How to Air Out Shoes

by Kimbry Parker ; Updated September 28, 2017

Air out your shoes periodically to keep them odor-free.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

There's no denying that feet sweat when you wear shoes, and the resulting odor can be unpleasant and embarrassing. Unfortunately, throwing a pair of shoes in the washing machine is not usually an option. Instead, air out your shoes periodically to remove the offending smells. Your feet -- and the people around you -- will thank you.

Items you will need

  • Baking soda
  • Fabric softener sheets
Step 1

Take out the insoles from your shoes, if they are removable. Wash the insoles periodically in the washing machine to keep them fresh.

Step 2

Let the shoes dry at room temperature if they are wet. Do not dry them near a heater or other direct heat source, as this can damage the material.

Step 3

Sprinkle the insides of the shoes with a liberal coating of baking soda, which helps to eliminate odors. Let the shoes sit overnight. Dump the baking soda from the shoes the next day.

Step 4

Place a fabric softener sheet into each shoe if they still need to be aired out further. Let the sheet sit in the shoes overnight to freshen the insides.


  • When you’re not wearing your shoes, sit them out in a bright, cool spot. The odor-causing bacteria that can form in shoes thrives in dark, damp places.
    Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day for extended periods of time. Giving your shoes a day off here and there to air out will help to keep them fresh.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.