5 Quick Ways to Clean Hunting Boots

5 Quick Ways to Clean Hunting Boots

I knew a guy in my first year of college who was likely my precise polar opposite. I was one tofu burger away from becoming the designated vegan friend of the group and he had half a deer chilling out in his dorm freezer (for real, I’m not kidding about that one). While I was all about bringing a spare set of utensils in my purse so as to avoid having to use plastic ones when eating out, he was all about spending his summers hunting in the woods.

Now, I wasn’t necessarily no-meat by any means—I just ate enough to not have an iron deficiency, though. Arby’s seemed like an extra bonus circle of Hell and Kentucky Fried Chicken just made me squeamish—what can I say? Everybody has their own individual food preferences, ya’ know?

Anyway, this friend of mine and I would eat lunch with the rest of our group at least once a week together, and let me tell you, they all bore witness to the many lowkey disagreements we had over literally everything, from straws and saving the sea turtles over on to whether electric cars really were the future or not.

Surprisingly enough, we actually had fairly similar ideas about meat. There was this one time that we were talking specifically about the supply chains for food products, and as for myself, I felt like locally sourced products were easier on the environment, and also cheaper to boot. 

I remember that he held up a hand to pause our discussion, the rest of the friend group waiting with bated breath, and he mentioned something about how hunting was about as local as it could get. I opened my mouth to respond, but then shut it pretty quickly because, to my utter shock, I found myself in agreement with him.

Now, I can’t say that I could hunt down lunch if it came from anywhere other than the fridge or stovetop, but I was extraordinarily grateful for the extra bit of frozen deer meat he’d gifted me for Christmas. Yes, yes it was a rather odd gift for the holidays, but it was locally sourced, free-range meat and I actually felt like my friend and I had finally found some common ground.

Treading that common ground takes a certain kind of footwear, however. A good set of hunting boots tends to be rubber, leather, or some other kind of synthetic material, all of which (somehow or another) just aren’t the easiest to clean when they get a lil’ bit funky.

Stinky hunting boots totally aren't for the win, though. Don’t you worry though, because with these upcoming hunting boot deodorizing hacks you ought to be able to finally fix that footwear funk of yours for good!

Table of Contents

    1. Win with Vinegar

    2. Actual Charcoal Magic

    3. Baking Powder Trick

    4. No More Super Shoe Stink with Nutmeg

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

    1. White Vinegar

    Sour beats shoe stank, anyday!


    Right then, let’s clear something up while we’re working on clearing up your shoes’ stink. It turns out that it’s not actually the fault of your feet for creating the footwear funk. That’s right, ma’ dear yet dank-smelling readers, your feet are in the clear– even if they don’t smell like it.

    So it’s actually this stank-producing bacteria that we’ve got to worry about when it comes to the bad smells wafting up from your stinky hunting boots. The smelly bacteria’s favorite things to chow down on just so happen to be the dead skin cells which naturally sort of slough off of your foot and also on the moisture from any leftover sweat hanging out inside of your face set of shoes. Not the greatest, I get it, but don’t you go on forgetting that this is literally everybody here, alright? Basically, everybody has got the same pungent problem when it comes to their shoes, so don’t feel bad about it, alright?

    We can, however, make sure that we do something about this funky footwear fiasco! White vinegar, for example, is sour enough that even the smelly bacteria are going to crinkle up their wee lil’ microbial noses at it. 

    Now, you don’t have to go out and spend buckets of money on the fanciest vinegar (save the good balsamic stuff for cooking up something tasty, ya’ got it?). For real, if I were to be frank with you, I would simply use whatever variety of vinegar already presently resides in the back of the pantry, or just use whatever kind is going to be the easiest on the wallet. Cheap vinegar for the win!

    And usually, that just tends to be plain ol’ white vinegar. With hardly any effort on your part, you absolutely can use vinegar to quickly deodorize sticky hunting boots. All you need are some cotton rounds or pads that you’ve soaked in your vinegar of choice, then you’ll want to stuff them all into your smelly hunting boots for at least overnight, or even longer if you can manage to spare the time for it.

    2.  Charcoal Envelopes

    Charcoal is basically professionally-made burnt carbon, and that's the fact of the matter


    Second up for all y’all we’ve got charcoal envelopes! Yes, I really do mean charcoal, as in that self-same stuff that we get from all of those extra fabulous summer BBQs. Oh yes, we’re talking the literal carbon that we’ll all be scraping off of our hamburgers and other assorted grilled food items as the weather starts to get a lil’ toasty again. 

    I mean, all of the love to the “master griller” of the house (I’m actually quite convinced that every household has one, or is adjacent to a household that does) who somehow has come to the conclusion that they are literal grilling gods that can do no wrong when it comes to the family cookout. Fortunately for their ego (and perhaps somewhat unfortunately for anyone with functioning taste buds) nobody ever really tends to call these folks out when they manage (seemingly every single time, quite literally without fail) to char up anything that had previously had at least some potential for being edible. A moment of silence, if you’ll please, for all of the *crispy* (and totally not literal ash in our mouths) hamburgers that said *grill master* charbroiled. 

