How to Wash Stinky Shoes in the Washing Machine

How to Wash Stinky Shoes in the Washing Machine

If you’re tired of dealing with smelly shoes, don’t worry – there’s a simple solution! You can safely clean your stinky shoes in the washing machine, giving them a fresh and clean start. By following a few easy steps, you’ll be able to eliminate the shoe odor and enjoy wearing your favorite pair again.

Key Takeaways:

  • Washing stinky shoes in the washing machine can help eliminate shoe odor effectively.
  • Before washing, remove laces and insoles for better results.
  • Place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them during the wash cycle.
  • Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash to help eliminate odors.
  • Avoid putting shoes in the dryer; instead, air dry them to prevent damage.

How to Clean Smelly Shoes with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a simple and effective solution for cleaning and deodorizing your smelly shoes. With its natural odor-absorbing properties, baking soda can help eliminate unpleasant smells and leave your shoes smelling fresh and clean. Here’s how you can use baking soda to banish shoe odor:

Step 1: Sprinkle Baking Soda Inside the Shoes

To start, remove any loose dirt or debris from your shoes. Then, generously sprinkle baking soda inside each shoe, making sure to cover the entire insole area. Baking soda works by absorbing moisture and neutralizing odors, so you want to ensure that all surfaces are coated. Let the baking soda sit inside the shoes for several hours or overnight to allow it to work its magic.

Step 2: Shake Out Excess Baking Soda

Once the baking soda has had time to absorb odors, gently shake out the excess powder from your shoes. You can tap the shoes together or use a soft brush to remove any lingering traces of baking soda. Be thorough in this step to ensure that all the loose powder is removed, leaving your shoes fresh and ready to wear.

Step 3: Create a Homemade Shoe Deodorizer

For ongoing odor control, you can create a homemade shoe deodorizer using baking soda. Fill a pair of clean socks or nylon stockings with baking soda and tie off the ends. Place these homemade deodorizers inside your shoes when they are not in use. The baking soda will continue to absorb moisture and odors, helping to keep your shoes smelling clean and fresh.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda to Clean Smelly ShoesHow to Use Baking Soda for Shoe Odor
  • Natural and non-toxic
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Neutralizes odors
  • Safe for most shoe materials
  1. Remove loose dirt or debris from shoes.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes.
  3. Let it sit for several hours or overnight.
  4. Shake out excess baking soda.
  5. Create a homemade shoe deodorizer.

Using baking soda to clean smelly shoes is a simple and effective method that can help eliminate odor-causing bacteria and leave your shoes smelling fresh. Give it a try and say goodbye to unpleasant shoe odors!

How to Deodorize Shoes with Newspaper

Newspaper can be a handy tool for eliminating unpleasant odors from your shoes. The absorbent properties of newspaper can help soak up excess moisture and eliminate the bacteria that causes odor. Follow these simple steps to deodorize your shoes using newspaper:

  1. Crumple up a few sheets of newspaper into loose balls.
  2. Place the crumpled newspaper balls inside your shoes, ensuring that they fill up the entire space.
  3. Leave the newspaper inside your shoes overnight, allowing it to absorb the moisture and odors.
  4. In the morning, remove the newspaper and discard it.

For an added touch of freshness, you can even add a few drops of vanilla extract to the crumpled newspaper before placing it in your shoes. This will give your shoes a pleasant scent as well.

By using newspaper to deodorize your shoes, you can effectively eliminate odors and keep your footwear smelling fresh.

Table: Comparison of Shoe Deodorization Methods

MethodEffectivenessMaterials NeededDuration
Baking SodaHighBaking soda, socks/nylon feetOvernight
NewspaperMediumNewspaper, vanilla extract (optional)Overnight
Tea BagsLowTea bagsOvernight

Washing Insoles to Get Rid of Odor

When it comes to getting rid of shoe odor, don’t forget about the insoles. These inserts can harbor bacteria and unpleasant smells. Fortunately, washing them is a simple and effective way to freshen up your shoes.

You have two options for washing insoles: machine washing or hand washing. If you choose to machine wash them, toss the insoles in with a load of towels. The agitation of the machine will help remove dirt and odor. Alternatively, you can hand wash them with soap and warm water, gently scrubbing any soiled areas.

After washing, be sure to air-dry the insoles completely before putting them back in your shoes. Placing them in direct sunlight or near a heat source can speed up the drying process. When the insoles are dry, you can reinsert them into your shoes, and they’ll be fresh and ready to wear.

Table: Comparison of Machine Washing and Hand Washing Insoles

Machine WashingConvenient, removes dirt and odor effectivelyPotential damage to insoles, requires a washing machine
Hand WashingGentle on insoles, can target specific soiled areasRequires more time and effort, may not remove odor as effectively

If the odor persists even after washing the insoles, you can try soaking them in a water-vinegar solution for a few hours before drying. Vinegar is known for its deodorizing properties and can help eliminate stubborn smells.

By washing your insoles regularly, you can prevent odor-causing bacteria from building up and keep your shoes smelling fresh. Remember to give your shoes time to air out between wears and practice good foot hygiene to further minimize odors.

Additional Tips to Prevent Shoe Odor

Preventing shoe odor is not only about cleaning and deodorizing your shoes; it’s also about implementing good foot hygiene practices and choosing the right footwear accessories. Here are some additional tips to help keep your shoes smelling fresh:

1. Wash Your Feet Thoroughly

One of the main culprits behind shoe odor is the accumulation of sweat and bacteria on your feet. Make sure to wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water every day, paying close attention to the areas between your toes. After washing, dry your feet completely, as moisture can promote the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

2. Wear Moisture-Wicking Socks

Moisture-wicking socks are designed to draw moisture away from your feet, keeping them dry and reducing the chances of odor buildup. Look for socks made from synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon, as they are known for their moisture-wicking properties. Avoid wearing socks made from cotton or other materials that tend to retain moisture.

