6 Easy Methods for Fixing Stinky Ski Boots

6 Easy Methods for Fixing Stinky Ski Boots

On the one hand, I’d say that it’s silly to think that skiing is in your blood, but then again I can take a look at literally the entire family, friends, the whole freakin’ block, the entire darn neighborhood, likely the local Bigfoot or Boogeyman, all of ‘em– ah, well let’s just say that many of the aforementioned crowd like to hit the slopes sometime around Thanksgiving.

It’s not that one has to know how to ski or board around where I live– we just happen to have easy access to a plentiful supply of easy-to-navigate roads, the nearby mountain highway system, etc. etc. All of this kind of just makes skiing and boarding something that is also easily accessible and enjoyable in a wide variety of manners to a wide variety of folk.

You’ve got the little kids bumbling between their parents’ skis and also the brave (and in all honesty, probably very fit) folk who trek up the mountains on foot just to ski down it. We certainly can’t leave out the young adults who have yet to figure out speed limits (or their own literal limits) when it comes to shredding the slopes,  or perhaps the older folk who come out nigh-on every day to enjoy the frosty delights of their chosen sport.

But all of those people (and perhaps… well, let’s be real here– likely you, given that you’re reading this here article) have at least one thing in common– the ostentatiously olfactory disaster that is their smelly shoes. 

Learn how to deodorize stinky ski boots easily with any of these options, and then hit the fresh powder without any fear of a funky fiasco!


Table of Contents

    1. Celebration for Corn Starch

    2. Charcoal Chucks the Funk

    3. Charcoal Foot Soak Saves the Day

    4. Vinegar Foot Soak Vaporizes Bad Shoe Smells

    5. Coffee Grounds Kicks Butt

    6. LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer

    1. Corn Starch

    Good for baking AND deodorizing!


    I’m sure you’ve at least heard of corn starch, given its multifaceted place in the culinary world, even if you don’t know why or how it could possibly help us fix the issue of our stinky shoes for good. I mean, corn starch helps to thicken sauces, puddings, pie fillings and the like, all on top of being a fabulous secret little ingredient for making fried chicken just a *wee bit* crunchier (trust me on this one!).

    But corn starch can totally do way more than that! As if it weren’t already enough to save our sorry butts in the kitchen, corn starch can also save our hypothermic hineys when our ski boots are simply way too rank!

    It’s all thanks to some pretty rad science. You see, the funk from your footwear isn’t from your shoes or your feet (*feel free to gasp dramatically*), but is in fact from bacteria that live on your shoes and also your feet; they consume the moisture from your sweat (hence why shoes get stinkier the sweatier they are) and also the dead skin cells naturally found on your feet.

    BUT thankfully corn starch can help to absorb plenty of the moisture from your sweat, leaving the stinky bacteria without a majorly important source of food (woot woot!!).


    Simply dust a couple of tablespoons of corn starch directly into your ski boots or, if you’re hoping for an easier cleanup, place the same amount of corn starch in a sock and tie it off with a rubber band or something like that and then stick the sock into your shoe.


    Leave the corn starch in your ski boots at least overnight, but you can for sure go for a bit longer if you’ve got the time to spare to really let the corn starch work its drying and stank-defying magic.

    2.  DIY Charcoal Envelopes

    This is the raw form, but you get the basic gist.


    Another option we have for how to fix stinky ski boots is simple charcoal! 

    Unsure how familiar y’all already are with this literal wonder, but if you aren’t, then let me be the very first to inform you of its shoe deodorizing delights.

    Charcoal, you see, is essentially just carbon that’s been superheated to a literal crisp– at its most basic, charcoal is totally just the stuff you get at the end of a rad BBQ or even a sweet s’mores night around a cozy campfire. 

    Now, a BBQ is one... shall we say... unique all-natural route that you can take, but you certainly won’t find me trying to make discount charcoal around my own wee little bonfire. Oh no– as for me, myself, and I we’ll be using the ready-to-use tablets of charcoal found at many a local grocery store.

    Said tablets are usually just superheated bamboo, coconut husks, and what-have-you. The base material isn’t all too important for those of us looking to make our stinky ski boots smell better, because for all kinds of charcoal, what happens during the baking process is what’s important. 

    During said super-heating process tiny little pores form on the surface, and those pores can help to absorb shoe stank, leaving your ski boots smelling better than ever.

    All you have to do to use charcoal to deodorize stinky shoes for good is put it into a small wee envelope (putting the stuff directly into your boots may stain the material, you see), and then leave those little envelopes in there overnight, or even longer if you can manage it.

    3. Charcoal Foot Soak 

    Spa day for the win


    And since charcoal is literally just *that* amazingly fabulous, we’re going to be chit-chatting about a second option to utilize the rad natural shoe deodorizer. 

    Just like the previous option, we’ll be using charcoal tablets to accomplish our end-goal of fresh-smelling ski boots, but for this one specifically we’ll be going after the stinky bacteria just hanging out on our poor feet.

