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Smelly shoes? Here's how to remove smell from shoes

Learn how to remove odours from shoes with our 5 simple, smell-busting methods.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

a person cleaning a pair of shoes with a cloth

Key Steps

  • Baking soda in a coffee filter is a great natural deodoriser.

  • Citrus essential oil-soaked cotton balls can get rid of bad odours.

  • Leave your shoes in the sun to dry.

  • Freeze shoes to kill off smell-causing bacteria.

  • Slip a porous bar of soap inside to absorb smells.

Shoes can get smelly over time, especially during summer when high temperatures lead to sweaty feet. Fortunately, there are practical ways to solve this problem and avoid embarrassment when taking your shoes off: just follow our instructions and learn how to remove a bad smell from shoes including advice on how to wash them.

Want to remove a smell from shoes? Try washing them with Omo Active Auto along with Comfort – just check their suitable for washing first - just check whether your shoes are suitable for washing first!

How to get rid of smelly shoes: 5 easy hacks to remove a smell from your shoes

Learn how to remove odour from shoes with these 5 hacks using everyday household products!

1. Remove smells from shoes with baking soda

Baking soda is a fabulous natural deodoriser and versatile cleaner. Follow the steps below to use it to get rid of smells in shoes and read our article on baking soda cleaning for more tips.

  1. Pop a few tablespoons of baking soda into a coffee filter.

  2. Tie the top with an elastic band. Repeat twice – one for each shoe.

  3. Leave the baking soda filters in your shoes overnight to absorb smells and moisture.

  4. Add a new scent by mixing in a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

2. Try citrus-scented essential oils to banish bad smells

These oils don’t just help neutralise bad odours, they also add a nicer smell.

  1. Get a cotton ball or two for each shoe.

  2. Soak each cotton ball in lemon or another citrus essential oil.

  3. Pop the cotton balls into your smelly shoes and leave them overnight.

3. Prevent smelly shoes be keeping them dry

The best way to learn how to remove smells from shoes is to not get them smelly in the first place! Prevent bad odours by eliminating common causes, such as sweat and moisture.

  1. Properly dry your shoes before storing them.

  2. Air dry them naturally in the sun where possible.

  3. Place dehumidifier packets in shoes that will be in storage for a long time.

4. Remove smells from shoes by eliminating bacteria

Bacteria is what will cause your shoes to smell so an easy hack to get rid of smelly shoes is to prevent bacteria from growing. 

  1. Place your shoes in a zip lock bag.

  2. Pop the bag into the freezer.

  3. Leave overnight. The cold temperature will kill bacteria.

5. Learn how to remove odour from shoes with simple soap

Thanks to its porous nature, a simple bar of soap can also act as a quick odour eliminator.

  1. Place a clean, dry bar of soap into your shoe.

  2. Leave overnight.

  3. Remove and brush any flakes from your shoes – the soap should remove nasty smells and leave a fresh scent instead.

Originally published