How to Get Rid of a Stinky Smell in Shoes

Stinky shoe smells can be downright embarrassing. If your favorite pair of shoes is emitting an unpleasant odor, you'd probably be hesitant to wear them at all--particularly if that stinky smell is making your feet smell badly, too. Smelly shoes aren't destined for the garbage bin, however. There are effective ways to eliminate shoe odors and keep them smelling fresh after each use.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda

  • Tissues

  • Thread or string

  • Rubbing alcohol

Kill the Bacteria

Step 1

Fill a small spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spritz the insides of each shoe.

Step 2

Try placing your shoes in the freezer for two hours. For sanitary purposes, place your shoes in a plastic bag prior to putting them in your freezer.

Step 3

Let the shoes dry thoroughly prior to wearing them again.

Neutralize Odors

Step 1

Create a baking soda sachet for each shoe by wrapping two heaping tablespoons of baking soda in a tissue and tying the ends together with a piece of thread or string.

Step 2

Place a sachet in the toe of each shoe and allow it to sit overnight. Baking soda is extremely effective in absorbing odors--just as effective, in fact, as the expensive odor-eliminating shoe powders sold in pharmacies.

Step 3

Put the baking soda sachets in your shoes after each wear, being certain to change the baking soda at least once a week so that it continues to absorb odors effectively.


Rotate the wearing of your shoes so that they have a chance to dry completely prior to wearing them again. Wearing the same shoes each day will prevent them from drying out and will lead to the formation of bacteria and fungi in your shoes.

Wear cotton socks instead of polyester and other non-breathable materials which will trap moisture in your shoes and contribute to their stinky smell. If your feet tend to sweat a lot, event with cotton socks, rub baking soda onto each foot prior to putting on your shoes and socks.

References & Resources