8 Easy Tricks to Eliminate Shoe Odor

These tricks are useful to prevent and treat bad shoe odor. However, it's also important to frequently change your insoles so that they don't accumulate bacteria
8 Easy Tricks to Eliminate Shoe Odor

Last update: 29 November, 2018

Bad shoe odor is quite a common problem that millions of people throughout the world have to deal with.

Due to the their busy lives, many people give less and less importance to their feet. Hence, they don’t realize that their feet smell bad.

The problem is that our feet sweat a lot, which creates a humid environment for bacteria to grow. 

As a consequence, bad smells and infections arise that may point to bad hygiene in this area.

Fortunately, there are many antibacterial ingredients that also act as deodorants. These can help to clean shoes and neutralize the bad odor.

In this article, we want to share 8 tricks you can use to eliminate bad shoe odor, which all contain natural ingredients. What’s more, if you use these then you won’t have to resort to buying costly products. Take note!

8 Easy Tricks to Eliminate Shoe Odor

1. Sodium bicarbonate

Bicarbonato de sodio

Sodium bicarbonate is a great product to use when trying to eliminate bad shoe odor.

Its antiseptic compounds eliminate bacteria and absorb the excess humidity that allows the bacteria to spread.

How to use it

  • Add a little sodium bicarbonate to the inside of your shoes and leave it on overnight.
  • Repeat this for three consecutive nights so that the smell completely disappears.

2. Cat litter

This isn’t a well-known trick to eliminate bad shoe odor. However, it’s quite effective at getting the job done quickly.

This is because cat litter absorbs all the humidity from the shoe, so that it smells like a fresh new shoe.

How to use it

  • Fill two socks with a little bit of cat litter and put them in the shoes.
  • Leave the cat-litter-filled socks in the shoes overnight and repeat the process several times if you think it’s necessary.

3. Baby powder

Polvo de talco para bebés

Baby powder gets rid of humidity and alters the environment in which microorganisms flourish.

Furthermore, its sweet and delicate aroma neutralizes unpleasant smells and excess sweat.

How to use it

  • Apply a large amount of baby powder to the soles of your feet just before putting on your shoes.
  • You can also pour some baby powder into the shoes that smell.

4. Citrus fruit peels

Citrus fruit peels have antimicrobial and aromatic properties that easily remove shoe odor.

How to use them

  • Cut lemon, lime or orange peels into pieces and put them inside the affected shoe for four hours.
  • After the four hours have passed, take out the peels and check if the odor has gone.

5. Lavender flowers

depresión y lavanda

Lavender flowers are very popular because of their refreshing and relaxing characteristics. You can find these types of flowers in many houses as they’re used to neutralize unpleasant odors.

What some people don’t realize is that lavender flowers have such a strong aroma that they can also be used to neutralize the bad smell that may come from shoes.

How to use them

  • Cut up some lavender flowers and put them in the affected shoes to get rid of the bad smell.
  • Leave them in the shoes overnight to do their work, and repeat this process several times throughout the week.

6. Essential tea tree oil

The antimicrobial and anti-fungal power of tea tree oil gets rid of bad smells and eliminates bacteria that cause foot infections.

When adding it to shoes, it neutralizes their pH and leaves a pleasant and clean aroma.

How to use it

  • Put a few drops of essential tea tree oil inside the shoe and let it soak in. Then wear the shoe as you normally do.
  • If the smell is too strong, combine this oil with a little bit of sodium bicarbonate and leave it in overnight.

7. Apple cider vinegar


The malic and acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar alters the environment of the microorganisms created by odor and helps with eliminating them.

Thanks to this, applying apple cider vinegar to bad-smelling shoes slows down the spread of bad odor and bacterial growth.

How to use it

  • Soak two large pieces of cotton balls in a good amount of vinegar and put them in the shoes.
  • Let them sit inside the shoe for two hours and check if the smell is gone.

8. Changing the insoles of your shoes

One reason why you may have shoe odor is because the insoles of your shoes have been worn away and this has created a culture of bacteria.

Excess sweat, dust and any other types of dirt get trapped in the insoles and can become the main cause of bad odor.

What you should do

  • Regularly wash your insoles and change them whenever you notice that they’re wearing away.

In short, you should choose one of the products above that catches your attention and try it out to eliminate bad shoe odor once and for all. 

Avoid mixing several of these products together at the same time, as this could cause undesired reactions.

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