Unlike some types of shoes that can be simply thrown into a washing machine, leather footwear requires special care. The suggested solutions for removing leather shoe odors are wide and varied. The cause of the smell is almost always bacteria from your feet. After taking care of your foot problems, try some different methods until the odor goes away.
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Pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol onto cotton balls. Wipe the inside and outside of the leather shoes with the balls.
Place cedar blocks into the leather shoes. Cedar blocks are pieces of wood that absorb moisture and deodorize shoes. Leave the blocks in the shoes for at least 24 hours.
Sprinkle a generous amount of foot powder into the leather shoes prior to wearing them.
Place a small amount of baking soda into the shoes. Shake the baking soda out of the shoes after 24 hours. Be careful not to sprinkle too much baking soda into the shoes. Baking soda can make leather shoes brittle.
Spray vinegar inside and outside the shoes. Repeat the process 10 minutes later. Wipe off the shoes with a cloth.
Spray the leather shoes with commercial disinfectant and deodorizer products. Make sure the product labels say they are OK for leather shoes.
Place the leather shoes into plastic bags. Place the plastic bags into a freezer overnight. Remove the shoes and dry them in the sun.
Keep leather shoes as dry as possible. Expose them to sunlight. Store the shoes in dry areas, preferably on a shoe rack.
Baby powder will work as well as foot powder. Alternate the shoes you wear to give them a chance to "breathe.'' Don't wear the same leather shoes day after day. In severe cases, pour the rubbing alcohol directly into the shoes. Distribute the alcohol by pointing the shoes up and down.