The Best Ways to Get the Smell Out of Your Sneakers

How to Get the Smell Out of Sneakers

Have you ever gotten home from work, taken off your shoes, and been met with an unpleasant odor?

Listen, it happens to all of us and it's completely natural. There are many reasons our shoes smell and there are also many ways to get rid of the stench. Smelly shoes can be embarrassing and can even take a toll on your self-esteem.

If you've been wondering how to get the smell out of sneakers, you're in the right place. Below I'll tell you all about how you can prevent stinky shoes in the first place and how you can get rid of the smell for good!

Smelly Sneaker Prevention Tips

Treat Foot Health Issues

It's completely normal for people to have athlete's foot or a toenail fungal infection at some point in their life. Not only is it unpleasant and itchy, but it can also compromise the smell of your shoes.

To prevent or help heal athlete's foot or any other fungal infection, make sure that you use an at-home remedy, a powder, or cream. This is an easy way to prevent any stink in your shoes.

Don't Wear the Same Shoes

No matter what your lifestyle is, rotating your shoes should be a practice that you take part in. There are several benefits to rotating which shoes you wear. 

For example, if you're a runner, only wearing your running shoes while you're running will extend their life. It's also better for your feet and will give all of your shoes a chance to air out.

Show Your Feet Some Love

With self-care becoming more and more important, many people may forget to show their feet some love. While you should always be cleaning your feet in the shower, it can pay off to go the extra mile and have a foot care routine.

There are Epsom salt lotions that help to make feet soft and smooth, you can also use a pumice stone to get rid of any dead skin or calluses.

Don't forget to put lotion on your feet before bed and throw on a pair of socks to get maximum moisturizing power!

Be Sock-Conscious

Another thing that you can do to prevent your shoes from smelling is to be aware of what socks you're wearing.

If your feet tend to sweat a lot, invest in a pair of sweat-wicking socks. Something else to note when it comes to socks, try your best to only wear each pair of socks one time between washes.

Have a Shoe-Care Routine

I know that I suggested a foot care routine and now I'm going to tell you to have another routine to take care of your shoes! You've already spent your hard-earned money on shoes, now it's time to take care of them.

This can be something as simple as wiping the insides of the shoe down with an antibacterial wipe after each use. Be sure to show the outside of your shoes some love to.

Wipe off any dirt or debris that may be on them to extend the life of the shoe.

Tips and Tricks to Get Rid of the Stench

Put Them in The Washer

If you've been wondering how to get the smell out of sneakers, your first thought may be to put them in the washer. Depending on the material your shoes are made out of, you'd be right. 

If you're unsure, you can look up your shoe online to see the fabric that it's made out of.

One thing you won't want to do is dry them in your dryer. Not only is this incredibly loud, but it can also ruin your shoes. Leave them outside to dry naturally and they'll be ready to wear in no time.

Baking Soda Trick

One of the oldest tricks in the book to get rid of smells in your shoes is to use baking soda.

If you don't have baking soda around for this trick, you can also use kitty litter. Baking soda works because it absorbs odors by being in the same vicinity as the item that smells.

It will also neutralize odors, so you won't have to worry that the smell is temporarily masked.

You can throw some baking soda in your socks before you put them on as well. If you sweat a lot, this may not be the best idea. You may also want to go with a different method if you're stinky shoes are made out of suede or leather.

UV Rays

Did you know that natural sunlight kills bacteria? 

It's true! If you've used the first method and washed your shoes in the clothes washer, you can set them outside to dry and the sun will kill any bacteria and get rid of any stink that made it through the wash cycle.

When you put your shoes outside, take the laces off and lift the tongue so that the interior of the shoe is showing as much as possible.

DIY Spray

You could also make your own odor spray. The ones in stores can be expensive and you can make a much bigger batch for less money on your own. You only need three ingredients shown below:

  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Water
  • Vinegar

Put these three ingredients in a spray bottle and spray the interior of your shoes. Let them dry before wearing them again.

Dryer Sheets

If you have a dryer sheet around your house, you can use them to get the stench out of your sneakers. If they are scented, they will provide a nice smell while at the same time it will neutralize odors.

This is one of the easiest methods as all you need to do is take one or two dryer sheets and place them in your shoes that stink. Leave them overnight and you'll be good to go!


For this one, you can use essential oils or real citrus peels. If you have essential oils, you will need the following products:

  • Lemon essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil

All you need to do is place a few drops of each oil into your shoe. 

If you don't have essential oils, take the peel of a citrus fruit such as an orange or lemon and place them in your shoes overnight. Not only will the smell be gone, but your shoes will smell nice and fresh!

Commercial Products

Lastly, you can always purchase a commercial product that is designed to get rid of smelly shoe orders. These are almost guaranteed to work every time. 

This is also the most expensive option to get rid of the smell. Do whatever you have to do to get your shoes in good shape again!

Frequently Asked Questions

Will freezing my shoes get rid of any smells?

There have been multiple people who have used this method to get rid of smells in their shoes. It is suggested that if freezing doesn't do the job, baking soda will

Tea bags are absorbent, will that get rid of the stink for good?

Because tea bags are absorbent, they can be used to get rid of shoe odor. However, if you don't take preventive measures to stop shoe odor before it starts, it will come back.

Doesn't baking soda ruin shoes?

Baking soda poses no harm to the interior of your shoes. If you need to wear your shoes while there is baking soda in them, it will be okay. 

It is important to note that you should be careful doing this with leather shoes. If you have leather shoes, please consider the other methods before using baking soda.

Will a clothes dryer hurt my shoes?

From personal experience, I would say yes. I put a pair of canvas shoes in the dryer after washing them and the insoles came off due to the heat of the dryer.

If you have the option to dry on a cooler temperature, you may be in the clear. I'd suggest skipping the dryer and setting them in the sun to dry.

Bottom Line

It's important to remember that having smelly shoes is normal. It may feel embarrassing and can make you wonder what the cause is. As long as you take care of your feet and wash them daily, you shouldn't experience any stinky odors coming from your shoes.

Nearly all of the methods above are inexpensive or can be done with things that are already in your home. Give one of these methods a test run to see if it works for you. I suggest the dryer sheet method or the citrus peels.

They take practically no effort on your part and get the job done while you sleep! If all else fails, opt for a commercial product that has high ratings and a lot of positive reviews!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × 3 =

Scroll to Top