6 Cheap and Effective Hacks to Deodorize Bowling Shoes

6 Cheap and Effective Hacks to Deodorize Bowling Shoes

3 strikes and you’re out! Or… wait, 1 strike and you’ve done pretty freakin’ well for yourself, as far as the bowling score is concerned?

Bowling is definitely like way different than America’s (other) favorite pastime, although who doesn’t love a good old game of baseball? Bowling is pretty great, even so. For one thing, anybody can play bowling practically year-round (frozen baseball, unfortunately for sports hobbyists, just ain’t a thing quite yet ya’ see). 

I mean, most bowling places also serve good quality pizza, mozzarella sticks, and bowling alleys offer a great venue for parties and get-togethers– different than the overpriced hotdogs and nachos one could alternatively find at a stadium.

Now, that’s not to say that I’m just going to ham on about baseball. Nah, I’m just here to point out that while bowling may not be the most popular and widely-watched sport of all time, it certainly deserves its own wee moment of appreciation, at times.

Seriously! Bowling is something a wide range of folk can enjoy without having to go through years of practice and professional work. It’s a game, which baseball is too, of course, but sometimes it can be difficult to enjoy something (simple, even) without worrying about being supes great at it. Being bad at bowling is kind of a part of the whole adventure, isn’t it?

One thing that both bowling and baseball have in common, though?

Really stinky shoes! Whether you’re a professional bowler or just someone who likes to spend their weekend nights at a nearby alley, we all want to know how to make stinky bowling shoes smell better quickly. 

But have no fear! Keep on reading for some helpful tips on how to easily deodorize shoes of all kinds successfully, ma’ dear (yet probably just a wee bit smelly) readers.


Table of Contents

    1. Bad Smells are Going to BOOK It wih Baking Powder

    2. Black Tea is a Ten Outta’ Ten in our Books for Easy Shoe Deodorizing

    3. Clean Socks Sock It to Smelly Shoes

    4. Never Worry About Funky Footwear with Newspaper

    5. See What Great-Smelling People are Talking About with Cedar Chips

    6. LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder

    1. Baking Powder

    Bust all kinds of bad smells with baking powder! 


    The first trick for deodorizing stinky bowling shoes we’ve got up for ya’ today is baking powder. Indeed, that ever-present item on the ingredient list for baking. What we’re constantly realizing we’re out of until the last moment in preparing carby and sugary delights straight from the oven. 

    Now, I know that at least one of your eyebrows is arching high right now, skeptical about how such a mundane item as baking powder could have any kind of measurable effect on funky footwear, but trust the process, and trust me when I say that the whole thing actually has a bit of logic standing behind it.

    Any kind of smelly shoes, you see, are made smelly not by you and your poor pungent feet themselves, but actually by stinky bacteria that live on your feet, in your socks, and also on all of the shoes you wear. 

    Said smelly bacteria like to hang out in those places because it’s where we naturally leave behind lots of moisture from our spare sweat and also dead skin cells that just kind of naturally are going to slough off of our feet– both of which happen to be precisely what growing lil’ stinky bacteria love to chow down on. 

    So, basically, the more sweat there is and the more we wear any of our shoes, the more stinky they’re going to get because the smelly bacteria will be thriving and jiving off of our leftovers. YIKES!

    Baking powder can help us fix our freakishly rank bowling shoes by being super terrific at absorbing moisture– any kind, including from our sweat! Remember, less sweat, less happy bacteria, and less stinky shoes!

    Just put a few tablespoons of baking powder straight on into each of your smelly shoes and give ‘em a good shake so that everything is consistently distributed throughout the shoes (it would kind of suck to have one stinky patch of fabric and the rest be fixed, now wouldn’t it?).

    Alternatively, you can also opt in for an easier cleanup and simply put the baking powder into a sock, tie it off with a rubber band or something like that, and then put the sock into the shoes.

