Do your House Slippers Stink? Here are the Best Ways to Get Rid of the Smell

Do your House Slippers Stink? Here are the Best Ways to Get Rid of the Smell

Gah, ok I love all of my shoes– I want to start out with that, as I don’t want them to be getting all sad, because here’s the thing: my slippers may or may not be my absolute favorite pair of shoes. I know, I said it, and I think I meant it.

*Sighs*, alright let’s just think about this for a moment here. House slippers are the shoes that you can wear inside for as long as you’d like (with other shoes there’s the pressure to take them off, of course). Slippers actually keep your feet warm (whereas other shoes might just function to keep you stylish– which isn’t too terribly difficult because you’re already inherently fabulous;) ). PLUS, and ok this might be the real point of interest here, but these shoes also can look like whatever you want!

Slippers belong inside the house, so crazy colors? Of course. Funky shapes? Why not! References to a favorite fandom? Duh, that is positively necessary.

Anyway, so house slippers have my heart, now and for always. Do you want to know what slippers also have? FUNK! Stupid, freakin’ FOOT FUNK! I say nay! I’m putting the proverbial foot down (you know you love the puns) and I vote to do anything in our power to save our slippers from smelly disaster.

Do you want to know how to deodorize your house slippers easily without mucho hassle? Don’t you worry your pretty little mind because you and your smelly feet will be back to enjoying that slippered lifestyle, and smelling AWESOME in no time at all!

Table of Contents

    1. Wash those Insoles!!

    2. Airing it all Out

    3. Corn Starch can Save the Slippers

    4. Soap for Sucks for the Stank

    5. Charcoal Tablets are, in most actual and definite fact, Magical

    6. Steam Cleaner Stops the Stank in its Tracks

    7. LUMI’s Lemon Eucalyptus Spray

    1. Wash the Insoles

    Some new insight for those insoles!!


    So I don’t know what kind of slippers you’re using these days to keep your feet warm around the house, but I’m going to go out on a limb here, and assume that they’re not exactly made to be washed in a machine. It kind of sucks, especially considering how much those shoes do for us.

    What is pretty rad, however, is that the soles of our slippers typically are able to take a trip through the wash without too many harsh consequences to follow– aside from depriving yourself of your beloved slippers for like, what, a few hours while you wait for the insole to dry? 

    That last part is actually super super important– like WAY important, please don’t skip this whole drying part if you ever want your slippers to not smell like radioactive cheese that’s been microwaved, then reconstituted with something akin to bog water, and left to rot in a middle school locker room.

    With that delightful imagery in your mind (and surely in your nose), let’s just talk about why wet footwear leads to way more wack wafts from your poor shoes. Said shoes have bacteria– it’s something that comes from not just your feet, but literally from everybody else’s on the planet. Having bacteria on your feet (and stinking them up) is totally and completely normal. 

    Said bacteria lives off of moisture (which comes in plentiful supply from your sweaty feet) and also leftover dead skin cells (of which there is a vertiably infinite amount also from your feet). That bacteria then produces the funk, and it sometimes will also migrate for green pastures (read: your socks and shoes) and then stink those up as well.

    BUT if we deprive that bad-smelling bacteria of moisture and dead skin cells, then BOOM! No more footwear funk. So, sticking the insoles into the wash will help to get rid of most of the bacteria, but that which remains after a sudsy slip n’ dip through the washing machine will then be left out to dry by your very attentive self, and then when those insoles make it back to your slippers the bad smells will be gone for good! Never to return, thanks to both the machine and the dry-time.

    2.  Airing it All Out

    Total and for real fact: Slippers need fresh air and sunshine just like a plant or small pet;)


    Now that whole drying out step really deserves an option of its own. I really mean it! If you do any of these steps that involve moisture, then you don’t leave your slippers to dry out, and then wear them, well… don’t say that I didn’t warn you when you find that your slippers have absolutely eviscerated your nose hairs with their positively putrid stench.

