How to Stop Suede Shoes from Smelling

Suede shoes are a versatile and stylish addition to any wardrobe. However, one common problem that suede shoe owners often face is the unpleasant odor that can develop over time. If you’ve ever experienced the embarrassment of smelly suede shoes, don’t worry – there are effective steps you can take to prevent and eliminate this issue. In this article, we will discuss the causes of smelly suede shoes, as well as preventative measures, cleaning techniques, and proper storage methods to keep your suede shoes fresh and odor-free.

Understanding the Causes of Smelly Suede Shoes

Before we delve into the solutions, it’s important to understand the root causes of suede shoe odor. Sweat and bacteria are common culprits for smelly shoes, and suede is no exception. The porous nature of suede allows sweat to be absorbed, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Additionally, moisture and humidity can also contribute to suede shoe odor, especially if the shoes are not properly dried after getting wet. By identifying these causes, you can take steps to prevent and eliminate the unpleasant odor.

The Role of Sweat and Bacteria in Suede Shoe Odor

Sweat is a natural bodily function that helps regulate body temperature. However, when it comes into contact with suede shoes, it can produce an unpleasant odor. The combination of sweat and bacteria creates a breeding ground for smelly shoes. Bacteria break down the sweat, releasing compounds that result in that distinctive odor. To combat this, proper foot hygiene and preventive measures can be employed.

One effective way to prevent sweat and bacteria buildup in suede shoes is to wear moisture-wicking socks. These socks are designed to pull moisture away from the skin, keeping your feet dry and reducing the chances of odor-causing bacteria growth. Additionally, regularly washing and thoroughly drying your feet can help minimize sweat production and keep your suede shoes smelling fresh.

It’s also important to note that the type of bacteria present on your feet can contribute to the intensity of the odor. Some individuals naturally have more odor-causing bacteria on their skin, which can make suede shoe odor more pronounced. In such cases, using antibacterial foot sprays or powders can help control bacterial growth and reduce unpleasant odors.

How Moisture and Humidity Contribute to Smelly Suede Shoes

Suede shoes are more susceptible to moisture and humidity due to their delicate nature. If your suede shoes get wet and are not thoroughly dried, the moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, which gives off a foul smell. It’s crucial to address any moisture issues promptly to prevent odor buildup. We’ll explore preventative measures and cleaning techniques later in this article to help combat this problem.

One way to prevent moisture-related odor in suede shoes is to treat them with a waterproofing spray. This protective coating creates a barrier that repels water and prevents it from seeping into the suede. Additionally, if your suede shoes do get wet, it’s important to dry them properly. Avoid using direct heat sources such as hairdryers, as they can damage the suede. Instead, stuff the shoes with newspaper or shoe trees to absorb moisture and allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated area.

Furthermore, storing suede shoes in a dry and well-ventilated area can help prevent moisture buildup. Avoid keeping them in damp or humid environments, as these conditions can promote mold and mildew growth. If you live in an area with high humidity, consider using dehumidifiers or moisture-absorbing products in your shoe storage area to maintain optimal conditions for your suede shoes.

Identifying Common Culprits for Suede Shoe Odor

In addition to sweat and moisture, there are other factors that can contribute to smelly suede shoes. Environmental factors such as cigarette smoke and pet odors can permeate the material, leaving an unwanted smell. Wearing shoes without socks or using low-quality footwear products can also contribute to the problem. By being mindful of these factors, you can take proactive steps to keep your suede shoes smelling fresh.

If you are a smoker or frequently find yourself in smoky environments, it’s advisable to keep your suede shoes away from these areas. The porous nature of suede makes it prone to absorbing odors, and cigarette smoke can easily penetrate the material. Similarly, if you have pets, make sure to keep your suede shoes stored in a location where they won’t be exposed to pet odors.

When it comes to wearing suede shoes, it’s best to always wear them with socks. Socks act as a barrier between your feet and the shoes, absorbing sweat and preventing direct contact with the suede. This not only helps minimize odor but also protects the suede from any potential damage caused by sweat and friction.

Lastly, investing in high-quality footwear products can make a significant difference in preventing suede shoe odor. Using shoe deodorizers or inserts made specifically for suede shoes can help absorb moisture and neutralize odors. Additionally, regular cleaning and maintenance of your suede shoes using appropriate suede brushes and cleaners can help keep them in optimal condition and prevent odor buildup.

Preventative Measures to Keep Suede Shoes Fresh

Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding smelly suede shoes. By incorporating a few simple habits into your shoe care routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of odor development.

One important aspect of preventing suede shoe odor is proper foot hygiene. Good foot hygiene plays a crucial role in preventing suede shoe odor. Ensure that you wash your feet regularly with antibacterial soap and thoroughly dry them before putting on your shoes. Pay attention to the areas between the toes and use a clean towel to absorb any excess moisture. By maintaining clean and dry feet, you can minimize the sweat and bacteria that contribute to odor.

