How to Clean Smelly Hiking Boots

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Hiking boots stinking because of moisture and nasty microbes is something unpleasant. Getting to smell that stink after conquering a difficult trail totally ruins the joy of success. That is why, once you detect your best hiking boots stinking, it is time to learn some ways about how to clean smelly hiking boots.

In this guide, we’ll cover some of the most effective methods for cleaning your smelly hiking boots and preventing them from smelling bad in the future. We’ll discuss the importance of cleaning your hiking boots and how to clean the insoles, interior of the boots, and bottom of the boots with baking soda. We’ll also cover how to apply disinfecting spray to your boots to prevent odor-causing bacteria from returning.

In addition to cleaning methods, we’ll provide tips for preventing smelly hiking boots in the first place, such as cleaning your feet, stuffing your boots with newspaper, wearing fresh socks on every hike, and layering hiking socks.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to clean your smelly hiking boots and prevent them from smelling bad, so you can enjoy your hikes without any unpleasant smells ruining your experience.

Methods for Cleaning Smelly Hiking Boots

When it comes to cleaning smelly hiking boots, there are a few effective methods you can use to eliminate odor and prevent it from returning. Here are some of the most common methods for cleaning smelly hiking boots:

A. Expose Your Insole to Direct Sunlight

One of the simplest and most effective ways to eliminate odor from your hiking boots is to expose the insole to direct sunlight. While taking a break during your hike, remove the insoles and boots and leave them under the sun for a few hours. Sunlight will dry out the moisture that has accumulated in the insoles, as well as kill any germs and bacteria that are causing the odor.

This method is not only effective for eliminating odor while you’re hiking, but it’s also a good idea to use it regularly after your hiking trips to prevent the buildup of odor-causing bacteria.

B. Cleaning Insoles to Eliminate Strong Odor

Another effective method for cleaning smelly hiking boots is to clean the insoles thoroughly. To do this, prepare a cleaning solution by mixing water and detergent. Soak the insoles in the solution for at least an hour, allowing the detergent to work on washing away dirt and odor. Rinse the insoles with clean water to remove any remaining soap residue, and then let them dry out in the sun.

C. Cleaning the Interior of the Boots

In addition to cleaning the insoles, it’s also important to clean the interior of the boots to eliminate odor. This is because sweat, mud, and other dirt can accumulate inside the boots during hikes, providing a perfect environment for bacteria to grow and cause odor.

To clean the interior of your boots, prepare a mild soapy solution and soak the entire boot in the solution for an hour. Use a soft brush to remove any mud stains or stubborn dirt, and if necessary, use white vinegar to get rid of any remaining odor. Once you’ve finished scrubbing, expose the boots to sunlight to dry out any moisture.

D. Soaking Bottom of Hiking Boots in Baking Soda

Baking soda is an effective odor-neutralizer and can be used to get rid of any remaining odor from your hiking boots. To do this, sprinkle a little baking soda on the bottom of your boots and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will neutralize the odor-causing bacteria, leaving your boots smelling fresh.

E. Applying Disinfecting Spray

Finally, applying disinfecting spray to your hiking boots can also help prevent odor from returning. This will kill any remaining bacteria and keep your boots fresh and clean for longer.

To apply disinfecting spray, simply spray it on the interior and exterior of your hiking boots, and let it dry out in the sun. You can find disinfecting sprays at most outdoor gear stores.

By using these methods, you can effectively eliminate odor from your hiking boots and keep them smelling fresh and clean for your next adventure.

Smelly Hiking Boots

Tips for Preventing Smelly Hiking Boots

While cleaning your hiking boots is essential for keeping them fresh and odor-free, it’s also important to take steps to prevent odor from developing in the first place. Here are some tips for preventing smelly hiking boots:

A. Cleaning Your Feet

Cleaning your feet thoroughly before putting on your hiking boots is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent odor from developing. Use soap and water to wash your feet, paying special attention to the spaces between your toes and the soles of your feet. If you tend to have sweaty feet, consider using an antibacterial soap to kill odor-causing bacteria.

B. Stuffing Boots with Newspaper

If you’re planning a multi-day hike, consider stuffing your boots with old newspaper during the night. The newspaper will absorb any sweat or moisture from your boots, preventing bacteria from growing and causing odor. This is a simple and effective way to keep your boots smelling fresh throughout your trip.

C. Wearing Fresh Socks on Every Hike

Wearing the same socks on consecutive days of a hike can lead to a buildup of sweat and bacteria, which can result in odor. To prevent this, make sure to wear a fresh pair of socks every day during your hike. Bring enough socks to last the duration of your trip and consider packing an extra pair just in case.

D. Layering Your Hiking Socks

Moisture-wicking socks are great for keeping your feet dry while hiking, but they can cause odor when combined with the moisture and sweat that accumulates inside your boots. To prevent this, layer a pair of woolen socks over your moisture-wicking socks. The woolen socks will absorb any sweat or moisture, preventing it from accumulating in your boots and causing odor.

By following these tips, you can prevent odor from developing in your hiking boots and ensure a more pleasant hiking experience. Remember to take good care of your hiking boots, and they’ll take care of you on all of your outdoor adventures.


Final Thoughts

Hiking boots are an essential piece of gear for anyone who loves the great outdoors. However, over time, they can develop an unpleasant odor due to sweat, moisture, and bacteria. Luckily, there are many ways to clean and prevent smelly hiking boots, ensuring that they remain fresh and comfortable to wear.

In this guide, we’ve outlined some of the best methods for cleaning smelly hiking boots, from using disinfecting sprays to exposing them to sunlight. We’ve also provided tips for preventing odor from developing, such as cleaning your feet before putting on your boots and layering your hiking socks.

Remember that keeping your hiking boots clean and odor-free is not only good for your boots, but it’s also good for your feet. Clean boots will prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to foot infections and other foot problems.

By following the methods and tips outlined in this guide, you can extend the lifespan of your hiking boots and enjoy many more comfortable and odor-free hikes in the future. With a little bit of effort and care, your hiking boots can be a reliable companion on all of your outdoor adventures.


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