- Wash any washable smelly shoes in bleach. If your shoes are not bleach safe, but are washable use a heavy duty detergent and a quarter cup of baking soda. Regardless of what method you choose, select the strongest wash cycle on your washing machine. Putting them in a washing bag or pillow case will help to prevent them from becoming damaged in the spin cycle. Allow your shoes to air dry and rewash them if the smell is still at all present. Do this at least 24 hours before you will wear them next.
- Stick in a plastic bag and freeze for 12 hours - this will kill the bacteria.
- Sprinkle baking soda in shoes, leave overnight and shake out the next morning. The baking soda absorbs the odor.
- Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol and dry shoes (make sure shoes dry completely).
After you have gotten rid of the initial shoe odor, be proactive about keeping the smell under control. Here are some tips:
- Keep dryer or fabric softener sheets in your shoes between wearing them or spray them with Febreeze after use.
- Avoid wearing your shoes without socks.
- Generally, shoes odor is caused by our feet sweating and the sweat absorbing into the padding in the shoe. Keeping your feet clean and free of dead skin and athletes foot will also help prevent shoe odor. Soak your feet every now and then to help remove dead skin. Additionally, use creams and foot powders to help cure any athletes foot you may be experiencing.
- Spray shoes daily with disinfectants and deodorizers specially designed for foot odor problems.
- Apply foot powder specially designed for foot odor problems to feet and/or shoes daily.