How to Get Ammonia Smell Out of Shoes

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re self-conscious about the smell of your shoes? Whether it’s because of a sweaty workout, being caught in the rain, or just normal wear and tear, it happens to the best of us. You might have even tried various methods to get rid of the odor but to no avail. That’s where we come in – I’ll share with you some simple yet effective tips on how to get the ammonia smell out of shoes. Let’s get started!

Why Do My Shoes Smell Like Ammonia?

If you’ve noticed an ammonia-like smell coming from your shoes, it could be caused by a buildup of bacteria and sweat.

Sweat is naturally odorless, but when it comes into contact with bacteria on your skin and in your shoes, it can create an unpleasant odor. When this odor mixes with the ammonia that’s found in your sweat, it can create a pungent smell that’s hard to ignore.

Another possible cause of the ammonia smell in your shoes could be due to the type of materials used to make them. Some synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, can trap moisture and sweat, creating a breeding ground for bacteria that produce ammonia.

No matter the cause, it’s essential to address the smell before it becomes a long-term problem.

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Why Do My Feet Smell Like Ammonia

If you’ve noticed an ammonia-like smell coming from your feet, it could be due to a few different reasons. One possible cause is excessive sweating. When your feet sweat, the moisture can get trapped in your shoes, creating a warm, moist environment that’s perfect for bacteria to grow. These bacteria can then break down the sweat and produce an odor that’s reminiscent of ammonia.

Another possible cause of the ammonia smell could be due to a diet that’s high in protein. When your body breaks down protein, it creates waste products that are eliminated through your urine.

One of these waste products is ammonia. If you’re consuming a lot of protein, your body may be producing more ammonia than usual, which can lead to an ammonia-like smell in your sweat, including the sweat on your feet.

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How to Get Ammonia Smell Out of Shoes

#1: Use Baking Soda

Sure, using baking soda is an effective and affordable way to remove the ammonia smell from shoes.

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Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Remove any loose dirt or debris from inside the shoes.
  2. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside each shoe, making sure to cover the entire surface area.
  3. Let the baking soda sit inside the shoes for several hours, preferably overnight, so that it has enough time to absorb the odor.
  4. Shake out the excess baking soda from the shoes.
  5. If the smell is still lingering, repeat the process a few more times until the odor is completely gone.

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can help absorb odors and bacteria. It’s also safe to use on most types of shoes.

#2: Try Vinegar

Vinegar is an effective natural deodorizer that can help eliminate unpleasant odors from shoes.

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Follow these steps to use vinegar to deodorize your shoes:

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl or spray bottle.
  2. Before applying the solution, clean the inside and outside of your shoes with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
  3. Use the spray bottle to spritz the vinegar solution into the inside of your shoes, making sure to cover all areas.
  4. Loosen the laces and tongue of your shoes to promote airflow, and allow them to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area for at least 24 hours.
  5. Once the shoes are dry, shake out any excess powder or debris that may have been loosened during the drying process.

This method may need to be repeated a few times until the odor is completely eliminated. Additionally, the strong smell of vinegar may linger in the shoes temporarily, but it will dissipate over time as the shoes air out.

#3: Wash Them

If your sneakers are machine washable, washing them with a mild detergent can effectively eliminate any unpleasant odor. However, it’s essential to use cold water to prevent shrinkage and damage to the shoes.

After washing, avoid using the dryer and instead stuff them with newspaper to maintain their shape while they dry naturally.

#4: Make Tea Bag Shoe Deodorizers

You can make easy and affordable shoe deodorizers using tea bags. Tea contains tannins, which are natural deodorizers.

Simply place a few dry tea bags, such as black tea or green tea, into each shoe and leave them overnight. The tea bags will absorb any unpleasant smells and leave your shoes smelling fresh.

You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the tea bags for added fragrance.

This method is particularly useful for leather shoes, as other deodorizing methods may damage the material.

#5: Add Lemon Peel to Your Shoes

Lemon peel is a natural deodorizer that can help eliminate bad odors from your shoes.

To use lemon peel to deodorize your shoes, simply place a few pieces of lemon peel inside each shoe and leave them there for at least 24 hours. The lemon peel will absorb any bad odors and leave your shoes smelling fresh and clean.

You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil to the lemon peel for an extra boost of freshness.

Just make sure to remove the lemon peel before wearing your shoes to avoid any discomfort or irritation on your feet.

#6: Create a Shoe Deodorant

To create a shoe deodorant powder, you will need the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of baking powder


  1. Mix all until well combined.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a shaker bottle or an airtight container with a lid.
  3. Before using, shake the bottle or container to ensure the ingredients are mixed properly.
  4. Sprinkle a small amount of the powder inside each shoe, making sure to distribute it evenly.
  5. Let the powder sit inside the shoes overnight, then shake out any excess powder the next day.
  6. Repeat this process as necessary until the odor is gone.

This homemade shoe deodorant powder works by absorbing moisture and neutralizing odors, making it a cost-effective and natural alternative to commercial shoe deodorizer.

#7: Use Charcoal Bags

Charcoal bags are another great option for removing shoe odor. Activated charcoal has millions of tiny pores that trap odor and moisture. Place a charcoal bag inside each shoe and let them sit overnight. The next day, remove the bags and the odor should be gone.

#8: Put The Smelly shoes in a Freezer

Putting your smelly sneakers in the freezer may seem odd, but it can actually be an effective way to eliminate odor. Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, and freezing temperatures can kill them.

To do this, place your shoes in a freezer bag before putting them in the freezer. Leave them in there overnight, and by the next morning, they should be odor-free.

#9: Embrace Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used as natural deodorizers, beyond their use in diffusers. Tea tree oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, and cedarwood oil are some examples of essential oils that have natural deodorizing, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Some studies even suggest that clove oil can significantly inhibit bacterial growth on feet, thereby eliminating shoe odors. Lemon oil, orange oil, and frankincense oil are other popular options for deodorizing sneakers with essential oils. Besides neutralizing bad smells, essential oils can also provide a pleasant fragrance.

You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to each sneaker or combine them with other remedies like baking soda or vinegar for better odor-fighting results.

#10: Stuff Your Shoes With Soap

To remove unpleasant odors from your sneakers, try stuffing an unwrapped bar of soap into each shoe. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Make sure your sneakers are dry before starting this process.
  2. Insert an unwrapped bar of soap into each shoe.
  3. Leave the soap inside the shoes for at least 24 hours to allow it to absorb the odors.
  4. After 24 hours, remove the soap from the shoes.
  5. If needed, use a clean cloth to wipe away any soap residue from the inside of the shoes.

This method is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of the odor in your shoes. The soap helps to kill the bacteria that cause bad smells and leaves a fresh, clean scent. Since soap is soft and porous, it will easily transfer its compounds to the materials of your shoes wherever contact is made. You can repeat this process as often as necessary to keep your shoes smelling fresh.

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