    You most definitely need to give your slippers a fighting chance against the bacteria by letting your slippers have their “me-time” separate from your feet. I mean, at the risk of repeating myself, your feet kind of sweat– which isn’t bad! It's totally natural for your feet to be sweaty! It’s just that if you don’t give your stinky shoes a break, then you’re basically allowing the smelly bacteria complete and total access to an all-you-can-eat buffet, microbial-style.

    Store your shoes somewhere with a breeze, if you can, or simply near a window with plenty of some good ol' sunlight. The stinky bacteria won’t take too terribly kindly to such measures, leaving you to your stink-free slippers after the fact. It’s not you, and it’s certainly not your slippers, but too much time together simply spells (and smells like) disaster.

    So when you’re not actively wearing your slippers, make sure that they’re stored in a spot that’s going to give the smelly bacteria a run for its money. Sunshine and moving air are amazing options, as well as just simple moving air currents (for example, an open foyer, as opposed to a shelf in a closet or something like that).

    3. Corn Starch

    Good for baking, good for our nosehairs


    This next method will actually help out with that aforementioned drying process. If you want to speed up the drying and the destenching process of your poor slippers, then there’s a literal wealth of ingredients and materials we could use to help absorb the moisture quickly and easily. For now, we’ll just be focussing on simple corn starch.

    Oh yes, that glorious ingredient that we mostly just use for puddings, custards, breading crispy fried chicken, the fillings for pies, and… whoops, sorry we’re talking about stinky feet, aren’t we? Corn starch is absolutely fabulous for cooking and baking shenanigans, and even more amazing (if that’s even humanly possible) at absorbing moisture.

    All of that sweat that’s just left to stink up your house slippers will evaporate naturally after a little while– I mean, given enough fresh air and sunlight, the water cycle is totally just going to do its thing, alright? But the longer the moisture from the sweat is just left chilling in your shoes, the stinkier your footwear becomes, thanks to the dreadful bacteria we’ve been talking about.

    Simply sprinkle a few tablespoons of corn starch into your house slippers, and then give them a good shake so as to make sure that the entirety of the inside is evenly coated– it wouldn’t do to have like the inner corner where the toes go to still smell, so this is fairly important. 

    If you’re worried about a messy cleanup (dusty footprints just ain’t the best, I get it), then feel free to put the corn starch into a sock, tie it off with a rubber band or something, and then leave that sock in the slipper.

    Either way, leave the corn starch to hang out inside of your slippers at least overnight, or even longer if you can bear to part from your fav’ but funky footwear for such an extended period of time.

    4. Soap in the Sole

    save your shoes' sole with soap;)


    If you’re hesitant to introduce any kind of extra moisture to your shoes after reading all of that, then I certainly wouldn’t blame ya’ in the slightest. I mean, those options will absolutely work just fine as long as you leave some extra spare time for your house slippers to dry out after the fact before you try slipping them back on again.

    But deodorizing your smelly slippers with simple soap is totally easy. This option is definitely the “set it and forget it” kind of vibe– the actual crock pot of an option on this list of solutions to your shoes’ stink, if you will.

    Ok, but I’m not asking you guys to actually wash your smelly slippers. This is a water-free kind of method for cleaning your shoes. You see, while we use both water and soap to wash our hands, water itself isn’t exactly necessary for deodorizing your funky footwear. The water kind of adds a mechanical (IOW a pushing kind of) force to get the bacteria off and down the drain (which is great!) but soap by itself certainly does bring a lot to the table (and to your stinky shoes). 

    If we're looking just at soap, on the bacteria’s teeny-tiny microscopic level, the soap is going to split apart the fatty membrane surrounding the bacteria’s cell– said membrane, you see, normally acts as a sort of shield or outer guard against the rest of the fuzzy world inside of your poor smelly slippers. Once that membrane is burst, the bacteria are going to literally just fall apart.

    So get a fresh bar of soap for each of your slippers, stick ‘em in and then leave everything for at least overnight, but I mean the soap totally isn’t going to hurt the slippers, so any more time you can spare with soap in there is most definitely recommended.

