How to Remove Smell from Running Shoes

This is a common issue that happened to all of us. Every runner has to face this issue regardless of their shoe quality or running pace. But some very simple remedies prolong the freshness of your sneakers and you can avoid this problem.

First of all, you have to find out the reasons why your shoes become so stinky and how to remove the smell.


Running shoes care

Why do your shoes become stinky?

We all know that each of us has 250,000 sweat glands in our feet. When you do running your sweat gland produces sweat. That sweat is compacted with socks and then with your shoes. Perspiration has no place to evaporate so smell occurs.

Some of the shoes have absorbing power to absorb some of the moisture. This is not only the sweat that becomes stinky but it’s the bacteria that make your shoes so smelly. It is very important to deal with this issue to avoid the smell as well as bacteria that cause bad scents. If you will not deal with this issue it will result in infection. Now let’s discuss some of the easy remedies that will help to prevent smelly shoes as well as feet.

6 Ways to Remove the Smell From Running Shoes

    1. Wash your feet often
    2. Choose the right pair of socks and shoes
    3. Take off your shoes immediately
    4. Use sweat-reducing products
    5. Replace shoe insole
    6. Wash your shoes

1. Wash Your Feet Often

Try to work on your personal hygiene. Wash your feet regularly especially when you come back after a run. It will stimulate fewer bacteria transfer and less stinky shoes. Use body washes to wash your feet properly. This habit will keep your feet clean and reduce the chances of foot infections.

2. Choose the Right Pair of Socks and Shoes

Runner sneakers should be breathable and absorb moisture. It will not completely help to deal with stinky shoes but it will lessen the problem. Try to buy another pair of shoes as spare shoes to stop the bad odor.

Try to choose a good pair of shoes that have moisture-absorbing properties to provide proper ventilation to your feet that will allow the sweat to evaporate easily.

Never wear your running shoes without socks even if you are not running because in such case there will be no barrier between your shoe and your feet, your feet will excrete sweat and the shoe will give a bad smell.

3. Take off Your Shoes Immediately

Once you complete your exercise remove your shoes as soon as possible to allow them to release the sweat that is absorbed by them. The more time you wear your shoes the more they get smelly. Throw out your socks in the washing machine every alternative day to get rid of that smell.

4. Use Sweat-Reducing Products to Remove Smell from Running Shoes

There are several ways to reduce the bad smell and your sweat and are inexpensive too. Deodorant or sneaker balls are kept in shoes that smell good and prevent your shoes from getting so stinky. Shoe disinfectant spray also works well for this purpose but in short term only. If your shoes required to wash off then go with this option.

5. Replace shoe insole

Replacing the shoe insole is also an option if you are facing smelly shoes. The shoe insole has special instructions like some shoe insoles can be washed and reinserted in shoes and some insoles have to replace. Try to search for shoe insoles that are made up of sweat-absorbing charcoal material. If you are changing your insoles but still facing this issue then this is the right time to wash your shoes or change the pair of sneakers.

6. Wash your shoes

When you find out the bad odor is not bearable now then go to wash your shoes. Before washing your running shoes first check what material they are made up of because some of the shoes are pair are not washable. Some pairs become faded in color or weaken the material of the shoe.

See How to wash shoes in the washing machine.

Shoes become shapeless and you will lose the shoes so before washing please check shoe care instructions. Try to wash the shoes in cold water and mild detergent. Remove shoe insoles. Keep your machine cycle slow and avoid using a spinner. When the shoes are washed keep them in the air to get dry naturally.

On the other hand, if shoes are made up of such material that can’t be washed in washing machines like canvas, leather shoes, or a pair of velvet shoes. Then go with the hand wash option. Remove the shoe insoles and laces. Take warm water and add shoe-safe cleanser to it.

Add your shoes to this mixture. Scrub your shoes with your hands. Repeat this step with the insole and shoe laces then wash them off then you are done with washing let them air dry naturally.

Home remedies for stinky shoes

1. Baby powder

One of the best and easy home remedies for stinky shoes is baby powder. The baby powder absorbs sweat and reduces the awful smell of shoes.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is also used to remove the smell of shoes. Sprinkle a little amount of baking soda in shoes when you give them rest and then all the smell will go away.

3. Tea bags

The tea bag is also a good choice to remove a malodorous smell from shoes. Use the used black or green tea bags. Remove the excess moisture by pressing it and add a cool or dry tea bag to your sneakers. Remove the tea bags after 24 hours and you will see a clear difference in smell.

4. Essential oil

You may also use a few drops of any essential oil if you want to try something unique with your shoes. The orange and lemon essential oil has a very refreshing smell that will reduce that bad shoe smell. Cinnamon essential oil, tea tree oil, and clove oil are antibacterial oils, and adding a few drops of essential oil in both shoes will kill the bacteria, works as the antifungal smell will completely vanish. You may use a combination like, adding several drops of essential oil and adding some baking soda or vinegar whatever you are comfortable with, and as result bacteria will be killed and the smell will go away.

5. Place your pair of shoes in the sun

A free home remedy is to leave them in sun to absorb all the sweat and bacteria that cause the smell. When you will keep them in sun the shoes will be neutral in smell.

6. Prepare a spray for stinky shoes

Mix white vinegar and half a quantity of water and fill them in a spray bottle and spray on shoes will kill the bacteria and eliminate the bad odor.

7. Stuff your pair of running sneakers with soap

Place an unwrapped bar of soap on each shoe and leave it for 24 hours all the moisture will be soaked by the soap and leave a very pleasant smell in your shoe.

8. Prepare shoe-powdered deodorant

Add ½ cup of cornstarch, add ¼ cup of baking powder, and ¼ cup of baking soda. Mix the all powders well. Sprinkle this 1 tsp and leave them overnight. The next day put the mixture in the trash and wear your shoes.
Let’s conclude this topic, all the above-described ways are the best ways to remove the bad smell. DIY hacks also work for the bad scent of shoes. And all the described hacks are almost tried and tested ways to eliminate the smell.
If any of these tricks do not work for you then it’s time to change your shoes. You can also find out about which pair of shoes is better for you in another article.

Hope the above article help you to find ways to Remove Smell from Running Shoes

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