How to Clean Odors Out of Stinky Water Shoes

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Water shoes get stinky quickly, as they are synthetic--most are made of neoprene and rubber--and don't breathe like natural materials. The odor is caused by microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungus, that thrive in the warm and moist environment of the shoe. Odor in these shoes is most common if you wear them for long periods of time, or you do not clean and dry them quickly after wearing them. Getting this odor out involves both cleaning and deodorizing.


Things You'll Need

  • Sponge

  • Soap (shampoo, hand soap or dish soap are fine)

  • Baking soda

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Step 1

Loosen rubber fasteners on the water shoes (if applicable). Place the shoes in a clean sink. Fill the sink with warm water. Add a tbsp. of soap--dish soap, shampoo, or hand soap are fine.

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Step 2

Add a half cup of baking soda to the water. Dampen a sponge and sprinkle a little more (about a tsp.) of baking soda directly on the sponge.

Step 3

Scrub the inside and the outside of the water shoes with the sponge. Let the shoes soak in the water, after you've scrubbed them, for half an hour.

Step 4

Let the water drain from the sink. Turn the faucet on and rinse the shoes completely under warm water.


Step 5

Dry the inner and outer surfaces of the water shoes with a towel. Smell the shoes--if any odor lingers, place a few tsp. of baking soda in each shoe and leave it overnight. Rinse and dry the shoes the following morning.


Wash your water shoes after each time you’ve used them to prevent odor-causing bacteria and fungus. If you don’t have time to wash them, use baking soda--sprinkled liberally inside the shoe--to absorb odors.

You can also use an activated charcoal disk or sachet, left inside shoes overnight, as an additional odor preventative. Buy activated charcoal deodorizers at most places that sell household deodorizers.



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