5 Easy Tricks to Fix your Stinky Ice Fishing Boots For Good

5 Easy Tricks to Fix your Stinky Ice Fishing Boots For Good

I learned how to ski when I was young, and I remember when I was still a lil’ kid and we were driving up the mountain that there was a frozen lake, with literal, actual trucks on it. Young, flabbergasted me thought that it was wild how lakes which we could regularly swim in during the warmer months could genuinely hold behemoth vehicles.

That the ice was strong enough not just to hold people, but also all of the gear they seemed to be in the process of setting up. This was my first introduction to ice fishing– and certainly, I have just got to say that all of y’all ice fisher peeps must be made of some pretty freakin’ stern stuff– like, literally indestructible, somehow or another.

I mean, to endure the cold like that? All for some fish? How the heck is any of that done!? Or, onward to another pressing matter, haven’t all of you ice fishers heard of simply going to the local grocery store? Or maybe a Walmart? I mean, why have fish frozen by nature when you could have fish frozen by the nearest freezer section by the bargain goods? Indeed, to be out there at the mercy of the frigid elements– frosty wind, unrelenting snow, or glaring sunlight on only the luckiest of days– all for hours at a time! How the heck does an ice fish do it all?!

Though, one certainly might suppose that, in general, most ice fishers tend to only go out in superbly winter-proofed gear. The only problem there, though? Using the same winter-proofed gear, day in and day out, well… that gear is likely to start smelling just a little rank after a bit. Particularly the large, insulated, probably waterproof hiking boots that can handle not only the rough, frozen terrain that an ice fisher needs to regularly traverse, but also be able to insulate your feet from the cold temperatures themselves. Ya, all of that adds up to some pretty rank footwear.

Said shoe stank is nothing to be worried about, however, when you use any one of the following tips for how to deodorize your stinky ice fishing boots! Read on to learn hacks and tricks for the best possible strategies for stinky shoe deodorizing.


Table of Contents

    1. Scrub with a Tub and Some Suds

    2. Store Outside With Some Sun

    3. Rock the Rotation

    4. Baking Soda is Magical, and that's a Fact

    5. LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer


    1. Submerge Stinky Shoes in a Tub with Some Water and Baby Shampoo 

    I would do this WITHOUT your leg still being inside of the boot, but you do you!


    The first hack to fix smelly ice fishing boots shoes we’ll be chatting about is really quite simple, indeed: it’s literally just submerging the set of sub-zero stinkers right on into a tub of water with some gentle cleansing baby shampoo! Yes, yes, I get that this option may seem slightly simple to all y’all, but trust me when I say that it totally works, and it’s all thanks to just a touch of some good ol’ fashioned science.

    So, it turns out that it’s not your poor winter-proofed boots that are the source of the sour stank. It all actually comes from bad-smelling bacteria that likes to hang out on the inside of your shoes, and said stinky bacteria simply loves to snack down on all of the extra moisture from your sweat and also from any dead skin cells that just naturally happen to slough off of your feet on a regular basis (it’s nothing to worry about– all of that stuff is natural, alright?).

    Then ON TOP OF ALL OF THAT the water-proof boots that you might use for ice fishing probs are made out of materials such as rubber, neoprene, etc, etc, all of which can be extraordinarily challenging to clean thoroughly, leaving the smelly bacteria to just continue stinking up your poor shoes.

    And so yeah, basically that’s why your ice fishing boots get to smelling worse than the fish you’re hauling up.

    BUT you need not fear for yourself and your funky footwear! A tub of water likely won’t do any harm to your tough old boots (most ice fishing boots are water-proof anyway, and to be honest, we’re more using the water in this option to evenly disperse the incoming soap all around the stinky shoes, but you can totally feel free check material-care tags if you’re worried, though) and then get yourself a really gentle, cleansing shampoo, such as one that could be used for infants. Pour a lil’ bit of the soap right on into the water, swirl around, and then you can scrub with a brush for just a couple of minutes to clean everything all the way through.

    Make sure to leave your ice fishing boots to air-dry afterward, and you should be set to go after all of that!

    2.  Store and Dry Outside

    We just need some fresh air to fight the funky footwear!


    *Now say this with me you lot, with ALL possible enthusiasm and confidence: “I’M WALKIN’ ON SUNSHINE! WO–ooo-OOAHHH!”

    Yep, our stinky ice fishing shoe trick for option numero dos is some simple sunshine and plain old fresh air. 

    Just like we chatted about in our last ice fishing boots deodorizing hack, it’s of utmost importance that we make sure our shoes have a good chance to dry out each and every time after we clean ‘em. By leaving any moisture in there, we’re basically leaving a lil’ snack for all of the stank-producing bacteria to munch down on and in return leave us even more foul odors to fix up.

    Even if you haven’t just submerged and scrubbed your stinky winter boots in some sudsy water, you’ll want to make sure that your poor pungent peds have a solid olfactory opportunity to totally and most completely dry out after any ice fishing expeditions.

