The 7 Best Ways to Fix Smelly Snowboarding Boots

The 7 Best Ways to Fix Smelly Snowboarding Boots

We just got our first couple of snows in my neck of the woods. On the one hand, this signals all kinds of baking shenaniganry in the kitchen (apple cranberry crisp and pumpkin pecan pie are totally appropriate foods for breakfast, are they not?). Still, the cold weather also signals another thing– if you say cuffing season or start singing any holiday musical hit from Mariah Carey then booo! Those things are fine, but there’s actually something else that I am quite sure we’re all thinking about.

IT’S SNOWBOARDING SEASON, folks!!! Now I’m talking fresh, floofy powder. Snow that feels like butter when you glide over it. Quiet pines to weave through like quicksilver. And, of course, the mammoth serving of chili cheese fries you're going to be getting for yourself from the toasty warm lodge at the top of the ski lift.

Coming from someone who's been hitting the slopes since she was a wee one, I’ve got to say that the fries might just be the best part. Oh, don’t get me wrong– a warm bowl of gooey and cheesy bacon potato soup is never amiss when you’ve just come in from a blizzard, but those loaded fries are it. I’m actually fairly certain that one could live off of them alone. I mean you have your basic food groups, of course– bacon, bacon grease, cheese, salt, and potatoes. Bonus points for a good drizzle of ranch on top. The smell alone could literally give me life.

But you want to know what smell is actually the exact opposite? Yours! Well, okay it’s your snowboarding boots. Seriously, those people who take off their boots in the middle of the cafeteria, unleashing their pungent peds just don’t know that deodorizing their shoes could literally be a game-changer (and also showcase some basic human decency, because I’ve only got so many functional nose hairs, alright)!

Learn how to fix stinky shoes so that you’re not that person! 

Table of Contents

    1. Clean Socks for a Clean Smell

    2. Coffee Grounds Crack the Stank

    3. Corn starch– an actual gift from the footwear gods

    4. Salt Saves the Day

    5. White Vinegar Foot Soak Solves your Smelly Shoes

    6. Black Tea Boots your Boots’ Funk

    7. LUMI’s Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer

    1. Clean Socks

    Nothing's better than clean socks, am I right? I mean, maybe good snow, but it's close


    First off, we’ll be going through the basics (treat this as your first boarding lesson– you’ll fall down an absolute ton, but it’s so that you can be/smell better later). You’ve read the title of this option for fixing smelly shoes, and I’m sure that your first thought was something along the lines of “Clean socks!?” What are we, three?” I mean, there are three-year-olds whose shoes smell way better than yours, I’m sure, so read on before you turn your poor, abused nose up at it!

    You can absolutely save your sense of smell with clean socks-- I pinkie-promise that I can back this up, alright? Just hear me out, and decide for yourself if something so simple really could make any kind of difference in saving your rank boots from olfactory oblivion.

    It all comes down to a tiny little bit of science– and when I say, “tiny,” I really mean like, “microscopic.” Ya’ see, your feet (and thus any and all of your shoes) are home to actual, living bacteria. (*Save your gasps for the slopes, folks, for when someone lands a really cool trick or something.)

    That bacteria is what’s really stinking up your shoes. It feeds off of the moisture in your sweat and any extra dead skin cells left to hang out on your feet. After athletic activities in particular, both of these things can totally be found in abundance all over your feet, and then our shoes pick up the smell, and then your feet stink, and then you sigh because you’ll be wishing that you had listened to that one person who may or may not have mentioned just a couple of ways that you could fix those smelly shoes for good.

    Clean socks basically give you a clean palette to work with! Make sure your shoes aren’t tainted by socks that are already swarming with stinky bacteria that would love nothing more than to expand their living space into your boots!

    This one is as easy as it gets– only board with clean socks, and your boots won’t smell grody.

    2.  Coffee Grounds

    Get a beverage AND clean shoes!


    This next option for fixing your smelly snowboarding boots actually comes with a side beverage. Oh yes, we’ll be multi-tasking, as we fix the footwear funk and get all buzzed and ready for another fabulous day on the slopes. Time to get caffeinated, ma’ dear reader, because coffee grounds are what’s next up on our list of simple solutions to fix your smelly shoes for good!

    Actually, the coffee grounds will be doing all of the heavy-lifting here. I mean, that’s not to say that you can’t enjoy your cup of joe in the meantime, but the liquid itself won’t really be doing anything for us. We’ll only be using the grounds, which you would otherwise just be throwing away or composting anyway, so it’s not like for this one you’ll be having to do much other than enjoy your coffee (and your great-smelling shoes).

    It all comes down to just a little bit of science. You see, coffee naturally is a kind of anti-pest kind of plant. Just like spicy peppers, it contains a chemical that wards off predators-- in coffee's case, it's caffeine (wildly new information to you, I’m sure) and caffeine itself contains nitrogen. 

