How to Clean Smelly Leather Shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you have smelly leather dress shoes, smelly leather casual shoes, or smelly leather running shoes, the odour can be highly offensive. While leather makes for durable, supportive shoe construction, it also allows little breathing room, trapping in odour and moisture. To eliminate the odour in your leather shoes, employ a low-cost solution.

Fill a spray bottle with 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and spray the vinegar inside the smelly leather shoes. The vinegar is not only a deodorising agent, but also kills bacteria that may be growing in the leather shoes.

Let the vinegar dry, and sprinkle a heavy coat of baking soda into the leather shoes.

Let the baking soda sit in the smelly shoes overnight. Tap the shoes against the dustbin to get rid of the baking soda the next day.


Sprinkle the baking soda into the leather shoes every two days to prevent a new odour from developing.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.