After a long day of work, it’s not surprising that your work boots don’t smell fresh. But when that smell builds up over time…Whew! Here’s some easy tips on how to make those stinky work boots a bit less smelly.


How to Get Rid of Odor in Work Boots

Odor in work boots comes from bacteria that builds up over time from sweaty feet. Work boots create a perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive since it’s warm, humid, and moist. You can’t help that your feet sweat, especially since a strong and durable work boot can’t be made of a lightweight breathable mesh, but you can take action to make it less of a problem.

  1. Don’t wear cotton socks Cotton acts like a sponge and soaks up sweat, which means your feet and boots end up very wet and stinky by the end of a long day.
  2. Clean your feet As your feet sweat inside your boots, fungi and bacteria thrive – so you’ll need to wash your feet thoroughly, preferably with antibacterial soap, to help kill whatever is growing and the smell it causes.
  3. Alternate boots Two pairs of boots might not be within budget, but if it is then this is a great way to let your boots thoroughly dry before you put them back on your feet. If you don’t have this option, make sure you’re placing your boots somewhere that they can air out overnight instead of stuffing them in a closet.
  4. Use baking soda Baking soda seems to have a ton of uses and getting rid of smell is one of them. Either soak your feet in a water and baking soda mixture after work each day, or sprinkle some in the bottom of your boots before you put them on. It’ll help reduce bacteria and minimize smell.
  5. Use dryer sheets Putting dryer sheets in your boots overnight can help soak up odors and moisture, so your boots don’t stink up your place. You can also wear your boots with a dryer sheet in them if it’s not too uncomfortable.
  6. Store your boots properly Kicking off your boots is the first thing you want to do after a long day but if you’re not putting boots somewhere protected, they’ll wear out quickly. Don’t let your boots bake in the sun all weekend or get rained on. Keep them out of the elements and store them upside down on a boot rack to help them dry out. A boot dryer is also an option to dry them out each day.
  7. Sprinkle talcum powder in your boots Talcum powder, or baby powder, is used to absorb moisture and reduce friction, which can help soak up sweat and stop your boots from rubbing. Just be sure to wipe out residue powder at the end of the day.
  8. Wash your insoles If you wear your work boots with insoles, taking those out to air out and regularly washing them in a water and baking soda mixture can help get rid of bacteria and fungi that may have grown in your boot. If you find that your detergent isn’t getting rid of the smell, add in a couple tablespoons of vinegar.

Another option to consider is choosing composite toe boots over steel toe if you need a protective toe on the job site. Steel is a heat conductor and can make your feet feel warmer while composite doesn’t conduct heat. There are a ton of easy ways you can keep your work boots from stinking up your home. The most important thing to remember is that your boots need to dry out regularly, and you’ll need to get rid of bacteria.

How to Clean Boots Inside

We have a great guide on how to clean your boots on the outside, but we haven’t shared the best techniques for cleaning the inside of stinky work boots. Nobody’s work boots smell like flowers after a day on the work site, but steel toe safety boots in particular can be extra stinky.

The first thing you’ll need to do is remove your insoles and wash them in the washing machine or soak them in a baking soda and water mixture.

While you wait, you can make a soap-water solution and use a cloth to clean the inside of the boots. Make sure you’re squeezing out excess water before wiping the inside of your boots to help kill any bacteria.

Once you’ve finished wiping away the inside of your boots, you should leave them out to dry before putting your insoles back in. You can also add a couple tablespoons of baking soda in a sock and leave them in each boot overnight to soak up any excess moisture and odor.

Wondering if there’s a quicker way to get rid of odor in work boots? Fill a spray bottle that’s half water, half vinegar and spray your insoles and the insides of your stinky work boots. Wipe out any leftover moisture and let your boots dry out.

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