How to Keep Boat Shoes from Smelling

Your boat shoes don’t have to be a sinking ship. Here’s how to keep them smelling fresh.

If you’re anything like me, a day out on the water is pure joy. However, returning with a pair of boat shoes that smell like they’ve partied with a crew of angry skunks for a week—that’s a whole different story. But don’t let those odors ruin your mood! They are nothing more than the seasoning of your memories and adventures.

Things You’ll Need

Before starting freshening your boat shoes, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda: A household staple for odor control.
  • A Soft Brush or Cloth: Something you likely have around the house for gentle cleaning.
  • Sunshine and Air: The natural way to dry your shoes and maintain their water-repellent properties.
  • A Spritz of Vinegar Solution (Optional): A common household item that can aid in freshness.
  • Quality Canvas/Leather Cleaner: Depending on your shoes’ material, you might need to visit a store for this specialized cleaner.
  • Oil (If Leather): To condition and protect the leather, available at shoe or leather goods stores.
  • Fresh Socks (Optional): While traditional boat shoes are worn without socks, you might want a fresh pair from your dresser—or the store—for your newly cleaned shoes.
Keep Boat Shoes from Smelling

7 Steps to Keep Boat Shoes from Smelling

Step 1: Remove Loose Dirt

Brush away any loose dirt or debris from your boat shoes using a soft brush or cloth. Be gentle to protect the stitching and soft skin.

Step 2: Deodorize with Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes and let them sit overnight. Baking soda, a common household item, will absorb those pesky odors.

Step 3: Use a Vinegar Solution (Optional)

Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Spritz lightly on the shoes and wipe off with a cloth. This household remedy adds an extra level of freshness.

Step 4: Apply Shoe Deodorizer (if needed)

For stubborn smells, use a shoe deodorizer. These store-bought products help to kill bacteria and absorb odors. Follow the instructions on the bottle.

Step 5: Clean with Specialized Cleaner (if needed)

If your shoes still need attention, use a specialized cleaner designed for canvas or leather, depending on your shoes’ material.

Step 6: Dry Your Shoes

Let the shoes dry naturally, preferably in the sunshine, preserving their water-repellent properties.

Step 7: Condition Leather (if applicable)

If your boat shoes are made of leather, don’t forget to apply oil to condition and protect the material.

With these steps, your boat shoes will smell as fresh as a sea breeze, ready for another sailing adventure or just a walk on the dock. It’s all about using simple household staples first, and then going to specialized products if needed. Now you can enjoy your shoes without fearing “angry skunks”!

Related Article:
How to Fix Smelly Shoes Overnight: A Complete Guide

Tips to Keep Boat Shoes from Smelling

  1. Wash Your Shoes Regularly: Use the washing machine on the gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Avoid bleach.
  2. Don’t Wear Them Two Days in a Row: Give your shoes time to air out and dry thoroughly.
  3. Avoid Wearing Them in Wet Weather: Dry them out as soon as possible if they get wet.
  4. Store Them in a Cool, Dry Place: Prevent mold and odors by storing your shoes in an ideal environment.
  5. Adopt Proper Shoe Etiquette: Treat your shoes well, and they’ll return the favor. Wearing them with care, drying them out when needed, and giving them the cleaning attention they deserve will help keep them smelling as fresh as a sea breeze.