Quick Solutions to Banish Odor from Your Trainers:
Freeze them: Overnight in a plastic bag to kill bacteria.
Wash them: Use cold water and let them air dry.
Fill them: With kitty litter or baking soda overnight to absorb moisture and odors.
Air them out: Leave them by an open window or in direct sunlight.
Treat them: Mix ½ cup of water with ½ cup of white vinegar and spray inside the shoes.
Replace insoles: Often the main source of the smell.

When you’re in the business of making or selling shoes, ensuring they stay fresh and odor-free isn’t just about customer satisfaction—it’s crucial for maintaining your reputation for quality. If you’re facing challenges with smelly trainers, whether it’s lingering odors from long-term storage or customer returns, you know it’s a problem that needs a swift and effective solution. But, how do you get rid of smelly trainers effectively and restore them to their original, odor-free state? This introduction aims to offer you straightforward, practical solutions that don’t require a PhD in chemistry to understand or implement. We’ll cover a range of unexpected yet highly effective methods that can help you and your customers keep those trainers smelling fresh. So, let’s dive right into transforming your smelly trainers and, by extension, safeguarding your brand’s quality and appeal.

Infographic describing step-by-step process to remove odor from trainers, including freezing, washing, filling with kitty litter or baking soda, airing out, treating with a vinegar solution, and replacing insoles. Symbols and icons illustrate each step clearly for easy understanding. - how do you get rid of smelly trainers infographic pillar-5-steps

Understanding Shoe Odor

When you pull off your trainers after a long day and get a whiff of something not so pleasant, what’s really going on inside those shoes? Let’s break it down into three main culprits: bacteria, sweat, and moisture.

Bacteria are tiny creatures that live everywhere, including on our skin. When they munch on the sweat your feet produce, they produce waste products that smell bad. Think of it as bacteria poop – and yes, it’s as gross as it sounds.

Sweat itself is mostly just salt and water and doesn’t actually smell. But our feet are the perfect sweat factory, with more sweat glands per square inch than anywhere else on our body. When your feet sweat inside your trainers, they’re not just getting wet; they’re setting up a buffet for bacteria.

Moisture from that sweat doesn’t have anywhere to go inside a shoe, especially if it’s snug or made from materials that don’t breathe well. This creates a damp, dark, and warm environment – basically, a party zone for bacteria. And the more bacteria party, the worse your shoes will smell.

So, how do you get rid of smelly trainers? The key is tackling these three factors. You need to:

  • Reduce moisture by letting your shoes dry out completely between wears and using moisture-absorbing materials like baking soda.
  • Limit bacteria growth by cleaning your feet regularly and treating the shoes with antimicrobial solutions like vinegar or soap.
  • Control sweat by choosing the right socks and practicing good foot hygiene.

Understanding the root causes of shoe odor is the first step towards fresh-smelling trainers. With this knowledge, you’re well-equipped to choose the best strategies for keeping your shoes smelling great.

In the next sections, we’ll dive into specific home remedies, innovative solutions, and commercial products that can help you say goodbye to smelly trainers for good.

Foot in a sneaker stepping on a pile of bacteria, illustrated with cartoonish germs and stink lines to visually represent the concept of shoe odor being caused by bacteria, sweat, and moisture. - how do you get rid of smelly trainers

Home Remedies for Smelly Trainers

Baking Soda Magic

Baking soda is like a magic powder when it comes to getting rid of odors. It’s simple, affordable, and you probably already have it in your kitchen. Here’s how it works:

  • Mix it up: Combine ¼ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of cornstarch, and ½ cup of cornstarch. This combination creates a powerful odor-absorbing mix.
  • Boost with Essential Oils: For an extra fresh scent, add a few drops of essential oils. Lavender or lemon are great choices.
  • Application: Either fill a pair of cotton socks with this mixture and place them in your trainers overnight, or sprinkle the mix directly into the shoes.

The result? Fresher smelling trainers by morning.

Vinegar Solution

Vinegar, particularly white vinegar, is another household item that works wonders for smelly trainers. Its acidic nature neutralizes odors and fights bacteria. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Mix: Equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray: Lightly mist the inside of your trainers with the solution. Don’t soak them!
  • Dry: Allow the shoes to air dry completely before the next wear.

This method not only tackles the smell but also helps in keeping your trainers bacteria-free.

Soap Absorption

Surprisingly, a regular bar of antimicrobial soap can also combat shoe odor. Soap is not just for cleaning; it’s also porous, meaning it can absorb and neutralize bad smells. Here’s what to do:

  • Choose wisely: Pick a bar of antimicrobial soap for its bacteria-fighting properties.
  • Placement: Place a whole bar inside each trainer and leave them overnight.
  • Result: The soap will absorb the odor, leaving behind a clean, fresh scent.

This method is particularly useful because it’s incredibly straightforward and utilizes items you likely already have at home.

