How to get rid of the smell in shoes, popular methods, ozonizers, washing

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Shoes can often tell more about a person than his clothes or accessories. No matter how expensive a coat, suit, watch or bag, dirty or bad-smelling shoes in the eyes of others will instantly turn a dandy into a sloppy person. Outside, expensive oxfords, as well as cheap sneakers, can always be washed, but how to get rid of the smell of shoes is a matter that needs to be examined in detail. This is not always easy to do, but meanwhile, the problem carries a lot of inconvenience: in “smelling” shoes it’s embarrassing to take off your shoes, socks or stockings are saturated with stench, adding unpleasant emotions when a person comes home after a hard day. Based on the cause of the “aroma”, you can get rid of it and prevent further occurrence by available homemade or ready-made chemicals. Here will talk about how to get rid of the smell in shoes.

Reasons for the appearance: How to get rid of the smell in shoes

The smell of shoes in most cases is the result of increased sweating of the legs and the vital activity of pathogenic microorganisms. There are about 10 bacteria on each cell of our skin, and their total number is in the millions. All these microorganisms do not make themselves felt until a person begins to sweat. The liquid secreted in this case is 98% composed of water and salts, and also contains a small amount of sugars, which microbes feed on. The result of their “feasts” are the waste products from which the fetid odor emanates. At the same time, sweat produced during stress, shock or anxiety contains more sugars and fats, and therefore it stinks more sharply.

Another cause of bad breath in shoes can be substandard material. Shoes made of leatherette, do not let air through, so the legs appear to be “in the bath”, where bacteria actively multiply, and the feet continue to sweat. No less important is the lining material. In expensive models, it is made of leather, in winter shoes – of wool, and in cheaper products – of fabric or leatherette. You should not save on shoes; if possible, you should only wear leather or suede products with a quality lining. If the shoes made of natural expensive materials smell, the most likely reason is sweating. In this case, you should visit the therapist, pass the necessary tests and diagnose the body.

Quite often, a bad smell from shoes appears from fungal infections of the feet of its owner. The fungus can be picked up in “wet” public places: baths, saunas or pools.

After treatment, the shoes need to be treated with an antifungal agent to avoid re-infection of the feet.

Another reason why shoes stink is mold that settles inside. Her spores enter the house with her boots and begin to develop in suitable conditions, which are a warm, humid environment. Pet owners are also familiar with the problem of offensive smell due to tricks of an ill-bred pet.

How to get rid of the smell in shoes, popular methods, ozonizers, washing
Sweating feet
Poor shoe manufacturing materials

Effective Removal Methods

To remove the smell of shoes at home can be both folk remedies and chemicals. The principle of their action is based on a general antibacterial disinfection and the closure of an unpleasant odor with the aroma of herbs or chemicals.


You can get rid of the bad smell in shoes at home quickly and cheaply using folk remedies. They have medium efficiency, do not penetrate deep into the tissue or skin, cleansing it only from the inside, but are quite capable of removing unpleasant fragrances if there are no special deodorants at hand and there is no way to wash the shoes.

  1. Ordinary soda, which has a deodorizing and disinfecting effect, effectively helps to prevent a smell in shoes. It will help eliminate traces of dampness, since this substance absorbs excess moisture perfectly. A small amount of soda is required to fall asleep in a canvas bag, put in shoes and leave overnight. In the morning the unpleasant smell will disappear. Among other things, the substance has an antibacterial effect, with the help of soda you can make foot baths from excessive sweating.
  2. Vinegar is another powerful odor control. Do not fill it in, just dampen a cotton swab and walk along the insoles of your shoes. If you overdo it, the smell of vinegar will remain inside for a long time, and the steam will have to be ventilated and washed. Also, the substance is able to change the color of the skin, so that it should not fall on the outer surface of the shoe.
  3. Dry tea bags, bags with dried sage, oak bark or lavender will also help to cope with the smell of sweat, blocking it with its aroma.
  4. Dry shoes can be placed in a plastic bag and put in the freezer overnight. At low temperatures, the bacteria die, so the stench disappears. Soda or baby powder before freezing will dry the shoes, and also prevent the crystallization of ice inside.