    It kind of sucks, but don’t you worry too much about it– literally all human beings, if they sweat (which, I would tentatively brave to guess, is most of us) have said bacteria. 

    It’s alright though, given as a nice (but quick!) charcoal foot soak can take care of said bacteria lickidty-split!


    Give your poor pungent shoes a break, and also, ok wouldn’t a good foot soak be just lovely after a ski day? I know that personally I love nothing more than a long, toasty bath to relax all of my muscles after a good day of fresh powder, overpriced (and messy!) chili fries in the lodges, and all of the good things that come with a good day in the mountains. 

    Not that a charcoal foot soak is for the whole body– we’re just focusing on the stinky feet, as we get ourselves a tub and fill it with just about 2 gallons of water (temperature doesn’t matter too terribly much– I would just make sure that it’s comfortable), then you’ll want to empty the contents of a couple of charcoal tablets directly into the water, and give it all a good swirl before soaking your feet for at least 20 minutes. Finish off your spa day by rinsing everything off, and then you get to call it a (stank-free) day!

    4. White Vinegar Foot Soak 

    Looks like water but isn't water-- learned that the hard way thanks to my sister pranking me once when I was young whipper-snapper


    While we’re on the topic of foot soaks, let’s talk about one with white vinegar– oh yes, the tangy, acerbically biting stuff that you probably are only familiar with because of all of those extra fabulous elementary school science fair projects involving spectacularly messy volcanoes composed of baking soda and our very favorite acidic pantry staple.

    White vinegar actually works for foot soaks because of how acidic it is. Acid and stinky bacteria don’t exactly mix, which helps us out in the sense of how the enemy (vinegar, whose sour scent you may or may not be a huge fan of, just quite yet) of my enemy (ALWAYS the stinky bacteria) is my friend (white vinegar, once again).


    I know that vinegar can kind of come off as a super strong scent, but it’ll be diluted by water and plus, ma’ dear reader, you can always simply rinse your feet off really well after the fact, if you’re still a wee bit concerned.

    I’d recommend using plain old white vinegar, as the stuff surely won’t stain. White vinegar is clear, you see, unlike apple cider vinegar or even balsamic vinegar– although why oh why you’d ever want to use such an expensive item on a foot soak– even if it is for the saving of your ski boots– I certainly wouldn’t know.

    So get yourself a tub, fill it with one part white vinegar and then two parts water (once again, the temperature of the water doesn’t really matter– just make it comfy), and then soak your feet for at least 30 minutes before thoroughly rinsing everything off.

    5.  Dry Coffee Grounds

    This next cuppa joe says heck to the frick-frakin' no when it comes to foot funk


    Our next option for how to fix stinky ski boots actually involves coffee– a drink which plenty of skiers are consuming copious amounts of as they make their way up the hill.


    My family either always tried to go super early to beat the early morning traffic, or if we were running late (thanks to somebody that *totally* wasn’t yours truly, because I am always a punctual angel I’ll have you know) then we’d just have to sit in traffic and suffer. Needless to say, we typically went out early, much to my non-morning self’s dismay and utter horror.

    To combat that early ski day morning fiasco of being tired while heading up a crowded mountain freeway, many people tend to go for a good cup of Joe.

    Now, when I say coffee, I’m not exactly talking about those fancy and quite likely sugary Starbs drinks– oh no, we’re talking about the plain old coffee grounds. Coffee, you see, contains caffeine (quite a shocker to the lot of you, I’m *utterly certain*), which in of itself contains nitrogen, and you see nitrogen does this really rad thing known as “adsorption.”

    Now that’s AD-sorption, ma’ dear yet stinky reader. “Absorption” is totally different, alright? “Adsorption,” if you would care to know, is way cool phenomenon where gas and liquid (so, basically the rank smell wafting up from your boots or also just the moisture from the OG sweat itself) adheres to the coffee grounds in a sort of film, and then you can just chuck the coffee grounds and be done with the stank for good! 

    So get yourself a couple of tablespoons of dry coffee grounds and stick them directly into your stinky ski boots or, alternatively, you can also just get a sock and stuff said sock with those coffee grounds instead (tie it off afterward). Leave the dry coffee grounds in there for at least overnight, but longer will work even better.


    6. LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer


    But if you’d really like to make extra doubly-certain that you know how to make stinky ski boots smell better (like way better) then I’m going to just recommend that you use LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer.

    It’s this supes easy-to-use and all-natural shoe spray that works GREAT for something like that hardcore sweaty stank emanating up from your frigid (yet sadly funky) footwear. 

    And you don’t have to believe just me– in fact, you can believe the over TEN freakin’ THOUSAND reviewers on Amazon who gave LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer a perfect 5-star rating, giving it an overall average of 4.4 star-rating. Amazon reviewer Perthenia Eilers here says that while they were at first somewhat skeptical, they took a chance in order to save their running, climbing, AND ski boots, and have in due course been rather pleased with the great-smelling results:


    ^^^This reviewer knows what's up

    LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer is their best-selling product (so you know it’s good), and ok, the company itself is also pretty cool as well. LUMI doesn’t test on animals (*the sound of gospel choirs swells), only uses the highest quality of all-natural ingredients (*sets off some rather rad fireworks), and makes quite literally all of their products in the United States (*cue all of– and I truly do mean all of– the confetti).

