How to Clean Smelly Tennis Shoes

Keep your feet clean and dry to reduce the odor in smelly tennis shoes.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Whether you actually play tennis in your tennis shoes or just wear them casually on the weekends, your sneaks can become smelly in a snap. Let's face it, women's delicate feet sweat just as much as men's and the aftermath is far from pretty. In fact, it's more like Pepe Le Pew moved in to your house. Clean your smelly tennis shoes as soon as you can to minimize the damage.


Open your tennis shoes up wide, pull the tongue back and dump some baking soda inside your shoes.The alkalinity of the powder works wonders on odors. Don't hold back; be generous with each shoe. Leave the shoes for several hours, up to overnight if you can.


Shake out the excess baking soda, over a trash can, please! Do a quick sniff test on your sneakers to assess if the baking soda worked its magic.


Take the shoelaces and innersoles out of each tennis shoe. You might want to replace them if either component is significantly stinky.


Throw your tennis shoes in the washing machine if they are canvas or made from other synthetic materials. This is a big no-no for leather athletic shoes, as the water will damage the grain. Wipe down leather tennis shoes with a damp, soft cloth to clean surface dirt away.


Set your formerly smelly tennis shoes in the sun to air dry. Going through a stretch of overcast or rainy days? Stuff newspapers into each shoe to absorb excess water and to reduce the risk of stinky mold.


Spray your tennies with a foot deodorant before wearing them again. Sprays of this kind are sold at shoe stores and sports super centers. Use the foot spray after each wear.

Things You'll Need


1.Baking soda

3.Soft cloth


2.Foot spray



Tips & Tricks


Money isn't everything, but if your tennis shoes cost you a bundle, treat them right. Wash expensive synthetic sneakers in the washing machine with a few towels to cushion them as they agitate and tumble.


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