Best Shoe Deodorizers of 2022
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Put an end to stinky shoes for good.
This article was updated in December 2022 to ensure all top-rated and previously vetted picks from the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab were in stock.
Sweaty feet can cause embarrassing odors in shoes due to lingering bacteria and moisture. If you're looking to eliminate these smells a shoe deodorizer can help. A good shoe deodorizer should absorb moisture and unwanted smells, and if preferred leave a fresh and enjoyable scent behind. Shoe deodorizers come in various forms: sprays or powders that are applied in the shoes, or insoles or pouches that are placed inside the shoe to absorb moisture and odor over a period of time.
Here at the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care and Cleaning Lab, we spend hundreds of hours every year testing products that keep your home smelling fresh, such as essential oil diffusers as well as testing products to keep your clothes fresh and clean like laundry detergents. When our pros test shoe deodorizers we assess them in the Lab for effectiveness at eliminating odor. We test them on shoes made out of synthetic materials as well as shoes made out of natural materials like leather. We score how easy they are to use and, if applicable, we rate the intensity of the scent. We also have consumer testers test them at home and give us their feedback. Our experts review labeling for the thoroughness of the directions, plus any safety precautions and warnings needed based on the ingredients. We will also review and test any claims the product makes. Here are the best shoe deodorizers based on testing, our category knowledge and those that are highly rated.
Keep reading at the end of this article to learn more details about how we test shoe deodorizers and what to consider when buying a shoe deodorizer. If you're looking for more ways to freshen up and make your house smell good, check out the best air fresheners.
Poo-Pourri is a brand that tests well. In fact, we found the Before-You-Go toilet spray is so effective at trapping odors in the bathroom that it earned our Good Housekeeping Seal, so it's no surprise the brand's shoe spray impressed our experts as well.
With a few spritzes on the inside of the shoe's sole, we found that it replaced stinky shoe odors with pleasant scents of essential oils like cedarwood, grapefruit and eucalyptus. In our tests, it worked effectively on synthetic and natural materials without damage, just note you do have to wait for it to dry before wearing your shoes. You can also use it on other stinky surfaces, like gym bags, yoga mats and sports equipment.
Baking soda has so many household uses from baking to scrubbing kitchen surfaces, getting rid of smells in places like a closet and even eliminating shoe odor. If you don't already have it on hand, i t's one of the least expensive shoe odor eliminators.
It's easy to apply: simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda inside the shoes and evenly distribute it. Gently work it into the shoe material with your fingers and after letting it sit for 24 hours, shake, brush or vacuum out the excess. Even though it's not complicated to apply, clean up is messier since you're dealing with loose powder. To make it neater and easier to use, fill two cotton tube socks with baking soda, knot the sock tops and insert one into each shoe.
Woodlore makes a wide assortment of quality cedar hangers and storage accessories designed to help keep clothing fresh and bug-free and its cedar shoe inserts are no exception. The cotton pouches are filled with 100% cedar chips that absorb moisture to help eliminate odors.
They are neat and easy to use: Simply place one bag in each shoe. When we tested these, we found they eliminated shoe odors, emitted a fresh cedar scent (however, the scent may not be for everyone) and worked continuously during storage. As a bonus, they may help repel some types of insects.
Odor-Eaters makes a variety of products to help fight foot and shoe odor, including these insoles. They are made with activated charcoal, baking soda, zinc and two of Odor-Eater's odor-blocking technologies to trap foul smell and help prevent wetness.
They are available in one size and will fit up to women's and men's size 12 shoes. In order to get them to the correct size, they need to be trimmed and we found trimming easy thanks to the guidelines on the back of the insole. Some of our staff use these and find they keep foot odor away for weeks while also helping keep their feet dry (though if not wearing socks, some moisture does build up). If extra protection is needed, Odor-Eaters also makes a deodorizing spray powder that is applied to the feet. These insoles also add some extra padding to make shoes more comfortable but will eventually need to be replaced due to wear.
The Marsheepy shoe deodorizers use activated charcoal to eliminate odor, which is known for its odor-absorbing abilities and is also used in air purifiers and vacuum cleaner filters. These shoe deodorizers are sealed fabric pouches filled with activated charcoal, so there are no messy powders or sprays.
