6 Simple Tricks to Eliminate Bad Odor from Your Shoes

When it comes to eliminating bad odors, it is equally as important to remove the smell as it is to find its root cause.
6 Simple Tricks to Eliminate Bad Odor from Your Shoes
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

How do you get rid of that bad odor in your shoes? Sometimes the inner layer of shoes retains sweat and germs, which are difficult to remove it. But don’t worry, there are some simple tricks that will help you to get rid of the sweat and smell in your shoes. Discover them below!

Six simple tricks to eliminate bad odor from your shoes

1. Baking soda 

Baking soda on a spoon

Foolproof. In our blog posts, we have mentioned more than once the great benefits of baking soda for household cleaning. A natural chemical element, baking soda has  the ability to absorb both stains, as well as odors and moisture, and is therefore the best trick to eliminate the bad smell from your shoes.

And how do you use it? It’s very easy; you just have to put a tablespoon of baking soda into each shoe, onto the insoles. Sprinkle well and let it work overnight. The next morning they’ll seem like new shoes.

2. Talcum powder 

The talc acts in the same way as baking soda. It has the power to absorb moisture and so stop the bad odor. You have two options. You can put some talcum or baby powder in each shoe and leave it overnight, and then remove it in the morning.

Or you can apply talcum powder to the bottom of your feet before putting on your shoes, thereby reducing sweating. This is very useful and effective.

3. Eliminate bacteria

Lavender branch with flowers

This advice is as interesting as it is effective. It is good to always have a bit of sage and lavender at home. These two plants eliminate odors very well.

Just place a few sage leaves and some sprigs of lavender in each shoe. Then place the shoes on the balcony so the fresh air can also help remove bacteria. In the morning your shoes will be fresh and ready.

4. Orange, lemon and grapefruit

Orange hanging on tree

This is another very simple remedy. Never throw out your lemon, orange or grapefruit peel. These are very useful to eliminate the bad smell from shoes. Just place the peel in your shoes and leave them overnight.

5. Tea Tree oil

Among the essential oils with disinfectant properties, tea tree oil is undoubtedly the most effective. You can find it in natural food stores and in drugstores. It is not expensive, and it can be used both to eliminate the bad smells from shoes.

All you do is place a few drops on the insoles of your shoes twice a week, thereby removing the smells and getting rid of bacteria. It’s very easy!

6. Find the root cause of the odor

Women's feet in high heels with open toes

We all know that the bad smell of our shoes is due to our feet sweating. But you may have noticed that there are some shoes that smell worse than others. Perhaps it is because the insoles absorb more sweat and retain it, thereby contributing to the appearance of bacteria.

If you notice that the bad odor from your shoes does not go away easily, you should regularly change the insoles. If you cannot do this, use some of these tricks to protect your shoes from bad odor and bacteria. Bad odor can bring long-term foot problems, which is why it is essential to maintain good hygiene.

How to maintain good hygiene in shoes

  • Try not to wear closed-toe shoes every day. It’s bad for the health of your feet and contributes to bad odor.
  • When you get home, change your shoes and let them air.
  • It doesn’t matter whether your shoe is good or medium quality, all shoes absorb odors. Therefore, we must continually keep them clean. Brush off the outside of your shoes every day, and for the inside use a damp cloth with a little detergent that you use to clean your clothes. Scrub them well to remove any stains and moisture.
  • If you normally suffer from excessive sweating of your feet, it would be wise to follow the advice above and apply talcum or baby powder to your feet. This is a simple remedy that greatly helps to keep them smelling fresh throughout the day.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.