How to Fix Smelly Sneakers

by Kent Page McGroarty ; Updated September 28, 2017

Prolong the life of your sneakers and make them less smelly.

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Your favorite sneakers may have seen you through endless workouts and hours of gardening or sporting events, however, all that sweat and moisture from such activities breeds foul-smelling bacteria, causing your sneakers to reek whenever you remove them from your feet. Though there are a number of commercial odor killers available, inexpensive products used around the home can double as sneaker odor killers. Good foot hygiene also lessons the chances of smelly sneakers, as will quality sock selection.

Allow sneakers to air out each night. Leave sneakers out in the sunshine and air whenever possible to freshen the shoes and kill the odor with heat.

Place cat litter in a pair of socks. Tie the ends of the socks so the litter does not spill out. Leave one sock in each shoe overnight. The cat litter absorbs moisture, which can cause odor and neutralize existing odors.

Sprinkle baking powder into the sneakers whenever possible and leave in overnight. Like cat litter, baking soda absorbs odors, simply dump the baking soda out of the sneakers when you want to wear the footwear.

Place non-leather sneakers in your freezer overnight to slow the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

Machine wash your sneakers if applicable and hang on a clothesline to dry in the sun.

Tips

  • Foot powders and sprays help keep foot odor to a minimum, reducing the chances of having smelly sneakers. Wash feet regularly with strong soap. Wear cotton socks to reduce perspiration, which causes odors.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.