How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Clean‌ ‌Smelly‌ ‌Sneakers‌

Sneakers are the God of comfortable shoes, especially in summer. But the scorching heat and humidity makes the shoes smelly. It’s due to the 250,000 glands that release sweat and feed on bacteria. As a result, the bacteria produce a pungent scent that leads your sneakers to be smelly. Embarrassing, isn’t it? So, how to clean smelly sneakers?

Well, it’s not entirely your fault but you should definitely be careful. So, what to do to remove that stinky smell? We know some easy tricks to remove odor from shoes. Also, we’ll provide you some tips so that you can have odor free sneakers all through the summer! If you have the same smelly sneaker problem, you can continue reading this article. You’ll find some really good tactics over here. We promise!

Table of Contents

  1. How to Clean Smelly Sneakers
  • Baking Soda
  • Essential Oils
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Black Teabags
  • Baby powder
  • Cat Litter
  • Fabric Softener Sheets
  • Freezer
  • Sunshine
  • Lemon Peels
  1. Prevent Your Shoes from Smelling Bad

How to Clean Smelly Sneakers

Baking Soda

Baking Soda works like a natural deodorant. Take a handful of baking soda and sprinkle them on your sneakers. Let it sit overnight. In the morning, you can brush off the soda and voila! You got an odorless sneaker! You can also stuff two tablespoons of baking soda in a sock and tie the knot tightly. Place the bundle inside the shoes overnight. It’ll work just as well.  

Essential Oils

Take a cotton ball and drip a few drops of essential oils on it. You can use eucalyptus, clove, or tea tree oil in this case. Place the ball carefully inside your shoes and keep it overnight. As the morning sun rise, you’ll notice that your shoes have been perfectly deodorized.

Rubbing Alcohol

Do you know rubbing alcohol is effective in deodorizing sneakers? Try pouring on a few drops over the dirty part of your shoes and keep it aside. Your shoes will be odorless as well as disinfected. Awesome!

Black Teabags

Black Teabags work as a natural deodorant. It fights the bacteria that causes the dirty smell. At first, you’ll need to put the tea bag in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Take it out and let it chill for some moment. Now place it inside your shoes and keep it for half an hour. There might be some excess liquid within the teabag. Wipe it out from your shoes after removing the teabag.

Baby Powder

Baby powder is not only useful for babies but also adults can be benefitted in many ways. You can use baby powder as a precaution to get rid of stinky feet. Sprinkle some baby powder on your feet before putting your sneakers. The powder will prevent from your feet getting sweaty. Thus, it’ll help you to stay with odor free sneakers all day.

Cat Litter

We’re about to share a weird method with you now. You can use cat litter to deodorize your shoes. You see, cat litter contains a significant amount of absorb liquids. Place your shoes on the litter for overnight and dump the waste in the morning. Wipe the shoe sole carefully and there you go, a clean odor free sneaker!

Fabric Softener Sheets

You can use fabric softener sheets to deodorize anything related to your sneakers. Stuff a sheet inside the sneaker and leave it overnight. The odor will neutralize itself. However, you can also use fabric softener sheets on your shoe shelf where you store your sneakers.

Also, you can put these sheets in your gym bag to remove all the odor from the bag. It’s great that you can get rid of the stinky smell from all places your shoes will touch. However, you’ll also need to replace each sheet with a new one once the sheet has lost its capacity.


Cold temperature helps to kill bacteria instantly and remove the bad smell. If you think you can’t apply any of the above methods, there’s a super easy method to deodorize your shoes. Place your sneakers in a large plastic bag and keep them in the freezer overnight. You’ll shoes will get rid of the stinky smell and feel fresh like a new shoe.


You see, deodorizing sneakers is not that hard. The moment you’re reading this article on how to clean smelly sneakers, if the sun is up, you can dry your sneaker in the sun. The sweat will evaporate due to heat and your shoes will have a fresh odorless feel.

Lemon Peels

Lemon is mostly made of citric acid. It helps to damage all the bacterial cells and remove that pungent smell overnight. So, the trick is simple. Take some lemon peels and put it in your shoes overnight. You’ll get lemon freshness in your shoes in the morning.

Prevent Your Shoes from Smelling Bad

Though we provided fascinating and easy ideas on how to clean smelly sneakers, you should maintain some precautionary steps. This way you’ll not be ashamed of smelling bad. You won’t have to take out time from your busy schedule too! 

So, we would recommend you to follow these tips. We can assure you’ll be tension free for the rest of the summer.

  1. You must own a couple of pairs so that you can rotate in wearing your shoes. Let your sneakers dry completely and then only you should wear them.
  2. Always choose shoes that are made from natural material. Sometimes the artificial materials have a tendency to get stinky very fast. Natural fabric is also easier to clean.
  3. Take good care of your feet. If your feet are dirty, bacteria won’t leave you anymore. So does the bad smell.
  4. Never forget to wear fresh soaks and keep in mind to dry them well.
  5. Use antibacterial soap regularly to keep your feet clean and healthy.


Sneakers are one of the most fashionable and comfortable footwear. But, it’ll totally ruin your style if you keep wearing sneakers that smell bad. We hope that these strategies would be useful for you.

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