7 Quick and Easy Tricks to Fix Stinky Nursing Shoes

7 Quick and Easy Tricks to Fix Stinky Nursing Shoes

Nursing can keep a person on their feet all day, and then some. Frankly, I, along I’m sure with the rest of humanity, am quite unsure as to how nurses everywhere simply haven’t taken over the planet already with their incredible levels of endurance and clearly superior staying power. Truly, how is it that we’re not all hailing our supreme nurse overlords by now?

Likely because all y’all are also usually the kindest of us lot on top of working incredibly difficult and lengthy shifts. For real, I’m convinced that nurses are also somehow super-powered heroes while the rest of us mortal peasants are merely left to stand in awe of the incredible oddity of nature that is the human nurse. 

I mean, how do they do it all? The long shifts. The difficult workload. Having to hide their obvious superpowers from the rest of us peasants? I’d surely have collapsed from sheer mental and physical exhaustion after just the training and schooling that goes into becoming a nurse.


Somehow or another, however, nurses go out every day (and many nights on top) to go and make sure that the rest of humanity is healthier and left in utter and complete awe of nurses' general sheer awesomeness.

With long days, however, come stinky shoes. Nurses may indeed be some of the strongest and most capable human beings ever to grace the planet Earth, but even those super-powered wonders of society can’t help but succumb to that funky cheese smell which emanates from all of our footwear at times. 

But we’re here to assist! We can help y’all to deodorize your stinky nurse shoes easy-peasy, positively no worries at all.

Table of Contents

    1. Clean Socks for a Clean Smell

    2. Completely Odor-Free with Corn Starch

    3. Nip the Stank with Newspaper

    4. Rock all of your shoes with Rotation

    5. Cloves (a gift from what kitchen pantry gods there may be)

    6. Washing your Feet for the Win!

    7. LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer

    1. Clean Socks 

    Fresh socks for a fresh smell


    Yes, clean socks are a rather obvious option, but nursing can be hard, long work, and I’m sure that at times it’s pretty easy to forget the easy options. Believe me when I say that clean socks can make all the difference in the world, ok? It's true! There’s literally some science here to back me up, alright? 

    So while I’m sure all of you nurses are already really rather well-versed in how bodily functions occur, let’s just go over a quick refresher course, shall we?


    Feet smell not because they’re inherently that way (*gasp) but because they’re home to smelly bacteria which live off of the plenitude of extra dead skin cells on one’s feet and all of the moisture from their sweat. 

    A rather simple diet I suppose– sweat and feet– very minimalistic, and surely organic. It’s not the greatest for all of us with functioning noses, though, which is why we turn to simple solutions for deodorizing smelly shoes (such as clean socks) in the first place. 

    Socks, just like one’s feet and shoes, can harbor the smelly bacteria that make our footwear funky, sadly enough– who knew the stinky suckers had such a diverse range of where they could live?


    Long days on shift can make matters way worse, as throughout the day you’re sweating through your socks, feeding all of the bacteria there, and in turn contributing to the shoe stink.

    So here’s one solution to our stinky sock (and stinky shoe) dilemma: simply switch out your sweaty socks as needed, before they get the chance to feed the footwear funk.


    Hear me out-- it’s going to be way easier to bring a spare pair of socks to work than it will be to set your smelly nursing shoes on fire and chuck them into the nearest garbage disposal, after finally caving to the pungent pressure of the musty mayhem that *was* your shoes.

    Spare socks are a lifesaver, okay? Switch 'em on out before the sweat becomes stink, and worry about your smelly nursing shoes no more.

    2.  Corn Starch

    (*cue the "It's corn!" song from social media, but add "starch" to that-- yeah, yeah, it's a trend that's a few weeks old, but I bet it's still somehow stuck in your head)


    Moisture really is the thing that we’ve got to watch out for, and corn starch can totally help us out with that. I mean, we’re going to sweat– we’re each only human, after all, even if you happen to count yourself among the literal deities that are nurses. Sweaty feet certainly shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of, but that doesn’t mean that we have to accept stinky shoes as a rank ramification of nature’s extra pungent efforts.

