While I love buying shoes, I just can’t stand the stench of footwear especially after wearing them for hours. Sometimes the smell is so bad that it affects my appetite, even if you ask me to eat beef consommé on a cold day.

But surprise, surprise—you don’t need to go to a grocery to buy a deodorizer for your shoes. Simply look for these kitchen ingredients that are proven effective in getting rid of unpleasant shoe smell.

Baking soda

When it comes to cleaning, baking soda is peerless. From getting rid of fishy odors to cutting the toughest grease, baking soda can do it all. You can even use it to eliminate bad odors coming from your shoes.

Simply sprinkle baking soda in a sneaker or loafer with an unpleasant smell. Allow it to sit overnight. In the morning, dump out the powder before you wear the shoes. You would be surprised to notice that the stench would be gone.

You can also combine baking soda with other ingredients like tea tree oil and cornstarch. Mix three tablespoons of baking soda with five drops of tea tree oil and one tablespoon of cornstarch. You can then sprinkle this DIY deodorizer into your shoes and let it sit overnight.

Aside from baking soda and cornstarch working to absorb odor, this DIY shoe deodorizer also benefits from the odor-killing properties of tea tree oil.


It’s very likely that you have vinegar in your kitchen right now. After all, this is a common kitchen ingredient that you can use for making salads, improving the flavor of dishes and even preserving meat. You can also use it to make soups less salty.

And yes, vinegar will come in handy when you clean your shoes. After washing shoes made of fabric in the washer, you can use vinegar instead of fabric softener. White vinegar is capable of killing bacteria that causes the odor. Let the footwear air dry fully before using them.

We all know that smelly shoes may have been brought about by sweaty feet. A simple vinegar solution will do wonders for your sweaty feet. Simply soak your feet in plain vinegar bath consisting of 1/3 cup of vinegar and a bowl of warm water. Soak your feet in this vinegar bath for 15 minutes 2-3 times a week.

Black tea bags

Do you have plenty of black tea bags in your kitchen? I know that drinking black tea has plenty of benefits. It can also prove handy when you want to keep your shoes fresh smelling. Black tea is high in tannins, a substance that can kill odor-producing bacteria in shoes.

After sipping a cup or two of tea, reuse the tea bags by drying them out and then putting them close to the shoes of the sole of the shoe. This is very much effective in getting rids of odors in tennis shoes or any footwear that absorbs moisture.