What is the best shoe odor eliminator home remedy?

Shoe odor is something most people will have to deal with in their lives, especially those that have sweaty feet. Odor in your shoes is caused by bacterial activities in your shoes and microbes living on your feet. Moisture and warmth give the bacteria a conducive environment for growth, which is why smelly shoes are typical in the summer.

You can purchase a shoe deodorizer, or you can make a homemade shoe deodorizer, as they work as well as the ones you’ll purchase at your departmental store.

When trying to get rid of odor in your shoes, the first thing you should consider is your hygiene, wash your feet regularly, and wear socks to absorb sweat from your feet. You can opt for breathable footwear to reduce sweat in your shoes and keep your feet cool. Apply baby powder to your feet before you wear your shoes, especially if you’re susceptible to having smelly feet.

There are shoes with special insoles that are chemically treated to prevent the growth of microbes, thereby preventing odor in your shoes, also you might have a hole in your soles which is allowing for bacteria to seep in, use shoe glue to fill in these holes.

Are you looking for the best home remedy for shoe odor? Then this is a guide for you.

Wash your shoes

Shoe odor signifies that your shoes are dirty and need a wash. Put your shoes into a washer, or you can hand wash both the insides and outsides. Washing your shoes is guaranteed to kill the microbes in your footwear and keep your shoes fresh.

Some shoes may require different ways of washing, so be sure you wash per instructions to avoid damage to your shoes.

Baking soda in shoes

Baking soda is a popular homemade remedy for shoe odor, and it’s relatively easy to use. Get your smelly footwear, sprinkle it with baking soda on the inside, and let it stay for a night. Remove the powder the following morning and store it for reuse.

There’s another way to use baking soda in shoes. Get a filter paper—the ones you use for coffee, rubber band, and of course, the baking soda. Put the baking soda in the filter paper, two to three tablespoons should do the trick. Twist the paper and tie it with the rubber bands. Put the wraps in your shoes and let them stay overnight.

What the baking soda does is absorbs the moisture to discourage bacteria growth and also removes the smell. Put a few drops of essential oils if you so desire into the powder before wrapping it up or dusting your shoes with it to give your footwear a pleasant scent.

Lemon Peels

Lemon peels are a natural shoe odor eliminator that gives your shoes a pleasant and fresh scent. Dry the lemon peels, then put the peels in each shoe for a day. The peels would absorb the odor and leave your shoes with the zesty citrus scent. You can use orange peels too. You can also use shoe protectors to prevent them from attracting dirt and bacteria from the outside.

Rubbing Alcohol

Are you searching for a shoe deodorizer DIY? Then consider using rubbing alcohol. Get a spray bottle, fill it up with rubbing alcohol, and spray inside the shoes lightly. What the alcohol does is that it kills the bacteria that are causing the odor, and dries out the moisture in the shoes.


Vinegar can also be used to create a homemade shoe deodorizer. Just make sure the shoes are not too precious to you because vinegar can cause discoloration.

Mix water and vinegar equally into a spray bottle, spray the inside of your shoes, and leave for about half an hour to dry. It will kill the odor-causing bacteria. This is especially effective with indoor soccer shoes or even bowling shoes.

You can also make a foot soak from vinegar to kill bacteria growing and prevent its growth.

Use Charcoal

Charcoal is known for its filtering abilities, and it’s even used in gas masks to prevent dangerous gases and odors from reaching the wearer. Charcoal is also used to filter water; all these speak to its purifying abilities.

You can use charcoal in the form of shoe inserts to deodorize your shoes. Or you can make your homemade shoe deodorizer from charcoal. You need to get the following: activated charcoal, coffee filter, string, a piece of fabric, particularly porous ones or a coffee filter, and essential oils if you desire. If you’re going to be using essential oils, apply a few drops to the piece of fabric first.

Next, you take ¼ cup of the activated charcoal and put in the piece of fabric, tie it up as tightly as possible to prevent spillage. Place the sachet you’ve created inside your shoes and leave overnight. Take note that charcoal stains easily, so be careful around white clothes and shoes; if you want to deodorize white shoes, you can opt for other methods unless you’re confident you’ll be careful in handling the charcoal. This is also a suggested method to combat bad smells from outdoor basketball shoes, those smells come from the combination of outside dirt and sweat!


This post shows you various shoe deodorizer DIY and has equipped you with the knowledge needed to create your homemade shoe deodorizer. The steps are straightforward to follow and can be made from household materials, hence why they are called homemade shoe deodorizer.

The underlying cause of shoe odor is sweaty feet. Asides treating your shoes with various home remedies, you have to take care of your feet too. Scrub your feet every day, including in between your toes, and ensure your feet are dry before wearing any footwear, especially if you are using tactical military boots as those do not provide much breathability.

Clip your toenails, and remove dead hard skin. If you’re engaged in activities that’ll cause you to sweat or if you’re in a hot region, then strive to wear socks. Also, wear new socks each day, or else your feet and shoes would start to smell.

Alternate between shoes and avoid wearing a pair for too long, wearing a pair a day is ideal as it gives the other pair enough time to get dry. Get a pair of open-toed, breathable, and comfortable sandals if the weather is hot, to ensure your feet dry up fast. Remember to properly store the shoes in a cool, dry place to avoid moisture getting into them.