7 Ways To Remove Foot Odor From Leather Shoes

Many people don’t know that foot odor is actually caused by bacteria. These bacteria are found in the sweat glands in your feet, and when they break down sweat into acids, you’ll get a smell.

The good news is that there are ways to remove foot odors from leather shoes, so if you’re looking for a way to solve this problem then keep reading this article.

How do you remove foot odor from leather shoes? One of the best ways to remove foot odor from leather shoes is by filling the smelly leather shoes with cat litter. The cat litter will absorb and remove all of the foot odor from the leather shoes. You can also put the leather shoes into the freezer.

To learn more, keep reading!

1. Using The Cat Litter Method To Remove Foot Odor From Leather Shoes

One of the most effective methods for removing foot odor from leather shoes is using cat litter. Cat litter is effective because they have natural deodorizing properties that make them perfect for eliminating odors.

There are different types of cat litter such as the non-clumping and clumping varieties. The non-clumping variety is made from silica gel, which acts as an absorber for moisture.

This means that the cat litter can absorb moisture from your shoes and get rid of foot odor.

The clumping variety on the other hand is made from bentonite, which is a type of clay that has the ability to absorb moisture.

This means that it can eliminate foot odor without absorbing too much moisture from leather shoes – so you will have to air-dry your leather shoes to get rid of any trapped moisture.

All in all, any type of cat litter will be able to remove foot odor from leather shoes.

To use this method, follow the steps below;

Things Needed:

  • Pair of clean socks
  • Unused Cat Litter
  • Baking Soda

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Mix 4 parts car litter to 1 part baking soda into each sock.

Step 2:

  • Secure the ends of the socks with rubber bands or tie them with a knot.

Step 3:

  • Place each sock into a shoe.

Step 4:

  • Leave them in overnight.

The next day, the foot odor you had in your leather shoe should be gone. If the smell is very strong, you can leave the cat litter in for about 24 hours and the foot odor in your shoes should be gone.

2. Freezing The Leather Shoe

Freezing kills bacteria that cause foot odor so it is another effective way to remove unpleasant smells from leather shoes.

When something with an odor is frozen, the freezing process kills the smell-causing bacteria and prevents it from multiplying.

It also has the ability to dry up excess moisture that causes odors in your leather shoes.

Here is how you can use freezing to remove foot odor from your leather shoe;

Things Needed:

  • Freezer
  • Plastic Bag

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Put your leather shoes in a sealable plastic bag and secure the ends.

Step 2:

  • Place the plastic bag with the shoes into the freezer and leave it overnight.

Step 3:

  • Take it out of the freezer and you leather shoes should be free from the nasty foot odor.

3. Using Newspaper To Remove Foot Odor From Leather Shoes

Newspaper can be an effective way to remove foot odor from leather shoes. This is because it contains a lot of cellulose that absorbs moisture.

Newspapers are also effective at absorbing the acids in sweat, which are responsible for foot odor.

Another good thing about using a newspaper is that it is very cheap so you won’t have to break your bank when buying this product.

Here is how it works;

Things Needed:

  • Newspaper (preferably black and white

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Crumple some newspaper into a ball.

Step 2:

  • Place the crumpled newspaper into your shoe and leave it overnight or up to 24 hours.
  • The longer the better.

Step 3:

  • The next day, the foot odor you had in your leather shoe should be gone.

4. Using Cotton Balls And Essential Oils To Remove Foot Odor From Leather Shoes

Cotton balls can be an effective way to remove foot odor from leather shoes. This is because cotton has the ability to absorb moisture and essential oils can mask the smell of sweat.

The good thing about using cotton balls is that it absorbs moisture and keep your leather shoes dry, preventing them from accumulating moisture and causing unpleasant smells.

When combined with essential oils, cotton balls will be able to absorb strong smells that may be unpleasant.

Here is how you can use cotton balls to remove foot odor from your leather shoes;

Things Needed:

  • Cotton Balls Or Muslin (preferably white)
  • Essential Oil (your preferred fragrance)

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Put 1-2 drops of essential oils onto your cotton ball.

Step 2:

  • Now put the cotton ball in your shoe and leave it overnight or up to 24 hours.

Step 3:

  • After you’ve left the cotton ball in your shoe for a day, remove and discard it.
  • Your leather shoes will smell fresh and free from foot odors.
  • If the smell persists, you can put in another cotton ball.

5. Using Rubbing Alcohol To Remove Foot Odor From Lather Shoes

Using rubbing alcohol to remove foot odor from leather shoes is also very effective because it has the ability to kill bacteria that causes unpleasant smells.

Rubbing alcohol acts as a natural antiseptic and it also has the ability to dry out wet areas, which is why it can be used to remove foot odor from leather shoes.

The best part is when you use rubbing alcohol to treat foot odor from your leather shoes it dries quickly and leaves a clean scent.

Here is how you can use rubbing alcohol to remove foot odor from your leather shoes;

Things Needed:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Microfiber Cloth

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Spray some of the rubbint alcohol into your leather shoes.

Step 2:

  • Leave the shoes to dry for at least 15 minutes.

Step 3:

  • This will ensure that all bacteria are killed and your leather shoes return to its original state.

Step 4:

  • Wipe away any excess with the microfiber cloth and let the leather shoe dry completely.

