18 Ways to Get Rid of Smelly Boots FAST

If you are a boot lover, you might be aware of the other frustrating issue associated with it…

Yes, you guessed it right…

It’s the disgusting odor from your favorite boots! It’s an inevitable situation that you ought to fall in once you return home after a daylong work.

You can’t open your boots without letting out the odious smell.

How to Get Rid of Work Boot Smell



In this article we are going to discuss about how to make boots not smell and causes of bad odor from your boots…

Not only that…

We have found out some very useful hacks to fight against the odor causing agents.

So, here we go…

18 Ways to Get Rid of Work Boot Smell

1.) Change Your Socks More Often

Try NOT to wear the same socks the next day. Once you take out your socks, wash it with detergent powder and dry it under sun.

This will control the smell in your feet and your boots too. Wearing the same socks day after day creates a foul smell inside your boots. So, the more often you will change your socks the fresher your boots will smell.

2.) Allow your Boots to Dry Completely Everyday

Using-Hair-Dryer on boots

Due to the sweat from your feet, the inside of the boots get wet every day. It is very essential to dry your boots completely after you come home.

Leave your boots under the fan or blow a hair dryer inside it. You can also take out the insole and dry it separately.

3.) Keep your Feet Clean and Fresh

While you take care of your body while bath by applying soap and treat your underarms with a deodorant, likewise do the same with your feet.

Wash your feet every day with soap and apply a deodorant before wearing socks and boots. This will prevent the formation of sweat in the feet and as a result your boots will be dry too.

4.) Buy Sweat Proof, breathable work boots 

It is very important to get the right pair of boots. Always choose the ones which allow circulation of air inside the boots. If there will be air flow inside, it will not make your feet sweat and as a result your boots won’t smell too.

5.) Choose Moisture Wicking Socks

Dickies Men's Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks Multipack, Black (6 Pairs), Shoe Size: 6-12

There are numerous socks available in the markets which are made of moisture wicking fabrics like merino wool and cotton.

These socks are capable of absorbing sweat produced by the feet thus keeping your boots dry. We recommend using Dickies Men’s Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks.

6.) Use Foot Soak to avoid boot smell

Add 2-3 spoons of foot soak in water and stir well. Then dip your feet in the mixture. Foot soak is thus formulated for killing fungus, bacteria and foot odor.

7.) Baking soda works wonders in Eliminating the smell from the boots

Baking soda works wonders in Eliminating the smell from the bootsBut, you need to follow certain steps:

      • Take a handful amount of baking soda and pour it in a pair of socks.
      • Insert the socks inside your boots and leave overnight.
      • Your boots will be odor free the next morning.

You can also pour the baking soda directly inside your boots for immediate effect.

But then it becomes hard to take off the powder from inside the boots.

8.) Use Essential oil to kill the Smell

Pour some drops of essential oil inside your boots before you wear it and also after you wear them off. Essential oil works as deodorizer for the boots and avoid the smell from building up inside your boots.

9.) Insert Teabags Inside your Smelly Work Boots

Teabags are capable of killing the bacteria that cause the odor in the boots. All you need to do is just once you finish your cup of tea; insert the teabags inside the boots.

Note:- Don’t forget to dry your boots afterwards with a hairdryer.

10.) A Lemonade Spray Might be a Great Idea to Kill the Smell

To make this lemonade just follow the steps below:

      • Squeeze a lemon in a glass of water.
      • Add the peels as well inside the glass.
      • Add some essential oil drops.
      • Add 2 tablespoon of vinegar.
      • Pour the mixture in a spray bottle.
      • Spray it inside your boots.
      • Leave in for 2-3 hours.
      • Dry with a hair dryer.
      • The smell as well as the bacteria causing smell gets killed in the process.

11.) Add Dryer Sheets Inside your Boots

Dryer Sheets Inside your Boots

There are plenty of them available in the market. Get some dryer sheets and insert them in the boots. Sprinkle some talcum powder on the dryer sheets. Now wear your boots.

Dryer sheets absorb sweat and prevent the work boot smell build up inside. Don’t forget to take them out and change them before you wear your boots again.

12.) Choose the Boots which have Non-metal Safety Toes

New generation work boots are made of non-metal safety toes. They do not conduct heat and therefore your feet don’t get heated up or sweaty.

13.) Buy a Boot Dryer

Boot Dryer dries the boots very fast and thus does not let the smell settle inside the boots.

14.) Store the Boots in the Right Place

Once you wear your boots off, it is very essential to store them in well ventilated, lighted and airy spaces because odor causing bacteria thrive in dark and damp place.

15.) Clean Smelly Work Boots on Weekends

There are a number of ways to clean your boots with house hold items.

16.) Put lemon peels inside the boots

Lemon peels works great in eliminating the smell from the boots. Just peel off the lemon and put the peels inside the boots and keep them overnight.

17.) Sprinkle talcum powder to kill the smell

Talcum powder helps to soak the sweat and prevent as well as eliminate the smell from the boots and this is quite easy right?

