The Five Quickest Ways to Deodorize Softball Cleats

The Five Quickest Ways to Deodorize Softball Cleats

It was a bright, lovely, sunny day. The grass beneath me in the field was a verdant emerald, and the sky was so wide and cloudless it seemed like it could almost swallow you up from looking at it for too long. As luck would have it, I was distracted from this lovely spring day by my gym teacher’s shrill, yet patient voice.

My first introduction to softball was gym class in elementary school. The poor teacher was bravely trying to explain the difference between it and plain ol’ baseball.

“Yes, it’s softball,” she said. “Where you hit the thrown ball, and then–”

“So… baseball?” one kid chimed in. 

The teacher looked over at him warily, taking a deep breath before she tried again. “No, no, it’s softball, which…”

I had personally clocked out at that point, realizing that I was in for another gym class where I’d be failed by my terrible lack of hand-eye coordination and utter lack of knowledge regarding baseball or softball. It was all just for fun, so what did it matter? If I utterly failed, then what was the worst that could happen? 

I expected, of course, a solid frown and shake of the head from my gym teacher, but she knew that I always gave it my best effort, so while both of us knew that I personally wouldn’t likely be the next local softball prodigy, that didn’t deter her from having the entire class try this new sport out.

Don’t you worry– my team didn’t have just me going to bat for them. Luckily, the whole venture was an intrepid group effort, so I got to watch and learn as other students tried out this new sport for themselves.

Now, I’ll have it pointed out that some of these players really were quite fabulous! There was, however, just one tiny thing that we all had in common by the end… 

That’s right: really stinky shoes! Softball can totally work up a sweat! 

But never fear, because here are five genuinely fabulous (and easy!) shoe deodorizing hacks for all of y’all to go on and try out!

Table of Contents

    1. Lose da’ funk with Lemon or Lime Peels

    2. Forget Rank Shoes with Rubbing Alcohol

    3. Never Stink Again with Newspaper

    4. End the Super Stink with Essential Oils

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

    1. Lemon or Lime Peels

    Zesty for the best(y) smells 


    Now, you might be wondering why we started out with literal food on this list of really easy tricks to make your stinky softball shoes smell better. Like, wouldn’t all be better off just saving the lemons and limes for yummy things? I mean, there’s lemon meringue pie, key lime pie, lemon bars, and… oof, apologies for the terribly tasty tangent– but I promise that it all has to do with making those stinky shoes of yours not smell like you just rocked on the softball field.

    You see, it all has to do with some stinky bacteria. Sadly enough, basically everybody’s feet are home to this smelly bacteria, which can also conveniently (or not so conveniently, one might suppose) move onward to your socks and shoes as well. This stinky bacteria absolutely love to feed off of the moisture from any leftover sweat and also the dead skin cells which just sort of naturally slough off pretty regularly– totally nothing to be embarrassed about, ma’ dank-smelling (but still doubly-amazing) dude, as we all have that same smelly problem to worry about! Every human being has that same stank-producing bacteria hanging out on their feet, but with this next super easy deodorizing tip, you won’t have to worry about that footwear funk!

    Lemon and limes factor into all of this because they have a sort of natural acidity, which provides an absolutely delectable tang when it’s added to desserts or any sort of cooking, but is an utter disaster if you’re that aforementioned stinky bacteria! As it would so happen to turn out, said smelly bacteria don’t like acidity, which means that we love it!

    Just get a couple of tablespoons worth of lemon or lime peels (either work just fine!), making sure to cover the floor of your stinky softball cleats (right where your smelly feet usually go), and then leave the fruit peels in there for at least overnight, or even longer if you want to give the acidity enough time to properly work its tangy magic– just make sure not to leave everything in there for too long, as fruit peels can get funky themselves if left out, and we wouldn’t want to make your shoes have a different kind of dank stank!

    2.  Rubbing Alcohol

    Actual shoe deodorizing magic *right here*


    Second up on our list of really easy softball cleat deodorizing hacks is plain ol’ rubbing alcohol. We use it as a general cleaner because of how strong this stuff normally is, and trust me when I say that it can totally take out the terribly stinky odor presently wafting up from your poor, pungent peds.

    I mean, let’s be completely honest here– your rank footwear could take out an entire horse, caught unawares. That old cheese funk emanating up from your shoes? The one that even the most prized and expensive blue cheese makers across the world would just love to know the secrets behind? This shoe stink is  stubborn, it’s quite possibly radioactive (who’s to say?), and it’s definitely taken out more than its fair share of honest, hardworking nose hairs (may they rest in non-pungent peace).

    But we can absolutely fix all of that. As it would so happen to turn out, rubbing alcohol and all of that stank-producing bacteria just aren’t besties, you see. Like, think water and fire, broccoli and heart attacks, cats and dogs, or perhaps… yeah, I think that you probably get the picture– rubbing alcohol and the whole sprawling root cause of the footwear funk simply don’t go together. 