In cold weather, it is recommended to take shoes to the balcony or to the courtyard. It is an effective prophylactic against unpleasant odors. Since fresh air will circulate inside, the smell of damp or sweat will not get a chance.

  • Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dry tea bags
  • Freezer
  • Fresh air

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Chemical and medical

What else shoes are treated for from the smell of sweat and other “aromas” – these are special chemicals. They are more effective than folk, but you need to use them carefully. Chemicals left on the boots can cause peeling of the skin or irritation of the feet. With the help of such funds, even at home, it will be possible to get rid of the smell of sweat in shoes or its dampness without problems. However, after such a treatment, it is recommended to wash the shoes or at least soak them in water for a short time.

The best chemicals and medicines for the smell of shoes:

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide and Chlorhexidine. These are antiseptics that can destroy unpleasant odors. You need to wet a cotton swab with liquid, then wipe the insoles and the inner surface of the shoes. Alternatively, you can use regular medical alcohol or vodka. To prevent the smell of sweat in the shoes, this treatment is recommended once a week, even if the shoes do not currently stink.
  2. Activated carbon. Crush about 10 tablets per shoe and put into shoes or just put the whole thing inside. As a natural sorbent, coal will absorb an unpleasant odor. In this way, you can only clean dark shoes with a black lining, and it would be advisable to wash the shoes before further use, so as not to stain the socks.
  3. Essential oils. To eliminate the smell, you can use fir, lavender, tea tree oils, which have antibacterial properties.
  4. Formidron (formaldehyde solution). The drug not only kills bacteria, but also reduces the secretion of sweat. This remedy is used to treat hyperhidrosis of the legs, palms and armpits, so that a processed pair of boots or sneakers will prevent the very reason for the appearance of an unpleasant odor. Before getting rid of the smell of shoes, the liquid must be generously applied to a cotton pad. Next, you will need to carefully wipe the insoles and inner seams, and then put the pair in a plastic bag for the night. Formidron is a very toxic substance, so before putting on shoes after treatment, it will need to be ventilated for 2-3 days. You don’t need to wash and wash your shoes, otherwise the antiperspirant effect will disappear.

If the cause of the unpleasant phenomenon is a fungus, during treatment it is necessary to treat the shoes with antifungal agents, for example, Candide odor powder for shoes to avoid reinfection.

Activated carbon

Ways to eliminate various types of odors

People are faced with several types of common “aromas” of shoes or boots, for the struggle against which for many generations the most effective folk remedies have been developed. Below are time-tested methods.


Normal disinfection will help rid your shoes of the smell of sweat. Wipe the lining with alcohol, peroxide, potassium permanganate solution. Next, you need to put inside several bags of soda to absorb moisture after treatment with antiseptics, as well as flavoring: a bag of herbs, tea, a few drops of essential oil. Leave for a few hours. When wondering how best to get rid of the smell of sweat in shoes at home, you can try using silica gel from a pet store, which is standardly used as a filler for cat’s toilets. It is necessary to pour granules into a boot or shoe to the top, leave the product for a day, then carefully shake it out and dry it in the fresh air.


White shoes and sneakers can be washed with white, and then with a brush to remove mold from the surface of the shoe. For the dark, classic methods are suitable: potassium permanganate, soda and vinegar. Moldy steam should be washed thoroughly or dry cleaned. If you need to wear it today, these methods will help at least remove the smell from the shoes. The following method gives good results:

  1. Shoes are cleaned with a solution prepared from water and grated laundry soap. For smooth skin use a sponge, for suede, nubuck, textiles – a brush of medium hardness.
  2. The remaining foam is removed with a soft cloth.
  3. Shoes are rubbed inside with cotton swabs dipped in hydrogen peroxide. The movements should be subtle, without pressure, and also unidirectional. Disks should be changed as often as possible.
  4. Next, you will need to carefully dry the products – in the sun or frost, depending on the time of year, this will kill fungi and harmful microorganisms.
  5. The final step is to treat the shoes with antifungal anti-mold agents. You can take a water-based product.