These home remedies for how do you get rid of smelly trainers are not only effective but also environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Whether you choose the baking soda mix, vinegar solution, or soap absorption method, you’re taking a step towards fresher, odor-free trainers without the need for harsh chemicals or expensive products.

Innovative Solutions

When it comes to tackling the question of how do you get rid of smelly trainers, sometimes you have to think outside the box. Traditional methods are great, but innovative solutions can offer that extra punch to banish odors for good. Let’s explore some of these creative tactics.

Sunshine and UV Rays

Never underestimate the power of good old sunshine. It’s not just for brightening up our days; it can also brighten up our smelly trainers. Here’s the deal:

  • Direct Sunlight: Simply placing your shoes under direct sunlight for a few hours can do wonders. The sun’s rays help dry out any lingering moisture, which is often the root cause of the odor.
  • UV Bacteria Killing: The UV rays in sunlight are also natural bacteria killers. They can help eliminate those odor-causing bacteria that love to make a home in your trainers.

Essential Oils

If you thought essential oils were just for aromatherapy sessions, think again. They can be powerful allies in your quest to freshen up your footwear. Here’s how:

  • Tea Tree: Known for its antimicrobial properties, a few drops of tea tree oil in your shoes can help kill bacteria and fungi.
  • Clove: Clove oil is another potent option. Its strong scent is excellent for masking odors while its antimicrobial properties get to work.
  • Cedarwood: Not only does cedarwood oil have a pleasant, woodsy aroma, but it also acts as a natural deodorizer, keeping those smelly trainers at bay.

The Freezer Trick

This might sound a bit unconventional, but hear me out. Freezing your shoes can actually help eliminate odors. Here’s the simple process:

  • Plastic Bag: First, place your smelly trainers in a plastic bag. This is to prevent them from directly contacting food items in your freezer.
  • Overnight Freeze: Leave them in the freezer overnight. The cold temperature kills the bacteria, thus removing the source of the odor.

By combining these innovative solutions with traditional methods, you’re not just answering the question of how do you get rid of smelly trainers; you’re setting up a comprehensive defense against shoe odor. Whether it’s the natural power of the sun, the aromatic benefits of essential oils, or the surprising effectiveness of freezing, these strategies can help keep your trainers smelling fresh.

Commercial Products and Services

When home remedies don’t fully tackle the challenge of how do you get rid of smelly trainers, it’s time to consider some commercial products and services designed specifically for this purpose. Let’s explore some of the most effective solutions available.

Odor-Eaters Products

Odor-Eaters offers a range of products aimed at eliminating shoe odor. Their lineup includes:

  • Foot Spray Powder: A quick spray leaves a powder coat that absorbs moisture and neutralizes odors.
  • Foot Powder: Sprinkle this directly into your shoes to absorb sweat and fight the bacteria that cause odor.
  • Ultra Odor Insoles: These insoles can be cut to fit any shoe size and are designed to both absorb moisture and provide a barrier against odor-causing bacteria.

Arm & Hammer Solutions

Arm & Hammer is well-known for their baking soda products, which naturally neutralize odors. For shoes, they offer:

  • Shoe Odor Defense: A spray that uses the power of baking soda to eliminate odors on contact. It’s safe for use on all types of shoes and is an easy, quick solution for daily use.

GloveStix and StankStix

GloveStix and StankStix are innovative deodorizing sticks that can be placed inside shoes when not in use. These products:

  • Deodorizing Sticks: Work by absorbing moisture and deodorizing the interior of the shoe. They are filled with a proprietary blend of moisture-absorbing and odor-neutralizing ingredients.


While not as widely known, Nonscents offers shoe deodorizers that are:

  • Fragrance-Free: Perfect for those sensitive to scents, these deodorizers focus purely on eliminating odors without adding any fragrance.

NuShoe Inspect & Correct

For those looking for a professional touch, NuShoe Inspect & Correct provides a comprehensive shoe odor removal service. They specialize in:

  • Reviving Footwear: Their service can include anything from odor removal to grading and even repackaging for manufacturers. They understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of your footwear and offer solutions to turn inventory back into sales.

By exploring these commercial products and services, you’re taking a significant step towards eliminating the unpleasant odors from your trainers. Whether you opt for a quick spray from Odor-Eaters, the moisture-absorbing power of Arm & Hammer, the innovative approach of GloveStix and StankStix, the fragrance-free option from Nonscents, or the professional services of NuShoe Inspect & Correct, there’s a solution tailored to your needs. Maintaining fresh-smelling shoes not only improves your comfort but also boosts your confidence in daily activities.

Preventative Measures

Preventing smelly trainers starts with the basics. Let’s dive into some simple yet effective strategies to keep your shoes smelling fresh.

Importance of Socks

Choose the Right Material: Not all socks are created equal. Opting for socks made from materials like cotton or Nike’s high-tech synthetic fibers can make a big difference. These materials help absorb sweat and allow your feet to breathe, reducing the chances of bacteria growth.

Change Regularly: Wearing a fresh pair of socks daily is a must. If you’re active or your feet tend to sweat more, consider changing your socks mid-day to keep moisture at bay.