    Either way ought to work just fine to fix funky-smelling shoes quickly, as you leave the baking powder inside of your shoes for at least overnight, or possibly longer if you’re not due at the bowling alley for a little while.

    2.  Black Tea

    Give bad smells the boot with some black tea!


    Black tea is up next on our list of easy solutions to deodorize entirely-too-stinky bowling shoes. Yes, yes, black tea is another item you may or may not already have stored somewhere in your kitchen or back in the pantry, and you’re entirely welcome, of course ;) 

    Black tea works to help us all easily deodorize our poor stinky bowling shoes because of something called tannins. They're actually pretty rad (and not rank, thank goodness)-- tannins are a natural component of black tea, and tannins and bacteria just don’t mix well. Sooooo… bacteria, or tannins? I know that as for me, myself, and I, it’ll be the option of taking the black tea and its tannins over the stinky shoes, any ol' day!

    So boil up a few bags of black tea and then stick them inside of your stinky bowling shoes for at least one hour, and then after the waiting period is all done, take the black tea bags out, wipe off any extra liquid that might still be hanging out in your shoes, and then let your bowling shoes dry out (now, hopefully smelling much better).

    This last step of making sure to let our bowling shoes dry out is actually waaaay important, and I truly mean it! Do you remember about how that bad-smelling bacteria just love to slurp up extra moisture? If you go on and stuff your feet back into your smelly shoes then they’re just going to get even more smelly, which would totally suck for everybody who has to hang around ya’ when you’re aiming to make that next perfect roll of the bowling ball.

    Let the funky footwear air-dry, and don’t make your stinky shoes smell even worse!

    3. Clean Socks

    Clean Socks can keep ya' smelling fresh and fabulous!


    Clean socks might seem pretty obvious to those of you out there looking to clear the air for their poor pungent peds, but it’s a rather simple step that plenty of funky (but otherwise quite lovely) folk tend to actually overlook.

    So all of that rank bacteria in your shoes and on your feet also (sadly enough) is able to hitch a ride in your socks (as if stinking up our shoes weren’t already dreadful enough!), and in turn, can pass on the rank smells to your bowling shoes.


    Sweat and its excess moisture can also pass from foot to sock and then onward to the stinky shoes, causing the bacteria in there to get even more moisture to chow down on! Totally not great!

    Now, I know that it can already seem like a lot– having to deal with being the greatest bowling champion of all time (a given for your lovely self, I’m sure), practicing your #toocoolbowlingskillz TM from time to time) AND staying on top of making your bowling shoes smell as great as you can play (*read: fabulously, of course) but without a doubt, clean socks will for sure help us all out in making stinky bowing shoes smell better permanently.

    Fresh, clean socks for the next time you go bowling, ya’ hear me?! Even if you think that your socks are like “mostly” dry, don’t even give the bad-smelling bacteria a shot at making even more stank!


    Keep a spare pair of clean socks always in your bowling bag if you’ve got to, but whatever it takes, make sure to always be wearing clean socks when you’re wearing shoes that you’re hoping to make a little less stinky and hazardous to nose hairs everywhere.

    4. Newspaper

    Your nose hairs never need fear with newspaper!


    Time to take a break from all of those edible options we’ve got for how to deodorize your stinky bowling shoes for good– a good newspaper might be food for the mind in your mornings before you head on out, but it certainly isn’t on any recommended diet that I’d try out!

    While not edible, newspapers are certainly able to help us on out with our stinky bowling shoe problem. You see, most kinds of printed newspapers have a layer of glaze painted right on top of ‘em, known commonly as “sizing.”

    “Sizing,” ma’ dear (yet quite likely a wee bit stinky) reader absorbs water like a bonafide sponge and then holds onto it pretty tightly so that the printed words and pictures underneath it on the newspaper won’t blur or anything.

    Seriously, without sizing, your daily rag would be a seemingly tie-dyed rag with everything wayyy too blurry to conceivably read.

