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How To Get Dog Poop Smell & Stains Out of Shoes: 7 Effective Methods

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By Misty Layne

Sneakers in a wash basin with soapy water

It’s the worst when you find yourself walking outdoors and realize you’ve stepped in dog poop. Not only is dog poop difficult to remove from shoes, but it also reeks. The smell of poop lingers for ages if you aren’t careful, making it so you don’t want to wear your shoes again, even if they are technically clean.

No one wants to lose a perfectly good pair of shoes to the smell of dog poop, but how on earth can you get that odor out of your shoes? Well, it’ll take a bit of time, but with the methods below, you should be able to remove the poop smell, so you can get back to wearing your shoes.

divider 10Before You Start

Before you can get the dog poop smell out of your shoes, you first must remove all the dog poop. The easiest method of removing dog poop will require:

  • Soap & water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Large plastic bag
  • Freezer

A plus of this cleaning method is that freezing your shoes should help with the odor somewhat, as extremely cold temperatures can kill some of the bacteria that cause odors. You’ll still need to go through one of the methods below to remove the dog poop smell thoroughly, though.

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The 7 Potential Methods to Get Dog Poop Smell Out of Shoes

Here are the seven potential methods you can use that should fully remove the dog poop smell from your shoes. All are easy to do and require little materials.

1. DIY Cleaning Mix

Yes, you’ve already cleaned your shoes, but this cleaning is purely to get rid of the lingering odor. Luckily, this cleaning method only requires two everyday household items – water and vinegar. Simply make a 50/50 mix of the two, then put that mix in a spray bottle. Next, spray all the areas of your shoe that had dog poop on them. You might even want to spray it on the inside to be super safe.

Once you’ve covered the affected areas, scrub in the mix with a brush so the cleaning spray can sink in deep and neutralize the odors completely. Leave the shoe for a few minutes. Finally, blot up any excess moisture on the show with a towel or paper towel and let the shoe dry completely.

  • Ingredients needed probably on hand
  • Easy
  • May be a day or two before you can wear the shoe, depending on how long drying time is
blue Cleaning spray
Image Credit: Polina tankilevitch, Pexels

2. Pet Odor Remover

If you had a dog who pooped on the carpet in your home, you wouldn’t just clean it up; you’d also use a pet odor remover of some kind. You can use that same pet odor remover on your shoes to remove the dog poop smell from them.

A natural odor remover will likely work best. Just spray on your shoes, then sit back and wait as the enzymes in the odor remover eat away at the cause of the smell.

  • Simple solution
  • Should work well as it’s designed to remove odors
  • May not be something you have on hand

3. DIY Shoe Deodorizer Spray

If you’d rather make an odor remover yourself instead of purchasing one, this DIY shoe deodorizer spray should do the trick. It only needs a few items that you probably have laying around the house – a plastic baggie, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, dishwashing soap, and water – so it’s easy to make.

To start, you’ll need to add one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts of soapy water in a lidded container. Next, add baking soda until you have a thick paste. Once your paste is done, transfer it to your plastic baggie and put it aside for the next 24 hours so everything can thoroughly mix and needed chemical reactions can occur.

Once the 24 hours are up, you can move the mix to a spray bottle and spray on your shoes till they’re soaked. Wait 30 minutes to 1 hour, rinse, then let them dry.

  • Great for DIYers
  • Inexpensive
  • On the more time-consuming side of things
cleaning supplies
Image Credit: Michael Tavrionov, Pixabay

4. Baking Soda

You may want to go with an incredibly easy solution by using a product you definitely have on hand – baking soda! After all, if baking soda placed in a refrigerator can soak up food odors, why can’t it also absorb the smell of dog poop?

This solution is a breeze to complete. Simply place your shoe in a Ziploc bag (a large one!) filled with baking soda, then seal it up tight. Leave for a few hours, then remove your shoe and shake out all the extra baking soda. Voila, your shoe should be as good as new!

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy and effective
  • You might find leftover baking soda in shoes for a few days if you don’t shake it out well enough
baking soda
Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

5. Activated Charcoal

If you’re looking for another super simple, more traditional way of removing odors, you can also give activated charcoal a try. You might be most familiar with activated charcoal due to its use in products such as toothpaste, but it’s excellent for absorbing bad smells as well.

Don’t worry; you don’t need to clean up activated charcoal from your shoes with this method. Instead of placing your shoe in a bag or container with the charcoal, you’ll be putting your shoes beside an open bag of it. It’ll likely take a couple of days for the odor to dissipate, but it should go away in time!

  • One of the simplest methods
  • Not pricey
  • One of the longer methods for getting rid of dog poop smell
activated charcoal in a container
Image Credit: Pixabay

6. Cat Litter

Hey, one of the primary purposes of cat litter is to absorb the smell of poop, so why wouldn’t it work for getting dog poop smell out of your shoes? Plus, many cat litters have some type of fragrant deodorizer in them that will help make your shoes smell better.

You might need to buy some litter if you don’t have cats, but once you have what you need, you only need to place your shoe in a bag with the litter. Leave overnight, then take your shoe out the next morning and ditch the used litter. Hopefully, your shoe will smell as good as new!

  • Only requires a couple of items to do
  • If you don’t have cats, you’ll have to purchase cat litter

7.  Sunlight

This method is, by far, the one that will take the longest amount of time, but if you’re in a bind, it could work. How can sunlight get rid of nasty odors? It’s due to the UV rays, which kill off odor-causing bacteria.

If you decide to try this method, you’ll probably need to keep your shoes out in the sunlight for a while – possibly up to two weeks. It’s a wait, but if you’re out of other options, it’s better than nothing!

  • Free
  • Takes the most time of all methods to clear up the odor of dog poop
  • Not the best method if you live in an area where it rains a lot
Pairs of shoes being left out to dry
Image Credit: kalhh, Pixabay

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If you’ve stepped in dog poop, there’s no reason to be concerned about having a good pair of shoes completely ruined! It will take some time, but you can manage to remove all the dog poop and the lingering odor it leaves behind. Whichever method you use will be mostly inexpensive, and most will work within a day or two. Then, your shoes should be good as new!

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Featured Image Credit: Natallia Ploskaya, Shutterstock

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