3 Methods to Remove Odours from your Running Shoes

March 19, 2014 - 3 minutes read


Is the offensive smell coming from your gym bag starting to warrant complaints to HR about a hazmat-like odour in the office? For everyone’s sake, give those well-used sneakers a well-deserved cleaning!

Keep in mind that washing too often with some cleaning techniques can decrease the lifespan of your shoes; however, leaving them dirty can have a similar effect so make a judgement call before deciding to add your shoes onto the weekly washing list.

Method 1: Baking Soda

Start by trying the good ol’ fashioned baking-soda method. Sprinkle regular baking soda throughout the inside of the shoe and leave it outdoors (avoid leaving them in the rain) for a full day. Dust out the powder then give them a sniff.

Still stinky? Move on to Method 2.

Method 2: Machine Washing

If you notice a bad smell constantly lingering within your shoes, use this method to help dissolve and remove any fungus or bacteria that has built up in the lining as a result of the sweat and skin particles that get left there; the main cause of odour.

Step 1: Prep. Remove the laces from the shoes and throw everything in the washing machine.

Step 2: Wash. Add a small amount of liquid detergent that does not contain bleach to your washing machine and change the settings to use warm (not hot) water. If you have a delicate setting, turn that on then start ‘er up!

Step 3: Dry. Do not tumble dry or use any sort of “hot air” method (such as blow drying) as this will stretch out and distort the mesh. If you like the look of your shoes, you may also want to avoid drying in direct sunlight as this can cause the colours to fade. Instead, pull the tongues out and place them in a dry area for a full day.

No good? Try Method 3.

Method 3: Go Shower, Ya Filthy Animal!

Ever think that it might just be you? If you’re not wearing socks in your shoes, you can stop reading right here…we’ve found the culprit. Get some good athletic socks that are thin enough to let your little toes feel as free as they did without those foot mittens. If that’s not the case, try washing your feet before and after sport or using a foot deodorant before throwing on the sneakers.

Happy Deodorizing!