How to Deodorize Suede Sandal Footbeds

Suede summer sandals absorb sweat, and sweat means stink.
... Jupiterimages/ Images

In hot weather, feet get sweaty, even in sandals. Sandals made of anything porous, including suede, will absorb that moisture -- and sooner or later, it will turn rank. If a good airing-out isn't taking care of the stink, it's time for stronger measures. Don't panic; it's true that suede isn't the easiest material in the world to clean, but you don't need shoes spotless, just odor-free.

Brush the surface of the footbed with a suede brush to loosen dirt and dust. Removing as much surface dirt as possible helps the deodorizing compound you apply later do its work.

Dust the footbed of each sandal liberally with baking powder. You can also use medicated foot powder for this purpose. Gently pat the powder in place.

Seal each sandal individually into a zip-top plastic bag.

Let them sit overnight.

Remove the sandal from the plastic bag in the morning and shake off any excess powder. Wipe uppers clean with a damp rag or towel. Your sandals are now deodorized and ready to wear.

  • Persistent, excessive foot odor may indicate a problem with your feet, such as a fungal infection. See your doctor for advice.
  • Instead of baking powder, you can try cornstarch or baby powder.
  • You can also place a fabric softener dryer sheet in the sealed plastic bag overnight in place of powdering the footbed.
  • Another alternative to powder is a handful or two of cedar shavings designed for rodent bedding.
  • Odor-absorbing kitty litter also works. If you are worried about the litter scratching the uppers of your sandals, you can tie it in a pantyhose or thin sock before adding to the plastic bag.
  • Spray aerosol deodorant on the sandal footbeds after treating them to prevent future odors.

Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate,, The SF Weekly, and