    Nitrogen in turn has a neat little trick known as “adsorption,” (not “absorption,” because that’s definitely a different thing), and adsorption is literally just where a gas or liquid (your sweat and its funk kind of count as both) is going to stick in a sort of film to the thing doing the adhering (so the coffee grounds), and then you can just throw it all away! Keep the boots, not the funk, am I right?

    So get yourself some coffee grounds (and enjoy a nice toasty beverage while you’re at it), put a few tablespoons into your boots and then leave overnight. If you’re worried about cleanup (and who wouldn’t be?) put the coffee grounds in a sock, tie it off with a rubber band or something, and then just put that sock into the snowboarding boot.

    Leave longer than overnight if you really want the grounds to pack a punch!

    3. Corn Starch

    It's not fresh snow powder, but corn starch is still pretty rad


    Corn Starch is another super simple solution to smelly snowboarding shoes. You might think that corn starch is just the cooking ingredient used to thicken puddings, make fried chicken just a little bit more crispy, or that it's a sort of flour substitute, but trust me when I say that corn starch can totally do so much more outside of your kitchen.

    Corn starch, you see, is absolutely phenomenal at absorbing moisture. It’s a veritable straw and with it, any and all liquids will be out of sight and out of mind in (very nearly) no time at all! Think of it as your very own personal anti-sweat super sponge, leaving you and your snowboarding boots to reach for new nasal heights.

    Exactly like when we were using the coffee grounds, you need to put a couple of tablespoons of corn starch into your boots– you may also just want to give them a good, all-around shake just to evenly coat everything, because we all know that those shoes can be a little bit snug, and that your sweaty feet occupy more than just the pad of the shoe (get all the nooks and crannies, ma’ dude). Or, alternatively, put the corn starch into a sock, tie it off with a rubber band, and then stuff the sock into olfactory offenders (read: your boots).

    Leave for at least overnight, but longer if you can manage it– I mean, if you’re lucky enough to be hitting the slopes for several days in a row, don’t let a little thing like pungent peds stop you– good powder waits for no boarder!


    Then again, your foot funk will only get that much worse in the interim– maybe just take a day or so off to fix the foot funk for good so you just don’t have to worry about it?

    4. Salt

    Well-seasoned boots are great-smelling boots


    Speaking of moisture, another super speedy way to dry out the sweat from your stinky boots is literally just simple salt! It’s precisely like when you go to the beach and your lips become way chapped from all of the salty air, despite all of your best efforts with chapstick and lip balm. Salt, like the corn starch, is honestly one of nature’s little straws for any and all kinds of moisture.

    Now, I’m not exactly saying that you need to dunk your stinky boots into a salty bath– no need for something so strenuous. Nah, we’re all about the simplest methods of de-stinkifying here, as far as we can help it. Using salt to get rid of smelly shoes literally couldn’t be easier, and it’s pretty much hands-off.

    We’ll literally just be using the same methodology we used for corn starch and coffee grounds, when we dash in a couple of tablespoons of our drying salt (the plain old table variety of salt should work out for ya’ just fine– don’t go out and buy the super crazy expensive pink Himalayan salt for this or anything like that, alright?) and then give your stinky boots a good shake to evenly coat the entire inside. Alternatively, Stuff some socks with salt, then tie it off with a rubber band or something if you’d like to opt in for an easier strategy for clean-up.

    Leave the salt in overnight, but giving it longer will allow for more moisture absorption (IOW sweat and stank absorption). After a while, the salt should start to clump up (after having absorbed a fair bit of sweat) and that’s when you’ll know for sure that you’ve got to switch it out (that is, if you haven’t already gone boarding and shaken out your boots in the interim).

    5.  White Vinegar Foot Soak

    Sour stuff sucker-punches stank: an ode


    This next idea we’ve got for how you can fix your footwear funk for good is just a wee bit different. Rather than focusing on the smelly boots themselves, we’ll instead be shifting our focus over to our feet. As in, your poor boots can go on and take a breather, because after all they’ve gone through, helping you to shred up the slopes, don’t they deserve it?

    Now, I know that we’ve already kind of chatted about how it’s simply not your feet that produce all of the stank, but ok, the bacteria just love to hang out on both your smelly shoes and your feet. Even if your feet aren’t producing the funk, they are most certainly and without any kind of doubt creating the sweat that the smelly bacteria like to chow down on. Besides all of that, your feet are literally just free real estate, sans any kind of competition.

    Well, no more! Give the bad-smelling bacteria the boot (in order to save your real boots) with a simple white vinegar foot soak. All you have to do is fill up a tub with one part white vinegar (or honestly any kind of the sour stuff you’ve got on hand– no need to get choosy if you’ve already got something like the apple cider variety already in the pantry), then add two parts water, and let your feet soak for just about 30 minutes or so.

    The acidity from the vinegar will do the stinky bacteria in, giving your feet, socks, and shoes a good fresh start. Smelly feet lead to stinky shoes, but with this trick up your puffer-jacket sleeve that simply won’t have to be something you need to worry about!

