How to Keep Cleats From Smelling

You must do everything possible to maintain your performance as a dedicated athlete. Cleats are critical to any athlete’s gear, but they can often get smelly. However, you can keep them from getting funky.

How to Keep Cleats From Smelling

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help keep your cleats from smelling. This blog post will share tips on how to keep cleats from smelling from stinking up your locker room or house. So if you’re looking for ways to keep your gear smelling fresh, keep reading!

Summary: Keeping your cleats from smelling involves regularly cleaning, airing out, and storing them properly. Deep clean your cleats with a brush or wet cloth in warm soapy water once every two weeks. To allow the inside of the cleats to air out, stuff them with newspaper or use a foot dryer after wearing. When not in use, store your cleats in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and humidity.

What is the Main Reason That Your Cleats Keep Smelling? 

There are several reasons that your cleats may keep smelling. Here are some of the main reasons:

  1. Not washing cleats often enough
  2. Sweat
  3. Dead skin cells
  4. Bacteria
  5. Fungi
  6. Poor ventilation
  7. Wet cleats

These are some of the main reasons that your cleats keep smelling. If you are experiencing this issue, take action and clean your cleats often.

How Often Should You Clean Your Cleats?

You should clean your cleats at least once a week, preferably after every time. This will prevent the build-up of sweat, bacteria, and other things that can cause your cleats to smell. Even if this is not 100% effective, it is still the best way to prevent your cleats from smelling bad.

You Should Clean Your Cleats

16 Tips on How Keep Cleats From Smelling

keeping cleats from smelling is a task that every soccer player must take on at some point. Here are 16 tips to keep your cleats from smelling:

Tips 1: Wear Socks With Your Cleats

Wearing socks with your cleats is the best way to prevent them from smelling. In addition, socks will absorb sweat and keep your feet dry, which will prevent the growth of bacteria. Transparent socks that let your feet breathe so you don’t get blisters. Otherwise, you might also wear flip-flops.

Tip 2: Rotate Your Cleats

They will get sweaty and smelly if you only wear one pair of cleats. So instead, rotate your cleats so that each team has a chance to air out. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and keep your cleats smelling fresh. But remember, you should only rotate your cleats if you have more than one pair. Otherwise, you’ll end up with one stinky pair of cleats.

Tip 3: Clean Your Cleats After Every Use

Cleaning your cleats after every use is a must if you want to keep them from smelling. First, remove the laces and insole, and brush off any dirt or debris. Then, use mild soap and water to clean the inside and outside of the cleat. Finally, allow the cleats to air dry completely before wearing them again.

Cleaning Your Cleats After Every Use

Tip 4: Store Your Cleats in a Dry, Well-Ventilated Place

Storing your cleats in a dry, well-ventilated place is essential for preventing them from smelling. If you store your cleats in a damp, dark place, they are more likely to develop mold and mildew. So you can keep your cleats in a mesh bag or shoe rack. Just ensure they are in a place where they can get plenty of air circulation.

Tip 5: Use a Cleat Deodorizer

Several commercial cleat deodorizers on the market can help keep your cleats from smelling. These products usually come in the form of a spray or powder, and they work by absorbing moisture and odor. But you need to remember that these products don’t prevent the growth of bacteria, so you’ll still need to clean your cleats regularly.

Tip 6: Sanitize Your Cleats With Vinegar

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can keep your cleats deodorizing. First, sprinkle baking soda on your cleats and allow them to sit overnight. Then brush off the baking soda in the morning and let the cleats air dry. This is a very effective way to remove odor from your cleats.

Tip 7: Change Your Socks After Every Game

You were changing your socks after every game is another excellent way to keep your cleats from smelling. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and keep your feet feeling fresh. Otherwise, you can just wear cleats without socks, but this is not recommended as it can cause blisters.

Tip 8: Air Out Your Cleats After Use

After you use your cleats, air them out so they can dry completely. Bacteria thrive in moist environments, so keeping your cleats as dry as possible is essential. Also, you can use a cleat dryer or a shoe rack to help speed up the drying process.

Tip 9: Don’t Wear Your Cleats Two Days in a Row

If you wear your cleats two days a row, you’re more likely to develop a bacteria problem. Cleats need time to dry out completely, so it’s best only to wear them once every two days. If you don’t do that, you’re just asking for smelly cleats.

Tip 10: Disinfect Your Cleats With Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant used to clean your cleats. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a cup of water and use it to scrub the inside and outside of your cleats. This is very effective in preventing the growth of bacteria and keeping your cleats from smelling.

Tip 11: Freeze Your Cleats to Kill Bacteria

If you’re worried about bacteria, you can freeze your cleats to kill them. Put your cleats in a plastic bag, and place them in the freezer overnight. Then, in the morning, thaw them out and air them before wearing them. After that, you should notice a significant reduction in the odor of your cleats.

freeze your cleats

Tip 12: Replace Your Cleats Every Six Months

They will eventually wear out even if you take good care of your cleats. After six months of use, it’s best to replace your cleats, so they don’t start to smell. Otherwise, you can just keep using your old cleats, but they won’t work either, and they’ll probably start to stink.

Tip 13: Try a Different Type of Cleat

If you’ve tried everything and your cleats still smell, it might be time to try a different type of cleat. Some cleats are made with materials that are more resistant to bacteria. So if you’re having trouble keeping your cleats from smelling, switch to a different type of cleat, and see if that helps.