Foot Hygiene Practices

Wash and Dry Thoroughly: The key to good foot hygiene is as simple as soap and water. Ensure you’re scrubbing between your toes and the soles of your feet with soap or a cleanser. After washing, drying your feet completely is crucial; moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Let Them Breathe: Whenever possible, give your feet some air. Going barefoot at home allows your feet to dry out naturally from the day’s activities.

Checking and Replacing Insoles

Sniff Test: Often, the insole is the culprit behind odorous shoes. If you notice a persistent smell, it’s time for an insole replacement.

Choose Wisely: When selecting new insoles, consider options that offer odor control. Many brands now incorporate antimicrobial technology to combat the source of the smell.

Regular Replacement: Even if your shoes don’t smell, replacing the insoles annually is a good practice. It not only keeps odors at bay but also ensures better foot support.

By integrating these preventative measures into your routine, you’re not just avoiding smelly trainers; you’re also promoting better foot health. From selecting the right socks to maintaining foot hygiene and being vigilant about insole condition, these steps are simple yet effective. Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to keeping your trainers fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions about Smelly Trainers

When it comes to keeping your trainers smelling fresh, there are several questions we often hear. Let’s tackle the most common ones with straightforward, actionable advice.

How to Remove Smell from Shoes Without Washing?

Removing the smell from shoes without washing them can be surprisingly simple. Here are a few methods:

  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle a generous amount inside each shoe and let it sit overnight. Shake out the excess in the morning.
  • Essential Oils: A few drops of tea tree, lavender, or eucalyptus oil can help neutralize odors. Apply on a piece of paper or cloth and leave it in your shoes overnight.
  • Dryer Sheets: Place a dryer sheet in each shoe overnight. They can absorb odors and leave a fresh scent behind.

How to Wash Stinky Shoes in Washing Machine?

Washing stinky shoes in a washing machine is doable with a bit of preparation:

  1. Remove Loose Dirt: Knock your shoes together outside to get rid of any loose dirt.
  2. Remove Insoles: If possible, take out the insoles and wash them separately.
  3. Place in a Pillowcase: To protect both your shoes and your washing machine, place your shoes in a pillowcase and tie the end.
  4. Cold Cycle: Run your washing machine on a gentle, cold cycle with a small amount of mild detergent.
  5. Air Dry: Never put your shoes in the dryer. Instead, let them air dry, ideally in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.

How to Get Rid of Smelly Trainers Overnight?

If you need a fast fix to remove odors from your trainers overnight, try these tips:

  • Freezer Method: Place your shoes in a plastic bag and leave them in the freezer overnight. The cold temperature kills the odor-causing bacteria.
  • Newspaper and Baking Soda: Stuff your shoes with newspaper to absorb moisture and sprinkle baking soda inside to tackle odors. Leave it to work its magic overnight.
  • Vinegar Spray: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz the inside of your shoes lightly and let them dry overnight in a well-ventilated area.

The key to eliminating smelly trainers is not just about tackling the odor once it’s there; it’s also about prevention. Regularly cleaning your shoes, using the right socks, and practicing good foot hygiene can go a long way in keeping your trainers fresh.


In wrapping up, we’ve explored a variety of methods to tackle the age-old question: “how do you get rid of smelly trainers?” From home remedies like baking soda and vinegar to the more unconventional approaches such as freezing your shoes, there’s no shortage of strategies to combat shoe odor. However, sometimes, despite our best efforts, those persistent smells linger, refusing to budge. That’s where professional help can make all the difference.

Enter NuShoe Inspect & Correct. Our service isn’t just about removing odors; it’s about giving your trainers a new lease on life. We understand that shoes aren’t just footwear; they’re part of your daily life, your adventures, and sometimes, they’re even a piece of cherished memories. That’s why we’re dedicated to not only removing odors but also ensuring your shoes are in the best possible condition. Whether it’s grading your inventory or providing logistical support, our goal is to help you turn inventory into sales and smelly shoes into fresh, ready-to-wear favorites.

shoe care - how do you get rid of smelly trainers

Our approach is fast, affordable, and discreet, making us the go-to resource for over 150 brands and factories. With a track record of reviving and salvaging second-quality merchandise since 1994, we pride ourselves on being the best service, lowest price alternative for your shoe odor removal needs. Our expertise in removing shoe odors and tackling shoe mold damage ensures that your inventory can be cleaned, disinfected, and returned to stock, protecting your brand and your bottom line.

So, if you’re facing a smelly trainer dilemma, don’t despair. NuShoe Inspect & Correct is here to help. Let us take care of the odors so you can get back to enjoying your shoes without a second thought. The key to eliminating shoe odor is not just about addressing it once it appears; it’s also about ongoing care and prevention. With the right practices and a little help from our experts, you can keep your trainers fresh and odor-free.

Thank you for joining us on this journey to banish shoe odor. Here’s to fresh-smelling trainers and happy feet!