Leather shoes are beautiful to look at, fantastic to wear; however, they also require special care when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Unlike other footwear, you can’t just throw your leather shoes in the washer when you want to remove the bad smell from them. If you are looking for easy ways on how to remove odor from leather shoes, here are some of my best tips on how you can do so!
How to remove bad odor from leather shoes using kitty litter
While you might think that kitty litter is the last thing you want in your shoes, it can be a great hack for removing odor from your leather shoes. Here is how you can do it:
- Take a small, cotton cloth which is quite thin and breathable.
- Place a small amount of kitty litter into the rag. If you want you can also sprinkle a little bit of baking soda into this.
- Scrunch up the cloth and make a knot at the toe such that it resembles a baggie of potpourri.
- Place one baggie inside each leather shoe overnight. Remove it the next morning before wearing. It will effectively suck out any bad odors from your leather shoes.
- Additional tip: You can use a woman’s stoking to fill it up with kitty litter.
How to remove bad odor from leather shoes using charcoal
Activated charcoal works well to remove any bad smells from your leather shoes. If you wish to add a slight pleasant fragrance to your leather shoes, you can even choose to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Here is how you can do it:
- Take a few pieces of activated charcoal and break them down into smaller pieces.
- Take a pair of old tights and cut it so that you end up with a smaller sized pouch.
- Place a few pieces of the activated charcoal inside each pouch.
- Take a small cotton ball and add just a few drops of any essential oil into it. Eucalyptus oil and lavender oil works the best for this; however, you may add any flavor you wish to.
- Place the cotton ball into the pouch along with the activated charcoal.
- Tie a knot at the top of the pouch and secure it well.
- Place one pouch inside each shoe for a few hours. By now you should have already removed the bad smell, and you end up with a soft, pleasant fragrance coming out from the leather shoes.
How to remove odor from your leather shoes using coffee grounds
Baking soda can often dry out your leather shoes; however, coffee grounds work just as magically as baking soda without causing any damage to your leather shoes. Keep in mind that you should use only dry coffee grounds for this method, as wet or damp coffee grounds will only ruin your leather shoe. Make sure the coffee grounds are completely dry before doing this. Here is how you can do it:
- Sprinkle just a small handful of dry coffee grounds inside your leather shoes.
- Allow it to sit undisturbed for a few hours.
- After a few hours, clean out the inside of the shoes thoroughly.
- The coffee grounds will eliminate any foul odor and even add a very slight pleasant smell to your leather shoes.
- You can use this method regularly for removing odor from your leather shoes.
How to remove odor from your leather shoes using white vinegar
White vinegar can work wonders to remove foul odors from your leather shoes. Be careful not to use too much of the product otherwise your shoes will smell of vinegar instead! Here is how you can do it:
- Take a piece of cotton cloth or a rag, or even a paper towel. Dampen it with a few drops of white vinegar.
- Take your leather shoe in one hand and rub the insides of the shoe thoroughly with the cloth.
- Take a small piece of newspaper and crumple it in your hands.
- Place one piece of crumpled newspaper inside each shoe. It will absorb any excess moisture inside your shoes and remove any strong vinegar smell, in case you have added too much vinegar.
- Make sure the shoes are completely dry before you wear them again.
How to remove odor from your leather shoes using rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol acts as a strong disinfectant and effectively eliminates any bad smell from your leather shoes. It removes all kinds of bacteria from your shoes which can significantly contribute to the bad odor inside your leather shoes. Here is how you can do it:
- Take a small piece of paper towel or cotton cloth and dampen it with rubbing alcohol.
- Using a smaller piece of cloth is better, as you will be able to reach the inner corners of the shoes.
- Wet a cotton swab with the rubbing alcohol and reach every nook and cranny of your leather shoes from the inside.
- Place a small piece of dryer sheet inside each shoe and allow it to sit undisturbed overnight. With this, you should have removed all the bad odor that was coming out of your footwear.
How to remove odor from your leather shoes using soap
Using a mild soap or even a soap-free cleanser can be a great way to clean your leather shoes and eliminate odor. However, it is essential that you do not use very foamy soap or a harsh soap as it may just damage your leather shoes. Here is how you can do it:
- In a small bowl, pour some warm water. Then add a few drops of mild soap or a soap-free cleanser. Mix it well.
- Soak a soft cotton cloth into the mixture. Squeeze out any excess water from the wet fabric.
- Wipe the exterior as well as the interior of the leather shoes properly getting into every corner of it.
- Take a second soft cloth with is slightly damp and wipe out the insides as well as the outside of the shoes.
- Take a paper towel or a cloth towel which is completely dry and dry off the shoes thoroughly. If you wish, you can also use a hair dryer to remove any moisture from the shoes.
- Place a crumpled piece of newspaper inside the shoe and keep it overnight.
Dear Philip and Stephanie,
Nice write up.
Hi Philip and Stephanie,
Thanks for sharing, it will be a great help when I clean my shoes next week. Normally I use used tealeaves to reduce bad odor, you may try it also. Thanks again!