    6. Black Tea

    Brew a cuppa, and fix the stink


    We’re back at all y'all with yet another hot beverage (sorry not sorry). What can we say? If it works it just works! Black tea, like coffee from a few options ago (if you can even remember that far back), is perfectly capable of deodorizing those stinky snowboarding boots with ease!


    I mean, it’s also kind of a bonus that after fixing your footwear funk you’ll get to relax and unwind with a solid cup of tea, so there’s that. I mean, like you can totally get two birds with one stone and get a drink and great-smelling shoes with this one here. Tea or coffee, take your pick, but you’ve got to admit that being doubly productive is always pretty rad.


    What’s not so rad? Oh yes, those rank shoes of yours– let’s get back to the point on hand (on feet? Hopefully not, if your boots really are super bad-smelling). Black tea can fix that with one little ingredient called “tannins,” which are great for going after the gross-smelling bacteria. Thanks to these “tannins,” we’re going to rock your world, your shoes, and then you’ll be ready to rock the slopes, alright?


    Just boil a few bags of black tea, stick the bags into your boots (how many will depend on how big your shoes– 2ish ought to be a good place to start per boot, just to evenly spread everything out, from the back of the shoe to the front). Let it all sit for a few hours, then make sure to wipe off any excess liquid from your shoes, and if you can, let it completely dry and air out for even longer, just so that there’s literally no remaining moisture for any surviving bacteria to scrounge on.


    7. LUMI’s Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer


    Want something super simple? We’ve got you, with LUMI’s Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer. It’s a super simple and amazingly effective spray that’ll take you and your snowboarding boots to new-smelling heights, and get rid of the bad smells for good. Hmm, lavender and tea tree oil over sweaty feet? For real, is it even really a question?

    Not quite sure of how it’ll work for your boots? LUMI’s Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer has over 800 literally perfect 5 star ratings on Amazon with an overall average of 4.4 stars on Amazon. Seriously, just listen to this one reviewer, a certain “Josh P.” on Amazon, who found that that LUMI’s Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer worked for his boots as simply a final resort before chucking ‘em:


    *all the snaps*

    LUMI is also just kind of the coolest. They’re a small, family-owned business that proudly produces their products in the United States, only uses the highest quality of natural ingredients, and btw they don’t resort to any kind of testing on animals either. You can totally feel good, smell good, and snowboard well without any fear of footwear funk when you use their products. Kind of fabulous, am I right? 

    Simply spritz LUMI’s Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer once or twice into each of your snowboarding boots, and that’s it! No overnight, no waiting around– just spritz and then you can hit the slopes!


    This one option here is probs one of the faster ones, and it’s effective too! Save your smelly shoes and fix the foot funk with LUMI’s Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer ASAP!

    Let’s just do a quick run-through shall we? When first learning how to board did your teacher(s) just chuck ya’ down a double black diamond? I mean, if they did that sucks, ma’ dear reader, but hopefully it wasn’t too traumatizing? I mean, I know that as a skier I was personally glued to the greens and easy blues for a fair bit, which is why I’m entirely in support of reviewing and going over things a gazillion times just to make sure.

    So let’s just do a few slow S-turns down a short little summary of everything you might need to help get you going on deodorizing your snowboarding boots.

    Clean socks will be our first option, and it couldn’t possibly be more simple. Make sure that you’re hitting the slopes with only fresh socks. I mean it! Any leftover bacteria or moisture hanging out in your socks will cause the stank to just intensify over time. It’s true what they say, that preparation is literally key– say yay to fresh socks and nay to foot funk!

    Coffee grounds will contain caffeine, which themselves will have nitrogen, and ok that’s the big star-player here. Literally a powerhouse of an ingredient, nitrogen will contribute to “adsorption,” which is just where the stank is going to stick in a thin film to the coffee grounds. So put the coffee grounds in a sock and tie it off or just put the grounds right in the boots, and leave it overnight or a little longer if you can.

    Corn starch will absorb moisture, which is what the bacteria feeds off of (and produces the stink from), so just like the coffee grounds, you’ll put the corn starch into the sock (just a few tablespoons should do it) or simply dust up the insides of your shoes, and then leave it to sit overnight or for more time, should you have it.

    You can do the same thing you did with the corn starch with your average garden-variety salt. It’s GREAT at absorbing sweat (read: the bacteria’s fave food), so just dust up your shoes or fill a sock, and then leave it in the boots for a while.

    A white vinegar foot soak will directly get after the bacteria hanging out on your feet. All you have to do is put together a foot bath with one part white vinegar (or any kind– just whatever’s in the pantry already should work) and then add two parts water. Soak your feet for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse.

    Black tea with its tannins will also make your boots and feet the worst kind of realty for the stinky bacteria, so boil a few bags and just stick ‘em into the smelly shoes and leave for a few hours before removing the black tea bags and letting your shoes dry out.

    LUMI’s Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is our final option, and with just a spritz or two it’ll revive your boots and fix your smelly shoe problem for good! Spray away and successfully deodorize your snowboarding boots with ease!

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