10 Simple Homemade Tips to Get Rid of Shoe Odor

Have you ever wondered why there are some places with weird smells? Usually, whenever there is a room with some shoe racks present, it is likely that there is a certain smell that cannot be avoided which is the smell of stinky shoes. Of course, shoes will not become stinky if the feet that wore them were not stinky. A lot of people have this problem every single day but some people choose not to acknowledge it while others have tried to get rid of it but failed.

Knowing the reasons why feet become stinky should be the first thing that you will do in order to become more informed of the different ways on how you can remove shoe odor.

Common Causes of Shoe Odor

  • Bacteria – This is the number one cause of shoe odor. Once bacteria inhibit the shoes, it will automatically cling to the feet every time it is worn especially without socks on. The bacteria especially like to thrive on shoes if the shoes are moist.
  • Sweat – There are instances when people have naturally sweaty feet. This causes the bacteria to thrive and probably even multiply.
  • Other Foot Problems – There are times when the smell is caused by a wound that is infected. If in case you have a wound that needs to be given attention, give the attention that it needs immediately.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Shoe Odor

At this point, the main thing that you would like to do is to just get rid of the shoe odor that you can smell and other people can smell especially when you remove your shoes.

1.Baking Soda

You probably do not know this but baking soda can act as a good deodorizer for the shoes and sometimes even for the feet. Just do not forget to remove the baking soda from inside the shoes in the morning otherwise you might have some trouble explaining why you have some white particles on your socks or feet.

  • After using your shoes, sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on each one.
  • Leave on the baking soda on the shoes overnight.
  • Take off the baking soda from the shoes in the morning especially if it is already going to be used.

Read: This is how to use coconut oil and baking soda to look 10 years younger

2.Essential Oils

There are various essential oils that can be found in the market right now. You have a choice from eucalyptus, clove or tea tree oil. Whichever oil you would choose, it will help take away the smell of the bacteria on the shoes.

  • Place the essential oil on the shoe.
  • Place papers inside the shoe also in order to help get rid of the smell.
  • Leave on the essential oil and paper inside the shoes for about a few hours. Some would prefer to leave it on overnight.

Read: 50 Little-Known Uses for Essential Oils for Your Lungs, Skin, Sleep and MORE



If there is one liquid that bacteria hate the most it is alcohol. It is quite apparent that bacteria and alcohol do not mix and this is one good reason why it should be used as a home remedy to help get rid of shoe odor. Aside from the fact that it can help remove the smell of the shoes, it can also act as a disinfectant and can kill bacteria and remove dirt at the same time.

  • Place enough alcohol on the inside of the shoe. Do remember to avoid placing alcohol on the outer area of the shoes especially if it is made out of leather because this might just proceed in ruining the area.
  • Leave the shoe coated with alcohol in an area where enough amount of air can help make the bacteria disappear.
  • Do this process as often as possible because this will help eliminate the possibility of bacteria growing at a steady pace.


Nothing can help prevent the smell of shoes better than wearing socks. There may be times when you are tempted not to wear socks because it will not go well with your shoes. It is also likely that you do not want to wear socks because it makes you feel hot but this is the best thing that you can do to help get rid of shoe odor.

  • Make sure that you wear a pair of clean socks.
  • Place the socks before putting on your shoes.
  • Wash the socks thoroughly after using. You are not recommended to wear the same pair of socks consecutively.

5.Black Teabags


If in case you would like to get rid of the bacteria that is living inside your shoe, what you can do is make use of black teabags. The main reason why they can be effective is because of their content. Black teabags contain tannins which are very effective in killing bacteria that can be found inside the shoe.

  • Place the tea bag on boiling water for a few minutes.
  • Remove the tea bag and let it cool for about 5 minutes before placing on the shoe.
  • Leave on the shoe for an hour or so.
  • Wipe off the excess juice left on the shoe by the tea bag.

6.Kitty Litter

Who would have thought that the kitty litter that you buy for your cat ever so often can also be something that you can use in order to get rid of shoe odor? Since kitty litter is usually infused with deodorizer, it can also help remove the smell left on your shoes.

  • Line the shoes with kitty litter but not to the point that its shape will be altered because of its content.
  • Leave the kitty litter on the shoes overnight or until the smell goes away entirely.
  • Throw away kitty litter and make sure that your shoes are clean.

7.Foot Washing

There is a need for the feet to become clean in order to help get rid of potential bacteria. Usually, when foot washing is not done regularly, the bacteria will grow and multiply. Remember when the bacteria reproduces, the smell become stronger and more pungent.

  • Before placing the feet on the shoes, make sure that the feet are dry.
  • After wearing shoes, wash feet thoroughly with mild soap and water.
  • Dry shoes well.
  • This can be done as often as needed.

8.Dryer Sheets


If in case you know that you would need to use your shoes for a long period of time and you are a bit anxious about removing your shoes in a public place, you can always make use of dryer sheets. These sheets can be placed on the shoes while the shoes are worn.

  • Place the dryer sheets on the shoes before the shoes are worn.
  • Wear them comfortably because they will not add weight. They are also very comfortable you will barely feel them at all.
  • Throw away after use.

9.Baby Powder

Baby powder has a lot of purposes one of which is to make sure that the feet is deodorized and smells good especially when it is worn. Baby powder usually comes in different scents. It will be best to avoid baby powder with scents that are too strong because this might aggravate the shoe odor.

  • Place powder on the feet before wearing shoes.
  • Powder the feet from time to time especially if they are already starting to get sweaty.
  • Make sure that there is not too much powder that they will already begin to show.

10.Freeze Shoes


If all else fails and you have already tried all of the other home remedies but the odor of your shoes has remained stubborn, what you can do is to freeze them.

  • Put the shoes in reseal able bags that will protect them from the extreme temperature inside the freezer.
  • Leave inside the freezer overnight to help kill the bacteria because it cannot stand the cold.
  • Take out from the freezer and thaw out.
  • Check and see if it still smells, if not, wait for it to thaw properly so that you can wear it again.

Here are just some of the home remedies that you can try in order to get rid of persistent shoe odor. Hopefully, you will be successful in eliminating the pungent smell caused by the bacteria.