Before using them for the first time, it's recommended to place them in direct sunlight for six to eight hours and then they're ready for use. Simply insert one into each shoe, and the pores in the charcoal absorb odor molecules. Once a month they'll need to be set out in the sun for three to five hours to keep the charcoal activated.
They come in a 12-pack, so you’ll have enough charcoal bags for six pairs of shoes. Because they don't use any perfume or fragrance, there's no scent left behind and they can be left in your shoes for continuous freshening. It has over 5,000 five-star reviews with one reviewer saying, "I love that they absorb the odor versus just covering it up." According to some customers, it does take about 24 hours for these to work.
Arm & Hammer took their odor-absorbing baking soda and put it in these mess-free deodorizing balls to bust odor without the powdery mess. Along with the baking soda they are also scented with "Clean Burst Fresh Scent," though some reviewers say the scent is too strong for them.
They come in a six-pack, so there's enough to throw in multiple pairs of shoes, or in other places like hampers, gym bags, closets and more. According to Arm & Hammer, each ball eliminates odors for up to 60 days. Over 2,900 reviewers gave it a 4.5 rating for its ability to get rid of foul odors.
When evaluating shoe deodorizers we test them in the Lab and send them home with consumer testers to see how effective they are at home. We rate how easy they are to use and note if they are messy to use. We also rate the intensity of the scent, if applicable.
For performance, we test the shoe deodorizers on smelly dress, casual and athletic shoes made from a wide variety of materials, like leather, fabric and synthetics. Using the product per its label directions, we deodorize one shoe and leave the other as a control. We then rate the treated shoe for odor removal immediately after application, plus after several hours and days to assess how long the product remains effective.
We also test any claims the product makes and review its labeling for the thoroughness of the directions, plus any safety precautions and warnings needed based on the ingredients.
✔️ Type: Spray shoe deodorizers are a good option to quickly get rid of odors but you'll have to wait for them to dry to wear the shoes. Powders like baking soda are a cost-effective option and easy to use, but are messier than other shoe deodorizers. Finally, shoe deodorizer bags and balls are mess-free and convenient to place in shoes and leave them there; just be aware that you'll need to make sure you have enough of them for each pair of shoes.
✔️ Scent: Some shoe deodorizers absorb smelly odors and also leave a scent behind, with synthetic fragrances or essential oils, while others are unscented. You'll want to consider whether or not you prefer scented or unscented. ✔️ Uses: If you have other items that need some freshening like yoga mats or sports equipment, some shoe deodorizers like sprays or powders can also be used on other items making them a good multi-purpose purchase. Just be sure to check which surfaces the shoe deodorizers can be used with.
Carolyn Forte, the Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Care and Cleaning Lab Executive Director, has a B.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences from Queens College, City University of New York, and is a consumer products expert. She has been testing, speaking and writing about products that keep clothing fresh and clean, including shoe deodorizers. She has been at Good Housekeeping for more than 40 years as well as consulted with industry experts about testing protocols and consumer laundry habits.
Jamie Kim is a consumer products expert with over 17 years of experience in areas of product development and manufacturing. She has held leading roles at both mid-size consumer goods companies and one of the most notable and largest apparel brands in the world. Jamie has contributed to several of the GH Institute Labs, including Kitchen Appliances, Media and Tech, Textiles and Home Appliances. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and working out.
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8 Best Outdoor Home Projectors You Can BuyOur top picks: With a few spritzes on the inside of the shoe's sole, we found that it replaced stinky shoe odors i t's one of the least expensive shoe odor eliminators. filled with 100% cedar chips that absorb moisture to help eliminate odors. made with activated charcoal, baking soda, zinc and two of Odor-Eater's odor-blocking technologies to trap foul smell and help prevent wetness. Because they don't use any perfume or fragrance, there's no scent left behind and they can be left in your shoes for continuous freshening. mess-free deodorizing balls to bust odor without the powdery mess. ✔️ Type: ✔️ Type ✔️ Scent: ✔️ Scent ✔️ Uses: ✔️ Uses: Carolyn Forte