How to Fix Smelly Shoes Overnight: A Complete Guide

Long-worn shoes can cause an unpleasant odor, usually from moisture and bacteria that have settled in. Natural remedies can freshen them up effectively. Here’s an easy guide to making your shoes smell better and getting rid of odor, all while you sleep. Read on for sure-fire ways to remove stinky odor from your shoes overnight.

Smelly Shoes in the Room

Let’s Fix the Smelly Shoes

Here’s how to remove the smell from shoes without washing them overnight:

  1. Airing it out: Yes, the first step is as simple as it gets. Just leave your shoes out in the open. Fresh air is like a free spa treatment for your stinky shoes.
  2. Rubbing Alcohol: Here’s a little secret – rubbing alcohol is more than just for cuts and scrapes. Its disinfecting properties can help address those shoe odors. Pour a bit onto a cloth, give the insides of your shoes a quick wipe, or give a little spray inside. It evaporates quickly, so just let them air out, and soon that bothersome odor will be a distant memory.
  3. Use a deodorizing spray. There are numerous commercial deodorizing sprays available to freshen up smelly shoes. Brands like Odor-Eaters, Dr. Scholl’s Odor-Fighting Spray, Lysol Disinfectant Spray, and Febreze Odor Eliminator are some popular choices among many. Simply spray the inside of your shoes with your chosen deodorizer and let it dry completely. Always remember to check the label for any specific instructions or precautions.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda inside: You remember that box of baking soda sitting idle in your kitchen cabinet? Time to put it to work! Sprinkle some of it into your shoes—it’ll absorb the odor like magic!
  5. Newspaper: This just in—newspaper isn’t just for reading! Crumple up some newspaper pages and stuff them into your shoes. Leave them be till morning. You’ll find the newspaper has done its job, absorbing the sweat and bacteria that cause the unpleasant smell.
  6. Freezing out the smell: I bet you didn’t see this one coming! But believe me, a night in the freezer can kill bacteria causing the odor. Just remember to put your shoes in a plastic bag first to avoid spreading smell everywhere.

Preventing Smelly Shoes

Don’t let smelly shoes throw a wrench in your day. After each wear, wipe the inside of your shoes with a damp cloth to bid farewell to sweat and dirt. A shot of deodorizing spray can also be your secret weapon against the notorious bacteria.

If your shoes are worn for long hours, give them a breather when not in use. Let your shoes hibernate in the freezer overnight for an extreme bacteria boot camp. Practicing these steps will keep your shoes smelling like daisies and add a few more miles to their journey.

Additional tips

  • For leather shoes, use a leather conditioner to help keep them clean and prevent them from drying out.
  • For fabric shoes, use a fabric protector to help repel water and dirt.
  • For athletic shoes, use a foot powder to help absorb sweat and prevent the growth of bacteria.


Dealing with smelly shoes is a hassle, but by following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can effectively fix smelly shoes overnight. Implement these methods and you’ll be stepping into fresh and ready-to-wear shoes come morning.


How do you get rid of shoe smell fast?

Quick fix? Use a deodorizing spray. Just spray it inside your shoes and let it dry completely. Alternatively, you can sprinkle some baking soda into your shoes, which absorbs odors pretty fast. Remember to shake out the excess in the morning.

How do you get the smell out of shoes in 5 minutes?

Five minutes is a short time but you can give your shoes a quick freshen up. A fabric freshener or deodorizing spray can be your ally. Make sure to spray the insides and leave the shoes to air out.

What absorbs bad smells in shoes?

Baking soda is an excellent natural odor absorber. Just sprinkle a bit into your shoes and let it work its magic. Another alternative is to use activated charcoal inserts – they are great at trapping odors too.

How do I stop my shoes from smelling permanently?

The key to a permanent solution is prevention. Rotate your shoes to let them dry out between uses, always wear socks, and keep your feet clean. Also, you can regularly use deodorizing sprays or natural odor absorbers like baking soda.

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