Do your work boots retain a musty smell that won’t go away no matter what you do? You are not alone! Stinky work shoes are the problem of many boot wearers, especially during winters and rainy seasons.
So, how to clean smelly work boots? This article introduces four effective methods to help you get smell out of work boots. The best part is you only need simple household products for these procedures. Dive in!
Table of Contents
Ways to Clean Smelly Work Boots
Method #1: Wash with soap and water
The number one tip to keep boots from stinking is to clean them immediately when they get wet or dirty. The longer you leave your shoes unwashed, the worse the odor will become.
So, if you got caught in the rain or accidentally spilled coffee on your shoes, quickly gather the following to wash and dry them:
- Mild soap
- Lukewarm water
- Cloth or soft brush
- Boot dryer (optional)
Method #2: Deodorize with baking soda
Besides absorbing moisture, baking soda can neutralize the acids that come from your sweat and remove shoe odor. Plus, the powder doesn’t cause any skin allergies. So, this method will work for everyone.
All you need to prepare is some baking soda, one pair of socks, and essential oils of your liking.
Method #3: Use a disinfecting spray
There are many high-quality disinfecting sprays for shoes, such as the 10-Seconds Shoe Deodorizer and Disinfectant, Footlogix Antifungal Spray, and Clear Gear Sports Spray.
If you have foot fungus, we recommend investing in a disinfecting spray. It is the ultimate work boot odor eliminator. Remember to choose the one that suits your footwear materials.
Method #4: Use dryer sheets and essential oils
Why do my work boots smell?
The primary cause of stinky boots is foot sweat. Your skin contains bacteria, and the less frequently your feet are washed, the more bacteria they hold. These bacteria will mix with your sweat, imparting a musty scent to your boots.
Even if you wear socks, they won’t form an impenetrable barrier between your shoes and your skin.
You can’t stop your feet from sweating, but you can try one of the methods we mentioned to make boots not smell.
What makes the work boot smell so bad?
The thick materials of work boots tend to lock moisture and foot sweat in them. These allow microorganisms to grow in the fabric and cause a stinky smell. Work boots smell like cat pee if you don’t dry them properly after each use.
In addition, safety boots might get smelly more easily than regular shoes because you wear them daily, sometimes to perform demanding tasks like carrying heavy loads or climbing ladders.
How do you clean smelly steel toe boots?
The rule of thumb when cleaning steel toe boots is not to soak them in water as it can corrode the metal. You should clean them as follows:
- Remove the shoes’ laces and insoles.
- Make a mixture of soapy water and use the lather to scrub the boots.
- Dampen a cloth and wipe off any soap residue.
- Let the shoes dry naturally.
Remember to scrub the inside of the boots thoroughly because it is where most bacteria live.
When the boots are dry, you can take a step further to deodorize them. Simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda into each boot and let it sit overnight. Finally, shake off the powder, and your shoes are ready for the upcoming workday.
How do you clean smelly work shoes?
You can use one of the four methods we mentioned above to fix smelly boots:
- Washing the shoes with soap and water and dry them properly
- Sprinkling baking soda inside the shoes and leave them overnight to deodorize
- Using a disinfecting spray to kill bacteria and germs
- Inserting dryer sheets or adding a few drops of essential oil to refresh the shoes
You can also combine two methods to yield a better result.
How should you store work boots to prevent future odor?
Don’t just rip off your boots and throw them on the floor when you return home after a workday. Leaving your shoes in a humid area of the house (e.g., near the toilet door, on the porch, under the sink in the kitchen) will worsen their musty smell.
To prevent future odor, store your boots upside down in a dry and well-ventilated area to help them dry completely after each use. Avoid putting them in dark places and under direct sunlight.
How to clean smelly work boots? Sometimes, washing them with soap and drying them thoroughly are enough to get rid of the odor. But if you want to further deodorize and add a nice scent to your footwear, you can try baking soda, disinfectant sprays, dryer sheets, or essential oils.
Let us know the methods that work best for you in the comment section. Before you leave, don’t forget to share this article with a friend in need. Thank you for reading!
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.