    Corn starch can come to the rescue here, as it’s actually rather extraordinary for absorbing any and all kinds of moisture. The bacteria, you see, can’t produce its rather unfortunately renowned funk if it can’t consume any of the moisture from the sweat in your shoes. 

    Truly, we can think of corn starch as nature’s own little straw, of sorts. Corn starch can easily sop up the moisture that will regularly help contribute to our funky footwear dilemma with ease and hardly any effort at all on our part. 

    All you have to do to use corn starch to fix your stinky shoes for good is dash a couple of tablespoons of it directly into your shoes (giving them a good clap to make sure that everything is completely coated on the inside) or, if you’re a wee bit worried about clean-up (and as a nurse, I’m sure that you might be, considering all of your innate attention to detail) one can simple put the corn starch in a sock, and then tie it off with a rubber band or something like that. 

    Either way will totally work just fine– just make sure to leave the corn starch in your stinky shoes for at least overnight, or longer if you can spare the time.

    3. Newspaper

    Never have smelly shoes again with newspaper!


    Newspapers can also help us out with absorbing a bit of that sweaty moisture, believe it or not, and not just because it’s paper! Sure, plebeian paper products (ie. the common paper towel) will do something to help sop up the sweat, but newspapers have got something extra special up their proverbial sleeves, and we’re about to let you in on their secret.

    You see, your common newspaper has a special kind of glaze printed out onto it to help keep water from blurring the ink. “Sizing,” is a way cool item that printers include in the production of newspapers– it’s a sort of glaze, as previously mentioned, and without it your daily paper would look like 60’s escapee, splotchy and tie-dyed beyond legibility.

    But “sizing” comes to save the day, as it absorbs moisture like a sponge, holds onto it like a 5-year-old with their new toy on Xmas, and prevents said moisture from ever reaching the newspaper itself. Pretty rad for our daily rag, and also pretty rad for all of our rank nursing shoes! 

    Plus, this wee little trick gives newspapers a second purpose beyond giving the daily scoop on noteworthy happenings– recycling at its finest, ma’ dear reader.

    Simply crumple up some newspaper into a few balls, then stuff the funky footwear with ‘em, and leave everything be overnight, but totally longer so as to properly ensure that the sweat gets dried up, and the bacteria’s food source is too-- remember, no bacteria, no more stank! All good things, particularly for our poor nose hairs.

    4. Rotation

    Rock several sets of rad shoes with rotation!


    Another super simple option for our pungent peds is simply a matter of doubling up on the shoes we put through full shifts of being on one’s feet.


    Rotation, ma’ dear reader! A simple matter of selecting a different set of shoes for consecutive days, all so that the bacteria won’t be able to cash in on its free-for-all binge on the sweat and dead skin cells in your shoes.

    For real, just a day or two off from the daily grind will give your shoes a chance to reset, and to really show those bacteria that your shoes are footwear instead of buffets. Constantly feeding said bacteria a steady supply of sweat is only going to allow them to get more entrenched in your shoes, and the funk that much more pronounced.

    Rather than the most poignant of pungent disasters, your nursing shoes can take a break and dry out some! Perhaps use one set of shoes’ day off to utilize one of the other deodorizing options we’ve been chatting on about, and really allow your shoes the break they need to smell like something other than radioactive brie cheese. 

    Give your shoes a breather so that you yourself can finally take a breath within the vicinity of your shoes without gagging! At least two sets of shoes is a good place to start with this rotation option, and certainly, you don’t need to go beyond that, although do remember that the longer your feet aren’t in your shoes (and providing the bacteria with more sweat for funky fodder) the better-smelling your shoes will be, so if it’s an option opt to rotate through a wider variety of shoes.

