Proven Home Remedies for Smelly Shoes


Are you throwing off the smelly shoes that you buy for hundreds or thousands of bucks? Don’t do that. You can convert your stinky shoes to a fresh one with some easy and simple home remedies.

Stinky shoes are annoying. It curves down your confidence level.

Don’t worry, today I will show you the best homemade recipes to treat the shoe odor. These home remedies for smelly shoes is highly effective (proven) and easy to prepare.

Besides these, I will tell you why shoes smell and share some preventive measures.

Let’s see…

Why Shoes Smell?

Only two reasons work behind your shoe odor. One is the sweat of your feet and another is the shoe itself.

smelly shoes

Our feet contain more than 250,000 sweat glands. They produce about half a pint of sweat in a single day. It differs from man to man. Some people sweat more than others. And these men are much prone to foot odor.

On the other hand, shoes help to create foot odor by not providing enough ventilation. Your feet and shoe create a favorable environment for the bacteria to produce odor. Bacteria love the warmth and sweat of your feet.

They literary eat sweat and create odor. They produce some volatile acids (butyric, caproic, valeric, and formic acid). And we smell this volatile acid cocktail as bad odor.

How to Prevent Shoe Odor (from buy to wear)

foot spa at home

01. Choose the Right Shoe Types

It should be the first priority to control shoe odor. If your feet sweat much, then buy a pair of shoes that ensure enough ventilation. A well-ventilated shoe doesn’t let the sweat stuck inside. It helps to vaporize the sweat and keep your feet dry and fresh.

02. Alter Your shoes and Socks

If you have only a single pair of shoes, your feet must stink. Keep 2-3 pairs of shoes and alter them in every 2-3 days. This gap helps your shoes to stay dry and fresh.

Like shoes, you need to care about your socks. Use 100% cotton made socks instead of a synthetic one. If your feet tend to sweat more, use padded socks. And don’t use the same pair the next day. Keep 7 pairs of socks and use them every day one by one.

03. Put Off Shoes for 5 Minutes

If you need to wear shoes for a long time, you should put off shoes for 5 minutes. You should do it once every 1-2 hours. I know, it is not possible all the time. But, if possible, do it. It helps to get some fresh air in your shoes.

04. Wash Your Feet and Do a Foot Spa

You should wash your feet every day with a mild soap. It removes the impurities of your feet and keeps fresh. And you should do a foot spa once or twice in a month. It kills the odor-causing bacteria of your feet and nourishes for a healthy appearance.

Regular foot care is very important for foot health. For better foot care, you can also check the foot hygiene tips.

05. Do a Newspaper Hack

It is an unusual but proven hack to control foot odor. If your feet sweat more, it can control the sweat about 70-80%. Just put some newspaper sheets (4-5 pieces) inside your shoes. Cut them before according to the size of your sole. It creates insulation between your feet and shoes and helps your feet to sweat less. The only drawback of this hack is you need to change the sheets every couple of days.

06. Change Your Shoe Soles

You should change your shoe soles once in six months at least. If you have a foot odor problem, use antibacterial shoe insoles.

Home Remedies for Smelly Shoes

01. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda remedies for smelly shoes

Besides cooking, baking soda also used for various purposes. It works as a deodorizer and is widely used to remove odor from the refrigerator. You can also use baking soda to remove the stinky odor from your shoes.

Foot odor or sweat-based odor comes as a form of butyric acid, formic acid, caproic acid, and valeric acid. Baking soda reacts with these acids and creates salts. It also alters the pH of that environment and inhibits bacterial actions (source). This home remedy for smelly shoes is highly effective and easy to make.


Take a ½ cup of baking soda and put 3-5 drops of essential oil in it. You can use essential oil as you like. But, I prefer lemon or thyme essential oil. Mix them well. Now take two pieces of cloth so that you can make a sachet with each of them. Divide the baking soda in half and pour on each of the cloth. Tie them with rope and make the sachet.

Now put the sachet in your shoes in the evening and keep it for the whole night. You will get an odor-free fresh shoe in the morning. For better results, you can make some small sachets and put 2-3 in each part of the shoes. This sachet will last for 2-4 weeks.

Note: You also see some tips on the web that tell you to put baking soda directly into the shoes to deodorize it. But, I don’t recommend it. Because it is messy and hampers the look and feel of your shoes.

02. Use Tea Bags

Tea Bag is another great way to remove odor from your shoes. It is a very simple hack for stinky shoes. A tea bag is a good absorber of moisture. It sucks out the moisture of your damp shoes and makes it dry.


Take your stinky shoes and put two tea bags into it. If your shoes stink much, put 2-3 tea bags in each part of the shoes. Now keep the shoes in a dry place for the entire night. That’s it. You will get your fresh shoes again.

03. Use Essential Oils

Use essential oils for smelly shoes

The purpose of using essential oil is countless. It is widely used for beauty and healthcare purposes. You can also use it to deodorize your stinky shoes. Essential oil delivers a nice aroma that removes the bad smell of your shoes. The best part of essential oil is, it has antibacterial properties. It effectively kills the odor-causing bacteria from your shoes. The best essential oils for shoe odor are tea tree, thyme, eucalyptus, clove, and cinnamon. Choose the fragrance you like most.

