Smoke smell can be tough to get rid of. It can seep into almost any fabric and linger for weeks or months. If you were unlucky enough to get your favorite pair of shoes or sneakers “infested” with a cigarette smoke smell, don’t fret, we got your back.
In today’s article, we’ll talk about some of the different methods you can try and perform to eliminate the foul odor from your shoes.
11 Ways to Remove Bad Odors From Your Shoes
1. Use Baking Soda
One of the best homemade solutions to remove the smoke smell from your shoes is to use baking soda. Why? Well, because baking soda is really good at absorbing smells and bacteria. To get rid of the bad odor from your shoes, you should use baking soda in the following ways:
- Create a mixture of ¼ cup of baking soda, ¼ baking powder, and 2/4 cup of corn starch. Put the mix in a pair of socks, and put the socks in the shoes contaminated with a bad smell. Let it rest in your shoes overnight. If you don’t want to use socks, you could just put the entire mixture directly into your shoes, but remember to vacuum it all before you start using the shoes again.
- If you don’t want to play the chemist, you could just sprinkle the baking soda into your shoes and leave it there for 24 hours. Remove the baking soda from your shoes, and you should be good to go!
Vinegar is great at removing lingering smells and neutralizing bacteria from your shoes. Mix some white vinegar with water, and put it in the spray bottle. Spritz the mixture into your shoes and give it a couple of hours to dry off. When your shoes dry off, the smoke smell should be gone.
3. Plain Old Soap
A good old-fashioned bar of soap is amazingly good at removing smells from your shoes, and the best part of it all, it requires little to no effort. All you have to do is put a bar of soap in each of your shoes and leave it there for 10-12 hours. And that’s it.
Make sure the soap isn’t wet before putting it inside your shoes, as water encourages bacteria to grow and can increase the negative smells emanating from within the shoe. So, no wet soap!
4. Sunlight Is the Best Medicine
Another great way to rid your shoes of the foul smoke smell is to leave them outside in the open, and in the direct sunlight. UV rays from the Sun will get rid of the bad smoke smell.
5. Put Them in a Freezer
This method might sound silly, but it actually works. Now, don’t just go putting your shoes in a freezer like a madman; put them in a plastic bag first (because that’s what rational people do). Leave the shoes in a freezer overnight. This will help eliminate the smoke smell and the smell caused by bacteria from your shoes. Remember to thaw out your shoes first, before you start using them again!
6. Wash Your Shoes
This one is a no-brainer if your shoes are safe to immerse in water (don’t wash your leather shoes). You can wash your shoes by hand or put them in a washing machine if they are made from fabrics that are washing machine safe.
If your shoes come with insoles, remember to pull them out before you put the shoes in a washing machine. You could wash the insoles separately or by hand; it’s completely up to you. After you’ve washed your shoes, leave them out to dry naturally. Don’t put them in a dryer! The high temperature of the dryer can permanently damage your shoes.
7. Kitty Litter
Kitty litter is not only great for your cat to do its “business,” but it’s also excellent at getting rid of bad odors, and it can also be used to remove the smoke smell from your shoes.
All you have to do is put a handful of clean kitty litter in each of your shoes and leave it there overnight.
8. Replace the Soles
There’s a chance that not every part of your shoe is affected equally by the bad smoke smell. If you did everything on the list above, and are still facing the same problem, you should consider replacing the insoles, and maybe even the laces.
Insoles are not very expensive and are easy to replace, and it’s the same with the laces. Ideally, you should replace your insoles at least once a year, especially if you tend to stick to one pair of shoes for most of your activities.
9 .Try Essential Oils
Essential oils are not just your weird friend’s latest obsession; they are also a great way of removing smoke smells from your house, car, and, yes, even your shoes. Put a couple of drops of any essential oil you can get your hands on in your shoes and leave it to air out naturally. After a couple of hours, the smoke smell should be gone for good.
10. Citrus Fruit Peels
Peels of citrus fruits, like lemon, lime, and oranges, are really good at soaking up lingering smells caused by cigarettes. Put the peel directly into your shoe and leave it overnight. Your shoes will smell like oranges, lemons, or limes, depending on the citrus fruit peel you went with.
Putting a lump of coal in a sock may be a punishment for the naughty kids, but it’s a modern-day miracle for you. Coal is extremely efficient at soaking up foul odors. All you have to do is put a lump of coal in your shoes and leave it in there for 10 or so hours.
The charcoal should soak up all the bad smells, leaving you with a pair of completely odorless shoes (and that’s what you’ve wanted all along).
12. Get New Shoes
If all else fails, the market has got your back! Unfortunately, the methods on this list are not guaranteed to work, and depending on the level of contamination, there’s a chance that your shoes are too far gone (R.I.P.). If that’s the case, you’ll have to get new ones. And try not to hang out in smoke-filled rooms!
In most cases, you will be able to get rid of the smoke smell from your shoes by simply washing them. If the material your shoes are made of is washing machine safe, just put them in for a spin cycle, and you’ll be good to go. Rember to remove the insoles and wash them separately or by hand. Leave the shoes to dry out naturally! Don’t put them in a dryer, as the heat can permanently damage your favorite pair of kicks.
If you are unsure about the “washing machine safe” and don’t want to risk damaging your shoes beyond repair, try sprinkling baking soda in them or the other recommended solutions.