    Thankfully, these days you can easily obtain charcoal without the local BBQ. Most local grocery stores will sell charcoal in the form of these super convenient tablets, sans *grill master*. Said charcoal is basically just carbon that’s been superheated, hailing from any number of sources, although such items as coconut husks, bamboo, and the like are all pretty popular.

    When superheated, you see, the carbon forms these tiny wee holes along its surface, and that’s what’s able to absorb odors! Pretty cool, am I right? It’s almost like nature’s own lil’ sponge, if you will.

    And thank goodness, because our poor used and abused nose hairs could use all of the help that they can get (if you’ve got any still left after the stinky catastrophe of your smelly hunting boots). All you need in order to deodorize stubborn shoe odors with charcoal is a couple of tablespoons of the stuff inside of a small, resealable envelope and then you can just go on and tuck it all into the stinky boots in question.

    Make sure that you’re able to leave the charcoal in there for at least overnight, or even longer if you can. Also make sure that you’re replacing the charcoal inside of the lil’ envelope every so often, just to keep everything smelling as fresh as it could possibly be.

    3. Baking Powder

    Power to the baking powder!


    How about baking powder? Can the common kitchen ingredient really take on the utter terror that has become your stinky hunting boots? Yes, yes, and before I forget, also yes.

    I mean, of course you could be keeping baking powder from achieving its full potential and keep it relegated to its regular kitchen duties. You know, the usual things we like to use baking powder for. Baking powder? More like baking power, as it helps our baked goods to properly reach their fluffy, much-vaunted and lofty  heights. Or perhaps when you add just a dash of the stuff into your fried chicken’s flour dredge to get that perfect crunch. There’s literally so much you can do with baking powder when it comes to all of your culinary adventures.

    But you’ve got to trust me when I tell ya’ that baking powder has got loads more potential outside of cooking and baking. You can absolutely use baking powder to deodorize stubborn odors (such as the rank old cheese smell presently wafting up from your stinky hunting boots– don’t go on pretending that you don’t know what I’m talking about)!

    All you need in order to finally fix stinky shoes for good is a couple of tablespoons of baking soda dashed straight on into the smelly shoes in question. Pretty easy, am I right? Now alternatively, if you’re worried about leaving a dust mess for future you to clean up (totally valid, ma’ dear, yet sadly stinky reader), you can also just go on and place about the same amount of baking soda (that’s a couple of tablespoons if you’ll care to recall), inside of a sock that you can then tie off securely with a rubber band or something akin to that.

    You’ll also be wanting to make sure to leave the baking soda inside of your funky shoes for at least overnight, although going for longer can only help to solve the pungent problem, alright? 

    4.  Nutmeg

    You'd be totally nuts not to try this easy shoe deodorizing hack


    Did you think that your kitchen could only help you to save your stinky shoes from certain dank-smelling doom with the help of baking powder? Oh no, the kitchen has plenty of extra amazing and super easy methods of shoe deodorization for all y’all to go on and try out. 

    Just take nutmeg for example! The warm-smelling spice might make you think of baked goods (such as donuts, muffins, or even cake), but there’s more to nutmeg than meets the eye (and nose, as you’ll soon discover and hopefully smell).

    Either powdered or whole nutmeg will totally work just fine to help ya’ out with solving the mephitic mayhem of your stinky shoes, although to be honest you probs should just go with whatever form of the sweet seasoning is already just hanging out in the back of your spice cabinet. A word to the wise (and thrifty!)-- if you for whatever reason feel the need to go out and buy a brand new thing of nutmeg (which is kind of dumb, why the heck would you want to do that!? There are literally four other easy shoe deodorization hacks in this article), then the powdered version is likely going to be just a bit easier on the wallet.

    All you’ve got to do in order finally take out the super stank wafting up from your smelly hunting boots is scoop a couple of tablespoons of powdered nutmeg (or a couple of whole nutmeg seeds) right on into the shoes themselves, making sure to leave overnight or longer, just like with the baking powder.

    Also like with the baking powder, you could totally just put the nutmeg into a securely tied-off sock in order to make sure that in the future you don't get stuck cleaning out a dusty shoe on top of finally figuring out how to make shoes smell better for good.

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


    Fifth of our super fabulous and easy shoe deodorization hacks is LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer. This ultra effective and super successful shoe spray is completely natural and practical to (hunting) boot (if you’ll pardon the pun).

    And don’t feel like you just have to take my word for it, my beloved yet quite likely bad-smelling reader! There are over 10,000 (yep, you read that right– it’s 10 freakin’ THOUSAND) people over on Amazon who have decided to write up LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer a literally perfect 5-star review, averaging out to a supes solid 4.4 star average overall on Amazon. It’s pretty easy to see why this is their best-selling product. 

    Amazon reviewer “RKJ” here was skeptical at first of natural products such as LUMI being truly capable of getting the job done when it comes to deodorizing stinky shoes, but they still decided to give it a shot, and have found that it works! Not only that but also the fact that LUMI also totally doubles as an absolutely fabulous (and effective) air freshener!