    But two sets of shoes to rotate between will totally work just fine! Any kind of rotation will give the bacteria a chance to realize that your nursing shoes are for you, and not their free real estate!

    5.  Cloves

    Cinnamon's much cooler cousin


    Although I get it if you don’t really want to have several sets of work shoes floating around the house– there’s already literally zero space for the cute shoes we actually want to wear in our free time. Not to say that nursing shoes aren’t an aesthetic all of their own, but the Uggs and holiday party heels really do need their space. And ok, that’s not even counting the actual cost of another set of nursing shoes– doubling up on shoes means doubling up on the amount of dough we have to shell out, sadly enough.

    But we’ve got other options on how to deodorize smelly shoes! I know that it’s December, but hear me out on this pumpkin-spice themed shoe-saver: cloves, ma’ dear (yet likely a bit rank) reader. That lesser-known cousin to cinnamon or nutmeg. If you’re a baker, you’re likely already a wee bit familiar with the sweet spice trifecta of pumpkin-spice (or if you’re not, like the rest of us mere mortals, it’s just cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg– and perhaps ginger if you’re feeling adventurous). Cloves are good for more than baking, though! 

    Trust me when I say that cloves are fully up to the task of fixing your funky footwear for good! Simply dust the insides of those olfactory offenders (*read: your shoes) with a few tablespoons of cloves, or (if you’re hoping for that easier cleanup) stuff a sock with the sweet spice, tie it off with a rubber band, and then leave everything in overnight (but longer, if you’d like to make certain that your shoes are free from the stank).

    Whole or powdered cloves will totally work just fine– just go for whatever is already in your spice cabinet, because there’s totally no need to break the bank to save your shoes from the typical wack wafts that you’ve almost been able to (but will never quite) get used to.

    6. Wash your Feet Thoroughly

    Clean feet= clean smell= happy schnozz


    So you’re a nurse, and you probably already quite thoroughly understand the principles behind washing one’s hands, and this whole step probably seems just a bit trite to you. BUT I also understand that after a long day (or night) of work sometimes the little things get chucked out the window with all due haste in order to preserve just a smidgen of sanity.


    And even remembering to wash the feet just a little bit is going to help. So, just in case it’s been a minute, or you’re an average human being such as myself, let’s do a quick review of how water and soap are actual miracle workers when it comes to saving the day (just like all y’all nurses).


    Water is good as a sort of mechanical force (fancy words for a “real good shove”) that can physically push off grime, dirt, sweat, etc. etc. This is actually pretty rad, but it’s definitely not enough to truly make a dent in that dank foot smell.


    Soap, specifically, is able to burst apart the fatty membrane surrounding a bacterium’s cell– which is great for us, because no fatter membrane means no bacteria, and that means an end to your stinky shoe dilemma.


    When washing your feet in the shower, just make sure to take extra care with getting all of the extra nooks and crannies, scrubbing really well between the toes and everywhere else you think that the bacteria might be trying to hide from your wrath over its rankness. No more musty mayhem with plain old soap and water, and just a wee bit o’ elbow grease.


    7. LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer


    But the biggest thing that every nurse I know needs more of is simple TIME. Being a nurse is rewarding in its own way, sure enough, but that doesn’t mean that a simple and quick little shoe deodorizing hack wouldn’t go a long way. I mean, easy is nice, and effective is great, but where are the tricks that will speedily fix stinky shoes when one actually needs it (*read: ASAP, right now, yesterday-- seriously which shoe gods do I need to make a sacrifice to in order to make this happen)?

    Worry no more about saving time and having great-smelling shoes with LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer. And I’m not the only one who thinks so! With a 4.4-star rating on Amazon and over 1000 perfect 5-star ratings on Amazon, LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer has proven itself more than capable of taking on practically any level of stinky shoes. Amazon reviewer Grace Brown here said that it even left her with a “hint of freshness” after her shift:


    Shout out to this reviewer's words on the matter! They're truly amazing, Grace!


