Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by Sarah Jaffe
Wintertime brings snow, slush, and for many of us, plenty of time spent outdoors. It also means cracking open the wardrobe and pulling out our heavy-duty footwear like leather boots. While they may keep our feet dry and toasty, they can also harbor a lot of bacteria – and that means lots of odor.
A lot of people wear leather boots in winter because they are comfortable and stylish. However, one problem that many people have with leather boots is that they can start to develop an odor over time.
If you are someone who wears leather boots on a regular basis, then you know how difficult it can be to remove the odor once it has developed.
In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to remove odor from your leather boots so let’s start!
How To Remove Odor From Leather Boots?
There are a few different methods that you can use to remove the odor from your leather boots.
1. Remove the Liner
Leather boots often come with a removable liner. This provides an extra layer of warmth and protection against the elements. The liner is also very effective at trapping moisture, which can lead to bacteria growth and noxious odors.
Step 1: To get rid of the smell, start by removing the liner and washing it according to the care instructions. This usually involves placing boots in the washing machine on a delicate cycle with mild detergent and lukewarm water.
Step 2: Once it’s done, allow it to air dry completely before putting it back in your boots.
2. Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that’s helpful for absorbing unpleasant smells.
Step 1: To use it, simply sprinkle some baking soda inside your boots and let it sit overnight.
Step 2: Then, in the morning, remove the baking soda by vacuuming it or shaking it out.
Step 3: You can also put baking soda in a sock and place it inside your boot when you’re not wearing them to help absorb any excess moisture and odors.
3. Sanitize With Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is another effective way to sanitize your leather boots and get rid of foul odors. Let’s see how to do so:
Step 1: Simply mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle and spritz inside your boots.
Step 2: Let them dry completely before wearing them again.
Step 3: You can also use this solution to clean the outside of your leather boots as well as other winter accessories like gloves and hats.
4. Freezing Overnight
One method is to put them in the freezer overnight. This will help to kill the bacteria that are causing the odor.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Place your boots in a plastic bag and seal them tightly.
Step 2: Put the bagged boots in the freezer and leave them overnight.
Step 3: In the morning, remove the boots from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temperature. Do not put them directly on your feet as this could cause frostbite.
5. Use a Commercial Leather Cleaner
If you want to give your boots a thorough cleaning, you can use a commercial leather cleaner. These products are designed specifically for cleaning and conditioning leather. Just follow the directions on the bottle and apply the cleaner to a cloth or brush. Gently scrub your boots with the cleaner and then wipe them clean with a damp cloth.
There are a variety of commercial leather cleaners available on the market, so be sure to choose one that’s designed for use on boots.
6. Apply a Leather Conditioner
After you’ve cleaned your boots, it’s important to apply a leather conditioner. This will help to keep the leather from drying out and cracking. It will also make your boots more water-resistant.
To apply the conditioner, simply rub it into the leather with a clean cloth. Wipe away any excess and allow the conditioner to soak in for a few minutes before buffing it with a dry cloth.
7. Stuff with Newspaper
If your boots continue to smell, you can try stuffing them with newspaper. The newspaper will help to absorb moisture and any remaining odors. (Newspapers are also stuffed for break-in or stretching boots)
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Crumple up a few sheets of newspaper and stuff them inside your boots.
Step 2: Leave the newspaper in your boots overnight.
Step 3: In the morning, remove the newspaper and allow your boots to air out for a few hours before wearing them.
Related Information: Learn How to dry leather boots
8. Use Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is another effective way to remove odors from leather boots. It’s often used in water filters because it’s efficient at absorbing impurities.
Here’s how to use it:
Step 1: Place it in a sock and tie the end.
Step 2: Then put the sock inside your boot and leave it overnight.
Step 3: In the morning, remove the sock and allow your boots to air out for a few hours before wearing them.
9. Try a Commercial Odor Eliminator
If you’ve tried all of the above methods and your boots are still smelling, then you can try using a commercial odor eliminator. There are a variety of these products available on the market, so be sure to choose one that’s designed for use on leather.
Follow the instructions on the bottle to apply it to a cloth. Wipe the cloth gently inside the boots. Before putting your boots on again, allow them to dry completely. Moreover, there are other things you can try as well.
10. Use Household Cleaner
Another method is to use a household cleaner such as vinegar mixed with baking soda. You can make a paste with these ingredients and apply it to the inside of your boots. Let it sit for a few hours before wiping it off.
11. Place them in a Well-Ventilated Area
Also, try airing them out. Place your boots in a well-ventilated area, such as near an open window, and let them air out for a day or two.
You can also try using a boot tree or shoe insert to help absorb moisture and keep your boots from getting too smelly.
If your boots are still smelling musty after a few days, you can try using a mild soap or detergent to wash them. Be sure to rinse your boots well after washing them, and let them air dry completely before wearing them again.
12. Put Them in the Sun
The sun can help kill bacteria and fungi that cause foot odor. Place your boots in a sunny spot for a few hours, or even overnight, to help get rid of the musty smell.
13. Try using a Dehumidifier
If you live in a humid climate, or if your home is always damp, this can be contributing to the problem. Dehumidifiers can help reduce the amount of moisture in the air, which can help keep your boots from getting too smelly.
Leather boots are essential for winter weather but they can easily become smelly after wearing them for an extended period of time.
If you are looking for ways to remove the odor from your leather boots, then we suggest trying one of the methods that we mentioned above.
We hope that these tips were helpful and that you will be able to get rid of the odor in your boots quickly. Thanks for reading!
The most effective way to prevent your boots from smelling is to keep them clean and dry. After each use, be sure to wipe them down with a damp cloth. Allow them to air dry completely before storing them away.
To de-stink your work boots made of leather, you can try any of the following methods: cleaning with soap and water, using a commercial odor eliminator, placing them in a well-ventilated area, or putting them in the sun.
Sarah is the brains behind BootsNerd. Sarah Jaffe is a writer, editor, and boots lover based in Brooklyn, New York. She has done BA (Hons) in Footwear Design from De Montfort University, UK. She loves to write about boots and has a particular interest in vintage and sustainable fashion.