6. Using Lemon Or Orange Peels To Remove Foot Odor From Leather Shoes

Lemon and orange peels can also be used to remove foot odor from leather shoes because it is a natural deodorizer.

This is because citrus fruits like oranges and lemons have strong scents that can mask unpleasant smells.

Another good thing about using orange peels is that the acidity in oranges can kill bacteria that causes bad smells.

Here’s how you can use orange peels to remove foot odor from your leather shoes;

Things Needed:

  • Orange or Lemon Peels (fresh)

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Place the orange peels into your shoe and leave it overnight.

Step 2:

  • The next day, remove the peels from your leather shoe and discard it.
  • The unpleasant smell in your leather shoes will be gone.
  • Otherwise, replace the orange or lemon peels and leave it to sit overnight.
  • Step: Repeat until the odor is gone and your shoes smell fresh again.

Step 3:

  • Air out the leather shoes a few hours to get rid of the lemon or orange smell.

7. Using Baking Soda To Remove Foot Odor From Leather Shoes

Baking soda can be an effective way to remove foot odor from leather shoes.

Baking soda is great at absorbing moisture and can also counteract the acidity of sweat, making it an effective way to get rid of foot odor from leather shoes.

The best part is that baking soda is much less expensive than cat litter and other commercial deodorizers. Here’s how it works;

Baking soda is a base (alkaline) pH powdery material that is chemically sodium bicarbonate, which has a slightly alkaline pH.

As mentioned before, baking soda has the ability to neutralize the acid pH of a variety of materials, including moist air in shoes where germs thrive.

So you will be able to remove foot odor from your leather shoes without spending too much money.

To use this method, follow the steps below;

Things Needed:

  • Baking soda
  • Essential Oil (your preferred fragrance)
  • Pair Of Socks

Procedure:

Step 1:

  • Put some baking soda into your socks or a piece of clean cloth.

Step 2:

  • Add 2-3 drops of essential oil to baking soda.
  • Adding essential oil adds a pleasant fragrance while the baking soda removes the foot odor from the leather shoes.

Step 3:

  • After you’ve added both the baking soda and your prefered essential oil, tie up the ends with a string or rubber band to form a sachet.

Step 4:

  • Now place each sachets in your shoes and leave it overnight or up to 24 hours.
  • The next day, your shoes will be odorless and free from foot odors.
  • If the smell persists, you can leave the sachets in for a longer period of time.

While using baking soda can knock out foot odors from your leather shoes you can use this as an ongoing routine for the leather shoes you wear regularly.

The benefits of using baking soda as an alternative for removing foot odor from leather shoes are that it is cost-effective and leaves a fresh clean smell.

There are other benefits to using baking soda as it minimizes the chance of a sensitive skin reaction that could happen with other products.

Tips On How To Prevent Foot Odor From Leather Shoes

Here are a few of the things that you can do to prevent foot odor from forming in your leather shoes.

Air Out Your Leather Shoes After Wearing It

Whenever you take off your shoes, air them out by opening the laces and placing them in direct sunlight for 5 to 10 minutes before bringing them in for storage.

This is important because direct sunlight is a form of natural disinfectant.

Doing this consistently will help prevent foot odor from leather shoes because it will dry up any bacteria and moisture that leads to bad smell.

Interchange Or Rotate Your Leather Shoes

Wearing the same pair of leather shoes every day can lead to foot odors because it traps bacteria and moisture which leads to bad smell and cause foot odor.

Rotating your shoes or wearing different ones every day will allow them to dry out and prevent bacteria from growing in there which can lead to foot odor.

In simple terms, do not wear your leather shoes every day.

Wear Socks With Your Leather Shoes

Wearing socks with your leather shoes helps prevent foot odor from leather shoes because it traps the moisture and bacteria that can potentially cause a bad smell.

The socks trap moisture and bacteria that can cause foot odor from leather shoes.

This is an easy way to prevent bad smells as well as prolong the life of your leather shoes.

Not only does wearing socks help to prevent odors but wearing clean socks is also important.

Make sure to wash your socks daily and change them when necessary.

Having multiple pairs of clean, dry socks is better than having only one pair.

Wash Your Feet Everyday

If you are wearing leather shoes, washing your feet every day is an effective way to prevent foot odor.

This is because washing your feet eliminates the bacteria that cause foot odors by removing sweat and dirt that makes it easier for bacteria to grow.

Washing your feet also helps to remove dead skin cells that can release a bad smell.

Proper foot hygiene prevents the accumulation of bacteria that can lead to a bad smell.

Use A Shoe Tree To Allow Air To Circulate In The Shoe

Using a shoe tree will allow your leather shoes to keep their shape and form while allowing them to dry out and air out.

Using a shoe tree will also help prevent odors as it lets the air circulate inside your shoes and remove moisture which can lead to foot odor in leather shoes.

Final Thoughts

Nobody likes bad odors in their leather shoes and it can be very uncomfortable.

There are a lot of products out there that claim to remove foot odor from leather shoes but the solutions I have shared in this article will do a fantastic job at removing foot odors without causing damage to your leather shoes.

I hope that you enjoyed this long-form article about how to remove foot odor from leather shoes.

Best of luck!

Macwilliam K. Appianing

Hi! I’m Macwilliam, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leatherwork enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day!

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