    5.  Charcoal Tablets

    Charcoal: meaning EXTRA well-done


    If you haven’t heard of the actually fabulous trendsetter that is charcoal quite yet, I’d like to know what rock you’ve been living under, and inquire as to whether there’s some spare nearby reality, because clearly it offers a sanctuary to the world unlike any other. If this lot is your case, your peace and serenity must truly know no bounds.

    But if you’re like the rest of us poor plebeian mortals, then you’re certainly well aware of how charcoal has taken the wellness industry by storm. Charcoal supplements? Check. Charcoal foot scrubs? A check there as well. Charcoal ice cream? Why the actual frick’ not? Pray tell, what is it with everyone and charcoal these days?

    Well, ok, this fanaticism spurred by charcoal may actually find basis in reality. Charcoal, you see, in the process of its production, forms these wee little microscopic holes that are really and truly great at absorbing things, which in your case, would be the wild wafts emanating from your stinky house slippers.

    Most modern charcoal comes from baking coconut husks, coal, peat, wood, etc, etc. all until they’re literally just carbonized versions of whatever they were before. That’s when the aforementioned (and very very helpful) pores form, you see. 

    So get yourself a couple of tablespoons of charcoal, and secure it al inside of a small packet, like an envelope, or something similar that will fit inside of your smelly house slippers. Leave it to hang out overnight, but even longer if you manage it. We want to give the charcoal as long as possible to really absorb all of the odor, and really, just wear a thick fuzzy pair of socks if you’re truly that chilly, okay? You can go a day or two without your slippers, especially if it means that you’re saving them from their current pungent state of existence.

    6. Steam Clean

    It's like a facial of death for the stinky bacteria, if that makes sense?


    All of this deodorizing shenaniganry can feel a little overwhelming at times, so this next one up on our stank-free list for saving your house slippers is a simple method, and hopefully will make this whole stinky slipper thing stress-free as well as stank-free!


    Steam cleaners, you see, are actually just like magic wands. They are certainly gadgets of wonder that any fine wizard or witch should be objectively jelly of, all because they’re literally just that amazing. 


    If you’re not too terribly familiar with these anti-wrinkle machines then you’re in for a treat, because ma’ dude, seriously they come in handy when you need a quick cleaning fix or if your clothes have… well, wrinkles. That’s seriously like what they’re for (or, at least that’s what I’ve always used them for). The hot steam fixes wrinkles really quickly (which is great when you’re attending a formal event, and simply forgot to pack your iron and ironing board– I know, a terrible idea, of course, but one’s purse can only reasonably be so large).


    But beyond the wrinkles, steam cleaners are actually great for cleaning (wild, I know). The hot temperature of the steam isn’t exactly all that great for the bacteria– which is simply magical for us– and with a little steam cleaner one could wreak absolute havoc on the population of bad-smelling bacteria stinking up their beloved– yet really quite rank and we all know (and can smell) it– house slippers.


    SO wave your steam cleaner wand like it’s the fairy godmother’s and bibbity-bobbity-boop your shoes to new nasal heights. As we’ve chatted about, the hot temps will zap the bacteria, and remember that without them, your shoes literally can’t produce crazy stenches on their own.


    Make sure that you leave your house slippers to dry out COMPLETELY after you’ve used the steam cleaning wand, because if you’ll also care to recall, that funky bacteria also thrives and jives off of moisture. If there are any survivors after you’ve used the steam cleaner, we want to make sure that we don’t give them a head start.


    7. LUMI’s Lemon Eucalyptus Spray


    But sometimes we simply don’t quite have the time to leave our shoes to dry off or to chill overnight, or literally anything that many of these options require us to do. Like, deodorizing shoes seriously is already kind of a pain in the butt (and for our poor abused noses) and why or why can’t life just be easy?

    Well, LUMI’s Lemon Eucalyptus Spray has got your back! And your feet, I suppose– those too;) LUMI is a quick but still super effectual spray for your shoes.


    It’s literally got over 10,000 five star ratings on Amazon, and an average of 4.4 stars overall. LUMI’s Lemon Eucalyptus Spray is the company’s BEST-SELLING product overall, which if that doesn’t say something to ya’ then perhaps you just need to hear from an actual customer themselves.