    As a result, newspaper also actually serves pretty well to absorb any moisture from your sweat leftover on the insides of your stinky bowling shoes, and if you’ll care to recall it’s that sweat which helps to feed our bad-smelling bacteria (not precisely) friends. Remember, ma' funky friends: less sweat, less stank.

    So crumple up a few balls of paper newspaper and to deodorize stinky bowling shoes you’ll be wanting to stuff the newspaper all right on in, leaving it be overnight, or even longer if you’d like to give the newspaper some more time to really work its moisture-absorbing wonders.

    5.  Cedar Chips

    Cedar chips are conceivably one of the greatest deodorizing hacks evahhhh!


    Another option for how to easily fix stinky bowling shoes that you probs shouldn’t try to eat (we’re really on a roll here) is going to be cedar chips! Now, the mere mention of cedar chips has probs got you to thinking about barbecuing with the lovely-smelling woody leftover bits, and I can totally feel that!

    There's cedar plank salmon or the tangy and bright taste of smoked slow-roasted beef jerky over cedar chips, just to start. Hamburgers from old scout camping trips, with cedar chips scenting our messily formed patties and roasting toppings (surprise, surprise, but the parents always insisted on some vegetable topping or another). I also once had a friend who swore that cedar-roasted eggplant was a culinary delight fit for the gods, although I myself can’t testify to its ambrosia-like flavors, as I have never had the pleasure of sampling.

    Ah well, I suppose cedar chips do have their consumable purposes, if not directly.

    But only so long as you can spare a little over a handful of the great-smelling bark in order to save your shoes from their mephitic malady.

    Use cedar chips to fix stinky bowling shoes by stuffing each shoe with just about a handful and then leave it all inside for at least overnight, but perhaps longer if you think that the bowling alley can spare its reigning champion for more time than that;)

    If you’re worried about wanting an easier cleanup– or just getting splinters, which is totally reasonable– then you can also simply opt in to stuffing some clean socks with the same amount of cedar chips and also leave them in for the same amount of time.

    Just make sure not to use the cedar chips for cooking after you’ve used them to fix your stinky shoes for good– they’ve already given their all!


    6. LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder


    LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder is the final option up on our absolutely fabulous list of quick lil’ tricks for completely deodorizing bowling shoes, and getting rid of that foul foot odor for good. 

    And I’m not the only person who’s got a whole lot of great things to rattle off about LUMI. It’s got a swell 4.6 star rating on Amazon, with over 600 of those fabulous ratings being a bona fide PERFECT five stars. Amazon reviewer Alyssa here says that it fixed her boyfriend’s smelly feet and now both her shoes AND floors smell awesome again:


    All of the applause for this!

    LUMI is also just kind of a really rad company. They never test on animals, only ever source the highest quality of completely natural ingredients, and have I already mentioned that they’re a small, totally family-owned business? Ah right, and they make all of their products in the United States– feel free to cue all of the confetti and gospel choirs because, yeah, they’re pretty rad.

    LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder is their best product for preventing foot odor because of how it prevents moisture in your shoes. It uses high-quality ingredients that are pretty fabulous for your skin, including bentonite clay, kaolin clays (there are lots of rad clays here), and also zinc oxide. 

    Just a little bit of LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder tapped on into your shoes is how you fix bad smelling shoes for good! Seriously, it’s going to be your go-to stuff from now on when it comes to knowing how to make stinky bowling shoes smell better, and make YOU ready for your next roll!

    But I think it might be helpful to summarize everything, however. Everybody loves a good summary, unless you somehow have been gifted with an utterly perfect  (and dare I say, impossible?) kind of memory. If that’s you, then whatever, you’re better than like the entire human race, so go you. 

    For the rest of us mere mortals who may or may not like a good reminder every now and again, here are a few wee quick summaries on all of the aforementioned options for how to easily deodorize stinky bowling shoes.

