6 Ways to Naturally Deodorize Your Shoes

6 Ways to Naturally Deodorize Your Shoes

I mean, we want to kill the funk, not the planet amiright? Our Mama Earth already has so much on her plate, and we totally don’t need to add to it with our stinky shoe problems.

Yeah, I said it– your feet freakin’ stink. Ya’ got to do something about it, stat, for the good of everyone within smelling range of your shoes.

And it’s totally nothing to be worried about! Everybody who’s anybody has been in your shoes. Your smelly, sweaty shoes that you’ve been putting off cleaning or just flat-out replacing (no hate on the lazy way out!). Shoe deodorizing isn’t something new, but now you’re wondering if there’s a conscionable way to do it. 


Le concern over deodorizing shoes


There is a seemingly endless supply of expensive, nasty-smelling shoe-deodorizing products out there (you’d think someone would tell them not to fight fire with fire lol) and they promise us stink-free shoes, unicorns, and pizza everyday just like our old high school class presidents did, but just like those guys, nobody ever actually follows through. And then we’re all left with gross meatloaf surprise and stinky shoes at the end anyways.

Totally just a rather sucky situation all around.

So what do we want instead? Simple and natural shoe deodorizers, please and thank you.

And is there any way we could get both of those without breaking the bank? I mean, there are totally a bunch of way expensive natural options out there, but I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the majority of them appear to be terribly difficult and overly complicated.

Never fear, my rad readers! There are in fact a bountiful number of options to choose from. A veritable and delightful garden of simple, natural, and most importantly cheap ways to salvage your shoes!

Totally ma’ dudes. Read on, and thank me and my brilliant ideas afterward.


Table of Contents

    1. Sick the cinnamon on those shoe smells

    2. CLOBBER crazy odor WITH CLOVES

    3. Salt-- AKA a slap upside the face for stinky shoes

    4. Baking soda beats back the bad smells

    5. Vinegar because maybe you don't cook a bunch and this is all your kitchen has got 

    6. LUMI-- lose da' funk fast

    1. Cinnamon 

    First, let’s take a dive into your spice cabinet. Cinnamon doesn’t just belong in your gingerbread cookies or coffee cake. Indeed, I would dare to say that it belongs in your funky footwear. 


    Betcha weren't expecting THIS natural shoe deodorizer!!


    Don’t ditch it before you’ve even tried it! I know, I know, it sounds absolutely bonkers to go around putting food in your shoes in order to solve the smell, but trust me on this– it’s really, really rather easy, and your pungent peds will be smelling utterly divine after the fact.

    You know what they say– sugar and spice and everything nice and totally not your sweaty disgusting feet smell!

    Go on and get some regular old cinnamon (powdered or sticks will absolutely work just fine– note that the sticks are definitely way more expensive though, but really I’d say you should probably just grab whatever already resides inside of your kitchen. Whatever makes it easier on yourself ma’ dubiously-smelling dude). 

    After the cinnamon is acquired get some porous material (ie cheesecloth), wrap the cinnamon up, and place your delightful shoe deodorizing bag inside the offending shoes.

    Cheese cloth bundled up just like this

    Leave overnight if at all possible, and then repeat every so often because an ounce of prevention is totally worth a pound of cure. Just make sure to replace the cinnamon bag every so often and you’ll be fine.


    2. Cloves

    If you thought the cinnamon idea was rather dumb, well buddy do I have a plan B for you! A glorious and only somewhat similar option for you to take a crack at.


    Love the cloves to fix your smelly shoes


    Cloves are also an easily accessible spice (unless you’re a college kid who never listened to your mother’s advice and your kitchen is fully yet only stocked with Totino’s pizza rolls and top ramen)-- whole or powdered, cloves will absolutely work in your stinky situation. Natural as it gets, and just like the cinnamon, it’s probs something you already have; I mean, unless you use cloves for literally anything else but the annual x-mas cookie bakeoff, and you’ve somehow managed to use an entire container of cloves in your lifetime– if you have, props and all of the respect for your glorious baking capabilities. MUCHO respect.

    Whether your cloves are as ancient as the frozen Totino's pizza rolls in the back of the freezer (don’t even try to deny it) or if you went to the store just yesterday to pick it up, they’ll work just fine to solve your nose-punch of a problem.

    Same drill as the before. Grab the spice, shake it into some porous material, slap that spice-filled pouch into your shoes, and pray to whatever smelly gods may be to have mercy upon you and your freakin’ feet.


    3. Salt 

    And here you were thinking that I had finally finished trying to push spicy solutions at you! HA! WRONG! Your spice cabinet is our natural shoe deodorizing powerhouse, ma’ friend!


