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How to get odours out of shoes?

Pongy Pumps? Tired Trainers? Sinky Sneakers?

Have your trainers taken a turn for the worst? Do they leave a smell that permeates around the house when you take them off?

Firstly, this can happen to many of us.

You may have a job that requires you to stand all day or a favourite pair of gym/running shoes that you love to work out. Almost certainly, your feet will have been sweaty at one point or another.

So please, do not despair.

Below, you will find some very handy tips on how to revive your trainers, sneakers, or pumps.


Bicarbonate of soda is one of the most versatile products you may have to hand in your home already.

You would need to sprinkle a thin layer inside each trainer. Leave for 24hrs; shake off any of the excesses. This should have neutralized the smell. If you want to add a scent to them, add two drops of your favourite essential oil to the Bicarbonate soda.


I only found out this little trick today!

So, using dry shampoo works the same way in your trainers as it would on your hair. The dry shampoo absorbs the oils or sweat.

The spray is usually scented so that it will leave a pleasant smell once applied too.

Spray an ample amount into each trainer, leave for 24hrs. After the time is up, they are ready to wear.


Breakfast Tea Bags contain tannins. This can help to eradicate bacteria and expel unpleasant odours.

Boil two tea bags for 2-3 mins. Remove from the hot water and set aside to cool. Once cooled, pop one into each of the trainers, then leave for around an hour. After an hour, remove the tea bags; you will undoubtedly have some excess tea still inside your trainers; find a cloth or a sponge that can keep absorbing the excess. Then leave to air dry naturally.

One point to make clear is this method will stain the inside of the shoe because of the tanning. But if you don’t mind that, it’s a cheap and quick way to fix your smelly sneakers.


Crumple up a newspaper page into a ball, stuff the ball into your shoes, and the same for the other shoe. The paper will absorb any moisture built up over the day wearing them. You may want to add two drops of your favourite essential oils to the paper, and they will smell lovely by the morning!


This is probably one of the best ways to eliminate odour causing bacteria. There are two ways to apply this.

1. Pop the rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and spray inside the shoe.

2. Apply the rubbing alcohol onto cotton pads/balls, and wipe inside the trainers.

You may also use this to clean the outer part of your trainers/shoes.


If you want to give your trainers an intensive clean and freshen up, then a machine wash is great. The first thing to check is the care label to see if they can be machine washed. If they can be washed this way, remove the laces and the inner souls. Pop them into a net laundry bag or a pillowcase. The reason for popping the trainers into a bag is to protect them from the harsh cycle inside the machine. Plus, it can reduce the noise when on the spin cycle.

Always use a gentle setting on the machine, letting the trainers spin to remove as much of the excess water as possible.

Once finished, let them air dry. Never put them into a tumble dryer, as this will cause shrinkage.

VERY IMPORTANT - They MUST be completely dry before you wear them again. If they are not completely dry, you will end up worse smelling trainers than before you cleaned them.

Good luck 😊


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