    I mean, you’re going to be hanging out on top of a literal lake! Like, it’s sort of frozen, I’ll grant you, but that doesn’t mean that plenty of moisture won’t be hitching a ride on your funky footwear, and go on to feed the rank-smelling bacteria. 

    So go on and store your smelly ice fishing boots outside in order to really give ‘em a chance to dry out. A touch of some solid sunshine and fresh, moving air is precisely what any kind of bad-smelling boots need in order to really get rid of their stank for good. 

    Now, if you’re thinking that you might get some snow (or some sort of other  weather-related moisture), then you can also absolutely just feel free to store your stinky ice fishing boots inside in a patch of sunlight, or at the very least near some fresh, moving air (so, basically not just tucked away inside of the shoe closet)!

    3. Rotation

    Shoe rotation is totes just an opportunity to rock some more fabulous footwear!


    The next option is a really (and I MEAN really, really) easy way to fix stinky shoes, and all it requires is a second set of boots that you’ll be alright with using for your ice fishing expeditions. That’s right, ma’ dear yet unfortunately rather rank readers, it’s time to talk all about some simple shoe rotation!

    Rotation of your stinky (but soon-to-not-be quite so stinky) ice fishing boots, that is. So do ya’ remember all of that stinky bacteria we’ve been literally talking about almost non-stop? Here’s a basic reminder if you somehow do not– bad smells are the fault of the bad-smelling bacteria. Ya’ got it?

    The pungent problemo we’re all kinda sort of facing here is that essentially every single time you put on any one set of shoes, you’re adding to the resident bacteria’s stash of tasty and nutritious moisture (from your sweat) and dead skin cells (which naturally sort of slough off of your feet). Now, there ain’t no good reason for us to be adding to the aforementioned stockpile of the stinky bacteria, is there?

    The answer to that is a resounding no! Scream it from the rooftops! We don’t want to make our shoes smell worse! The fact that adding to the current shoe stank is physically possible for some of all y’all’s really rank shoes is shocking, I know, but trust me when I honestly say that the horrific smells could, and indeed, might get worse if you don’t manage to give those stinky shoes a good ol’ break.

    Rotating between at least two sets of ice fishing boots is all that’s needed to help starve out the smelly bacteria, and give your first set of shoes a chance to A) Properly dry out from any remaining sweat so that the stinky bacteria won’t continue stinking up your shoes and B) Give you a solid chance to rock a second and likely fabulous set of ol’ winter-proof boots– go on and impress all of your ice fishing buddies, alright? Whoever said that frozen fashion wasn’t a thing obviously hasn’t been properly introduced to the wide and varied offerings of the footwear industry.

    4. Baking Soda

    Better than the stank, alright?


    Our fourth fabulous and easy trick for ice fishing boot deodorization is something that you likely already have stashed somewhere in either your kitchen or pantry. That’s right, ma dear yet unfortunately funky folks, it’s simple baking soda!

    Ah, baking soda– that lovely, lil’ ingredient which we truly can’t seem to do a darn thing without. We put baking soda in cakes and sweet breads to make ‘em rise. Bake chicken with a dash of it in the breaded batter to make it so much more satesfyingly crunchy. Then of course, certainly nobody could ever possibly forget the key part baking soda plays in the crafting of any proper fourth grade science fair project with the characteristic volcanic explosion with vinegar!

    But baking soda is totally good for way more than that (more than a fourth grade science fair project, you say? *GASPS*)! For baking soda, you see, is actually a literal master for odor absorption. Oh yes, it’s time to bring it to the stinky bacteria, ma’ dank-smelling dudes!

    Baking soda can easily absorb moisture (read: your sweat, basically, although we can also count the water from when you totally *didn’t* accidentally step into some slushy ice melt and now your feet squelch with every other step). 

    Now, if you’ll care to recall the smelly bacteria for just a moment, any extra moisture means more food for the stinky suckers’ consumption, and it’s all going to result in a rank foot smell that none of us would care to gag on (any longer, that is). More moisture is bad, and less moisture is GREAT!

    All we have to do in order to make that happen and fix your stinky ice fishing boots for good is get a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and dash it all right on into your stinky water-proof boots. If you’re worried about cleaning everything up afterward (any good fishermen, of course, know that that’s one of the most important parts of their preferred hobby), then you can also easily put the same amount of baking soda into a sock, tie it off with a rubber band or something like that, and then stuff said stank-socking sock right on into your smelly shoes.

    Regardless of which method you’d prefer to go for, ya’ just got to make sure that you leave the baking soda inside of your stinky ice fishing boots for at least overnight, but if you’d like to go for longer, you totally and most definitely should– the longer we give the baking soda to work its spectacular shoe deodorizing magic the better off all of us (and our poor nose hairs) will be!

    5. LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer


    LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is the fifth easy and quick fix we have for deodorizing stinky ice fishing boots. LUMI is supes easy to use and supes effective to boot, at fixing your stinky boots;)

    And you totally don’t have to take just my word for it. There’s literally over 1000 reviewers on Amazon who have given LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer an absolutely perfect five stars for a review, averaging out at a solid 4.4 star-rating overall. Amazon reviewer Sam here calls LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer their favorite scent of all of the company’s products:


    Solid advice to fix the stank!!


