How to Deodorize Shoes – 5 Easy Methods

Introduction -

Are your shoes starting to emit an unpleasant odor? Do you cringe at the thought of taking them off in public? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Shoe odor is a common problem that many people face. Luckily, there are simple ways to remove odors from your shoes. They will make them smell fresh again. In this guide, we’ll walk you through various methods on how to deodorize shoes and keep your shoes smelling clean and pleasant.

Why Do Shoes Smell?

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s understand why shoes develop odors in the first place. Our feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body. When we wear shoes, especially closed ones, our feet sweat. This sweat, combined with bacteria that thrive in warm, moist environments, is the primary culprit behind shoe odor. The bacteria break down the sweat, producing acids that result in an unpleasant smell.

Tips for Preventing Shoe Odor

  • Rotate Your Shoes: Give your shoes a break between wears. Rotating them lets them dry out fully. This stops moisture buildup and odor-causing bacteria.
  • Wear Socks: Socks act as a barrier between your feet and shoes, absorbing sweat and reducing the amount that gets absorbed by the shoe materials.
  • Choose Breathable Materials: Opt for shoes made from leather or canvas. They let air circulate, which helps keep your feet dry.

5 Easy Methods: How to Deodorize Shoes

How to Deodorize Shoes

Step 1: Baking Soda

Baking soda is a powerhouse when it comes to neutralizing odors. It works by absorbing moisture and killing bacteria.


  • Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside your shoes, making sure to cover the insoles.
  • Leave the baking soda overnight to allow enough time to absorb odors.
  • Shake out the excess baking soda in the morning.
  • For extra effectiveness, you can place your shoes in a plastic bag with baking soda and leave them in the freezer overnight. The cold temperature helps kill bacteria.

Step 2: White Vinegar

White vinegar is acidic, which makes it effective at killing bacteria and neutralizing odors.


  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution inside your shoes and allow them to air dry.
  • The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries, leaving your shoes fresh.

Step 3: Essential Oils

Essential oils add a nice scent to your shoes. They also kill odor-causing bacteria because they have antimicrobial properties.


  • Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil (such as tea tree, lavender, or peppermint) with water.

  • Spray the mixture inside your shoes and let them air dry.

  • Alternatively, apply the essential oil directly to a cotton ball and place it in your shoes overnight.

Step 4: Charcoal

Activated charcoal is excellent for absorbing odors and moisture, making it a natural deodorizer.


  • Place activated charcoal sachets or bags inside your shoes and leave them overnight.
  • The charcoal will work to absorb the odors, leaving your shoes fresh.

Step 5: Sunlight

Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. UV rays kill bacteria and help to dry out your shoes.


  • Place your shoes in direct sunlight for a few hours.
  • Ensure they are positioned in a way that allows the sunlight to reach the insides.
  • This method not only deodorizes but also helps eliminate moisture.

Extra Tips:

  • Wash Insoles: If your shoes have removable insoles, wash them regularly with mild soap and water to keep them fresh.
  • Freeze Them: Placing your shoes in a plastic bag and then into the freezer overnight can kill bacteria and reduce odors.
  • Use Odor-Fighting Inserts: There are commercially available shoe inserts designed to absorb odors. These can be a convenient option for ongoing odor control.
  • Proper Storage: Store your shoes in a well-ventilated area to prevent moisture buildup.


Banishing shoe odor doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these simple and effective methods, you can say goodbye to unpleasant smells and hello to fresh, clean shoes. Remember to use preventive measures. These include wearing socks and choosing breathable materials and they keep odor away. Whether you prefer natural remedies like baking soda and vinegar or opt for essential oils and charcoal, there’s a solution that fits your needs. So, don’t let smelly shoes hold you back—take action today and enjoy odor-free footwear!

The whole will help you to know, how to deodorize shoes in 5 easy methods.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How often should I deodorize my shoes?

  • The frequency of deodorizing your shoes depends on how often you wear them and how much they sweat. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to deodorize them every couple of weeks or whenever you notice an odor.

2. Can I use these methods on all types of shoes?

  • Yes, you can use the methods mentioned in this guide on most types of shoes, including sneakers, boots, flats, and more. But, always check the care instructions for your specific shoe type to ensure compatibility.

3. Will these methods damage my shoes?

  • No, these methods are safe for most shoes and materials. Baking soda, vinegar, essential oils, and charcoal are gentle. But, they are also effective at deodorizing without causing damage. Yet, it’s a good practice to spot-test a small, inconspicuous area of your shoe before applying any treatment.

4. How long does it take for the odors to disappear?

  • The time it takes for the odors to disappear varies depending on the severity of the odor and the method used. For instance, leaving baking soda overnight can reduce odors by the next morning. Vinegar may take a bit longer to dissipate but will leave your shoes fresh-smelling once dry.

5. What if my shoes still smell after trying these methods?

  • If you’ve tried these methods and still notice lingering odors, there are a few more steps you can take. Consider washing your shoes following the maker’s instructions. Focus on areas where sweat and bacteria gather. You can also try using specialized shoe deodorizing sprays or consult a professional shoe cleaner for more intensive treatments.

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