There are several ways to use essential oil to deodorize smelly shoes. But, I prefer two- essential oil with a cotton ball and essential oil spray.


For cotton ball with essential oil procedure, take a cotton ball and put 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil in it. Rub the cotton ball between your fingers so that the cotton ball grab the essential oil evenly. Now put the cotton ball in the smelly shoes and wait for the entire night. The next day, you will get fresh shoes with a lovable fragrance.

For Essential Oil Spray, take a spray bottle and fill its half with rosewater. Now mix 15-20 drops of your desired essential oil. Shake well to mix rosewater and essential oil properly. Lightly spray the essential oil in your shoe interior after every wearing. And keep the shoe in a dry place.

If you like, you can make a cocktail shoe spray by mixing two or more essential oils.

04. Use Cat Litter

It seems quite unusual, but you can use this trick to deodorize your shoes. Cat litter has a great affinity to moisture. It sucks the moisture of your shoe to keep it dry. Thus it removes the embarrassing odor from your shoes. And it is really easy to prepare.


Take a pair of used but clean socks. Now pour the desired amount of cat litter into it. Shake the cat litter-filled socks so that no powdery dust remains inside the soaks. Now put the sock into the shoes and keep it in a dry place. Check the shoes in the morning. You will see a huge difference in odor.

05. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol for shoe odor

Rubbing alcohol not only disinfects your cuts but also deodorizes your shoes. It simply disinfects your shoes by killing odor-causing bacteria. You can use rubbing alcohol in two ways. These processes are almost the same that I have mentioned in the essential oil part.


#1: Take a cotton ball to pour some rubbing alcohol into it. Rub the cotton ball with fingers so the cotton ball gets the alcohol evenly. But, don’t make the cotton ball so wet that the alcohol seeps inside the shoes. Keep it for the entire night and get fresh odor-free shoes in the morning.

#2: For the second procedure, buy rubbing alcohol with a spray bottle. It makes easy the use of rubbing alcohol for smelly shoes. Just spray inside after putting off your shoes and keep them in a dry place.

Note: I personally don’t recommend this for deodorizing some shoes like rubber-made shoes or keds. Alcohol may slightly break down the rubber of your shoes. And for leather shoes, avoid the contact of alcohol with the upper part of your leather shoes. It may ruin the beauty of your shoes.

06. Use Baby Powder

Using baby powder is another great way to treat smelly shoes. It is slightly messy. But, it is nothing to me comparing the bad smell of shoes.


It is very easy to use. You just need unscented baby powder. You can easily collect them from the local store or online. Just sprinkle it slightly into your shoes when you come back home in the evening. It removes the damp mood of your shoes. And for a better result, rub some baby powder on your feet before slipping in shoes. That’s it.

07. Freeze Your Shoes

You can use your refrigerator to remove the stinky smell of your shoes. It is a little bit wired but very effective. The favorite environment of the odor-causing bacteria is the warmth of shoes. They can’t thrive in cold temperatures. But, you should be very careful before doing this. Otherwise, it may ruin the condition of your freeze.


First, dry your shoes well in the open air. If you put wet (by sweat) shoes in the freezer, it will turn them hard. And this will hamper the health of your shoes in the long run.

Now put your smelly shoes in a ziplock or sealable plastic bag. Keep them in your freezer for the whole night. At this time, the low temperature will kill the odor-causing bacteria and give a fresh pair of shoes in the morning.

Home remedies for smelly shoes

These are the best way to remove bad smells from your shoes. Now, I will share some unusual ways to treat shoe odor. But, they are quite effective.

01. Use Orange or Lemon Peel

Home remedies for smelly shoes

Don’t through the orange or lemon peel after eating. You can use it to remove odor from your shoes. Just put them inside your shoes at night and let them work.

02. Use the Dryer Sheet

Put a piece of dryer sheet inside your shoes after putting them off. The dryer sheet absorbs the moisture of your shoes and gives a pleasant aroma.

03. Use Silica Bags

Keep some silica bags insides your shoes at night. They will suck the moisture of your shoes and keep them fresh. It is better to keep some silica bags inside your shoe cabinet.

04. Use Sunshine

Home remedies for smelly shoes

It is one of the easiest ways to remove odors from your shoe. This method also disinfects your shoes. Just keep your shoes in the open sun at noon for 2-3 hours. It will vaporize the sweat from your shoes to make it dry. And the sun rays also kill the odor-causing bacteria of your shoes.

05. Use Newspapers

You can also use a newspaper to deodorize your shoes. It absorbs the moisture of your shoes to make it dry. You can also put two drops of essential oil to make the process more effective. Just put the newspaper inside your shoes and keep them for the whole night. Do it every day.

The Last Words

Hope you will get the solution. Now you can easily remove the bad stinky smell from your shoes. But, I always suggest you focus on preventive measures. Maintain proper foot hygiene to keep your feet healthy.

Thanks. And wish you a happy and fresh walk.

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