We've all had the experience where, despite our best efforts, our workout sneakers or running shoes started to give off a noxious odor.

And you know it's time to investigate ways to get rid of the smell in your shoes, whether it's just the beginning of an unpleasant odor or a full-on stench that could clear a room.

The good news is that most of the surprisingly effective home remedies for how to get the smell out of shoes are incredibly simple to implement.

Read on for the best advice on how to get rid of shoe odor and how to get rid of smelly shoes, whether they become smelly from sweat or from getting wet during a run in the rain.

Things that will be discussed include:

  • The Right Way to Treat Stale Shoes
  • How to Get Rid of Shoe Smell: Twelve Homemade Solutions to Get Rid of Unpleasant Footwear Scents

So, let's just dive in.

A person smelling a stinky running shoe.

The Right Way to Treat Stale Shoes

While it's tempting to skip ahead to the section on deodorizing shoes if you're already dealing with a stinky pair, it's more useful to first understand why shoes develop odors in the first place.

As soon as you know how to deodorize your footwear, you can begin using these measures to prevent it from smelling again.

Wearing socks with your shoes is one of the best ways to keep them from getting smelly.

When working out, you want socks that allow air to circulate and that wick away sweat.

The socks will prevent moisture from entering the shoe by acting as a barrier between your foot and the shoe.

Every time you take off your shoes, you should clean them, but you can just toss your socks in the wash and forget about them. The key is to wash your socks after each use.

A bare foot and a sock.

To conclude, maintaining clean feet is a crucial preventative measure.

As soon as possible after a workout, take off your socks and shoes to stop the permeation of sweat into the shoes and the subsequent growth of bacteria.

Make sure you always give your feet a good wash and dry them completely before you put on socks.

Daily periods of barefoot activity, as well as prompt treatment of any fungal infections (such as athlete's foot) with over-the-counter products like Tinactin or essential oils like tea tree oil, are all part of a healthy foot care routine that includes letting your feet breathe.

Last but not least, wet shoes stink. Use newspaper to soak up excess moisture if you run in the rain or otherwise get them very wet.  

Depending on how wet your shoes are, you may need to remove the newspaper and replace it every few hours.  

If you don't have one, dry your shoes after every time they get wet.

Essential oils.

Getting Rid of Shoe Smell: 12 Do It Yourself Tips for Deodorizing Your Old Kicks

Here are some tried-and-true methods for deodorizing your sneakers, boots, or shoes at home:

1. Clean Them

As an example, if your sneakers are machine-washable, you can simply toss them in the washing machine with some detergent to eliminate any unpleasant odors.

Use cold water and dry them by stuffing them with newspaper instead of drying them in the dryer to avoid shrinkage.  

Two, make use of baking soda

There are many tried-and-true methods for deodorizing shoes, and baking soda is one of them. It works as an all-natural deodorizer by soaking up lingering smells and germs.  

One of the least expensive ways to deodorize shoes is with baking soda, which costs less than $1 for a box.

How To Remove Smell From Shoes: 12 Hacks To Remove Shoe Odor 1

Baking soda can be used to eliminate odors in sneakers, boots, and running shoes by simply sprinkling it on the insole.  

The insole (if it's detachable) can be lifted to allow for the addition of some under the foot.

Let the shoes sit for a full day.

If there's still powder left in your shoe the next day, you can either tap it against the side of your trash can or use your vacuum to remove it.

To counter this, you can create a sachet to put in your shoes that will absorb any lingering odors.

Put a few tablespoons of baking soda in the middle of a coffee filter and set it aside.

If you really want to get fancy, you can even add a few drops of an essential oil (like lemon or orange).

To close the coffee filter, gather the ends, twist them off, and then fasten it shut with a rubber band.

After that, leave a sachet in each pair of smelly shoes overnight so that the odors and bacteria can be removed.

A spray bottle, lemon, and vinegar, are a way of how to remove smell from shoes.

Thirdly, develop an in-shoe deodorizer.

One half cup of cornstarch, one quarter cup of baking soda, and one quarter cup of baking powder make an effective shoe deodorant powder.  

Set Footwear Aside In The Sun, Step 4

The sun is a free and effective way to eliminate foot odor.

Sunlight and heat will destroy the bacteria that cause unpleasant odors in your shoes.

The added benefit is that the bacteria won't be able to grow in the dry environment (at least until the shoes start perspiring again).

Vinegar spray is tip number five.

Vinegar has an astringent aroma, but the acetic acid it contains does wonders for eliminating odors and killing the bacteria that cause them.

It's important to use the right vinegar, though, so make sure to dilute white vinegar with water.

Fill a spray bottle with the solution, and use it to disinfect the inside of your shoes. Loosen the laces and the tongue to allow air to circulate and speed up the drying process of your shoes.

Preparing your shoes by wiping them down with a damp cloth inside and out before spraying them with vinegar is a good idea.  

Keep the shoes in an airy location for 24 hours while the vinegar solution dries.

A variety of bar soap.

Put some soap in your shoes (tip #6)

Stuffing an unwrapped bar of soap into each shoe is a simple home remedy for odor removal.

To get the most out of the soap, leave it inside the shoe for a full day.

This sneaker deodorizing hack is one of the easiest and most effective methods, provided that your sneakers are dry before you begin.

The bacteria that cause your sneakers to smell will be killed by the soap, and the soap will have a fresh, clean scent as a bonus.

Because of soap's softness and porosity, its compounds will absorb through your shoe's materials at any point of contact.

The Seventh Tip: Use Aromatherapy

However, essential oils aren't just for the diffuser; they also make great natural deodorizers.

Tea tree oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, and cedarwood oil are all excellent examples of essential oils that serve multiple purposes.

Clove oil, for example, has been shown in some studies to significantly inhibit bacterial growth on the feet, thereby eliminating bad odors in shoes.

Oils like lemon oil, orange oil, and frankincense oil are also frequently used to eliminate odors from sneakers.

As an added bonus, the essential oils you use to deodorize your sneakers will also leave behind a pleasant aroma.

Several drops of your preferred essential oil can be added to each pair of sneakers, or you can combine essential oils with some of the other home remedies, such as baking soda or vinegar, to increase the effectiveness of the odor-fighting strategy.

A lemon peel.

Put Your Shoes in the Freezer

Storing your stinky sneakers in the freezer may seem counterintuitive, but bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments and die off in the freezer's icy depths.

Wrap them in plastic before storing them in the freezer. Keep the shoes out of the closet overnight.

Kitty litter in your shoes, rule no. 9

Because of its high absorption rate, kitty litter can be used to dry wet shoes. So doing, it can aid in odor neutralization.

10: Put a slice of lemon peel inside each shoe

You can use the peels of a lemon or lime to neutralize the odor in your shoes. The citrus oil and acid will kill germs, and the oil will leave the shoes smelling fresh.

Create a Clove Sachet

Put some cloves in a coffee filter, close it up, and tuck it into your footwear.

Tea bags.

To eliminate odors from shoes, use tea bags as deodorizers (tip #12).

Tannins in black tea are antibacterial. Prepare the tea by boiling the bags for a few minutes and letting them steep for the full recommended time.  

To keep your feet cool, squeeze out any excess moisture and insert the tea bags.

After 24 hours, take out the tea bags and soak up the remaining liquid.

So there you have it. Here are 12 do-it-yourself solutions for eliminating foot odor and stale footwear.

With any luck, you'll be able to start anew with a pair of sneakers that doesn't stink thanks to at least one of these solutions.

In this article, we'll show you how to dry your shoes quickly and effectively.

A shoe soaking in bubbles.