Skip to main content

How To Clean Smelly Shoes

Whether you’re hiking, hitting the gym or exploring new places, it’s clear your shoes take you on all kinds of adventures. To get the most out of your shoes, we recommend you clean them regularly. Cleaning your shoes is a great way to prevent the build-up of dirt and odour, keeping your shoes in good condition for longer. This guide will cover how to clean smelly shoes; here’s a brief overview of what’s to come. 

Is it possible to clean smelly shoes? 
When should you clean smelly shoes? 
The benefits of regularly cleaning your shoes
The best methods for cleaning smelly shoes 
Tips for keeping your shoes fresh
When often should you replace your shoes?
Shoes available at Rebel Sport 

Let’s get started!

Is it possible to clean smelly shoes?

The short answer is yes; you can clean smelly shoes. The best way to keep shoes smelling fresh is to clean them regularly before there is a build-up of smell. If your shoes start to smell a little off, you should freshen them up and give them a new lease of life. There are a number of different ways to clean smelly shoes. You can use everything from specialist cleaning products to using household items. Read on for the different cleaning methods.

When should you clean smelly shoes?

How often you clean your shoes will depend on how often you wear them. Just like anything else, the more you look after your shoes, the better condition they will be in. Avoid having to frequently replace your kicks by looking after the ones you already have. To keep your shoes nice and fresh, we recommend cleaning your shoes every few weeks. This is a great preventative measure and a sure way to get the most out of your shoes. That said, if you step in something nasty or drop something on your sneakers, you should aim to clean them right away so stains and odours don’t become too embedded in your shoes.

The benefits of regularly cleaning your shoes

  • Protects your investment
    Cleaning your shoes regularly will help them to last longer. The last thing you want is to purchase a new pair of shoes, only for them to last a couple of months. 
  • Prevents build-up of dirt/smell/ bacteria
    If shoes are worn time and time again without being washed, dirt and bacteria can build up. This then leads to unpleasant odours. Regular cleaning should prevent this from happening.
  • Keeps them fresh/nice to wear
    Nobody enjoys wearing smelly shoes! If there’s an odour coming from your shoes, you’ll be less likely to wear them. So, keeping them clean means getting your wear out of them.


Remove odour from shoes with white vinegar

White vinegar is a natural deodoriser and disinfectant. Using white vinegar to clean smelly shoes is another natural method you can try. If you’re interested in neutralising the odour in your shoes, follow these steps. 

Step 1: Mix white vinegar and water together

First things first, make a solution of white vinegar mixed with water. For best results, it’s recommended to use equal parts water and vinegar. 

Step 2: Put the mixture in a spray bottle

Once you’ve made the solution, transfer it into a spray bottle. This is the best way to evenly distribute the mixture into your shoes. 

Step 3 Spray the mixture in your shoes

Spray the solution generously into your shoes. Don’t worry about the smell of the vinegar; this will wear off. 

Step 4: Wait until dry

Now, let your shoes dry out thoroughly. You might prefer to let this air dry outside. Once dry, you should have fresher, smelling shoes. 

Air dry your shoes outside

Another great way to remove odour from your shoes is to air them out. To do this, simply leave them outside in the fresh air. But be sure you don’t leave them out in the rain! You’ll want to ensure that you’re leaving them outside in dry heat. This will ensure that additional moisture won’t get into the shoes; this could end up making the odour worse. Airing your shoes outside in dry heat allows them to breathe. Plus, the sun is a natural bacteria killer! We would recommend that you air dry your shoes outside regularly. This is a great preventative measure to keep your shoes smelling fresh.