    LUMI also just so happens to be a pretty cool company on its own. They’re a small, entirely family-owned business that never tests on animals (ever), sources only the highest quality of all-natural ingredients, and they also make literally all of their products in the United States! It’s ok, you have my express permission (and also my direct and enthusiastic encouragement) to cue all of the glitter cannons, the raucous parades, and the large choir because LUMI really is just that rad– don’t forget the team of unicorns, please and thank you very much.

    And beyond any of that (although it’s all pretty cool), LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer additionally can be used as an air freshener of sorts! Remember that one Amazon reviewer? “RKJ”? The one who found that LUMI smells better than literal Febreeze!? Heck yeah, it does! Do you, perhaps, have a stinky kitchen sink that just won’t stop smelling like old fruits and vegetables? Hit it with a spray of LUMI? How about a musty garage? Oh yes indeed, LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer has got your back, ma’ dearest reader!

    And your feet, thankfully because it’s finally time to deodorize your stinky hunting boots for good! No more funky footwear with LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer in hand! All you need is a spritz or two of the stuff straight on into your smelly shoes and then you ought to be all good to go off on your next adventure!

    But let’s just take a pause for a moment, because I don’t know about all y’all, but that was a whole lot of ways to quickly deodorize shoes in a pretty short amount of time. How about a summary of it all?

    I mean, as for me, myself, and I, summaries are kind of the greatest (for real), given that I have the memory of half a hamster on the very best of days. So, let’s walk through all five of the best fixes for stinky hunting boots real fast, shall we?

    White vinegar is first up on our list of easy stinky shoe deodorization hacks, and trust me when I say that the venture is going to be pretty hands-off on your part. For real, the whole idea is fairly straightforward for fixing your funky footwear. The naturally inherent acidity found in the white vinegar (or any kind of vinegar that you’d like to use, really) just isn’t that great for the stank-producing bacteria. Oh yes, remember them? The actual root cause of your poor pungent peds? And whatever those stinky wee lil’ suckers aren’t fans of, we’re HUGE freakin’ fans of! Bring on all of the vinegar, I say! Or, actually, just enough vinegar to soak a couple of cotton pads or rounds that you’ll then make sure to stuff inside of your smelly shoes, leaving overnight or longer (in order to really ensure a bad smell-free success).

    Charcoal envelopes are second up, and they’re also super easy to make and then use to finally fix those stinky shoes of yours for good. Charcoal, if you might care to recall, is simply just carbon that’s been superheated, the process of which goes on to form these tiny wee pores along the surface of the material that can then absorb pesky, problematic odors such as the old cheese smell that’s been seemingly stuck like glue to your fave set of (sadly funky) footwear since what seems like forever. All you’re going to need is a smallish envelope and then a couple of tablespoons of charcoal (which typically comes in these super handy tablets that most grocery stores sell nowadays, or should you not be able to find any, then the internet has plenty of sources, such as Amazon). Simply fill up your envelope with the aforementioned couple of tablespoons of charcoal and then slip one into each of your stinky hunting boots, allowing it to sit overnight or longer if you can find the time to spare for it. Make sure that you’re replacing the charcoal every so often, otherwise the charcoal is going to just act like an oversaturated sponge, incapable of absorbing anything more, ya’ got it?

    Baking powder is third up on our list of quick shoe deodorization tricks, and absorption, kind of like with charcoal, is totally the name of the game here. Baking powder, unlike charcoal, however, absorbs straight-up moisture– literally like nature’s own bona fide sponge. Baking powder might be renowned for its… well, its baking capabilities; all of the lofty heights reached by delectable culinary delights are mostly due to baking powder, of course. All you need is a couple of tablespoons of baking powder stuffed straight on into your funky footwear, or alternatively (if you’re hoping for an easier cleanup, that is– and who the heck wouldn’t be?) you could also potentially put about the same amount of baking powder into a securely tied-off sock. Either way total is going to work for ya’, although I would make sure that the baking powder stays inside of the fantastically funky footwear for at least overnight, going for even longer if you think you won’t be needing said smelly shoes for a bit.

    Nutmeg might make for a tasty addition to a good donut or tin of muffins but it’s also going to make for a wonderful addition to your stinky shoes! Powdered or whole nutmeg will do just fine, and all you need is a couple of tablespoon’s worth stuffed into the smelly shoes themselves or a securely tied-off sock to leave overnight or for even longer if you can manage (I’m sure that you know the drill by now.

    LUMI’s Extra Strength Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Shoe Deodorizer is the fifth of our fabulous and super easy ways to deodorize stinky shoes quickly and believe me when I tell you that it is utterly fabulous. This high-quality shoe spray only takes a spritz or two directly into the smelly shoes in question and that’s all you need! I’m telling ya’, this is about as easy as it gets. Do you want one of the best immediate ways to deodorize smelly shoes? This is it, ma’ dear, yet almost certainly dank-smelling friend. Stinky salvation comes in the form of LUMI for you and your funky footwear!

    And that’s all five of our fabulous and super easy tricks for deodorizing stinky hunting boots! Go on and smell utterly fantastic!

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