How to Get Smell Out of Tennis Shoes

Learn to Get Smell Out of Tennis Shoes: Your two feet have more sweat glands than anywhere else in your body. When the sweat is broken down by bacteria, it may stink.

Stinky footwear is a very prevalent phenomenon because of all the moisture from your feet, which eventually soaks into your shoes.
Although it’s a slight nuisance in some situations that really just affect you. It can quickly turn into a really embarrassing matter in others. People can smell it if they just sit on the subway next to you, and if you take your shoes off around others, the stink can be very embarrassing. 

This is why we have compiled a list of ways for you to remove odor from your pair of tennis shoes. 

Let’s look at some suggestions for getting rid of the odor after your shoes have already been compromised. It’s likely that a single choice would do the trick, depending on the amount of stink, or you may need to use several of them.

Also Read: How to Make Your Gym Shoes Not Smell

1. Put your shoes in the washing machine.

 In a washing machine, cotton and canvas shoes may normally be washed. What’s always advised is a gentle loop of cool water. Drying in the dryer produces an irritating buzz that can damage the shoes or the drum, so stuff them with balled newspaper wads (which you refill when they get saturated) and/or just leave them dry in the light, which often removes bacteria.

2. Take benefit of the sun.

The UV rays of the sun destroy bacteria naturally. That’s why water can be filtered by sunlight. For long periods of time, you don’t want to leave shoes in direct, warm sunlight, but they can handle it for a short span of time. Keep in mind though, it may not completely remove odor, but it will certainly eliminate some of it, and it’s totally natural and free, obviously.

3. Use some baking soda.

Although you may buy a specially formulated powder, you might already have a few items in your home that could do the trick just as well. Baking soda, which is widely considered to absorb and neutralize odors, is the classic.

You also can toss powder directly into your shoe, but then you have to scrub it out (if you don’t, the next time you sweat in your shoes, it will clump into gritty sludge). Putting some in a sock is the better option; the porousness helps the soda to still function and does not make almost as much of a mess. If you happen to have any in the house, Kitty Litter does the same thing. 

4. Make a spray at home

There are hundreds of foot and shoe sprays you can purchase, like with powder, but this homemade version is way cheaper and much more natural. 

Here is the recipe:

  • 1/2 of a cup of water
  • White vinegar around half a cup
  • 5 drops of the trusted tea tree oil

In a tiny spray bottle, mix it all up and you’re done. When they have become unpleasant, spray the mixture inside your shoes. You should also do it as a preventive measure, once you have taken your shoes off after a long day.

5. Put dryer sheets inside the shoes overnight

Not only do fabric softener sheets smell pleasant, but they neutralize odors as well. That little sheet is literally a stink-stopping chemical-laden bomb. They can work wonders in a stinky shoe, even if they’re not actually good for your clothes or dryers. The chemicals in the sheet melt and scatter around the clothes in a dryer; you don’t have to think about it in a shoe. Ball up one or two of them and place them overnight in each shoe.

6. Wash the insoles of your tennis shoe

Some are machine-washable insoles. Check the website of the producer. In either a soapy bucket or a water / vinegar mix, most need handwashing. Go for the latter approach if you’re not sure or can’t find the details. Washing them every 2 to 4 weeks can also be part of your ongoing maintenance schedule, as described above.

7. Give essential oils and citrus peels a try

You can go this simple route if the scent of your shoes is more of a mild irritation than a genuinely embarrassing problem. Put about 5 drops of tea tree, citrus, or lavender oil right into the shoe. It will help with the smell quite a bit, but it won’t kill all the bacteria. The same thing can be achieved with citrus peels, which contain tons of natural essential oils. Overnight, stick a peel or two in the shoes to see what happens.

8. Try commercial products.

There are a billion products out there specifically designed to destroy the pungent stench of your feet or even your shoe.  Most of them, however, are a bit on the expensive side and tend to have all the same ingredients that absorb moisture/antibacterial and essential oils/fragrances to make them smell nice. If this is how you want to go, they’re more of a one-stop shop. Keep in mind that with the other approaches above, you will save a great deal of money and use fewer harsh chemicals.

Also Read: How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Clean‌ ‌Smelly‌ ‌Sneakers


We hope the methods mentioned in this article helped you get rid of the unpleasant smell from your tennis shoes. If none of them, or even a combination of all of them fail to work, you could try some regular preventive measures. By maintaining a proper foot care routine, you can actually decrease the amount of odor produced from your sweat. In addition to that, you should also try maintaining a proper shoe care routine. Cleaning them regularly will prevent the sweat from building up, therefore you will have fresher smelling tennis shoes for a longer amount of time.

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