How To Get Foot Odor Out Of Boots

How to Get Foot Odor Out of Boots

Having smelly feet is one thing, but dealing with foot odor in your favorite boots can be quite a challenge. The combination of sweat and bacteria can create an unpleasant smell that is hard to ignore. However, there are several effective methods that can help you get rid of foot odor and restore the freshness to your boots. In this article, we will explore some of these techniques and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to tackle foot odor in boots.

Causes of Foot Odor in Boots

Before we delve into the solutions, let’s first understand what causes foot odor in boots. The main culprit is the sweat glands in our feet. When we wear boots for extended periods, our feet tend to sweat due to lack of ventilation. This sweat provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, resulting in the release of unpleasant odors. Additionally, certain materials, such as leather, can absorb and retain the smell, making it even more challenging to eliminate foot odor from boots.

1. Remove Odor with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile household ingredient that can help neutralize foot odor. Follow these steps to use baking soda for your smelly boots:

  1. Clean the boots: Start by wiping down the boots with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Create a baking soda mixture: In a small bowl, mix equal parts baking soda and cornstarch. This combination will help absorb moisture and eliminate odor.
  3. Apply the mixture: Sprinkle the baking soda mixture generously on the inside of the boots, focusing on the areas that come into contact with your feet the most.
  4. Let it sit overnight: Leave the boots overnight, allowing the baking soda to absorb the odor. If possible, place the boots in a well-ventilated area.
  5. Remove the residue: The next day, shake out the boots to remove any excess baking soda. Use a soft brush to brush away any remaining residue.
  6. Enjoy fresh-smelling boots: Your boots should now be odor-free and ready to wear again.

2. Freeze Your Boots

Freezing your boots may sound like an unusual method, but it can effectively kill odor-causing bacteria. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Place your boots in a plastic bag: Put your boots in a sealable plastic bag to protect them from moisture while in the freezer.
  2. Seal the bag: Make sure the bag is tightly sealed to prevent any odor from spreading in the freezer.
  3. Freeze overnight: Leave the boots in the freezer for a minimum of 8 hours. The cold temperature will kill the bacteria responsible for the foot odor.
  4. Remove from the freezer: Take the boots out of the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temperature.
  5. Air them out: Once the boots are fully thawed, leave them in a well-ventilated area to air out for a couple of hours.
  6. Put on fresh socks: Before wearing the boots, make sure to wear clean socks to help prevent future foot odor.

3. Use Tea Bags for Odor Elimination

Tea bags can also work wonders in getting rid of foot odor from your boots. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose the right tea: Use tea bags that contain black tea, as it has natural antiseptic properties.
  2. Steep the tea bags: Immerse the tea bags in boiling water for a few minutes to release the tannins.
  3. Remove excess liquid: Once steeped, gently squeeze out any excess liquid from the tea bags.
  4. Place the tea bags in the boots: Put the slightly damp tea bags inside the boots and let them sit overnight.
  5. Remove the tea bags: The next day, take out the tea bags and discard them.
  6. Enjoy odor-free boots: Your boots should now be free from foot odor and ready to wear.

4. Treat Boots with Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help eliminate foot odor from your boots. Here’s how to use vinegar effectively:

  1. Create a vinegar solution: Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution inside the boots: Spritz the mixture inside the boots, focusing on the areas that tend to get the smelliest.
  3. Let it air dry: Allow the boots to air dry completely before wearing them again.
  4. Avoid the vinegar smell: If you find that the vinegar scent lingers, you can wipe down the interior of the boots with a damp cloth soaked in plain water.

5. Use Odor-Eliminating Insoles

Another effective solution to combat foot odor in boots is to use odor-eliminating insoles. These insoles are specifically designed to neutralize odors and provide extra comfort for your feet. Simply remove the existing insoles from your boots and replace them with the odor-eliminating ones. This method is convenient and can help prevent foot odor from developing in the first place.

6. Let Your Boots Breathe

One of the main reasons for foot odor in boots is the lack of ventilation. To prevent this, make it a habit to let your boots breathe after each use. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Remove your boots: Once you’re done wearing your boots for the day, take them off and give your feet a breather.
  2. Place them in a well-ventilated area: Find a spot where your boots can dry out and air out properly, away from direct sunlight.
  3. Use boot inserts: Insert a boot insert or shoe tree into your boots to help maintain their shape and promote airflow.
  4. Rotate your boots: If possible, avoid wearing the same pair of boots every day. Rotate between different pairs to allow each pair to dry completely before wearing again.

