The Secret To Deodorizing Smelly Shoes Is Already In Your Kitchen

From work boots to gym sneakers, the wear and tear that our shoes take on every day has a huge impact on their condition and their scent. Sweat, dirt, and debris accumulate to form an unpleasant and unsanitary smell that, if strong enough to be noticed by others, can be extremely embarrassing. Fortunately, tea bags are the secret weapon you need to ensure that your sneakers, sandals, and everything in between stay fresh.

Check your kitchen pantry for some loose tea bags, stick them in the bottom of each shoe, and wait. Depending on the severity of the smell, use a handful or just one in each shoe, and leave them to sit in a dry spot for an hour or more. More bags and more time are recommended for more demanding and heavy-duty projects, while just a couple of tea bags and a few hours should suffice for a slightly pungent pair of slip-ons. Regardless of how long you leave the shoes to sit, be sure to keep them in a dry environment. This prevents other bacteria from forming and allows the tea bags to absorb the smelly moisture in the shoes while simultaneously extracting their own pleasing aroma.

Different ways to get the job done

This trick has been tested out multiple times, and many people have taken their personal experience with the do-it-yourself hack to vouch for its legitimacy. YouTube user Smart Fox posted a video using and recommending this easily accessible hack. He carefully placed one dry tea bag by the heel of each sneaker and let them sit overnight. The creator said that while it does not matter what type of tea bags you use, he recommends using highly aromatic tea bags with strong fruity or floral flavors. This will ensure that the repulsive smell you are looking to get rid of is replaced by a favorable one.

MissMalini on Instagram also tried the hack but had a slightly different approach. She posted a video of her placing multiple tea bags in the toe of each shoe rather than one in each heel. After only a few hours, she found a noticeable difference in the smell of her Vans. Whether you decide to use a handful of tea bags and leave them to sit for an hour, or you leave two to sit overnight, this cheap and easy hack is cost and time efficient and works every time.