Whether you have sweaty feet or the environment you’re in, we’ve all had a case of stinky boots.
And when it comes to UGGs, it’s even worse as these boots don’t absorb moisture that well. But don’t lose hope.
You don’t have to throw the boots right away. There are a number of methods on how you can remove the odor.
This is why I’ve prepared this elaborative guide on how to clean smelly UGG boots. From cost-free DIY methods to professional approaches, I included everything.
So, without wasting any more time, grab a cup of coffee and start reading-
Here's What to Expect
- 1 Why Do UGGs Smell So Much More Than Other Boots?
- 2 How to Clean Smelly UGG Boots?
- 3 What to Do If Nothing Works?
- 4 How to Prevent Smell Foot Odor from Spreading?
- 5 How to Keep Your UGGs Fresh and Clean?
- 6 Wrapping Up
Why Do UGGs Smell So Much More Than Other Boots?
UGGs might be one of the most popular and comfortable boots available. But they have a reputation of stinking up pretty fast and stretching more than other boots. Here are the reasons behind it-
Wet UGGs=Smelly UGGs
This might be a surprise to a lot of people but UGGs are not waterproof. A little splash here and there is not a problem if you clean them afterward. Well, most people don’t do that even though you should. However, don’t leave your black UGGs dirty.
When you leave the boots like that, the moisture gets trapped inside having nowhere to go. As a result, it stinks up the entire boot. And needless to say, your feet will suffer the same consequence too, leading to a terrible smell.
Fake Synthetic Wool Smells More (Fake UGGs)
If you already didn’t know, not all UGGs are genuine. There are tons of fake UGG brands floating around on the web.
They might have the looks and everything. But the materials used in making those are nowhere near the top-notch quality of original UGGs.
The biggest difference is they don’t use genuine sheepskin which is far more absorbent than synthetic wool. Btw do know whether UGGs run big or small?
Now, you know how they can keep the price so low. I’m all up for affordability, but not when I have to sacrifice the quality. Nevertheless, you can still fix those UGGs whether they’re real or fake.
The No Socks Controversy
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you not to wear socks with UGGs. Well, they’re not wrong. You shouldn’t wear socks with UGGs.
But if your feet have a tendency to sweat a lot, this could be the worst advice for you. I mean, something has got to absorb that extra moisture. And the situation gets even worse if your UGGs are made out of synthetic wool.
How to Clean Smelly UGG Boots?
You know the reasons behind the smell. But that’s not much of a help as the boots are still stinky. That said, here’s how you can clean smelly UGG boots.
All these methods are going to remove odor from the insides of the boots. There are both DIY and professional methods.
But if you ask me, the professional methods are the ones that are easier and more efficient. Then again, the DIY methods are free.
Method 1: Baking Soda, Cornstarch, and Essential Oils
You saw this one coming, right? Baking soda works like magic when it comes to removing odor from UGG boots.
The only downside is the cleanup afterward is a pain. You have to vacuum out to get rid of the tiny particles. Even then, some might not go away without a wash.
Step 1: Fill up a bowl with 1:1 baking soda and cornstarch
1 tbsp of each ingredient should be enough unless you’re cleaning more than one pair. Although cornflour works too if there’s no cornstarch available.
However, avoid using cornmeal. That won’t work.
Step 2: Add 2-3 drops of essential oil (optional)
This is completely optional. The baking soda and the cornstarch is going to do most of the work. But the essential oil is going to add a nice touch to it.
Fresh scents like lavender or peppermint can totally change your mood the next time you wear those UGGs.
Step 3: Mix everything well with a fork
If you add in essential oil, you need to make sure there aren’t any lumps. It’s mandatory that you use a fork. If something else can break the lumps better, use that.
Step 4: Put the mixture in both boots and shake well
Divide the mixture and put each half into each boot. Before you sprinkle down the mixture, you need to make sure the boots are completely dry. Otherwise, it’s going to create lumps that are going to stick to the boots.
Once all of it is inside, shake and tilt the boots. Your goal should be to ensure that the mixture gets in to all the areas including the toe and heel.
Step 5: Leave overnight and remove the powder the next morning
8 hours of time is good enough for the baking soda and cornstarch to remove the stinky smell from your boots. However, you might consider leaving it longer if your UGGs are extra smelly.
Once the waiting period is over, you can dump all the powder into the trash can. But chances are that’s not going to remove all of it.
This is why you should use a vacuum cleaner. Use the smallest attachment or don’t use any if you don’t have one.
Step 6: Repeat if the stinky smell is still there
It’s not a foolproof method. DIY methods might not work on the first try. So, don’t lose hope. Try again and you might succeed.
But you should keep in mind that some UGGs are beyond the point of salvation.
I don’t want baking soda all over my boots, is there an alternative?
Luckily there is. All the steps are almost the same except you put the mixture in a pair of socks.
And put that inside the boots. This way you won’t make a mess and the cleanup is a lot easier.
Method 2: Activated Charcoal
The Marsheepy Charcoal Deodorizer Bags can work wonders for your stinky UGG boots. You won’t notice the result immediately but there’s no doubt that it works.
- Follow the instructions to activate the charcoal otherwise it won’t activate (activating it is a piece of cake, trust me).
- Put two bags inside each of the boots.
- Leave for a minimum of 24 hours.
- You can keep the bags inside as long as you like.
- The longer you leave them (leaving them like that is better), the better the result will be.
While these activated charcoal bags work quite well. They’ll work far better if you clean the insides beforehand.
Method 3: Foot Powder (Or Boot Powder?)