7. Wash the Boots (if possible)

If your boots are machine washable, giving them a thorough washing can help eliminate foot odor. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Check the care instructions: Before washing your boots, make sure to check the care label to ensure they are machine washable.
  2. Remove laces and insoles: Take out the laces and insoles, as they may get damaged during the washing process.
  3. Use a mild detergent: Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent.
  4. Scrub the boots: Dip a soft brush or cloth into the soapy water and gently scrub the boots, paying particular attention to the interior areas.
  5. Rinse and air dry: Rinse the boots thoroughly with clean water and place them in a well-ventilated area to air dry completely.
  6. Reassemble and wear: Once dry, reattach the laces and insoles and enjoy fresh-smelling boots.

8. Avoid Wearing Wet Boots

Wearing wet boots not only increases the likelihood of foot odor but can also lead to other foot-related issues such as fungal infections. To prevent foot odor, make sure your boots are completely dry before putting them on. If your boots get wet, remove them immediately, wipe them dry, and allow them to air dry before wearing them again.

9. Opt for Moisture-Wicking Socks

Choosing the right type of socks can make a significant difference in preventing foot odor. Moisture-wicking socks are designed to keep your feet dry by absorbing and wicking away sweat. These socks are often made from synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon, which are known for their moisture-wicking properties. By keeping your feet dry, moisture-wicking socks can help reduce the growth of bacteria and minimize foot odor.

10. Use Foot Powders or Sprays

Foot powders and sprays can provide a refreshing and deodorizing effect for your boots. Look for products that are specifically designed to combat foot odor and apply them before wearing your boots. These products often contain ingredients such as baking soda or activated charcoal, which can help absorb moisture and neutralize odor.


1. How often should I use these methods to get rid of foot odor from my boots?

It depends on how severe the foot odor is and how often you wear your boots. However, it is generally recommended to use these methods periodically, especially after extended periods of wear or if your boots start to develop a noticeable smell.

2. Can I use these methods on all types of boots?

Most of these methods can be used on various types of boots, but it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions or care label before using any cleaning or deodorizing products. Some materials may require specific care or have limitations on the use of certain substances.

3. Are there any preventive measures I can take to avoid foot odor in my boots?

Yes, there are several preventive measures you can take to minimize foot odor in your boots. These include wearing moisture-wicking socks, letting your boots air out between uses, avoiding wet boots, and using odor-eliminating insoles.

4. Can I use these methods on other types of shoes as well?

Yes, most of these methods can be used on other types of shoes too. However, as with boots, it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions or care label before proceeding with any cleaning or deodorizing methods.

5. How long does it take for the foot odor to completely disappear?

The time it takes for the foot odor to completely disappear may vary depending on the severity of the odor and the effectiveness of the method used. In most cases, you should notice a significant improvement after using these methods, but it may take a couple of applications or treatments to completely eliminate the odor.

6. Can I use multiple methods at the same time?

Yes, you can combine multiple methods to tackle foot odor in your boots. For example, you can start by using baking soda, followed by freezing the boots, and then using tea bags or vinegar. However, it’s important not to overdo it and to follow the instructions for each method to ensure safety and effectiveness.

7. How do I prevent foot odor from coming back?

To prevent foot odor from recurring, it’s essential to practice good foot hygiene and take preventive measures. This includes wearing moisture-wicking socks, regularly cleaning and deodorizing your boots, letting your boots air out between uses, and avoiding wearing wet boots.

8. Can I wear my boots immediately after using these methods?

In most cases, you should allow your boots to dry and air out properly after using these methods before wearing them again. This ensures that any residual moisture or odor is gone and prevents discomfort or further development of foot odor.

9. Are there any natural remedies for foot odor in boots?

Yes, several natural remedies can help combat foot odor in boots. Some examples include using baking soda, tea bags, vinegar, or activated charcoal. These ingredients have natural deodorizing properties and are safe to use.

10. What should I do if the foot odor in my boots persists despite using these methods?

If the foot odor in your boots persists despite trying these methods, it may be best to consult a professional shoe cleaner or a podiatrist. They can provide further guidance and recommend specialized treatments if necessary.


Foot odor in boots can be a nuisance, but it is not impossible to eliminate. By using the methods mentioned in this article, you can effectively tackle foot odor and enjoy fresh-smelling boots once again. Remember to practice good foot hygiene, use preventive measures, and rotate your boots to prevent future foot odor. With a little effort and consistency, you can say goodbye to foot odor and confidently wear your boots without any worries.

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