18.) Spray alcohol in the boots

In this you actually have to mix equal amounts of water and alcohol in a spray bottle and spray the mixture inside your boots and keep them under the fan overnight.

The alcohol will evaporate and draw away the smell along with it.

What Causes Work Boots Smell Bad?

Most of the work boots have thick lining and cushioned insoles. Though these features keep your feet warm and comfortable in winters, they might be the cause of discomfort and sweat in summers due to heating up.

Our feet have numerous sweat glands. This sweat when gets clogged in the pores of the toes and feet cause the bad odor over time. 

Other than that there are some other few causes behind the bad odor which I am going to illustrate below for you:

1.) The Boots which are Waterproof cause the Feet to Emit bad Odor:

The simple logic is being waterproof means not letting in moisture or water to get in and when moisture can’t get in, it can’t get out either.

In other words, when the boots are waterproof, they don’t allow the sweat from your feet to evaporate out and the sweat being locked inside the boot after a while start emitting the bad odor.

2.) The Thick Insoles also Cause the Odor:

While on the one hand, the thick insoles provide comfort to your feet, on the other hand they too make your feet warm after certain duration of time. This heat is the cause of the sweat and hence the bad odor from your feet.

3.) The Leather gets Heated up and Cause Sweat:

Most of the boots are made of leather and leather has a tendency to get heated up under the sun. So, when the boots get heated up naturally your feet too feel the heat and begin to sweat.

4.) The Thick Socks also Heat up your Feet:

Most people use thick socks inside their boots to keep their feet comfortable. But thick socks ultimately heat up the feet and make it sweat profusely. In this condition, not only your feet but the socks too emit odious odor.

5.) Steel toe boots do not have the Ability to Ventilate:

Steel is an ideal conductor of heat or cold. Thereby conducting heat to your feet, the steel toes even worse odor than any other type of boots.

How do you kill bacteria in work boots?

Bacteria are the main reason behind the smelly boots. Therefore, it is very important to kill them once they start thriving in your boots.

Thank God, there are some awesome ways by which you can kill the bacteria and stop them from growing inside your boots:

1.) Teabags contain tannins in them that are anti-bacterial and help in destroying the bacteria when placed inside the boots after boiling them in water for 10 minutes.

2.) Keeping pieces of cloves in the boots overnight also kills the bacteria.

3.) Putting your boots in the freezer overnight also helps in killing the bacteria because bacteria cannot survive in that temperature.

4.) Mix half cup of alcohol and half cup of water in a spray bottle and spray them inside your boots. The alcohol will kill all the bacteria and the water will evaporate overnight from the boots.

5.) Washing the boots with soap water solution thoroughly will also kill all the bacteria.

Does putting shoes in freezer kill smell?

Yes, putting the boots in the freezer works great in killing the smell in the boots by killing the odor causing bacteria!

In fact, this is the fastest and the most efficient way to kill the bacteria that causes the smell because bacteria cannot survive in the extreme temperature of the freezer.

What you need to do is:

      • Put your boots in a plastic bag
      • Place the bag in the freezer and let it stay for the entire night
      • Just  hour prior of going to work, take out the boots and keep them in the sun
      • Your boots will be free of the bacteria and hence the smell

Does baking soda get rid of smell in shoes?

Baking soda is in fact one of the most effective ways in getting the smell out of your boots overnight!

Actually baking soda works as a natural deodorizer in neutralizing and absorbing the pungent smell inside the boots.

There are two ways in which use the baking soda:

1.) Mix equal parts of baking soda and corn starch in a bowl and sprinkle in the mixture inside he boots. The next you just have to use a tissue paper to get the mixture out of your boots before wearing them.

2.) The second way is to pour baking soda in your socks and tying a knot in the socks so that the powder does not come out. Then place the socks inside the boots and rid of the smell easily.

Do tea bags get rid of smelly shoes?

Yes, Teabags work wonders in killing the smell of your sweaty work boots and the reason behind it is the presence of tannins in tea bags. Tannins are anti-bacterial in nature and they work by killing the bacteria inside the boots that produce the smell.

Just boil the tea bags for 10 minutes and squeeze out excess water from them and then put them inside the boots and leave overnight. The next day you will get fresh smelling boots.

Why do my shoes smell after washing?

Your shoes might smell even after washing because they might not have dried properly.

If you leave your shoes wet for a long time without drying them properly, they will emit strong smell when you wear them to work. The reason behind this is that bacteria and mold thrive in wet and damp places and cause the smell. 

Therefore, in order to prevent the smell from the boots even after your washing, dry them properly using a boot dryer or under the fan or using a hair dryer.

Before we say Good Bye!

So, by now you know that to get rid of the smell from your work boots, it is equally important to keep your feet clean and follow some daily hygiene routine.

The boots itself don’t sweat, it’s your feet that sweat and cause the smell.

Treat your feet well and your boots will smile too.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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