    Besides shoes, LUMI works pretty well for literally almost anything else in the house that’s stinky as well. Got a rank garbage can? Spray LUMI in! Does your sink smell like yesterday’s (or quite possibly last week’s) dinner? LUMI can totally fix that. 

    LUMI also just happens to be a fabulous small, family-owned company that only sources the highest quality natural ingredients, never tests on animals, and also produces everything in the US. They’re pretty rad, obviously. 

    And it doesn’t hurt that their products are effective too! Simply spritz LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer directly into your smelly nursing shoes and you’re done! That’s quite literally it, ma’ dear (and hopefully no longer smelly) reader! Cue all of the happy dances because this is how we’re finally going to fix those stinky shoes for good.

    But let’s just review everything else at least once more, shall we? I know that I like to have my options open, just in case, and it never hurts to just double up, am I right? Those funky bacteria simply won’t stand a chance with these quick and easy deodorizing hacks up your sleeves!

    So starting off with corn starch, we’ll be using its awesome moisture-absorbing properties to sop up the sweat so that the stink-making bacteria won’t have a chance to chow down on it. Simply dust a few tablespoons right on into your shoes, or put it all in a sock and then put the sock into your shoes, overnight or longer.

    And speaking of clean socks, those will also absolutely help you to get rid of that overwhelming shoe smell. Moisture (and bacteria!) like to linger in socks, meaning that without fresh and dry socks we’re basically just tempting fate to wack us upside the head with the foot funk. Just wear clean socks, ma’ dude. Change out during the day, if you need to.

    Newspapers can absorb sweat just like baking soda, but via a slightly different manner. The glaze known as “sizing” that most printers layer onto their product helps to absorb moisture, in turn helping to prevent smudging, which then helps us to absorb plain old sweat! Crumple up a few balls of your daily paper, stuff ‘em on into your smelly shoes, and then leave overnight or longer.

    Rotating through a few pairs of shoes will help to deter the funk as well. Show a little TLC to the shoes that help to hold you up throughout the day, and give ‘em a few days off to really dry out. Plus, this could totally be a great chance to rock several different styles– never a bad plan! Who ever said that fashion and work couldn’t go hand-in-hand? Or foot-in-a-very-fabulous-set-of-shoes, as the case may now be. 

    Next up for us will be cloves, which will absolutely show the funk who’s boss, as you dash in a few tablespoons of the amazing-smelling spice (whole or powdered will totally work just fine) straight on into your nursing shoes to help fix the smell. Or, alternatively, put the sweet spice in a sock, tie it off with a rubber band or something, if you want to keep cleanup easy (a great tactic for everybody, even if you’re not a nurse). Leave overnight or longer, and enjoy your shoes smelling like Starbucks the day after the most recent autumnesque pumpkin spice latte dropped (so, August, am I right? I swear, they just keep dropping it earlier and earlier).

    Washing your feet extra well can additionally help, as it's a HUGE deterrent for the bacteria. Make sure to really get the nooks and crannies all over your feet (I’m talking in between the toes, behind the toes, your arch– EVERYWHERE!) with lots of soap and warm water– or cold water, I suppose, if you’re one of those brave folk who take frigid showers (go you, ten out of ten, I hope that you enjoy your life as a popsicle).

    LUMI’s Citrus Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is probably the simplest option of the bunch, as you deodorize your stinky nursing shoes with just a few spritzes and then get to call it a day (or night, if your shift was later)! One or two spritzes should be enough to deodorize each shoe, and right after you spray it on in you’re good to go! Perfect for someone like you who’s always on the go.

    It can be tough being a nurse! Don’t let your stinky nursing shoes be something else that you’ve got to worry about. Try any one (or several!) of these options for how to quickly fix stinky shoes. Effectively get rid of the funk that’s been plaguing your footwear with ease!

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