How To Clean Stinky Shoes

If you’re someone who wears shoes regularly, then you know that they can start to stink after a while. The odor can be unbearable, and sometimes it might feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. But fear not, because we’re here to help you figure out how to clean stinky shoes.

What Causes Stinky Shoes?

Before we dive into how to clean stinky shoes, let’s first understand what causes the odor. Our feet sweat, which can lead to bacteria buildup in our shoes. This buildup is what causes the unpleasant smell that we associate with stinky shoes.

How to Clean Stinky Shoes

Now that we know what causes the odor, let’s explore how to clean stinky shoes. Here are some steps you can follow: 1. Remove the insoles: Most shoes have removable insoles. Take them out and wash them separately. 2. Use baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb the odor. 3. Wipe with alcohol: Use a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol to wipe the inside of the shoe. This will kill the bacteria that causes the odor. 4. Air them out: Leave your shoes in a well-ventilated area to air out. This will help to reduce the smell. 5. Use essential oils: Apply a few drops of essential oils, such as tea tree oil, to a cloth and wipe the inside of the shoe. The oils will leave a pleasant scent and also have antibacterial properties. 6. Freeze them: Place your shoes in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. This will kill the bacteria and reduce the odor. 7. Wash them: If your shoes are washable, put them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Be sure to air dry them thoroughly.

FAQs About How to Clean Stinky Shoes

Q: How often should I clean my shoes?

A: It depends on how often you wear them. If you wear them daily, then you should clean them at least once a week.

Q: Can I use vinegar to clean my shoes?

A: Yes, you can mix equal parts water and white vinegar and use a cloth to wipe the inside of your shoes. The vinegar will kill the bacteria and eliminate the odor.

Q: Is it safe to put my shoes in the dryer?

A: It’s not recommended to put your shoes in the dryer, as the heat can damage the material. Instead, air dry them.


Stinky shoes can be a nuisance, but they don’t have to be a permanent problem. By following the steps outlined above, you can learn how to clean stinky shoes and keep them smelling fresh. Remember to remove the insoles, use baking soda, wipe with alcohol, air them out, use essential oils, freeze them, or wash them. With a little bit of effort, you can say goodbye to stinky shoes for good.