3. Rotate Your Shoes

Wearing the same pair of shoes every day doesn’t give them enough time to air out and dry properly, leading to a higher risk of odor development. Rotate your shoes, allowing them to fully dry and air out between uses. This not only helps prevent shoe odor but also extends the lifespan of your footwear.

4. Use Foot Powder

Foot powders are an effective way to absorb excess moisture, reduce foot sweat, and keep your feet feeling fresh. Look for foot powders that contain ingredients like talc, baking soda, or activated charcoal, as these can help absorb moisture and neutralize odors. Apply the powder to your feet before putting on your socks and shoes for maximum effectiveness.

Tips to Prevent Shoe Odor
Wash your feet thoroughlyMoisture-wicking socks
Rotate your shoesUse foot powder

By following these additional tips, you can effectively prevent shoe odor and enjoy fresh and pleasant-smelling footwear. Remember, good foot hygiene, proper shoe care, and choosing the right accessories can go a long way in keeping your shoes odor-free.

Dealing with Persistent Shoe Odor

If you’ve tried the previous methods but are still struggling with stubborn shoe odor, don’t fret. There are a couple of additional techniques you can try to banish those persistent smells. One such method is the tea bag method, which can help absorb odors and leave your shoes smelling fresh.

To use the tea bag method, simply place a few tea bags inside your shoes and leave them overnight. Opt for black tea or green tea, as they have natural deodorizing properties. The tea bags will absorb the lingering odors, leaving a subtle and pleasant scent behind. In the morning, remove the tea bags and enjoy your fresh-smelling shoes.

However, if you have all-white shoes that have been stained or discolored by odor-causing bacteria, you can give bleach a try. It’s important to note that bleach should be used with caution and only on all-white shoes. Before applying bleach, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of your shoes to ensure it doesn’t damage the material.

If the test goes well, you can proceed by diluting a small amount of bleach in water. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the affected areas. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with water to remove any residual bleach. Allow the shoes to air dry completely before wearing them again. Remember, this method is only suitable for all-white shoes and should be used sparingly.

Tea Bag MethodAbsorbs odor and leaves a pleasant scentChoose black tea or green tea for best results
Bleach TreatmentCan remove stains and discolorationTest on a small, inconspicuous area first and only use on all-white shoes

Remember to prioritize shoe hygiene and preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of persistent shoe odor. Regularly clean your shoes using the methods mentioned in earlier sections, such as washing them in the machine or using baking soda. Implementing good foot hygiene practices, such as washing your feet thoroughly and rotating your shoes, can also help prevent odor from developing in the first place.

Final Thoughts on Keeping Shoes Fresh and Clean

Now that you have learned various methods to clean and deodorize your shoes, it’s time to prioritize shoe care and hygiene. By following these simple tips, you can keep your shoes fresh and clean for longer.

Firstly, make sure to let your shoes dry completely between wears. Moisture can lead to odor and the growth of bacteria. Allow your shoes to air out in a well-ventilated area before wearing them again.

Additionally, practicing proper foot hygiene is crucial. Wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water every day, ensuring that you dry them completely. This helps to prevent the buildup of bacteria and odor-causing organisms.

Furthermore, consider investing in moisture-wicking socks made of synthetic fabrics. These socks will help keep your feet dry by drawing moisture away from your skin. This not only prevents odors but also reduces the risk of fungal infections.

In conclusion, by incorporating these shoe care and hygiene practices into your routine, you can enjoy fresh and clean shoes for longer periods. Remember to let your shoes dry between wears, maintain foot hygiene, and use moisture-wicking socks. With these simple steps, you can say goodbye to smelly shoes and hello to fresh and pleasant footwear.


Can I wash smelly shoes in the washing machine?

Yes, you can safely clean your smelly shoes in the washing machine. Just make sure to remove the laces and insoles, place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase, and use a small amount of detergent and white vinegar to eliminate odors. Wash on a gentle cycle with cold water and air dry afterward.

How can I use baking soda to clean smelly shoes?

Baking soda is a powerful odor absorber. Sprinkle it inside your shoes and let them sit overnight to absorb moisture and neutralize smells. You can also create a homemade shoe deodorizer by filling socks or nylon feet with baking soda or kitty litter and placing them in your shoes when not in use.

Does newspaper help eliminate shoe odors?

Yes, crumple up some newspaper and stuff it inside your shoes. Leave it overnight to absorb moisture and eliminate odors. For a pleasant scent, add a few drops of vanilla extract to the crumpled newspaper before placing it in the shoes.

How do I wash shoe insoles to get rid of odor?

You can either toss them in the washing machine with a load of towels or hand wash them with soap and warm water. Let the insoles air-dry before putting them back in your shoes. If the odor persists, soak the insoles in a water-vinegar solution for a few hours before air-drying.

What can I do to prevent shoe odor?

Wash your feet thoroughly every day, dry them completely, and avoid wearing the same shoes two days in a row to allow them to air out. Opt for moisture-wicking socks made of synthetic fabrics and consider using foot powder to reduce sweat and prevent odors.

How can I deal with persistent shoe odor?

You can try the tea bag method by placing a few tea bags, such as black or green tea, inside your shoes overnight. The tea bags will absorb odors and leave a pleasant scent. If you have all-white shoes, you can try using a very light bleach, but test it on a small area first to avoid damage.

Any final thoughts on keeping shoes fresh and clean?

Proper shoe care, including regular cleaning and odor prevention, is essential for personal hygiene. Remember to let your shoes dry completely between wears, rotate them for airflow, and practice good foot hygiene. By following these tips, you can say goodbye to stinky shoes and hello to fresh-smelling footwear.

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