    Let’s take a look at the thoughts from our lovely Amazon reviewer “AH” here (their name accurately sums up our feelings on the product as well). They themselves had house slippers that simply wouldn’t survive the harrowing trip through any washing machine, and so LUMI was brought in:


    *takes notes*


    Besides being effective, LUMI’s Lemon Eucalyptus Spray also comes from a company that legitimately and most actually cares how their product is made. Only the highest quality of ingredients go into this foot spray, none of their products are ever tested on animals, and it’s all made in the USA!


    Beyond all of that, you already know that you’re getting a pretty amazing product, but LUMI is also a small, family-owned business. Fabulous, inside and out, am I right?

    Each of your smelly shoes only needs a spray or two, and one little bottle is totally going to last you a long time. LUMI’s Lemon Eucalyptus Spray simply needs to be spritzed straight on into your stinky house slippers, and then you’re good to go! That’s literally it! Badda-boom-badda-bing!

    And now we get to review it all. So grab your (hopefully now fresh and freakin’ fabulous) house slippers, prop up your feet, and go over all of these amazing options just one more time for kicks.

    Washing the insoles in a regular old washing machine is option numero uno, where all you have to do is that, and then let those insoles dry out COMPLETELY. Now, I mean actually, and most utterly dry. I don’t mean that the left toe is mostly dry but kind of squelches. I don’t mean that whoops you ran out of time and desperately need your slippers ASAP (was that sentence that you thought you’d hear today?) and they’re still pretty darn soggy but oh well. NONE of that, okay? Dry slippers for the win, else you give that win to the stinky bacteria who thrive off of all of the remaining moisture!

    That stupid dang moisture is actually why airing out your slippers is the next one we’ll be reviewing. Simply letting your house slippers chill in an arid spot when they’re not on your feet is bound to dry out the rank bacteria and leave your slippers smelling like new!

    Corn starch also takes on any and all leftover moisture in your soon-to-be fresh footwear, basically just absorbing it like a literal sponge. Put a few tablespoons of corn starch into your slippers and give them a good shake to evenly coat all surfaces. If you’re worried about cleaning up any kind of mess, stick the corn starch in a sock, tie it off with a rubber band, and then stick the sock in the shoe. Either way, leave the corn starch inside of the slippers at least overnight, but longer if you can help it.

    Leaving plain old soap inside of your house slippers also gives the stank the slip (if you will mind pardoning the pun;) )-- this option is literally just leaving a bar of soap in each of your slippers overnight or longer– pretty standard, but it’ll also leave your house slipper smelling pretty great. If it works for our hands, it’ll totally work for our slippers, ya’ hear?

    Then you just need to transfer the charcoal from charcoal tablets (easily found at plenty of grocery stores) and then you get yourself a small envelope or package, fill it up with this great odor-absorbing material, stick it into your slippers, and then you’re done! I mean, leave the whole thing overnight or longer, but that’s per usual– nothing new to you, a shoe deodorizing expert, am I right?

    Steam cleaners just need a quick wave over your stinky slippers and then you’re basically good to go! I mean, leave it all to dry, of course, but dry and stank-free are totally synonymous at this point, so just remember to leave your house slippers to dry out after the high temps from the steam get after the stinky bacteria, and then you’re all set and good to go!

    LUMI’s Lemon Eucalyptus Spray is the final one on our list, and also likely the most simple. Spritz and call it a day! No overnight or longer needed to dry something out, and no socks or something in your shoes to worry about removing later. One bottle literally lasts you forever and then some (give or take a year or so, of course) and the company is absolutely the coolest. High quality ingredients, free from animal cruelty, and made in the US!


    Your house slippers are going to smell fabulous, you’re going to feel great, and well I suppose you’re always looking like your fabulous self, so that won’t change, but trust me when I say that your slippers will smell like their best selves after a quick spritz or two of LUMI! You can totally fix smelly shoes for good with this stuff!

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