Tea Bags For Smelly Shoes & Feet – Easy Home Remedy

Tea Bags For Smelly Shoes & Feet - Easy Home Remedy
Tea Bags For Smelly Shoes & Feet – Easy Home Remedy

You would be surprised at how many little remedies and tricks people have tried to get rid of shoe odors and smelly feet. Probably the most surprising of them all is the teabag remedy.

That’s right. You’re not hallucinating. Teabags are one of the many recommendations by home remedies experts and the masses to help lessen stinky shoe odors and smelly feet. The question is: How?

Do Tea Bags Really Get The Smell Out Of Shoes

It turns out that tea bags are a great home remedy for deodorizing smelly shoes. It works!

Tea bags are readily available (many of us already have them in our kitchens anyway). They are also affordable and available in a wide range of flavors. 

So not only will they absorb the smell from shoes, but they will give your shoes a preferred scent.

You can make the inside of your shoes smell like peppermint, cinnamon, or whatever other flavors you like. 

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How Do Tea Bags Work To Get The Smell Out Of Shoes

Tea bags are very absorbent, so they soak up the moisture, bacteria, and fungi that cause that stinky shoe odor. 

Generally, the drier the environment the better. This will allow the tea bags to pull moisture from the shoes themselves and not from the environment as well. Therefore, more moisture and odor can be drawn into the teabag from the shoes. 

As the tea bag absorbs the moisture, some of them (like black tea bags) contain tannins that help to kill bacteria and fungi that contribute to the smell. 

It is really that simple!

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How Do You Correctly Use Tea Bags To Get Rid Of Stinky Shoe Odor

Using tea bags for smelly shoes is quite simple:

  1. Grab about 4 of your favorite dry tea bags
  2. Have your stinky shoes ready
  3. Place two tea bags in each shoe: one at the toe area and one higher up around the heel area. 
  4. Let them sit in a dry environment for at least 2-3 hours. The longer you leave them the better. 

Pro tip: Depending on how smelly and damp your shoes are, you may use more tea bags and leave them for up to 24 hours. This will absorb more moisture and smell, and distribute more of the tea bag scent into the shoes!


Can Tea Bags Also Treat Smelly Feet

Tea bags can be used to help smelly feet by making a black tea bath for your feet. 

Tea baths help to control sweating in your feet and that will help to lessen the odor (sweat causes feet odor). 

Podiatrists believe that the tannic acid in black tea bags helps to minimize sweating by closing pores and kills bacteria and fungi that cause smelly feet.

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How To Use Tea Bags For Smelly Feet

  1. Choose a regular, unflavored black tea bag (plain)
  2. Steep two of the tea bags in two cups of water for a few minutes
  3. Dilute the tea in two more cups of water and transfer it to a basin or tub
  4. Soak your cleaned feet in the tea bath for 10-30 minutes
  5. Dry your feet completely and moisturize
  6. Repeat every 2-3 days or daily if necessary

Other methods to get rid of odor from shoes:

Freezing Shoes to Get Rid of Smell & Fungi – What to KnowOpens in a new tab.

Spraying Lysol to Clean Shoes- Is it Safe & Does it WorkOpens in a new tab.

How to Use Rubbing Alcohol to Clean & Disinfect ShoesOpens in a new tab.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long Should You Leave Tea Bags In Your Shoes?

You can leave the tea bags in your shoes for as long as 24 hours. 

The minimum amount of time is 1-3 hours, depending on how smelly and damp your shoes are. Ideally, the longer you can leave them in there, the better for your shoes. 

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How Long Should You Use Tea Bags On Your Feet Themselves?

You should leave your feet in your black tea bath for about 10-30 minutes. 

You want to leave them long enough for the tannic acid to be absorbed into the skin but not too long to dry the skin out. 

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What Kind Of Tea Bags Should You Use?

You can use any kind of tea bag that you want if you are using it for shoe odor. For a foot soak, you should use plain black tea bags.

Tea bags are available in a wide range of flavors, so it just depends on what scent you prefer your shoe to have. On the other hand, for a foot soak, it is better to use plain black tea bags which contain tannic acid. 

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Should The Tea Bags Be Wet or Dry For Shoe Odor?

The general concept is to absorb moisture from your shoes, so it is best to use dry tea bags for shoe odor. However, some people use black tea bags wet as well because of their tannins.

This is up to you and your preference, but keep in mind that black tea bags tend to stain some materials. 

The tannins in black tea bags kill odor-causing bacteria and fungi when they soak into the soles of your shoes. So, many people steep the tea bags for 2-3 minutes first, let them cool down, and then place the wet tea bags in their shoes so that the tea can seep into the soles of the shoes. 

If you use the wet method, you need to use a tea bag that has tannins (or it is pointless), you will need to be okay with some staining, and you need to ensure that your shoes dry completely. 

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How Often Will You Need To Use Tea Bags For Shoe Odor?

How often you will need to use tea bags for shoe odor will depend on how fast your shoes become smelly again. 

Keep in mind that this is not a permanent fix. Your shoes will eventually need to be cleaned and/or washed. However, in the interim, you can use tea bags to manage the odor as often as your want. Some people place them in their shoes every night!

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How Often Will You Need To Use Tea Bags For Smelly Feet?

You may use black tea bags for smelly feet 2-3 times per week or daily. 

You can be the judge of how often you need it based on how much your feet improve and how the skin on your feet reacts (does it get too dry? Does it react badly? Does it improve? etc.)

Related Article: Cleaning Shoes with Toothpaste: All that You Need to KnowOpens in a new tab.


How to get rid of smelly shoes | Cleanipedia UKOpens in a new tab. 

Use Tea Bags In Shoes To Remove Bad OdorsOpens in a new tab. 

How to Get Rid of Shoe Odor with Teabags – Palm Beach Naturals 

Why Black Tea Is the Solution to Your Sweaty Feet | livestrongOpens in a new tab. 

Saskiya Inshanally

Saskiya Inshanally is the editor-in-chief at The HomeKeeperHub. She has years of experience researching and experimenting in a wide array of topics. Saskiya has also co-founded SasilySkin.com which is dedicated to helping individuals have better skin.

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