of the day (though not leather, as the alcohol might dry it up; instead, use the DIY spray below), and giving your shoes plenty of airing between uses. 


Let’s look at some strategies for getting rid of the scent if it’s already invaded your shoes now that we’ve learned a few things about prevention. Depending on the severity of the odor, you may only need to use one of the options, or you may need to use many. 

1. Toss (at least part of) your shoes in the washing machine. Shoes made of fabric or canvas may normally be washed in a washing machine. Look at the tag or do a Google search for your specific brand/shoe. It’s common to suggest a moderate cycle with chilly water. Stuff them with balled up wads of newspaper (which you replenish as they get soaked) and/or leave them in the sun to dry, which also kills germs… 

2. Make the most of UV light! UV rays from the sun naturally destroy germs. (This is why sunshine has the ability to cleanse water.) Leather/suede shoes should not be left in direct, hot sunshine for long periods of time, although they may tolerate it for an afternoon. Other materials may be used for anything you choose. Unlace the shoelaces, elevate the tongue as high as you can, and let them alone. It won’t completely erase odor, but it will certainly reduce it, and it’s completely natural and free.   


3. Make use of baking soda (or kitty litter). While you may purchase a professionally prepared powder (see below), there are a few items that you may already have in your house that will suffice. Baking soda is a tried-and-true method for absorbing and neutralizing smells. You may just put powder into your shoe, but you’ll need to wipe it out afterwards (if you don’t, it’ll clump into gritty sludge the next time you sweat in your shoes). The best alternative is to put some in a sock; the porousness of the sock enables the soda to continue operate while causing much less mess. If you have some kitty litter on hand, it will accomplish the same thing. If you use these procedures on leather or suede, be cautious not to overdo it, since it will dry out the material. 

4. Make your own spray. There are plenty of foot and shoe sprays on the market, much like powder, but our homemade version is far cheaper and more natural. It’s particularly good for leather and suede shoes that can’t be washed. 

The recipe is as follows: 

  • 1 cup of water
  • a half cup of white vinegar
  • 5 drops of tea tree essential oil

Simply combine all of the ingredients in a tiny spray bottle and you’re ready to go. When your shoes have grown offensive, spray it inside them. It may also be used as a prophylactic measure after you’ve removed your shoes after a long day.  

5. Place dryer sheets in the dryer overnight. Fabric softener sheets not only have a pleasant scent, but they also help to eliminate smells. That little sheet is essentially a stink-stopping chemical bomb. While they aren’t good for your clothes or dryers, they may help you get rid of a smelly shoe. (In a dryer, the chemicals in the sheet melt and spread throughout the clothes; you don’t have to worry about that in a shoe.) One or two should be rolled up and placed in each shoe overnight. 

6. Remove the insoles and wash them. Some insoles may be washed in the washing machine. Visit the manufacturer’s website for further information. Others will need handwashing in a soapy bucket or a water/vinegar solution. If you’re unsure or can’t locate the information, choose the second option. Washing them every 2-4 weeks, as mentioned above, may also be part of your continuing maintenance plan. 

7. Try essential oils and/or citrus peels for small issues. You may use this simple option if the stench of your shoes is more of a minor inconvenience than a very humiliating situation. Isn’t it true that you still have some essential oils left over from your DIY beard oil? 5 drops of tea tree, lemon, or lavender oil (at least, those are my favorites) directly into the shoe. It’ll help with the odor a lot, but it won’t get rid of all the germs. Citrus peels, which are high in natural essential oils, may be used in the same way. See what happens if you leave a peel or two in your shoes overnight.


8. Take into account commercial powders, sprays, and products. There are a zillion items on the market that claim to eliminate foot/shoe odor. Most of them are a little pricey, and they all include the same moisture-absorbing/antibacterial chemicals as well as essential oils/fragrances to make them smell lovely. If you wish to go that route, they are a one-stop shop. The alternative ways, on the other hand, may save you a lot of money and allow you to use fewer harsh chemicals. 

We’ve had luck with these StankStix for a chemical-free yet turnkey solution — they absorb moisture and reduce smells, and all you have to do is insert them into your shoes and let them rest.

Articles Related to This

  • Leather Care Instructions
  • Cleaning and Caring for Suede: A Man’s Guide
  • Swamp Crotch Prevention



The “shoes smell after getting wet” is a problem that many people have. There are many ways to get the smell out of your shoes, but some are more effective than others.

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