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Bright Ideas · How To Solve One Of The Stinkiest Summertime Problems
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How To Solve One Of The Stinkiest Summertime Problems

Don't just cover up the smell of stinky shoes—eliminate the odor at its source!

Summertime is all fun and games until someone’s smelly shoes are stinking up the house! It happens in a predictable cycle: hot temperatures lead to sweaty feet, and sweaty feet leave behind moisture in shoes causing unpleasant odors.

But don’t give up on those smelly shoes just yet, because today I’m sharing the best and most effective methods for eliminating odors in shoes. If you’ve been wondering how to get the stink out of shoes, you’ve come to just the right place!

Eliminate Odors

The secret to removing odor from shoes is to deal with the moisture issue. Many people simply try to tackle the odor itself by using a deodorizing spray, but that only covers up the smell. By drying out the moisture, you can cut the smell off at the source by killing the odor-causing bacteria.

There are a few different ways to do this, so I’ve included a few different options for you in this post. Use whichever method you like best, or whichever method you can do using stuff you already have at home.

Here’s to a stink-free summer! 🙂

How To Remove Odor From Shoes

Maximize your chances of success with this method, which combines several of the effective approaches outlined later in this post:

Pour a mixture of baking soda and several drops of essential oils (optional) into each shoe and leave it overnight to absorb the moisture and smell. Next, seal the shoes into a ziplock freezer bag and put them in your freezer for several hours (or overnight again) to kill the odor-causing bacteria.

For more simple remedies to remove the odor from stinky shoes, read on!

1. Use Baking Soda

Use a coffee filter, some baking soda, and a rubber band to make the ultimate odor eliminator! I’ve heard these referred to as “stinky pinkies,” but you can call them whatever you want. 😉

Place a few tablespoons of baking soda into the center of a coffee filter and add a couple drops of essential oils if desired. Twist the filter closed and tie it off with a rubber band, then place one sachet in each shoe overnight to absorb moisture and deodorize the shoes.

Another baking soda option is to make a simple shoe powder by adding a few drops of essential oils to a handful of baking soda. Mix well, pour the powder into the shoes in an even layer, then let them sit overnight. Discard the baking soda in the morning (and use your vacuum if needed to remove any remaining baking soda from the inside of the shoes.)

2. Use Cotton Balls

Put a few drops of essential oils onto a couple of cotton balls, place them inside the shoes, and leave them overnight. Lemon oil and other citrus scents work well here!

Related: 10 Surprising Uses For Essential Oils You Need To Know

3. Use Sunshine

If it’s sunny and warm out, place your shoes out in the sun for a few hours. Leaving them in the sun can dry them out and make them less hospitable to odor-causing bacteria.

4. Use Your Freezer

You can use your freezer to help eliminate shoe odors too! Start by placing them in a sealed ziplock bag, then place the bag in your freezer overnight. The odor-causing bacteria won’t survive the frigid temperatures, making this a simple and effective intervention.

Related: 12 Useful Things You Didn’t Know Your Freezer Could Do

5. Use Lemon Peels

Place some lemon peels in your shoes overnight. If moisture isn’t an issue, this will help provide a fresh scent to smelly shoes!

6. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Spray the inside of the shoes with rubbing alcohol. This method will help dry out the sources of odor and hopefully allow you full use of the shoes again.

Not only is rubbing alcohol an antiseptic, but it also evaporates quite quickly. In fact, it evaporates so readily that it helps other forms of moisture like sweat dry out too.

Related: 11 Of The Most Useful Things You Can Do With Rubbing Alcohol

7. Use A Bar Of Soap

Finally, the last method I wanted to mention for removing odor from shoes is to place a bar of soap inside the shoes overnight. The porous soap will help absorb odors and leave behind a fresh, clean scent. (It’s also a great method to try if you have a few spare bars of soap in your cupboard or closet!)

What’s your preferred method for freshening up smelly shoes?

How to Get Rid of Smelly Shoes (Step by Step)

Summertime is all fun and games until someone’s smelly shoes are stinking up the house! It happens in a predictable cycle: Hot temperatures lead to sweaty feet, and sweaty feet leave behind moisture in shoes causing unpleasant odors. But don’t throw out those stinky shoes just yet, because today I’ll be sharing some of the best and most effective methods for eliminating odors in shoes!
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time3 hrs 15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Yield: 2 clean-smelling sh
Author: Jill Nystul
Cost: $15

Equipment

  • Cotton Balls
  • Coffee Filters
  • Rubber Band
  • Ziploc Freezer Bags

Materials

  • 4 tbsp Baking Soda
  • 10 drops Citrus Essential Oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 bottle Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1 bar Soap

Instructions

Using Baking Soda

  • Use a coffee filter, some baking soda, and a rubber band to make the ultimate odor eliminator! I’ve heard these referred to as “stinky pinkies,” but you can call them whatever you want. Just add a few tablespoons of baking soda into the center of the coffee filter, and add a couple drops of essential oils for scent (optional). Twist the filter closed and tie it off with a rubber band. Place baking soda sachet in each shoe overnight to absorb the moisture and smell.
    To make it even quicker and easier, you could also make a simple shoe powder! Add a few drops of essential oils to some baking soda as described above, and then sprinkle the powder into the bottom of the shoes. Let it sit overnight, then dump it out in the morning.

Using Cotton Balls

  • Drop a few drops of essential oils onto a couple of cotton balls, place them inside the shoes, and leave them overnight. I suggest using lemon oil, or another clean citrus scent!

Using Sunshine

  • Place your shoes out in the sun. Moisture is a big problem when it comes to stinky shoes. Leaving them in the sun can dry them out and prevent bacterial growth.

Using Your Freezer

  • You can use your freezer to help remove odor from shoes. Start by placing them in a sealed ziplock bag, then place the bag in your freezer overnight. The freezing temperature will kill the odor-causing bacteria, which will go a long way toward making your shoes smell fresher!

Using Lemon Peels

  • Place some lemon peels in your shoes overnight. If moisture isn’t an issue, this will help provide a fresh scent to smelly shoes!

Using Rubbing Alcohol

  • Spray the inside of the shoes with rubbing alcohol. This method will help dry out the sources of odor and hopefully allow you full use of the shoes again. Not only is rubbing alcohol an antiseptic, but it also evaporates quite quickly. And when you apply it other sources of moisture, it can cause them to evaporate too!

Using a Bar of Soap

  • Another way to remove odor from shoes is by placing a bar of soap inside a stinky shoe. The soap is porous, so it will absorb odors and leave behind a fresh, clean scent. This is a great method to try if you already have a couple of spare bars of soap in your cupboard or closet!
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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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