What Are Some Good Ways to Clean Smelly Shoes?


Quick Answer

Soap and water, or a washing machine and dryer, provide the most effective ways to clean and remove odor-causing bacteria from shoes. Odors can also be eliminated from footwear with baking soda or kitty litter. Freezing the shoes can help to kill bacteria.

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Full Answer

Read the shoes' tags to determine if they should be hand-washed or if they can go in a washing machine. In a washer, add laundry detergent and vinegar to kill odors, then wash on a gentle cycle. To clean the shoes by hand, use a bucket of soap and water with scented dishwasher soap to replace odors with a cleaner scent. Use a dry cloth to remove excess soap and water. Next, place the wet shoes in a dryer. Avoid the noise of a pair of rolling shoes by buying a bag that fits on the dryer door. Alternatively, the shoes can be left out overnight to air-dry.

Pour baking soda inside the shoes. Leave it there overnight. In the morning, shake out the baking soda. Also try combining it with tree tea oil and cornstarch to make an odor eliminating powder. Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 5 drops of tree tea oil. Pour the mixture in shoes, and then let it sit to dry.

Another method to reduce odors involves adding some clean kitty litter to an old pair of socks. Seal the socks, and then place them in the smelly shoes. Let the kitty litter sit in these shoes all night. Alternatively, use a large resealable plastic bag to hold your shoes, then place sealed shoes into the freezer for a couple of hours in order to kill any bacteria that may be causing them to smell.

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