    Baking powder can easily absorb any and all kinds of moisture, meaning that sweat (AKA one of the stank-producing bacteria’s favorite kinds of nourishment) doesn’t stand any kind of salient sort of chance hanging around in your shoes; no sweat automatically curtails the smelly bacteria’s options for making your footwear smell so rank. So either dust a few tablespoons worth of baking powder straight on into your stinky shoes or put the same amount into a sock that you’ve tied off, and then leave the baking powder (in either mode of conveyance) inside of your funky footwear at least overnight, but longer if you can manage to spare the time away from the bowling alley.

    Black tea has got these fun lil’ things called tannins, which bacteria simply despise, meaning that we want a whole butt-ton of these tannins hanging out inside of our stinky bowling shoes. In order to save your stinky bowling shoes from dank doom you'll be wanting to boil a couple of black tea bags, stick them right on into your smelly shoes, and then leave ‘em all in there for just about an hour or so. Take the black tea bags out after the hour has run its course, and just go on in and dab away any excess liquid that’s been left behind. Make sure to allow your (hopefully not quite so stinky) bowling shoes to air out (COMPLETELY! AND I MEAN IT!!) before heading back out to show all of the bowling plebeians how it’s really done.

    Clean socks take it up a level by keeping your shoes a sweat (and moisture)-free place, meaning that the stinky bacteria which regularly smell up your poor pungent bowling shoes won’t have one of their very favorite sources of food. Basically, we’re looking to starve ‘em out. Seriously, don’t just stuff your feet right on into your bowling shoes if you’re still wearing the socks you’ve already been wearing literally almost all day– they’re going to be sweaty, and even if it’s just a little bit, it’s going to be headed straight to the rank bacteria’s lil’ gullets if you do! So switch out old socks for fresh, clean ones whenever you’ve got to amble on over to the bowling alley, and save your stinky shoes from olfactory oblivion (and all of our used and abused nose hairs in the same roll)!

    Newspaper is next up on our freakin’ fantastic roundup of rank smell-busters! Newspapers have got this pretty sweet glaze (not like Krispy Kreme donuts– wrong kind of glaze, ma’ dear yet dank-smelling reader), and that glaze absorbs water so that it can’t reach what’s been printed on the newspaper itself. “Sizing” is like a sponge that slurps any and all kinds of moisture, including the moisture left from the sweat inside of your stinky shoes. For real, you can absolutely keep your bowling shoes from smelling bad by crumpling up some regular, old-fashioned, paper newspaper and then stuffing it all right on into your smelly shoes, and then leave everything to sit for at least overnight, although longer will for sure pack a more pungent punch and help to keep you smelling fresh and fabulous as you go for the strike at the bowling alley.

    Cedar chips can make your bowling shoes go from smelling funky to fantastic real easily. Simply either stuff your smelly shoes with the great-smelling mulch or stuff the same amount into a tied-off sock (totally understandable– splinters in the heel probably wouldn’t do all that much in helping you to finally beat out your high score in the bowling lane), then afterward make sure to leave the cedar chips in overnight or longer if you’re not planning on wearing your stinky shoes for a lil’ while.

    LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder is the last hack for quickly fixing stinky shoes for good, and it’s literally about as easy as it gets. In order to make your stinky bowling shoes smell better, simply tap in some of the foot powder directly in to absorb the moisture. It’s great for preventing malodorous mayhem, as it goes directly for the source of the sour stench in your funky footwear. Not to mention, the company itself is small, family-owned, and uses all-natural ingredients, so you can feel pretty great and smell pretty great on top of it all.

    And there you have it, ma’ beloved but funky folk! We’ve made it through all six of our cheap and effective hacks to deodorize bowling shoes. Get ready to absolutely and most totally ROCK the alley and be THE greatest-smelling bowler with any of these tips and tricks up your sleeve. Go on and combine any of them too, btw, if you feel like you want to make your stinky bowling shoes smell *that* much more amazing– trust me, one easy deodorizing hack will totally help ya’ on out, but should you feel the need for a lil’ extra oomph, two or three deodorizing tips and strategies will totally make your bowling shoes better-smelling in hardly any time at all.

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