They call it foot powder. But it works just as well if you spray in your boots. The process is nothing complicated. Simply spray and keep it like that for a couple of hours.
There are two brands you’ll find. One of them is the all-known Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X, which works quite well. But it’s a bit more pricey.
If you’re all about value for money, the Gold Bond Talc-Free Foot Powder Spray is the one you should go for.
It’s not as popular as the Dr. Scholl one, but the effectiveness is more or less the same.
Method 4: Sneaker Ball
I won’t recommend this method that much. Chances are the sneaker balls are only going to cover up the smell with a stronger scent. These are great if you like a fresh scent.
But it’s still going to be there when you remove them. However, the scent eventually sets in, given that you’ve applied another method to remove the smell.
Method 5: Rubbing Alcohol
Even though it wasn’t made for this purpose, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove any bad odor.
- Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol
- Rub the cotton ball inside the boots
- Don’t soak the insides of the UGGs, it’ll cause the leather to dry up, resulting in cracks
Method 6: Kitty Litter
This might, no, it will seem weird to see cat litter on this list. But think about it, cat litters are great at removing odor. If you have a cat, you know how well they work.
Here’s what you need to do-
- Pour down 1 cup of cat litter or any amount you need to fill up the shoes
- The minimum time requirement is overnight but leaving them like that for 24 hours will work best
- Once you’re done, throw the cat litter in the trash can and check if it’s worked or not
Method 7: Tea Bags
I guess this one doesn’t need any explanation. You just leave two tea bags inside the boots for a good 24 hours.
However, I’m pretty skeptical about whether this method would work or not. I saw people using this method, that’s why I’m mentioning it. But remember that I don’t recommend it.
When Do These Methods Work? (DON’T SKIP)
If your UGGs have been lying around in the closet for a long time, chances are these methods might not work as you expect.
These methods work best when your shoes are clean. For example, if there is a smell coming from stains, it won’t work.
You need to wash your boots. Simple odor-eliminating tricks won’t be able to do the trick.
What to Do If Nothing Works?
Some UGGs are beyond the point of restoration. No matter what you do, the smell just won’t go away. If none of the methods work, you have two options.
One is to take them to a cleaning professional or the dry cleaners. And the other one is to change the insoles.
Take Them to the Dry Cleaners
You can try washing your UGGs yourself but it’s better to take them to the dry cleaners before you try that. Although be careful with what you do. Otherwise, you’d have to look into how to shrink UGGs in the future.
It’s going to cost you some money but they can guarantee you that the smell will be gone. Dry cleaning won’t wash out the color. But if the color’s already faded, you can dye your UGGs.
Change the Insoles
This is why there are products like the ABUSA Sheepskin Insoles that give you the maximum value while maintaining top-notch quality.
How to Prevent Smell Foot Odor from Spreading?
Removing the odor is only half of the job. You need to make sure the smell doesn’t come back again. That said, here’s how to prevent UGGs from smelling-
Clean Your Feet More Often (With Therapeutic Soaps)
Did you know that there are 125,000 sweat glands in each of our feet? So, it’s not that unusual if some people suffer from sweaty feet. As UGGs are bad at breathing, having nowhere to go that moisture gets locked in your boots.
If you’re one of them, I know your pain. But don’t think about that.
Instead, take measures and solve the problem. A therapeutic soap can do wonders for your feet. Apart from keeping it clean, it’ll prevent any kind of odor.
Prevent Moisture with Foot Powder (Not the Spray Kind)
While foot powder sprays work quite well to eliminate odors, you can’t just use and forget about them. You still need to use them from time to time.
The problem is foot powder sprays like the ones I’ve mentioned above run out pretty fast. What I’ve found is that regular foot powder is far better when it comes to long-term usage.
Nevertheless, it all comes down to your personal preferences.
Keeps Your Nails Short
This is more than just basic hygiene. If you have smelly feet, there’s no way you should be keeping long nails. But if you do have long nails, make sure they are squeaky clean at all times.
How to Keep Your UGGs Fresh and Clean?
Other than the first one, you should follow these rules for all your boots. Maintain these simple things and your boots will thank you for a long time.
Wear Socks Even If Everyone Tells You Not to
I know UGGs are super comfortable. It kind of lessens when you wear a sock. But nevertheless, people should still wear socks with UGGs.
I mean, it’s not like the comfort goes away or something. No matter what other people say, don’t listen to them.
You can do one better and wear moisture-wicking socks. These thin socks let you enjoy the comfort to the max.
You Could Opt for Odor Eliminating Insoles
The insoles are what make UGGs so comfortable. But it’s not worth it if you stink up the boots every time you wear them.
The solution? Wear odor-eliminating insoles.
Dry Out Your Boots Before Wearing Them Again
You should always rotate boots. Wearing the same boot for days can ruin the structural integrity of the boots.
UGGs aren’t that good with moisture. So, when you wear them for days, it doesn’t get a chance to dry.
This can lead to mold in your UGGs. lucky for you, I’ve got a guide on removing mold from UGGs.
Well, that’s a wrap on how to clean smelly UGG boots. I know it can get confusing with all these methods.
So, the first one you should try is the baking soda method. But if you want a stress-free process, the rubbing alcohol and the activated charcoal method are the ones I’d recommend.
Richard is the Head of Content here at Bootpedia. It’s not like he dedicated his entire life towards boots but he did work at multiple footwear stores for over 7 years. Anything that’s posted here is double-checked by him. So, don’t worry about getting the wrong info off the internet.