How to Clean and Deodorize Snow Boots


Lynn asked: How do I clean and remove odors from snowboarding boots? My son’s snowboarding boots stink big time. I have no idea how to remove the odor. We have tried baking soda and other store bought odor removers, but none have worked.

Whether it’s snow boots, work boots or plain, old winter boots, the odor can become overbearing and needs to be removed.  Snow boots are exposed to a lot of moisture during the winter season which can lead to bacteria growth. To remove the odor, we have to remove the bacteria. Here’s how to accomplish this.

Cleaning the Boots

You Will Need:

  • Warm water
  • Laundry soap or detergent
  • Sponges
  • Soft cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Towel

Steps to Clean the Boots:

  1. Begin by removing the inserts if possible.
  2. Allow them to dry. Air alone will kill some of the bacteria that is growing in the moisture.
  3. Fill a sink or tub with warm water.
  4. Add one cup of white vinegar to the water.
  5. Add a small amount of laundry detergent and agitate the water to mix.
  6. Place the inserts in the water and wash them thoroughly.
  7. If the odors are strong, allow them to soak in the water for 30 minutes. The vinegar in the water will kill the odor causing bacteria.
  8. While the inserts are soaking, moisten a sponge or soft cloth with the soapy water.
  9. Use it to wipe the outside and inside of the boots. Rinse by wiping with plain water.
  10. Set the boots to the side and allow them to dry.
  11. Remove the inserts from the water and drain.
  12. Refill the sink or tub with clean water and rinse the inserts.
  13. Repeat the rinse process until all of the soap is removed. If a vinegar smell lingers, do not worry, it will dissipate as they dry.
  14. Squeeze the inserts well to remove the excess water.
  15. Reshape and lay on a dry towel.
  16. Allow them to air dry completely.

Removing Odors

You Will Need:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Baking soda
  • Old pantyhose or socks
  • Febreeze or other freshening spray

Steps to Remove Odors:

  1. Once the boots have been washed and dried, the odor should be gone or at least lessened.
  2. If an odor remains after the boots are completely dry, spray them with a freshening spray such as Febreeze.
  3. Allow them to dry again before use.
  4. To combat odors between wearings, fill an old sock or pantyhose with baking soda, coffee grounds or both.
  5. Tie the end of the socks or pantyhose to make pouch.
  6. Place the pouch in the boots to absorb odors when not in use.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Other odor absorbers that can be placed in the socks or pantyhose include activated charcoal (available at pet stores), newspaper or plain paper.
  • Allow the boots to dry completely between wearings. Moisture that remains in the boots will provide a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Sof-Sole makes a shoe spray has been effective for removing odors from snow boots. It is available online.
  • Some have found freezing the inserts and/or boots helps to kill the odor causing bacteria. Sprinkling them with baking soda first and sealing in a plastic bag increases the effectiveness of removing the odors.


  1. Hi,
    I just bought a snowboard, boots, liners, bindings, and a bag from a friend. My friend is a smoker so it all reeks of cigarettes. I don’t smoke and I don’t want my stuff to smell. Can you tell me how to get the smell out of the bag, boots, and liners? Can I throw the bag and liners in the washing machine?

  2. Hi. Coca-cola is an amazingly good product for removing cigarette residues, smells, etc. I was given a lovely, but smoke-skinky down comforter. I had tried lots of other things, including vinegar, and lots of fresh air. When I put a liter in the wash with the comforter, the smoke residue must have dissolved. NO horrible smell anymore. So it might work! Use sugar-free, I think! Then, a fresh water rinse. Good luck!

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