10 Best Ways To Deodorize Shoes That Stink - ZeroSweat

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10 Best Ways To Deodorize Shoes That Stink

February 28, 2019

10 Best Ways To Deodorize Shoes That Stink

Do you avoid certain types of footwear because you have sweaty feet? Certain materials and shoe types are just flat out off limits because the materials don't breathe and are more likely to trap sweat and generate more odor.

Some people are sweatier than others and there are an unfortunate few who have what’s called hyperhidrosis where the sweat glands in their feet over-produce sweat.

The worst thing about foot sweat is that our shoes and socks are what collect most of the sweat causing our shoes to become the host of countless odor-causing bacteria. Stinky feet and stinky shoes can be a huge embarrassment and can even clear a room. There are a lot of ways to deodorize your stinky shoes. We’ve researched some tried and true methods for battling shoe odors.

1. Treat it at the Source

If you want to have less stinky feet, then you need to get rid of the source of the smell. Reducing the moisture in your shoes and socks can be done by applying antiperspirants to block the secretion of sweat at the source. ZeroSweat products were created to stop sweat. If there is no sweat in your shoes then the bacteria have no moisture to feed on, thereby preventing the creation of odors. Try our combo pack of antiperspirant roll on and antiperspirant lotion to see what product formula works best for you. If you can reduce the sweat then, you will reduce the stink.

2. Wash your shoes in the washing machine

An easy way to reduce odor is to wash your shoes in your washing machine. You should only try this method if your shoes are machine washable. Don’t throw a pair of leather loafers in, it is not going to end well for the shoes or for your wallet.

  • Make sure to remove the laces
  • Wipe away any loose dirt
  • Put shoes in a mesh bag or pillowcase
  • It’s a good idea to add towels to the washing load to help balance it.
  • Wash with warm water and a heavy detergent
  • Add a bit of vinegar. It’s a disinfectant that will kill the bacteria without damaging your shoes.
  • Always air dry your clean shoes.

 3. Rubbing alcohol

Soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and then scrub the inside of each shoe. The rubbing alcohol is great at removing the odor-causing bacteria in your shoes. Be thorough and re-soak or replace the swab as needed.

4. Baking soda 

This is a classic fix. Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda inside each shoe. It will absorb the odor as well as draw out the moisture that bacteria feeds on. For best results add the baking soda at night after taking your shoes off. Be sure to shake your shoes out in the morning to remove the baking soda.

This method is not advised for leather shoes. The baking soda can dry out the leather. Use these natural shoe deodorizers instead.

5. Essential Oils + Baking soda mix

To add a little extra scent to your shoes, you can combine the baking soda method with essential oils.  You have the benefits of the deodorizer from the baking soda as well as a custom scent to help keep your shoes smelling fresh.  .

6. Pages from an old phone book or newspapers/sales ads

This is a great method by itself or for drying your shoes out after using the rubbing alcohol or other solutions to clean your shoes. The paper will absorb both the odors and the moisture.

7. Household items you might not consider: Coffee grounds, kitty litter, fabric softener sheets

There are a lot of items around your home that you can also use in deodorizing your shoes. Kitty litter is made to absorb moisture and odors. It works great in your shoes. You can also use dry coffee grounds to help deodorize. Scented dryer sheets absorb a bit of the odor but are best for helping your shoes smell fresh.

8. Replacing your stinky insoles with odor-reducing insoles

Insoles absorb a lot of sweat and can become the main source of bacteria and odor in your shoes. Instead of trying to get rid of the smell, you can just replace your insoles. You can try these insoles that have odor fighting built in. 

9. Shoe deodorant bags

Shoe deodorant bags are a mess-free option for fighting shoe odors. These deodorant bags are made with bamboo charcoal and are environmentally friendly. They are designed to absorb odors and moisture from shoes. They are also reusable for up to two years.

10. Get socks that help your feet sweat less.

There are a lot of options for socks that help battle sweaty feet. These socks all have one thing in common, getting moisture away from your skin. Whether the material dries quickly or wicks moisture away, it is important to keep your feet dry so that bacteria can’t grow.

All of these methods and treatments work at battling odors and drying out your shoes, but we still recommend stopping it all at the source: your sweat. Using antiperspirants for feet can cut down on odors and moisture. Preventing sweat will prevent foot odors and keep your stinky footwear in check.