Instead of chemical antifungal drugs, 9% vinegar can be used.

Wash shoes with a solution of water and grated laundry soap
Wipe inside with cotton swabs dipped in hydrogen peroxide
Dry the product
Treat with antifungal anti-mold drugs

Cat urine

Every domestic cat must have tagged its owner’s shoes at least once. Eliminating the unpleasant smell of urine is very difficult, since most detergents only strengthen it. The first thing you need to throw insoles, most likely, save them will not work. Shoes are thoroughly soaped with brown laundry soap or generously treated with glycerin, soaked for 30-40 minutes, then wiped inside with citric acid and put to ventilate.

Textile products marked with a cat are best treated with a potassium permanganate solution and washed manually or in a typewriter. Leather shoes are more difficult. It will be possible to neutralize the smell rather than remove it completely. For dark shoes, you can use iodine treatment (10 drops per glass of water), for light shoes with lemon juice or vinegar. It is important to first test the product in an inconspicuous area of ​​the product. Inside, shoes should be cleaned with any chlorine-based substance.

In addition, special detergents are now available at household and pet stores to remove pet urine stains, which at the same time remove odors in shoes.

Cats really dislike the smell of citrus. So that the shoes do not stink, you can put a few slices of lemon or orange in it, the aroma will interrupt the stench from cat urine, and the naughty girl will no longer come close to the shoes.

Throw insoles
Wipe with citric acid and ventilate
For light shoes use lemon juice, for dark – treatment with iodine


Naphthalene is used to protect winter boots or boots with a fur lining from moths, but, unfortunately, it leaves behind a strong unpleasant aroma. You can get rid of it with the help of any sorbents, for example, activated carbon or soda – from the smell in the shoes they help as well as possible. Gauze bags filled with dry mustard powder are an excellent tool. They can be placed for several days in the shoe itself or in the closet where it is stored. In this way, you can even get rid of the outdated mothballs smell. Another effective method will be clove seeds. They will need to be pre-crushed and poured into a clay container, which is put on a shelf (in a box) with shoes for a couple of weeks. Shoes will not only stop stinking with mothballs, but will also acquire a subtle clove aroma.

Clove seeds


That “smell of shoes” is nothing more than cheap shoe glue. You can get rid of it with the help of cat’s filler for the tray, which perfectly absorbs odors. Alternatives include soda, activated carbon, ammonia, peroxide, and vinegar. Lavender or lemon essential oil will help to “mask” the smell of glue. In the cold season, you just need to put your shoes for a couple of hours in the cold – there will be no trace of an unpleasant odor.

Lavender essential oil
Minus temperature and fresh air

Special shoe care products

Many people rightly believe that in the modern world there is no need to turn to folk methods to remove the smell of sweat from shoes. Moreover, the market has many special sprays, foams and deodorants. They quickly, easily and without risk of damaging the product remove the unpleasant odor of sweat. Substances will definitely not leave behind spots, traces and cracks. Shoe deodorants can take the form of:

  • aerosol;
  • stick
  • pad with filler.

The most popular and easiest to use are aerosols. You need to carefully look at the description of the spray: they all work with different materials and each fight against their own smell, but most are designed to clean traditional fabric and leather shoes.

In addition, modern manufacturers offer electric dryers with ionization function, which not only remove moisture, but also allow the destruction of bacteria and fungi. Under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, all microorganisms die, respectively, an unpleasant odor disappears.

Causes of the smell of new shoes and how to eliminate it

Often when buying new, usually inexpensive shoes, a sharp chemical smell in the shoes is felt for some time. Its sources are shoe glue, leather processing materials, dyes, leatherette, plastic and rubber. So that the shoes do not smell, you can wet the swab with a solution of potassium permanganate or hydrogen peroxide, wipe the new thing inside and leave it to air on the balcony for several days. For greater effect, you can put some flavor inside or use special sprays to remove the smell of new shoes. Many brands offer such products, including the popular Salamander, Kiwi, Scholl, Salton, Silver, Sitil, and Green Pharmacy. In this case, before further use of the product, you must wait until the deodorizing agent has completely dried.

