How To Deodorize Shoes Quickly

How to Deodorize Shoes Quickly: 10 Effective Methods


Foot odor can be a source of embarrassment and discomfort. Whether it’s caused by sweat, bacteria, or fungus, unpleasant odors can linger in your shoes long after you take them off. But don’t worry, there are several simple and effective methods to deodorize your shoes quickly. In this article, we’ll explore 10 different techniques that will help you get rid of those unpleasant smells.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is known for its ability to absorb odors. It works by neutralizing the pH levels in your shoes and killing the bacteria that cause the smell. To use this method, simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside your shoes and let it sit overnight. In the morning, shake out the excess baking soda and enjoy fresh-smelling shoes.

2. Tea Bags

Tea bags are not just for brewing tea. They also contain tannins, which have natural deodorizing properties. To deodorize your shoes with tea bags, place a couple of used tea bags in each shoe and let them sit for a few hours or overnight. The tea bags will absorb the unpleasant odors, leaving your shoes smelling fresh and clean.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile household ingredient that can be used for various cleaning purposes, including deodorizing shoes. To use vinegar, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution inside your shoes and let it air dry. The vinegar will eliminate the odor-causing bacteria and leave your shoes odor-free.

4. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another effective solution for deodorizing shoes. Its high alcohol content helps kill bacteria and fungus that cause the foul smell. To use this method, dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe the interior of your shoes. Allow them to air dry completely before wearing them again.

5. Lemon Peels

Lemon peels have a fresh, citrusy scent that can mask unpleasant odors. Simply place a few lemon peels inside your shoes and let them sit overnight. The natural oils in the lemon peels will absorb the bad smell, leaving your shoes smelling lemony fresh.

6. Charcoal

Charcoal is an excellent odor absorber due to its porous structure. Simply place a few pieces of activated charcoal in a breathable bag or sock and insert them into your shoes. The charcoal will absorb the odors, moisture, and bacteria, leaving your shoes fresh and dry.

7. Essential Oils

Essential oils not only smell great but also have antimicrobial properties. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender or tea tree oil, to a cotton ball or tissue. Place it inside your shoes and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. The essential oils will not only freshen up your shoes but also inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

8. Freezing Method

The freezing method is particularly effective for deodorizing shoes that can’t be washed or soaked. Place your shoes in a sealed plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. The extreme cold temperature will kill the bacteria and eliminate the odors. Remember to let your shoes thaw before wearing them.

9. Cat Litter

Clay-based cat litter is designed to absorb odors, so it can be used to deodorize shoes as well. Simply fill a pair of old socks with cat litter and place them in your shoes. Leave them overnight, and the cat litter will absorb the unpleasant smells, leaving your shoes fresh and odor-free.

10. Sunlight

Natural sunlight can help eliminate odors and kill bacteria. Place your shoes outdoors in direct sunlight for a few hours. The UV rays will naturally deodorize your shoes and kill any bacteria that cause odor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long do I need to leave baking soda in my shoes?

It’s best to leave baking soda in your shoes overnight to allow it enough time to absorb the odors. In the morning, shake out the excess baking soda before wearing your shoes.

2. Can I use scented tea bags to deodorize my shoes?

Yes, you can use scented tea bags to add a pleasant fragrance to your shoes. However, make sure they don’t contain any artificial scents that could irritate your skin.

3. Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?

Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar as a substitute for white vinegar. However, keep in mind that apple cider vinegar has a strong smell that could linger in your shoes.

4. How often should I deodorize my shoes?

The frequency of shoe deodorizing depends on several factors, including how often you wear them and how much you sweat. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to deodorize your shoes at least once a month.

5. Is it safe to use rubbing alcohol on leather shoes?

Rubbing alcohol can be used to deodorize leather shoes, but it’s important to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. Some leather finishes may be sensitive to alcohol and could get damaged.

6. Can I reuse the lemon peels for deodorizing shoes?

Yes, you can reuse the lemon peels a couple of times before they lose their scent. However, make sure they are completely dry before using them again to prevent mold or mildew growth.

7. How can I remove the charcoal from my shoes?

To remove the charcoal from your shoes, simply take out the breathable bag or sock and discard the pieces of charcoal. You can also reuse the charcoal in other areas that need deodorizing, such as closets or gym bags.

8. Can I use any essential oil for deodorizing shoes?

Yes, you can use any essential oil that you find pleasant for deodorizing shoes. However, some essential oils, such as citrus oils, may cause discoloration or damage to certain materials. Use them with caution and always test on a small area first.

9. Can I wash my shoes after using the freezing method?

Yes, you can wash your shoes after using the freezing method to remove any remaining odors or dirt that may be present. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing your specific type of shoes.

10. How long should I leave my shoes in the sunlight?

Leave your shoes in direct sunlight for a few hours, rotating them occasionally to ensure all sides receive exposure. Avoid leaving them for an extended period, as prolonged sunlight exposure can cause color fading or material damage.


With these 10 effective methods, you can now say goodbye to smelly shoes. Choose the method that suits you best and enjoy fresh, odor-free footwear. Remember to maintain proper foot hygiene, wear clean socks, and allow your shoes to air out regularly to prevent future odors.

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