    If you haven’t guessed by now, all of this just means that we’re TOTALLY going to be putting the rubbing alcohol in with the stinky bacteria, because we’re totes over the mephitic madness that is presently hanging about your sadly stinky shoes. What’s bad for the smelly bacteria is great for us and whatever is left of our remaining sense of smell!

    All you need to deodorize stinky softball cleats with rubbing alcohol is a few cotton pads or rounds. Soak said cotton rounds with rubbing alcohol and stuff it all straight on into your smelly shoes, and then let it all hang out overnight or longer if you know you don’t have any softball games or practices coming up.

    3. Newspaper

    *cues Newsies music*


    So you want to properly deodorize your stinky softball cleats, and I’m going to swing out on the proverbial limb here and assume that you’re also going to be wanting to do all of this fairly cheaply, am I right? For real, who the actual freakin’ heck wants to break the bank in order to break the bad-smelling stank wafting up from your smelly shoes!? If that sounds like you– and let’s be real, it sounds (and smells!) like everybody– then why not reuse something you might already have hanging around the house?

    But seriously, newspaper? Yes, seriously, newspaper! We can totally use the daily rag to wreck the wack stinks smelling up your funky footwear. There’s actually a really valid reason for my saying this, ok? Believe me when I say that newspaper is absolutely one of the best (and easily one of the more simple) shoe deodorizing tricks out there.

    It all works because of a wee lil’ thing known as “sizing.” This “sizing,” you see, is basically a sort of glaze that’s been painted over the words and pictures on your morning newspaper. The sizing absorbs water and slurps it up like a tiny bonafide sponge so that it can’t get to and destroy the ink and paper beneath it– pretty cool, am I right?

    So sizing can absorb moisture, and moisture, if you may care to recall, is what the stank-producing bacteria like to chow down on, meaning if we get rid of it then the smelly bacteria will be out of luck, out of food, and hopefully out of ways to make those softball cleats of yours stink!

    All you’ve got to do to make your smelly shoes smell better ASAP is crumple up some newspaper into some balls and then stuff everything right on into the funky footwear in question. Make sure to go on and leave the newspaper to sit in the stinky shoes for at least overnight, going for longer if you really want to make sure that the newspaper and its sizing glaze has had a fairly solid chance to take out the shoe stank.

    4.  Essential Oils

    An absolutely *essential* shoe deodorizing hack for all y'all


    But perhaps you don’t have any paper newspapers to spare. Does anyone else here remember the last time they actually held a real-life, paper magazine or newspaper in their hands? I mean, of course you could always try and borrow the daily paper from a kindly neighbor who perhaps hasn’t set off down the digital path quite yet (or is already wandering it, scratching their head because they’re somewhat lost).

    If newspapers aren’t something you can easily get a hold of though, perhaps you’d like to try out essential oils. That’s right, ESSENTIAL OILS– you know, those absolutely fantastic and viral lil’ suckers that everybody’s been raving about for years? Of course, maybe you’ve been living under some sort of (very well-insulated) rock that simply didn’t offer the very best wifi connection, and you somehow don’t know what essential oils are and why everybody seems to be going crazy about ‘em. That’s alright, we’ve got your back.

    Essential oils are literally just carrier oils with tiny lil’ bits of plants floating about in them– we’re talking microscopic here, ya’ got me? Those wee bits of plants transfer some of their smell to the carrier oil, meaning that when you put even just a few drops of an essential oil on something you’ll also be getting some of whatever lovely scent it’s been steeped with.

    Think of essential oils almost like you might pickle juice– ok yes, that’s it, essential oils are literally just a kind of bougie pickle juice. Make sense?

    So do you want your stinky shoes to smell like peppermint? How about citrus? Maybe even vanilla? How about eucalyptus? Literally just pick your favorite plant smell, and there’s probably an essential oil out there for it. Deodorize your stinky softball cleats super quickly and easily with just a few drops of whatever essential oil you pick onto a few cotton pads or rounds and then you can stuff all of that straight on into said smelly shoes. Leave everything in there undisturbed for at least one night, but totally feel free to go for longer if you’d like your shoes to smell more like the essential oil you ended up picking.

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


    LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer is fifth on our list of utterly simple and easy tricks for how to deodorize smelly softball cleats easily and successfully. LUMI is an all-natural shoe spray, you see, and it’s absolutely fabulous for fixing stinky shoes for good!

    And you totally don’t just have to take my word for it– there are literally over 10,000 reviewers over on Amazon who have given LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer a solidly perfect 5 out of 5 stars, averaging out to a weighty 4.4 stars overall. It’s the company’s best-selling product, and it’s totally easy to see (and smell!) why! Amazon reviewer “AS” here says that it worked well for her girls’ volleyball AND softball cleats! For the win!


    Wise words!


    LUMI also just so happens to be a pretty fabulous company themselves. They’re a small, family-owned business that only ever sources the highest quality of all-natural ingredients for each of their products, they never test on animals, and they also make all of their products in the United States!

    LUMI is also pretty great if you need to deodorize things other than your stinky athletic shoes as well. Do you have a stinky kitchen sink? How about a stubbornly rank garbage can? A spray or two of LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer is all it takes to save you and your remaining sense of smell from such mephitic mayhem. No more noxious fumes for you to worry yourself about!