Natural absorbents, flour or soda (as an option – talc) will help to remove the smell of new shoes. The powder should be generously poured inside the problem pair, left overnight, shake it out in the morning, removing the rest with a vacuum cleaner.

Use special sprays to remove the smell of new shoes
Pour inside natural absorbents – flour, soda or talc

The principle of action of odor absorbers

Absorbers are devices or substances that completely eliminate annoying odors. This is their main difference from neutralizers, which only mask the unpleasant odor with aroma. The principle of operation of the absorber is the diffusion and transformation of air molecules. Substances with an unpleasant odor pass through the device, interact with its internal contents, and come back with a pleasant aroma.

Most odor absorbers for shoes incorporate silica gel granules – a powder that absorbs unpleasant “fragrances.” As additional flavors use bamboo, activated carbon, sea salt, essential oils or helium. The most powerful effective device for eliminating unpleasant odors is an ozonizer-absorber. Ozone has excellent oxidizing ability, quickly removes strong odors and destroys its sources – bacteria and microorganisms. The ozonizer must be placed in the shoes for only 15-20 minutes – the shoes are already sterilized. For comparison – the same ultraviolet dryers should work 6-8 hours for high-quality cleaning of sneakers or shoes.

Important nuances of washing shoes

Often, washing is recommended to remove stench from shoes. At the same time, the machine room is suitable only for fabric products (sneakers, sneakers, moccasins), but it is strictly forbidden for products:

  • leather or suede;
  • with decor (rhinestones, sequins, stripes);
  • with cracks and damage – the machine will “break” them even more;
  • poor quality as cheap glue can break shoes.

From textile models, it is necessary to remove the insoles and laces, put a couple in the laundry bag, fill the remaining space with linen or socks to soften the beating of shoes on the drum. The “delicate washing” mode is recommended, the temperature is not higher than forty degrees, it is forbidden to squeeze and dry products using a machine. For washing, it is better to use not a powder, but a liquid product, it is advisable to purchase special products for cleaning sportswear.

After washing, shoes should be stuffed with paper, dried at room temperature, away from heating appliances and direct ultraviolet radiation.

Set the “delicate wash” mode
Put a couple in the laundry bag
It is forbidden to squeeze and dry products using a machine

Preventive measures

Shoe care must be taken more carefully than clothing. The set of necessary measures depends on the quality of the product: lining material, outer surface, style, tailoring. Summer shoes should be lightweight, made of natural fabric, shoes and boots – made of leather, like lining, winter boots – lined with fur.

The appearance of an unpleasant odor is affected by the size of the shoes. In tight small shoes, the leg is tense, fingers are bent, pressed to each other, which provokes even greater production of sweat and a stronger smell. In addition, a tough, uncomfortable model rubs its feet, blood stains remain on the lining, which also subsequently begin to exude a smell.

Among the main recommendations:

  1. Do not wear the same pair all day. At work, you need to change shoes into comfortable shoes, and if collective etiquette and a dress code allow, you can wear fabric comfortable sneakers or slippers.
  2. If the work is sedentary, you should not be shod at the table, it is better to ventilate your legs, and wear shoes only when you need to go somewhere.
  3. Wearing the same pair every day is also harmful, shoes need to “rest”.
  4. It is imperative to put on clean socks and stockings every day, change them several times a day, if necessary, without letting the smell from the laundry leak further.
  5. Wash insoles several times a month, change worn ones.
  6. Wipe products with antiseptics every few days.
  7. Use shoe deodorants for excessive sweating.

So that mold does not start in the boots, they must be stored in a dry place, preferably on open shoe shelves. There should not be a sink, bathtub and other “wet objects” nearby, the temperature is room temperature. In the cold season, sometimes it is worth taking products to the balcony. Winter boots and boots with natural fur are stored in closed boxes or special covers to block access to moths.

To have several pairs of shoes for each season
Wash insoles several times a month

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