How to Deodorize Medical Boots?

Like any other boot, dirt and sweat can lead to foul-smelling medical boots. Find out how to get rid of odor in boots with the following cleaning tips below.

No one wants to smell dirty feet. It’s unpleasant for you, and probably worse for anyone that spends time around you. Unlike some regular shoes, you cannot eliminate the problem by simply throwing the shoes in the washing machine.

Removing odor from medical walking boots takes some effort, but it is totally worth it.

Below, I will walk you through some useful cleaning tips on how to deodorize medical boots. Make sure to follow any of these methods below to keep your boots smelling fresh through multiple wears and uses

Sticking with your doctor’s recommendation on how long to wear your walking boot is important to support your recovery from broken bones, toes, or a broken foot or ankle. So let’s make sure you aren’t stinking up the room in the process.

How To Kill Medical Boot Smell?

If you have noticed an unpleasant smell from your medical walking boot, don’t worry – it’s not just you. Other people have dealt with this and there are effective ways to eliminate this foul odor without the need to throw out your medical walking shoes and replace them.

Use a Newspaper

After wearing your boots all day, you can try putting newspaper in them. Doing so will allow the paper to absorb moisture inside the walking boot.

You might be wondering where this moisture came from, especially if you are not using your shoes actively. However, always remember that your feet can still sweat, even if you have not exercised in your boots. This sweat is often the most common cause of foul odor in medical boots.

Fortunately, by putting newspapers inside the boots, you can expect them to absorb excess sweat. Hence, you can effectively prevent smelly medical boots. Make sure to leave the paper in until you are ready to wear the shoes again.

Consider Baking Soda or Corn Starch

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 1 lb.

If the newspaper method is not effective, consider using baking soda or corn starch on the medical work boots.

Baking soda is an antibacterial agent that can absorb unnecessary moisture from boots. Hence, it can eliminate the bacteria that causes foul air and smell in your shoes.

It is also widely available and easy to use. Simply sprinkle the baking soda inside your boots. However, do note that leather or suede material can get brittle with direct contact. If you want to avoid this, you can pour a generous amount of baking soda into a sachet. Then, put it in both shoes, making sure to leave it for over 24 hours.

Meanwhile, cornstarch is a great alternative to baking soda. It can absorb moisture and neutralize foul odors in your boots. 

To use this ingredient, you can sprinkle it directly in the shoe without the use of a damp cloth. You can also use sachets and place them inside the boots. Just make sure to put the footwear in a well-ventilated place to deodorize the boots quickly. Avoid closets and other enclosed spaces because these areas have less air circulation, which causes bacteria to grow.

Scrub Your Medical Boots

Sometimes, the reason behind smelly boots is dirt and grime stuck on the exterior surface. Hence, it is best to wash your boots with a soap solution.

Mix laundry detergent or saddle soap and warm water together. Then, get a clean cloth and dampen it.

Now, it is time to apply the cleaning solution to the boots. Rub the soft cloth in the boot surface using small circles. Make sure to lather the soap and cover all parts of the boots.

As for the inside of the boots, you can dampen a microfiber cloth or soft brush. Then, gently wipe the insoles and inner material.

Finally, do not forget to dry your wet boots. Leave them in a well-ventilated area or use a boot dryer. 

Spray Alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol 99% Spray 2.30 oz Pure Grade Sterilizer

If you do not have time to sprinkle baking soda or scrub your boots, you can consider a quick fix spray.

Mix 50% part alcohol and 40% water in a small spray bottle. Then, add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender or lime. Make sure to stir the alcohol solution thoroughly.

Spritz or shower this alcohol spray whenever you take your medical boots off. Doing so can fight bacteria that cause odor, ultimately keeping your shoes fresh. Make sure to target the walking boot liner, insoles, and air cast, if you use any. This way, you can ensure that all foul odors have been removed.

With that said, spraying alcohol on your foot and smelly boots is often a short-term solution. It is still best to focus on finding the source of the foul odor and eliminate it for good. Doing so can also guarantee proper health.

Keep Your Feet Clean

Besides focusing on cleaning the boots, you also have to think about caring for your feet. After all, one of the main reasons why work boots smell comes from your feet perspiring. This sweat and moisture in between your toes, ankle, and leg can seep into the boot material, which leads to bacteria and fungi thriving. Once this happens, you can expect them to cause a foul odor. 

Fortunately, the solution to this is relatively simple. Make sure to wash your feet often with antibacterial soap. The doctor’s instructions and suggestions include scrubbing your feet once a week and applying essential oils as a moisturizer. 

Moreover, you should clip and trim your toenails regularly.

Finally, you want to set a weekly routine of removing dead skin from your feet using a filer and heel cleaner. Wash your leg and toes regularly, especially if you wear thick socks, where the perspiration might get stuck. Just be careful with cleaning when you broke your foot, recently undergone surgery, or are in pain around the legs. 

By doing all these steps, you can eliminate the bacteria and the bad smell that comes with it. It also ensures proper health.

Store the Walking Boot in a Ventilated Place

After you wear the walking boot, consider storing them in a ventilated place.

As previously mentioned, wet or damp boots can lead to a bad smell. Hence, it is important to keep them dry. You can also stuff the boot interior with newspaper or sachets filled with baking soda.

Avoid placing your work boots in dark and damp areas, such as closets and outdoor cupboards. Bacteria can thrive in these locations, so it is best to never place your shoes here. 

Put the Walking Boot Inside the Freezer 

This last method on how to deodorize medical boots might surprise you, but it is worth trying out.

You can try putting your boots in the freezer. The extremely cold temperature can effectively kill bacteria that often cause odors.

However, before using this deodorizing method, make sure to put the boots in a plastic bag. This way, you can protect the delicate material of the shoes. At the same time, you can ensure that you do not contaminate the freezer and its contents.

Leave the boots inside overnight. After, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw for several hours. You can also use a boot dryer or place them under a table fan to speed up the drying process.


Boots can smell when they are wet from sweat, heat, or dirt after constant use. Follow the methods above on how to deodorize medical boots to achieve shoes that smell brand new again. Avoid shoving them in the closet after a long day because it can only aggravate the problem.