How to Get Rid of Shoe Odor – Best DIY Ways

Shoes are a haven for bacteria, which is why they can make your feet smell bad.

It doesn’t matter how often you clean them or how often you change your socks. If your shoes have their odor, they will still be there in the morning when you put on that same pair of shoes again.

But don’t worry – we’ve compiled a few tips so you can get rid of those shoe odors and never have to worry about smelly feet ever again!

Also read: Walking shoe guide.

What is the cause of shoe odor?

The cause of shoe odor is down to bacteria growing in the material inside your shoe. Shoes are notorious for retaining heat, which means they’re a perfect environment for bacteria to grow in.

This bacteria can be leftover from food or sweat, or it could just build up over time due to your shoes gradually absorbing your sweat or other bodily fluids.

Whichever the case, that bacteria is responsible for that unpleasant shoe odor.

But don’t worry, there are simple tips and remedies you can follow to get rid of shoe odor – you can do it yourself.

Also read: how to check shoes are slip-resistant or not

How to minimize shoe odor?

The first thing to do is air your shoes out. Take them off and leave them somewhere ventilated for a few hours (shoes often smell worse after they’ve been worn – the sweat on your feet mixes with the bacteria inside the shoe).

You can also try wiping down your shoes with an anti-bacterial cleaning wipe if you don’t want to let them dry out, but it’s important not to store damp shoes in your locker or bag overnight because that will give bacteria more time to grow.

Also read: Perfect shoe colors.

How to remove shoe odor using household items?

There are a few easy things you can do at home to help get rid of your shoes’ odors.

For example, try sprinkling some baking soda inside your shoes and leave it overnight, so the powder absorbs any bad smells.

If baking soda doesn’t work for you, try dumping some white vinegar into a jar or other container and putting it inside your shoes overnight.

This should help reduce the smell of anything sour built up in there.

You can also try regular soap and water to clean your shoes gently, but be sure to allow them to dry completely before storing them away or wearing them again.

Also read: Get Creases Out of Shoes.

Some DIY ways to get rid of shoe odor

How to get rid of shoe odors using vinegar

Vinegar is always a good choice for removing unpleasant odors, whether it’s from your shoes or even your smelly oven.

Fill a jar with white vinegar and leave the jar inside your shoes overnight so the vinegar has time to soak up all that bad odor.

This helps the vinegar get into all the little cracks and crevices that might be trapping smells. You can also do this with baking soda.

How to get rid of shoe odors using lemon juice

Lemon juice has disinfectant properties, so it’s great for removing any bacteria that might be causing your shoes to smell.

Simply mix together lemon juice and water in a spray bottle and give your shoes a good spritz. Leave them to dry naturally, or use a hairdryer on low heat if you’re in a hurry.

Get rid of shoe odors using bicarbonate of soda.

Bicarbonate of soda is another good choice for absorbing any unpleasant odors in your shoes.

Leave some in the bottom of your shoes overnight, or mix in some with water and spray it inside your shoe to get rid of that smell in a more leisurely fashion.

How to get rid of shoe odors using vodka

To use vodka to get rid of bad smells in your shoes, start by pouring some into a spray bottle.

Give the insides of your shoes a good spritz before turning them upside down and letting them dry overnight (or with a hairdryer on low heat). Repeat as necessary.

Get rid of shoe odors using essential oils.

If you don’t want to use any harsh chemicals or liquids, you can always try using essential oils. They work great for deodorizing and refreshing your shoes.

Just put a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a small bowl of water and dip your shoes in, so they’re coated. And leave shoes to dry naturally, and the essential oils will help get rid of any bad smells.

Some commercial products that can be used to remove shoe odors are:


Febreze is a commercial product made to remove odors from fabric and other materials.

It can also be used to remove bad odor smell from anything such as clothes, shoes, trash cans, and cars. The smell of the Febreze is also pleasant, which adds to its effectiveness at removing bad smells.

Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner:

Lysol is an effective product in combating any bacteria in your house by killing them or just controlling them.

This product removes bacteria that have been caught on surfaces when cleaning the house for up to twelve hours.

This product can be used on anything such as floors, furniture, and even in shoes.


This product is made to remove any tough stains and odors. It is effective in removing dirt, grease, and other substances that have been building up over time.

This product can be used on many surfaces such as carpets, upholstery, and clothing; it can also be used on shoes.


Remove shoe odors with vinegar, lemon juice, or bicarbonate of soda. Potent scents like vodka and essential oils can also help get rid of bad smells in your shoes.

If all else fails, Febreze – a popular household odor eliminator – is effective at removing odors from anything such as clothes, shoes, trash cans, and cars.

Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner kills bacteria on surfaces for up to 12 hours, while OxiClean removes dirt and grease that has been building up over time.