Tip 14: Use a Deodorant on Your Feet

If your feet are the problem, you can try using a deodorant. This will help keep your feet from sweating and prevent the growth of bacteria. Just make sure to choose a deodorant that is safe to use on your skin. Many athletes use special deodorants that are meant for their feet.

Tip 15: Wear Sandals or Flip-Flops

When you’re not playing soccer, it’s best to wear sandals or flip-flops. This will allow your feet to breathe and prevent the growth of bacteria. Otherwise, you can just go barefoot, but this is not recommended as it can lead to an athlete’s foot.

Just Go Barefoot

Tip 16: Practice Good Hygiene

This should go without saying, but you must practice good hygiene to keep your cleats from smelling. This means showering regularly, washing your hands often, and wearing clean clothes. Also, avoid sharing personal items like towels, soap, and deodorant.

With these tips, you should be able to keep your cleats from smelling bad. Just remember to clean them regularly, store them in a dry place, and don’t wear them two days a row. If you do all of that, you should be able to enjoy your cleats for a long time.

How Can I Keep My Cleats Smell Better Naturally?

If you’re looking for ways to keep your cleats smelling fresher for longer, there are a few natural methods you can try.

First, try sprinkling baking soda inside your cleats after each wear. This will help absorb any moisture and odors. You can also try using an old toothbrush to scrub the baking soda into your cleats’ fabric to eliminate any lingering smells.

Another way to keep your cleats smelling fresh is to stuff them with newspaper after each use. This will help absorb any moisture and odors. Make sure to change the newspaper regularly, so it doesn’t start to smell itself!

Finally, you can try using a dehumidifier in your cleat’s storage area. This will help keep the air dry and prevent musty smells from developing.

What Tools Do I Need to Keep My Cleats From Smelling

You don’t need much to keep your cleats from smelling bad. However, baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils can go a long way.

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Water
  • Bowl or container
  • Cleaning brush

Mix baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils in a bowl or container. Then, add water to the mixture until it forms a paste. After that, use a cleaning brush to scrub the paste onto your cleats. Let the paste dry on your cleats for at least an hour. Finally, rinse your cleats with water and let them air dry.

Repeat this process once a week or as needed to keep your cleats smelling fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do My Cleats Stink?

Footwear can get stinky due to sweat, bacteria, and even shoe polish. When these substances mix, they produce an unpleasant odor that can be detected by the human nose. In some cases, this odor may be strong enough to disturb others nearby. Here are some tips on how to avoid your shoes from stinking:

  1. Wear fresh shoes every day – One of the best ways to avoid smelly shoes is to make sure you’re always wearing fresh ones. By wearing fresh shoes every day, you’re preventing any sweat or bacteria from building up and producing an unpleasant odor.
  2. Keep your shoes clean – Make sure you clean your shoes regularly with a mild soap and water solution. This will help remove any built-up dirt, bacteria, or polish, which will in turn reduce the smell of your footwear.
  3. Avoid wearing too much shoe polish – Shoe polish can also contribute to the smell of your footwear. While it may temporarily disguise the smell of sweat or bacteria, over time it will start to wear off and the smell will come back stronger than before. Try to limit yourself to using only a light amount of shoe polish, if at all possible.
  4. Wear breathable socks – One of the best ways to prevent moisture and sweat from building up in your footwear is to wear socks that are breathable and moisture-wicking. This way, the excess moisture will be able to evaporate quickly and minimize the chance of your shoes becoming stinky.

Can Cleats Be Washed?

While it is not necessary to wash cleats every time you use them, most athletes recommend doing so in order to keep the shoes clean and free of bacteria. To do this, simply place them in a washing machine on the gentle cycle with cold water. Do not put any detergent or bleach into the machine, as these can damage the materials inside the cleats. Allow them to dry completely before using them again.

How Do You Get Rid of Smelly Cleats?

Try one of the following methods:

  1. Pour a pot of boiling water onto the cleats and Let them sit for 10 minutes. This will kill any harmful organisms that are causing the odor.
  2. Make a mixture of cedarwood oil and hydrogen peroxide (3 parts cedarwood oil to 1 part hydrogen peroxide). Apply this solution directly to your shoes and let it air-dry overnight.
  3. place soda cans filled with baking soda inside your cleat storage area. The carbon dioxide from the soda will help neutralize odors while still retaining moisture in the environment.

Why Do My Cleats Smell Like Pee?

If your cleats smell like pee, it’s possible that you’ve got a moisture problem. When sweat and water mix, they create an unpleasant odor. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that your feet are kept dry throughout the day by wearing appropriate footwear and taking frequent breaks in between sessions. You can also try using a scent-free foot powder or oil before court games or practices to help keep your feet dry and smelling good!


So, now that we know how to keep cleats from smelling, it’s time to put that knowledge into practice. Remember to clean your cleats after every use, and give them a good scrubbing at least once a week.

There’s no excuse not to try at least one of them the next time. Have any other tips for keeping your cleats from stinking? Share them in the comments below!

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Jennifer Branett

I am Jennifer, a passionate blogger since 2016. I like to write informative articles to help peoples in my free time. I am a family person. I have two kids who keep me busy all the time. I always try to give importance to my family. Sometimes it becomes challenging for me to maintain the time along with my family. But I never lose hope. I hope my articles are helping you in some way. If so, You can give me a thumbs up to my inbox, which means a lot to me. Thank you. You can email me at

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