Smelly shoes are an embarrassment, especially when you have to take them off at someone else’s home and those shoes give off that funky odor later. Shoes begin to smell due to various reasons, like overuse of the shoes, bacterial or fungal infections, excessive feet sweating, lack of ventilation or aeration of shoes, etc. But if you want that musky and tangy smell gone from your favorite pair of shoes so as to avoid embarrassment, you can try a few tricks to save your face in public.


Baking Soda

After wearing the shoes, sprinkle some baking soda in them. Leave the baking soda in them overnight, and remove the baking soda in the morning.

How to Make Shoes Not Smell


Orange Peels

Place fresh orange peels or lemon peels in the shoes and leave the shoes stay with them overnight. The citric smell will absorb the stench by the morning. You can also place grapefruit peels, lemon peels, or lime peels in the shoes if orange peels are unavailable.


Essential Oils

Add a few drops of essential oil, like lavender oil or tea tree oil, in the shoes and add some paper in it as a stuffing. Leave the shoes this way for a few hours to get rid of the odor.



Wear socks every time you wear the shoes. Wash the socks after using them. This will reduce the smell overtime.


Rubbing Alcohol

Apply rubbing alcohol in the shoes so as to prevent bacteria growth within the shoe. The alcohol will reduce the nasty odor too.


Black Teabags

Place black tea bags in boiling water for a few minutes, and then remove them from the water. Let them cool for 5 minutes and place them in the shoes. Leave the shoes for an hour at least, and then wipe off the excess juice inside.


Foot Wash

Wash your feet regularly, and wear the shoes when your feet are fully dry. You should also wash the shoes and let them properly dry before using them.


Kitty Litter

Add some kitty litter in a pair of socks and place each one in a shoe. Leave it overnight, and then throw the kitty litter the next day.


Dryer Sheets

Place dryer sheets in the shoes every time you wear them, and throw away after each use. You can also try fabric softener or conditioner sheets. These sheets leave a pleasant scent in the shoes and snatch off the moisture remaining in the worn shoes.



Baby Powder

Sprinkle baby powder in the shoe and on the feet whenever you wear the shoes.

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Place the shoes in a re-sealable bag, and place them in the freezer overnight. Take out of the freezer in the morning and thaw them out. Freezing the shoes will kill the odor-producing bacteria in the shoes.


New Insoles

If the shoes insoles are smelling foul, insert new ones. There are insoles available at shoe stores that are designed for prohibiting bacterial growth. There are also cedar wood insoles available which are made of anti-fungal elements that can aid in preventing odor from the shoes. The cedar in the insoles gives a fresh, crisp, and light fragrance.


Dry the Shoes

Untie the shoe laces and lift the tongue of the shoe to dry it out. Place them in the sun or near a heater.  Drying this way will help prevent the bacteria from growing which is causing the smell.


Steam the Shoes

Use a steam machine or the steam feature in your dryer (or washer) with the shoes. This steam will eradicate the bacteria fully.


Water and Vinegar

Spray the shoes with a combination of water and white distilled vinegar mixed in equal parts. Spray the mixture in the shoes and soles and let the shoe remain with it for 30 minutes. The shoe should air dry, or you can use a hair dryer to dry off the shoe. You can later add some baking soda to the shoe for full odor removal.


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