How to Eliminate Shoe Odor in the Home

Putting up with shoe odor is more common than you may think. Everything from sweaty gym gear to damp, muddy soccer cleats can cause bad smells that linger in the home.   

It would be a waste to throw a pair of shoes out just because they are a little bit smelly, not to mention expensive. So while it may be tempting to trash the funky smelling footwear, it would be better to understand how to eliminate shoe odors and freshen up the home.

Don’t let bad shoe smells ruin your home fragrance

If like most people you keep your shoes by the front door, then you may worry guests will get a whiff of stinky shoe odors when they enter your home. Different scents can have different effects on mood1 – so how do you want your guests to be greeted?

Up to 60 days of continuous fragrance*

The Freshmatic is an automatic air freshener that provides your home with a continuous flow of the fragrance of your choice. The device has three interval settings, allowing you to have control over the intensity. On the minimum setting, refills can last up to 60 days, or you can increase the fragrance setting to give your home a more intense scent experience.

Freshmatic is perfect anywhere in the house, especially in the hallways of a busy family home where there can be a mountain of shoes to deal with.

Eliminate bad odors with Pure aerosol air freshener

Pure is a premium aerosol air freshener that not only helps add fragrance to any room, it is also an odor eliminating spray. Pure air fresheners deliver a fragrant experience with evocative smells that let you pick a scent to help express how you feel.

Room sprays are perfect for when you need a burst of fragrance in an instant. If you notice any lingering smells around smelly footwear, you can deal with it right away.

Pure aerosol sprays have a formulation of fragrance with less water. This gives you an exceptional fragrance experience after every spray, but with less wet residue compared to traditional Air Wick® 8-oz. aerosols.

Check out our fragrance guide for more handy tips on how to freshen up your home.

Helpful tips on keeping shoes smelling fresh

The root cause of bad shoe odors is bacteria feeding on lingering sweat.2. Let’s see how we can tackle the bad odors head-on:

  1. Wearing cotton socks is simple and effective, as the socks draw sweat away from the feet where it can then be washed after a day’s wear. Just be sure to change socks daily to prevent bacteria build-up.
  2. Shoes with poor ventilation, such as those made from leather or suede, trap sweat inside shoes, providing bacteria with the perfect environment to thrive. You’re bound to have bacteria in shoes,3 but wearing footwear with an open mesh design, such as sports shoes, will help with ventilation and drying.4
  3. Airing out your shoes, by either leaving them in a place with good circulation or even using a hair dryer, will help them dry. It’s not only sweat you are trying to evaporate: If it’s been raining outside, your shoes can smell musty.
  4. Matching the shoes for the occasion can help with reducing the build-up of bad smelling bacteria, especially if you’re going to the gym or undertaking a strenuous activity like cycling. With less wear, you give shoes more time to dry.
  5. Putting shoes in the wash is a great way to stop bacteria growth in its tracks. It might not be best for some shoes, so check the label or manufacturer’s website for more information. If you are going to put them in the wash, put them inside a pillow case so the laces don’t get trapped inside the holes on the walls of the drum.[5] It can also help protect the shoes from banging around inside the drum.[6]