    And beyond all of that, the company itself is also just sort of freakin’ fantastic. LUMI is small and family-owned, producing all of their products in the United States, and literally all of their products are crafted with only the highest quality of all-natural ingredients. Yeah, it’s ok, you can cue all of the applause and start conducting a gospel choir because they’re pretty rad.

    LUMI is here to help out with the rank smells! From stinky ice fishing boots to sour kitchen sinks, LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer can totally do it all! All it takes is one quick spray of this stuff at whatever you’re hoping to make smell better, and there you have it! Fresh smells in literal seconds! 

    All ya’ need, as aforementioned, is a few spritzes of LUMI in order to fix the most stinky of ice fishing boots. Trust me when I say that this stuff is totally one of the easiest stinky shoe hacks out there, and that it is also absolutely one of the most effective options on top of all of that!

    And those are our couple of supes easy strategies for fixing funky footwear! Basically everything you need to make your stinky ice fishing boots smell better– please and thank you, and y’all are very much welcome:)

    But let’s summarize everything, just because that was a whole stinkin’ lot of information for fixing those stinky ice fishing shoes of yours– just a wee lil’ quick snapshot, if you will, of how to quickly and easily deodorize smelly shoes of almost any kind.

    The first option we have for fixing that shoe stank is pretty simple– I mean, it doesn’t get any more straightforward than a tub of water, some suds, and a brush, am I right? I mean, granted, this here option is definitely a fair bit more work than some of the other quick shoe deodorizing alternatives, but if it works it works! All you need to fix those smelly ice fishing boots is a tub, some water, and a gentle cleanser (baby shampoo is a pretty safe option, although you can totally check any remaining tags on the insides of your stinky ice fishing boots if you’d like to make doubly sure of everything). Then you can immerse the boots and scrub carefully with a soft-bristled brush for extra clean and fresh-smelling results!

    Storing and drying outside smelly ice fishing boots is another freakin’ easy option you can try out for yourselves if you’d like to make said boots smell fresh and fabulous again. The bacteria which makes your poor ice fishing boots smell worse than the dead fish actually (and in most utter fact) don’t take too terribly well to some plain ol’ fresh air and a good dose of sunshine. So, essentially, we want a whole lot of both! Triple orders, for our poor pungent peds! It’s supes easy on your part, in that all you’ve got to speedily stick it to the stank is simple storage of your rank ice fishing boots outside, where they can actually properly air out. If that’s not possible in your neck of the woods (ie if your neck of the woods is frosty and simply not a great place to leave things outside– at least if you want to keep said things in good condition), then you can also totally just store your funky footwear inside, but near a solid source of light and/or air, near an open air vent or by a regularly sun-facing window, just to give a few examples.

    Rotating between one more sets of ice fishing boots is the next super solid strategy for fixing stinky shoes sooner than you can say that it sucks to worry about the stank! No more, we say! It’s all because of that odorous bacteria we’ve been chit-chatting about; if you consistently feed it, you see, then it will totally consistently stink up your poor boots. ANY moisture left in your boots from a day’s fishing venture or any extra dead skin cells sloughed off from your feet is unfortunately basically their buffet (yeah, it def sucks, but you see sweat is totally natural and dead skin cells slough off pretty regularly as well, so don’t you go worrying yourself over any of that, ya’ got me?). All you need to save your smelly ice fishing boots from olfactory oblivion, however, is at least two pairs of ice fishing boots to rotate consistently with. If you give the original set some solid time to chill out (and dry out, most importantly) then you’ll (hopefully) be able to return to a set of fresh-smelling, ready-to-use ice fishing boots!

    Baking soda is up next for how save your nose hairs, 101 (*read: deodorizing stinky ice fishing boots ASAP), and just like a couple of our other stinkin’ easy solutions (sans-odor, of course), baking soda basically is just extra fabulous at absorbing moisture (which, as we’ve been yakkin’ on about, is pretty great for those of us who would desperately like to starve out the stinky bacteria who eat sweaty moisture). Just chuck a couple of tablespoons of baking soda right on into your set of smelly ice fishing boots (or put the same amount into a tied-off sock) overnight, or longer if you feel like you’ve got the time for that. The baking soda ought to have absorbed all of the moisture that it’s going to once it starts to clump up some.

    LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is the last and one of the most freakin’ fabulous easy hacks for fixing stinky ice fishing boots that we’ve got to share with you. It’s a simple, all-natural shoe spray that effectively takes out footwear funk ASAP, and all you have to do is spritz it right on into the shoes! That’s it! Stench salvation for you and your footwear.

    And really, all it takes is one of these easy hacks to fix your stinky ice fishing boots for good! Go on and try one out before your next fishing trip– your (presently stinky) ice fishing boots will smell better than ever if ya’ do!

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