    In order to make your stinky ski boots smell like lemony and eucalyptus goodness just directly spray LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer right on into the ski boots, and then you’re done! You can ski the slopes and smell absolutely and most totally fabulous as you do so.

    But let's just do a quick runthrough of all of the options we’ve got here in this article, because it always pays to have options when it comes to saving our pungent peds– plus, ok here’s a quick little trick for all y’all out there, but if you really want to make sure that your shoes never smell bad again, you can totally and most absolutely double, or even triple up (if you’ve got the time and wherewithal to do so) when it comes to utilizing any and all of the methods for how to easily deodorize stinky ski boots for good.

    So beginning with corn starch, we’ll be wanting to dust in just a few tablespoons of the stuff straight on into the olfactory offenders (*read: your smelly boots), or, if you’d like to accomplish super great-smelling shoes without the mess, then you can also totally just put the corn starch in a sock, and then tie that sock off before putting it into the funky footwear. Either way, we’ll just want to leave the corn starch inside of the shoes for at least overnight, but you can absolutely feel free to go for longer in order to really show the stank who’s boss (it’s you, btw).

    Charcoal is another super stank-defying ingredient that we can use to make our ski boots smell like anything other than radioactive cheese that’s been microwaved several times and then reconstituted in the deepest and most pungent of sewers. Charcoal, you see, can absorb odors, and all we have to do in order to use charcoal to fix stinky shoes is get ourselves a few charcoal tablets (take a peek into your local grocer– plenty tend to have them), then stick the charcoal into a tiny envelope, and then stick that envelop into the stinky shoe. Leave the charcoal for at least overnight, but like the last option, it won’t hurt to just let it hang out in there for a little while longer if you can help it.

    Charcoal stars again in this next one, this time in a bonafide charcoal foot soak. Think of this one as a sort of DIY spa day, where you get a two-for-one sort of special for a warm (if you so choose) foot bath to relax those poor used and abused muscles and then doubly get to remove the odor from stinky ski boots, all in one! Simply put about 2 gallons of water into a tub (any temperature will work just fine but– well, I mean, a warm foot bath would probs feel LOADS better on sore feet that have been crammed into those uncomfy ski boots all day, at least if you ask me), and then dash into the water the contents of a couple of those charcoal tablets. Swirl everything together and then soak your feet in there for a good 20 minutes and then you’re all set to go!

    We’ve got another terrific foot soak for ya’ in this next option for how to easily fix stinky shoes for good, this time with a plain old white vinegar foot soak. The acidic vinegar can easily take care of the stink (and many of our nose hairs in the process, but at least it’s better than the old cheese smell, am I right?). If you’re worried about the sour tang of vinegar sticking to your skin, I wouldn’t worry too terribly much about it, given as you can simply rinse your feet extra thoroughly after everything is said and done, and after that at least most of the sour smell ought not be a problem. Fill a tub with two parts water (once again, any temperature will work just fine, although why the freakin’ heck you would want to do an ice bath after a whole day of skiing through frosty weather conditions and smooth, fluffy powder, well, I certainly wouldn’t hazard a guess), and then add one parts white vinegar to the water. Now, I suppose, in a pinch at least, you could totally use any kind of vinegar, but the plebian white variety is clear and shouldn’t stain your pungent peds, and as a bonus white vinegar also tends to be a pantry staple that’s already chilling in your kitchen cabinets (we’ve always got to love the options that will save us some dough, am I right?). Leave your feet to soak in the vinegar mixture for about half an hour, and then rinse everything off extra well so as to swirl the bad shoe smell AND the sharp vinegar wafts down the drain.

    Dry coffee grounds are our next super-star for sticking it to stinky shoes everywhere, as it uses this fun little trick known as “adsorption,” (once again for all of y’all with the memory of a guinea pig– kettle meet pot, as I too have a most horrid memory– “adsorption” is quite different from “absorption”). “Adsorption,” you see, is where stinky smells and moisture adhere to (see what they did there?) to the coffee grounds in a thin sort of film, and then you can just chuck said grounds and be done with the dank smells! Toss a couple of coffee grounds right on into your shoes or into a sock that you’ve tied off (and then put that sock into your stinky shoes) and leave the coffee grounds in for at least overnight, or perhaps longer if you think you’ve got the time in between ski runs.

    LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer is our final, and perhaps most simple one on the list, as all we have to do in order to fix stinky ski boots with this one option is spray it right on into the pungent peds once or twice– that’s it! That’s quite literally everything you have to do in order to make smelly boots smell better once and for all.

    And that’s our six options, ma’ dear (and hopefully no longer pungent) reader! Use any or all of them in conjunction in order to deodorize smelly ski boots with ease and with plenty of success.

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