In addition to foot hygiene, the type of socks you wear can also impact the odor of your suede shoes. Opt for breathable socks made from natural fibers like cotton or bamboo. These materials wick away moisture and allow air circulation, reducing the risk of sweat buildup and the subsequent odor. Avoid wearing synthetic materials or thick socks that can trap moisture and heat, creating an environment for odor-causing bacteria to thrive.

Furthermore, using foot powders and antiperspirants specifically designed to combat foot odor can be another effective preventive measure. These products help to absorb excess moisture and keep your feet dry. Look for powders that contain ingredients like baking soda or talcum powder, as they have natural deodorizing properties. Apply these products to your feet before putting on your socks and suede shoes to control sweat and keep odor at bay.

It is also worth mentioning that when storing your suede shoes, it is important to keep them in a well-ventilated area. This allows air to circulate and prevents any moisture buildup that can lead to unpleasant odors. Additionally, avoid placing your suede shoes near any heat sources, as excessive heat can damage the material and contribute to odor development.

Regularly cleaning and brushing your suede shoes can also help prevent odor. Use a suede brush to remove any dirt or debris from the surface of the shoes. This not only keeps them looking fresh but also helps to prevent any odor-causing bacteria from accumulating.

Lastly, if you do notice any odor developing in your suede shoes, there are a few remedies you can try. One option is to sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes and let it sit overnight to absorb any unpleasant odors. You can also place tea bags or activated charcoal inside the shoes to help neutralize any smells. Remember to thoroughly brush off or remove these remedies before wearing the shoes again.

By following these preventative measures and incorporating them into your shoe care routine, you can keep your suede shoes fresh and odor-free for longer periods of time. Taking care of your shoes not only extends their lifespan but also ensures that you can enjoy wearing them without any unpleasant smells.

Cleaning and Deodorizing Techniques for Suede Shoes

Even with proper preventative measures, it’s still possible for suede shoes to develop an odor over time. When this happens, it’s important to know how to effectively clean and deodorize them without damaging the delicate material.

Brushing and Spot Cleaning Suede Shoes to Remove Odor

Avoid submerging your suede shoes in water as it can cause discoloration and damage the material. Instead, use a suede brush or a soft cloth to gently brush away any dirt or debris that may be contributing to the odor. For stained areas, use a suede-specific cleaner and follow the instructions carefully to spot clean the affected areas. This will help to freshen up your shoes and remove any unwanted smells.

Using Vinegar and Water Solutions to Eliminate Odor

If your suede shoes are particularly smelly, you can create a solution using vinegar and water to neutralize the odor. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the interior and exterior of your suede shoes with the solution, being careful not to oversaturate. Vinegar helps kill odor-causing bacteria and removes any lingering smells. Allow the shoes to air dry thoroughly before wearing them again.

Deodorizing Suede Shoes with Baking Soda and Charcoal

Baking soda and activated charcoal are both known for their excellent odor-absorbing properties. To deodorize your suede shoes, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda or place charcoal sachets inside them. Leave the baking soda or charcoal overnight to allow them to absorb the odor. The next day, simply shake out the baking soda or remove the charcoal sachets, and your shoes should smell much fresher.

Storing and Maintaining Suede Shoes to Prevent Odor

Proper storage and maintenance are key to preserving the freshness of your suede shoes. By following these tips, you can ensure that your shoes remain odor-free even when not in use.

Proper Storage Techniques to Keep Suede Shoes Fresh

When you’re not wearing your suede shoes, store them in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture buildup. Avoid placing them in plastic bags or airtight containers, as these can trap moisture and promote mold growth. Instead, use a shoe box or a cloth shoe bag to allow air circulation while protecting them from dust and dirt. Taking these simple storage steps will help maintain the freshness and quality of your suede shoes.

Using Shoe Trees and Inserts to Absorb Moisture and Odor

Investing in shoe trees or moisture-absorbing inserts is an excellent way to prevent odor and maintain the shape of your suede shoes. Shoe trees made from cedar wood are particularly beneficial, as cedar naturally absorbs moisture and has a fresh scent. Insert these into your suede shoes when not in use to absorb any excess moisture and help eliminate odor. Remember to choose shoe trees or inserts that are specifically designed for suede shoes to avoid any potential damage to the delicate material.

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning to Prevent Odor Build-Up

To keep your suede shoes smelling fresh, it’s essential to establish a regular cleaning and maintenance routine. Gently brush your shoes with a suede brush after each wear to remove dirt and prevent odor-causing buildup. Spot clean any stains as soon as possible, and follow up with a deodorizing treatment if needed. By incorporating these simple habits, you can prolong the life of your suede shoes and ensure they always smell as good as they look.

In Conclusion

With the right knowledge and preventative measures, you can prevent and eliminate the unpleasant odor that can develop in suede shoes. By understanding the causes of suede shoe odor, implementing proper foot hygiene, choosing breathable socks, and using preventive products, you can keep your suede shoes smelling fresh and clean. Additionally, regular cleaning, deodorizing, and proper storage techniques are crucial in maintaining the longevity of your suede shoes. By following these tips, you can confidently step out in your favorite suede shoes without worrying about any unwanted odors.