How To Get Odor Out Of Shoes & Keep It From Coming Back
If you’ve ever had smelly shoes, then you know how embarrassing and frustrating it can be. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to get odor out of shoes and keep it from coming back. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best methods for doing just that. Keep reading to learn more!
5 Effective Odor Eliminating Methods
There are a surprisingly large amount of ways to get odor out of shoes, but we’ve narrowed it down to the 5 most effective methods to save you time. We’ll start with the #1 most effective method, which is to use an odor elimination spray.
Use An Odor Elimination Spray
Odor elimination sprays contain deodorizers that actually eliminate the shoe odor and prevent it from getting worse. In other words, doesn’t just cover up the bad smell like some scented sprays do – that doesn’t get to the root of the problem.
This is the first thing we recommend trying if you’re dealing with a strong odor in your shoes. Spray the solution several times into the shoe, making sure to get it all the way to the back (or front) of the shoe. For best results, let the shoes sit overnight after spraying to allow the solution to really get into the shoe and break up all of that smell. If it still smells bad in the morning, give it another spray down.
We recommend NeverWet Refresh, a powerful odor eliminator spray that works on shoes, clothes, gym bags, and more. It’s a very handy spray to have around for many different uses.
Replace The Insoles
If an odor elimination spray doesn’t seem to be doing the trick – or it works initially but the bad smell quickly returns after minimal use – then there could be a deeper problem. In most cases like this, it’s the insole that’s to blame. As old insoles begin to wear down, they start holding on to shoe odors, sweat, and bacteria.
Replacing your insole with a new one is an easy way to get rid of this problem. Remove the current insole by popping it out of place, then spray the inside of the shoe with an odor eliminator, then put a new insole in its place. This should solve your issue and prevent the odor from coming back.
Freeze Your Shoes In A Plastic Bag
You might be surprised to learn that putting smelly shoes into a Ziploc bag and putting them in the freezer overnight may get rid of large amounts of shoe odor! Why does this work so well? Mold and bacteria can’t grow in the cold temperatures, and often times it’s that bacteria that’s producing the stench, so putting your shoes in the freezer kills the source of the smell directly.
If you’re going to try this “freezer trick,” just make sure you seal the shoes in an airtight bag to avoid affecting the other items in your freezer with the stench and the bacteria.
After taking your shoes out of the freezer, let them sit at room temperature for several hours before wearing them again. This will allow the shoe to thaw without becoming wet.
Spray Vinegar And Water Inside Your Shoes
Another very effective way to get rid of the odor is to spray vinegar and water solution inside your shoe. Vinegar naturally breaks down sweat and bacterial growth, so it’s an excellent product to fight the source of the smell. Make sure you use distilled white vinegar, not apple cider vinegar, or you may end up making your shoes even smellier!
Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then spray the inside of the shoe, making sure it gets all the way to the front of the shoe.
This is a great “trick” to help fight odor in your shoes without having to go out and buy a product (assuming you have white vinegar available at home). However, it’s not as effective as using a proper odor eliminator or changing your insoles.
A Few Drops Of Essential Oil
This isn’t the first method we recommend starting with, but if the methods we shared above worked slightly but you still notice some lingering foul smells, try dropping a few drops of essential oil (tea tree oil or clove oil are popular for this) into your shoes and let them sit overnight. The oils can help kill some of the bacteria that’s producing the shoe odor, and essential oils have a pleasant smell, so this method has that as an advantage that the other methods don’t have – they can make your shoes smell fresh.
How To Prevention The Odor From Returning
Now that you know how to get odor out of shoes, what can be done to keep the smell from returning? Here are a few different ways to keep your shoes odor-free long term.
Replace Your Socks Regularly
First of all, if you don’t already wear socks, you should start wearing them so they can absorb moisture and sweat, to protect the inside of your shoes from collecting odor causing bacteria.
Don’t wear your socks two days in a row. Sweat and bacteria love to build up in the fibers of socks, so it’s important to change your socks regularly, especially after you sweat in them. If you have extra sweaty feet, you may find it helpful to try socks that are designed with extra moisture absorption to help them last longer throughout the day until you can replace them at night.
Clean Your Shoes Regularly
Regularly wiping your shoes with an antibacterial spray or solution will help keep the bad smell under control. If you have salt buildup on the outside of your shoes, try using a mixture of vinegar and water to wipe down the surface. Try not to rub too hard when wiping, as this can lead to damaging the exterior of your shoes.
Keep Your Shoes Dry
Mold and bacteria love the dark, moist environment of a shoe, so any excess moisture in your shoes can cause shoe odors. So if your shoes get wet from being out in the rain, try to wipe them down immediately, then put your shoes near a heat source – such as a space heater, baseboard heater, or fireplace – to air dry for a few hours to speed up the drying process. Just make sure you don’t put them too close to prevent them from getting damaged.
If you don’t have a heat source that you can put your shoes next to, at the very least put them in direct sunlight until they are completely dry. This will help prevent bacterial growth, or at least stunt its growth.
If your shoes get wet regularly because you run in them when it’s raining, get a separate pair of running shoes so that you can change into a fresh pair dry shoes when you’re finished with your run, while your running shoes dry off.
Use Odor Elimination Spray Regularly
To help keep your shoes from smelling, try using an odor elimination spray that you can spritz in your shoes when they get stinky. You might also find it helpful to store a small bottle of spray in your gym bag or in you car so you always have some on hand.
You can spray your shoes at the first sign of stench (don’t wait until there’s a rancid smell!), or spray them once or twice each week as a preventative measure to keep odor out of your shoes.