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How To Keep Wet Shoes From Smelling?

How To Keep Wet Shoes From Smelling?

So you strolled under a heavy downpour, and your shoes got wet. Now you’re wondering- how do I keep my wet shoes from smelling? Well, shoes get wet quite often during rainy seasons, and because of dampness in the air and overcast climate, they take longer to dry.

Moreover, they end up with an overwhelming lingering scent that could make you wish to discard them as soon as possible. Fortunately, simple hacks to dispose of such horrendous smells are within reach. So, burning through cash to purchase new shoes isn’t such a viable move.

Give your favorite pair of shoes, a new lease of life with these simple ways of banishing awful smells. Simple hacks to evade the odor are close enough:

Wash Your Shoes

Read through the manufacturers washing guidelines. If the shoes are washable, just drop them in the washer, low temperature with enough detergent. Then place them in the dryer and make sure they’re properly dried. You can essentially put a lot of towels to combat the very loud racket. And the next time your shoes just get wet, simply take them off and dry them appropriately.

For non-washable shoes, on the other hand, you can simply soak them in warm soapy water for some time. Then take out the shoes, eliminate the detergent residue with clean soggy material, and put them aside to dry. Don’t just put them in a corner. Instead, put them outside or somewhere with good airflow.

However, this method is not ideal for leather shoes. In that case, you can use a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol. Soak a clean cloth in the solution and wipe the shoe. Then air-dry the boots properly and apply a leather conditioner.

The insoles

Pull out the inserts and liners (if they’re removable) and wash them by hand using soap or liquid detergent. You may also want to use a soft brush to gently scrub the insoles to remove dirt and stains. For leather insoles, use a damp cloth plus soap. Avoid getting the insoles too wet as this could distort the leather.

Once you’re done, rinse the insoles using a wet sponge or clean cloth to get rid of any excess water or soap on the insoles. Leave the insoles to dry overnight, and make sure they are completely dry before having the back in your shoes.

Soak the Shoes in Vinegar

Disinfect them with vinegar. A combination of 50% white vinegar and 50% water can be effective at wiping out or spraying away terrible smells. You can use a cotton ball or a spray bottle to apply the mixture, and then allow it to dry for about 30 minutes. If you’re in a rush to dry the shoes, you can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. 


In particular black tea bags contain tannins, which can help eliminate microbes that can be found inside a moisty shoe. Put the teabag on boiling for a couple of moments. Remove it and leave it to cool for around five minutes before putting them in the offending shoes.

Leave it inside the shoes for an hour or so. The teabag will assimilate a portion of smell and bestow a much fresher fragrance of its own.

Also Read:  Can you put leather shoes in the washer?

Baking Soda

Baking soda, sometimes referred to as sodium bicarbonate, boasts many superpowers apart from just being a leavening substance. Just put some into your shoes and leave them intact overnight. The powder will absorb excess dampness while you rest, leaving your kicks perfect and dry, ready for the day.

For the best result and more pleasant scent, consider using a mixture of baking soda and a few drops of essential oil before applying to the shoes. Just don’t forget to wipe out the baking soda before putting your shoes on. You don’t want to leave a powder trail in your wake.

Wearing Sweat-Wicking Socks

This is another effective method to keep your feet and shoes drier. Socks made of specialized sweat-wicking material, such as Cool Max, rather than cotton, can help keep your feet and shoes drier. The fibers will move sweat away from the foot to make it evaporate. On the other hand, cotton holds a greater amount of sweat, creating a muggy hatchery in your shoes for bacteria.

However, wicking the sweat away may not be enough, particularly with less-breathable shoes. You can hinder microorganisms and growths from developing by using socks woven with metal fibers such as copper or silver. It’s not among the most common approaches, but it’s still applicable anyway.

Keep Your Shoes Dry Between Wearing

Tossing your shoes in a duffle bag after wearing will make them stay damp longer and give an upbeat home to the rancid organisms. Give them enough air after wearing them. Detach the insoles and stuff of the shoes using dry paper towels to enhance the drying process.

Alternatively, you can consider Stuffit Footwear Savers or simply a foot-molded insert with cedar shavings. Place them in your shoes to help dry faster. This can work for both dress and athletic shoes.

Medicated Foot Powder

These products are accessible from various socks brands. Foot powders are associated with talc to assimilate dampness and usually have a fragrance and antiperspirant properties to cover the smell. By sprinkling sedated foot powder, you’ll keep your shoes dry and free from fungal development.

Antiperspirant on Your Feet

This is a method used by athletes to help prevent blisters. Apart from rain and overcast climate, moisture can be caused by perspiration from your feet. By preventing foot sweat, you can keep your shoes dry and don’t leave room for odor building bacteria to thrive. This should be done with caution to avoid terrible reactions to the splash. You may want to test it on one toe or a small part on one foot to check whether there’s any rash or redness after a day or so.