    All you need in order to finally fix stinky shoes for good is a spritz or two of LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer straight on into the smelly shoes in question and then that’s it! LUMI is literally as simple as it gets! Badda-bing-badda-boom!

    Ok, but how about a quick review of all of these super easy shoe deodorizing hacks? I certainly don’t know about all y’all, but I have the memory of half a guinea pig (and that’s totes being generous), so reviews and reruns are kind of my favorite thing. What do you think?

    Lemon or lime peels are first up on our list of how to deodorize stinky softball cleats! These sour fruit peels work to fight the footwear funk because they have this super steller (and natural!) acidity that can easily take on the super stinky bacteria. Yes, yes, I know very well that we could potentially be using said lemons and limes to be making some pretty delicious snacks (lemonade after a softball game sounds absolutely fabulous, doesn’t it?), but trust me, you’ll survive if you have to sacrifice a few fruits for fighting the footwear funk! All you need are a couple of tablespoons worth of either lemon or lime peel, making sure to spread it all out evenly across the floor of the stinky shoes in question, and then you’ll want to leave everything in there overnight. Go for a few hours longer if you’d like to, just make sure not to leave the fruit peels inside of your (hopefully soon-to-not-be) stinky shoes for too long because they’re… well, food, and we don’t want it to go rotten and stink up your shoes even more!

    Rubbing alcohol is one of the absolute best and easiest ways to fix stinky shoes quickly, and it totes couldn’t be any more simple. The rubbing alcohol can quickly take on the stank-producing bacteria (so like, the whole reason why your fave set of softball shoes smells the way it presently does–IOW rank old cheese), and all of this is why we totally want to use rubbing alcohol to clean up those stinky softball cleats of yours ASAP! Simply soak some cotton pads or rounds in some of the rubbing alcohol, stuff ‘em all right on into your smelly shoes, and then leave them in there for at least overnight, although longer would totally help to pack a more pungent punch when it comes to your stinky athletic shoes.

    Never worry about stinky shoes ever (and I really do mean ever) again with some plain ol’ newspaper! That’s right, the daily rag helps to make sure that you never hit a snag when clearing out the sorry smell hanging about inside of your shoes (you know, the rank smell that’s totes strong enough to knock out the opposing softball team? Yeah, not a sound strategy, alright?). Newspaper can easily (and don’t forget cheaply!) help us on out here, all thanks to a fun lil’ thing called “sizing.” This stuff is essentially a glaze that printers will use to help their readers protect their daily paper from any rain, snow, and whatever else mother nature thinks to throw at ya’ before you get a chance to take the paper inside. Rather than have the newspaper run from all of that rain, the “sizing’ is able to absorb any spare moisture and hold onto it, protect the paper and ink beneath it. Said “sizing” can also help to absorb sweat, luckily enough for all of those us hoping to save our shoes (and whatever remaining sense of smell we may be so fortunate as to still possess following the devastatingly dank consequences of that funky footwear). Remember how sweat feeds the stank-producing bacteria? No sweat means that they eat less and also stink up your shoes less– winning all around! So crumple up some old newspaper into balls, stuff everything straight on into your stinky softball cleats, leave it all be overnight (or longer! Go for the gold!) and then you ought to be all set!

    Then there are essential oils, AKA the better-smelling cousin to pickle juice. Essential oils have two parts, you see– the carrier oil and also whatever microscopic lil’ bits of plants are floating around in there. The carrier oil, you see, kind of helps to evenly distribute whatever fantastic smell that it’s been steeped with. This means that we literally only need a few drops of your selected scented essential oil to finally fix your fave (if a bit funky) shoes of yours for good! All you have to do is put a few drops of your essential oil onto some cotton pads or rounds (peppermint, vanilla, citrus, etc. are all very popular if you’re having a difficult time deciding which scent to choose from), and then stuff all of that cotton into your smelly softball cleats. Make sure to leave the cotton pads in there for at least overnight, although your shoes will smell even more fabulous if you make sure to leave everything in there for even longer.

    LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer is the fifth quick hack for deodorizing stinky shoes that we’ve got for you, and it totally couldn’t be simpler. This all-natural shoe deodorizing spray is precisely what you need to up your shoe game before your next softball game. There’s no need to go on and give up on your fave set of stinky athletic shoes simply because they smell bad (even if said scent is enough to knock out passersby– yes, yes, even then!). Just a spritz or two of LUMI right on into your smelly softball cleats, and you’re going to be all set to go and conquer the next competition without the crazy foot smell!

    There we have it, my fine (and hopefully no longer funky) folk! Softball is totally one of the most fun sports out there, and you totally deserve to be able to play your best game without fear of that dreaded footwear funk! When it comes to enjoying a solid game of softball, it always helps to not have feet that reek, so go on and use any or all of these easy stinky shoe deodorizing hacks! Try ‘em in combination if you’d like! Any of them ought to finally do the trick and get your stinky softball cleats to smell better for good!

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