how to get rid of odor in your shoes
Laundry

How to Remove Smelly Odors from Shoes

Discover how to remove smelly odors from shoes with this step-by-step guide! Find out how to wash canvas shoes in the machine, prevent odors forming & more.

Whether you’re running around playing sport, or walking around in hot weather – odors can quickly develop in your shoes. Follow these useful steps on how to remove bad smells from shoes, and keep them away for good!

How to Get Rid of Odor In Your Shoes

Feet can often get sweaty in warm and humid weather, particularly if you’re wearing your shoes for long periods of time, playing sports, or wearing man-made materials that don’t let your skin breathe. But getting rid of bad smells in your shoes doesn’t have to mean buying a new pair! Read on to discover how to prevent and remove the bad odor from your shoes.

1. Prevention is better than cure! Swap out man-made insoles for an odor-control variety, which are designed to promote the flow of air around your feet and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus – a key cause of smelly footwear. Wearing cotton socks will also keep your feet feeling fresh, and will prevent sweat from soaking into your shoes.

2. Remove bad odors from your shoes after every wear. Stuff your shoes with newspaper to soak up any residual sweat. You can also use a tumble drier conditioning sheet to add a fresh fragrance to your footwear.

3. If you cannot get the odor out of your shoes, give them a wash. Most sneakers and canvas shoes can be given a gentle wash in the machine, but remember to always to check the manufacturer’s instructions first. Protect your machine by placing your sneakers in a laundry bag (or a pillow case if you don’t have one), then machine wash according to the care instructions. A hard-working laundry detergent, such as Breeze, will combat stubborn odors and leave your sneakers looking and smelling fresh.

4. Other shoe types (leather, plastic and rubber) should not be machine-washed. Instead, soak a large piece of cotton wool in rubbing alcohol and thoroughly wipe the insides of the shoes. Remember to do a patch test first on an inconspicuous area to ensure that the material is color-fast.

5. To avoid more bad odors in your shoes, always allow your footwear to thoroughly dry once you have cleaned them.

Top Tip


Avoid bad smells in your shoes by wearing natural, breathable materials such as cotton or leather, rather than synthetics like rubber, plastic or polyester, which can cause your feet to sweat more.

Key Steps

  1. Get rid of bad odors in your shoes between wears by stuffing your footwear with newspaper and scented laundry sheets.
  2. Machine-wash smelly sneakers and canvas pumps using a laundry detergent like Breeze.
  3. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the insides of non-washable shoes.