How to Keep Work Boots from Smelling

Whether you’re wearing a pair of old sneakers or a pair of premium-quality leather work boots, there’s one thing that’s inevitable—smelly feet. 

The heat and sweat from your feet are a dinner bell for bacteria, and it’s that bacteria that causes the smell.

With a little effort, common sense, and a bit of ingenuity, it’s easy to remove, if not completely fix, the smell in your work boots. Because bacteria thrive in the heat and moisture that your boots provide, you’ll need to either mask or, preferably, remove either the heat or the moisture.

What You’ll Need to Keep Your Work Boots from Stinking

There are dozens of different methods that’ll help you keep your boots from smelling. Given that JK Boots are known for their use in some of the most challenging working conditions around, we’ve chosen three hacks that are easy to implement and can be left to work with no supervision.

After a long day at work, the last thing you may want to do is to spend time creating a home remedy that’ll remove the smell from your boots. For our fire-and-forget hacks, all you’ll need is the following:

  • Deodorizing balls.
  • Dryer sheets.
  • Moisture-wicking socks.

3 Hacks to Keep Your Work Boots from Smelling

1. Use Deodorizing Balls to Eliminate Smells

Deodorizing balls are self-contained plastic balls that you can drop into each boot overnight, which will absorb the smell within your boots. They’re around the size of a ping-pong ball, so they fit perfectly into the front of your boots.

Small enough and durable enough to leave a few in your bag until you need them, a deodorizing ball is an excellent option if you’re busy and just want the smell from your boots to vanish.

Step 1: Twist and Release the Scent

To activate a deodorizing ball, you simply twist the ball into the open position to release the fresh smell and start the smell absorption. If you forget this part, you’ll wake up to boots that smell as bad as they did the day before!

Step 2: Put a Deodorizing Ball in the Toe Box of Each Boot

Drop an activated deodorizing ball into each boot so the scent can work its way into all corners of your boot. You can leave in your insoles, too, as the scent will be absorbed by the insole, reducing smells even further.

Step 3: Deodorizing Balls Last For Months

The plus to these clever devices is that you can simply twist them shut in the morning and put them away, ready for the next night. Once you’re ready to put on your boots again, remove the deodorizing balls and twist them into the off position. 

It won’t damage the ball if you forget, but by closing them every morning, you’ll prolong their life. Most deodorizing balls come in a pack of eight, and each ball can last for up to six months, making them a cheap, reliable, and long-lasting solution to smelly boots.

2. Dryer Sheets Absorb Smells

If this method surprises you, it shouldn’t—dryer sheets are designed to absorb smells, making them a perfect easy hack for removing odors from your boots. As an added bonus, they smell great, too, making them ideal for our purposes.

You’ve got two options when it comes to using dryer sheets, and both are extremely successful at removing smells from your boots.

Option 1: Wear A Dryer Sheet at Work

A dryer sheet is a surprisingly tough piece of material and will handle a lot of wear and tear. Thin enough not to be noticeable, they’re easily placed into the bottom of your boots, and that means you can wear one in each boot while you’re at work.

A dryer sheet won’t affect the comfort of your boots and will absorb any smells that come from your feet or boots all day. When you take off your boots, you'll notice that the usual stink is missing, which makes them great if you’ve colleagues who like to kick up a stink about your smelly boots.

Option 2: Leave a Dryer Sheet in Your Boots Overnight

Leaving a dryer sheet in your boots overnight will give your boots a chance to allow air to circulate through them at the same time as the dryer sheet absorbs any smell. 

This method will have your boots smelling fresh every day, and if you’re too busy or forgetful to put a dryer sheet in your boots in the morning, using a dryer sheet overnight will still give the same results.

You can use both methods to guarantee your boots are fresh around the clock, and you’ll soon notice the difference. For anyone with a busy schedule, the dryer sheet hack is one of the easiest methods to keep your boots smelling summer-fresh.

3. Wear Moisture-Wicking Socks

Bacteria love heat and moisture, and your work boots are the perfect breeding ground for microbes to grow. One of the most effective ways to reduce the smell in your boots is to starve the bacteria of either heat or moisture.

You can’t stop your feet from sweating, but you can wear moisture-wicking socks to minimize the amount of moisture left in your boots. The Darntough Micro Crew Tactical Sock, made from merino wool, is ideal for sweaty feet and will help absorb sweat throughout the day.

The anti-microbial properties of these tough work socks make them ideal for minimizing odors in your boots, starving bacteria of the moisture it needs to survive. 

Combined with deodorizing balls or dryer sheets to remove any remaining smells, moisture-wicking work socks should always be a part of your wardrobe, especially in the summer months.

Why Do My Work Boots Stink? 

Your work boots spend a lot of time on your feet, and the harder you work, the warmer your feet become. That heat and the sweat that inevitably follows is a breeding ground for bacteria. 

The bacteria growing inside your boots secretes a foul odor as it grows, and that’s the smell that hits you whenever you take your boots off.

Left untreated, the bacteria in your boots just keeps on growing, so it’s essential to use one of the above hacks to remove it. You’ll never altogether remove sweat or heat from your boots, so it’s a battle that you’ll have to fight every week.

Keeping Bacteria at Bay

Keeping bad smells out of your boots doesn’t have to be a chore. The hacks discussed above show that you can, at the very least, mask smelly boots with minimal effort. 

Deodorizing balls are the perfect size to fit in the bottom of your boots and will have them smelly fresh every day. If your feet are naturally sweaty, placing a dryer sheet into each boot will absorb smells throughout the day. 

Both hacks work well, but when combined with moisture-wicking work socks such, bacteria have less chance of making a home in your boots. The fewer bacteria, the better the smell. Plus, your feet will be in better condition as sweat is pulled away from your feet and absorbed by the sock's Merino wool.

We hope you’ve found these simple hacks helpful—wearing a pair of JK Boots for long days might feel and look fantastic, but the smell is something you’ll have to work out for yourself. 

If you’ve got your own clever hacks for keeping your work boots smelling as great as they look, leave a comment below.

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