    Salty savior for your smelly shoes


    So! Salt, as we know, absorbs moisture. Recall back to the last time you went to the beach, wind gusting in your hair, smile upon your face. And dry, dry skin. Chapped lips. Okay, back to your assuredly well-moisturized present-day. The present-day where you have stinky feet, that is.

    Salt, you see, is going to slurp down water faster than a hardworking proletariat getting their extra extra large venti from Starbucks at the buttcrack of dawn.


    *The secret menu's xxxxl coffee Starbucks doesn't want you to know about*

    Salt is just kind of magical that way. Beyond flavoring food and raising blood pressure everywhere, salt is excellent for naturally getting rid of the not-so-rad rank raising up from your runners forever and ever.

    Unlike the previous two spicy options, I’d recommend just straight up pouring the salt right on down the gag-worthy gullet of your smelly shoes. We want the salt to actually be in contact with the moist material of your shoes.

    The moist material is kind of where the stink is coming from. Dry it out, and we’ve got stink-free footwear!

    Leave overnight, if at all possible, pour it all out before wearing– duh– then repeat as necessary-- probs just like several times a week or so.


    4. Baking soda

    And here you probably thought baking soda was just for cookies. I swear, not all of these ideas are recipe ingredients, but natural is as natural does, so bear with me, pretty please.


     Baking soda to eliminate odors

    Similar to the salt idea, baking soda absorbs really, really well. It’s like a magnet for all of the bad smells. Fill your shoes up exactly like you fill up your suitcase before a vacation (two pairs of pants for every day, and a set of shoes for every occasion)-- so, stuffed. Let it sit for as long as possible. Overnight works really well here, although if you can spare your funky set of shoes for a day or two (or even longer) you’ll be giving the baking soda even more time to work its deodorizing magic.

    After it’s been used, make sure to dump it all out, as it’s kind of a one-hit-wonder kind of ingredient. What’s really nice about this one, and also all of the aforementioned options, is that you can totally buy everything in bulk. Smelly shoes are absolutely a long-term issue because you’re rather attached to your feet, and taking care of your shoes is a lifelong venture. So go bulk it up like you’re a gym-crazed teenager who has just discovered protein shakes.


    5. Vinegar

    Ya’ know, along with the last option of baking soda, you could make a very clever science experiment and have clean-smelling shoes. 


    Vinegar valiantly defending you against food funk


    For this natural shoe deodorizer, I would not recommend filling your shoes up. They would be really soggy, and afterward you would singe off the nose hairs of anyone within the smelling radius of your vinegar-infused footwear. Let's not do that, por favor

    A DIY spray to save the day, my dear reader! Fill up a spritz bottle with one part water and one part vinegar and then have at it. After all that you should let it dry out (wearing wet shoes sucks even if they don't smell like a cat died anymore), and then BOOM save your shoes and also be prepared for any upcoming science fairs. Or honestly baking. To be most frank, one could really cook with literally almost everything on this list. It’s actually all-natural fo’ sure, and I don’t think any of us are going to be feeling guilty by any means of the word for that.



    I lied. I am the most blatant and despicable liar you’ve ever had the great misfortune to come across because not everything on this list is edible. A real tragedy, of course. I understand and anticipate your great disdain for this abhorrent mismatch of patterns in my listing for all-natural foot deodorizers. 



    A thousand pardons, BUT LUMI is literally also one of the best options on the list. This Lavender Tea Tree Natural Shoe Deodorizer is freakin’ amaaaaaazing at leaving your shoes not just smelling clean, but also smelling like all things good and happy and yes you really should just buy it you ding-dong. 

    Do you care about the Earth? Do you care about your shoes? Do you care about everyone who has to smell your shoes and is forced to endure their miserable musk? Don’t answer that last one.

    Spritz into your shoes and then be on your merry, green, and all-natural way. 

    That’s it. That is like literally it. 

    Ahem, please don’t eat the spray, though. I feel like I have to mention this, even though it is kind of painfully obvious, but let me be quite clear: I know everything else on this list has been edible, but this is for shoes, and just for shoes.

    Now, you can pick and choose from all of this list’s options, perhaps mix and match if you’re a brave and daring soul. Think about how much time you have, and what works best for you. Do you have a Costco membership? If so, maybe buy some of the spices listed above in bulk. I’m sure they also have great deals on large jugs of vinegar which you’ll never actually use up. Also, while you’re there at the bulk store you could totally get me one of those fantastic large pizzas.

    But if you don’t have the time to let spices sit overnight, or for the sharp tang of vinegar to disperse, LUMI is definitely another option. 

    Another all-natural option that’s super simple and easy enough a chimpanzee would be successful at it (if chimpanzees actually ever wore shoes). Simple, green, easy on the bank.

    And there we have it folks. Plenty of all-natural and stink-free options ready for your perusal.

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