How to get rid of neoprene shoe odor?

After using my neoprene water shoes, they smell terrible. I washed them out in soapy water, but they still smell horrible. How can I get rid of the smell aside from tossing them out? Thanks in advance.


tell ya how to get rid of the smell but I can tell ya how to prevent it. After each paddle I try to rince my shoes out. After rincing them out I insert a 20oz soda bottle in the uppers of both shoes so air will circulate through them and dry them out quicker. You have to cut both ends of the bottle off to make a tube.

tell me about it
Mine are horrible as well…crappy lake water.

I even tried using that enzyme stuff they use for wetsuits but it didn’t work. Oh well.

something called BOOT JUICE. Someone post here a few months ago and said great thing about it

Try Sink The Stink

works great on scuba wet suits, and paddling gear

Sink the Stink is good. also…
…something else I use is O’Neill “Wetsuit/Drysuit Cleaner & Conditioner”, which is readily available at my local surf shop. It too, is biodegradable, and cold water activated.

I rinse all my neoprene with fresh water after every paddle, and use the O’Neill cleaner about once a week, and my neoprene doesn’t stink! :slight_smile:


Bright sun/dry air OR bleach treatment
If your climate is dry and sunny enough, wash the shoes with soap or shampoo after EVERY use, then put them out in intense sunshine for at least a day. This is what I normally do here in (normally) dry Colorado.

But sometimes if the water I’ve paddled in is especially rank, or if I’ve not been religious about doing the above, or if the weather has not cooperated, the shoes still become stinky. Then it’s time for good ol’ bleach. A couple drops mixed with plain water in each shoe, let soak for an hour or so, then either put out in that bright dry sunshine or IMMEDIATELY dry them using low or medium setting in a clothes dryer. The shoes MUST be put in immediately and kept there till they are completely dry, or else the stink will reappear right away.

I have found that shoes with lots of mesh are much better at resisting the stink than all-neoprene shoes.

Try some liquid dishwasher ‘soap’…
…be sure to get one that is enzyme-based like Cascade Complete. Put booties in a pail, fill w/ just enough water to cover, add a big squirt of the above and let is soak overnight. Rinse and dry. (works great on wetsuits — you’ll just need a bigger bucket).

This is a much cheaper and easier to get alternative to the various bootie and neoprene cleaners which are also enzyme-based.

I post this every time it comes up.

Leave them on the hood of your car in the hot sun for a day.



…find it in dive shops, and a lot of kayaking shops as well…used to clean and deodorize neoprene…

What about using Oxyclean? I’m sure it would get rid of the odor. Not sure about how it is on neoprene, but I bet it would be gentler than bleach.

Lysol Lemon & dry bag
I mix Lysol Lemon disinfectant per directions in a dry bag, plop the shoes in, squeeze out the air and seal the bag. A 24 hour soak usually does the trick. And my shoes smell lemony fresh!


in a spray bottle. I have it around for other things, too. Anything that stinks, pretty much!

Oxyclean works great
My river shoes were so funky I wasn’t even allowed in the garage with them! I soaked them in a relatively strong solution of oxyclean (2 scoops/sink of water) for 2-3 hours. They were clean and good smelling! I keep Oxyclean around for other things, and it’s nice to not have to get a special-purpose product.


your answer
Go online or to a dive shop and get the product called

“Sink The Stink”

It works great


Neoprene smell
Thanks so much for your reply. Am wondering if this Cascade Complete is a product found in the supermarket?

Thanks in advance for your reply. Much appreciated.

Best, Arline

Thanks, all, for the neoprene smell word
I appreciate all of your quick responses and will try a couple. Will let you know which works best for me. Thanks so much.


…its a brand of liquid dishwasher detergent

get rid of neoprene
odor will quickly follow.

is a sure way to get rid of darkness thriving funghi and a medicated powder like gold bond works well on my tevas and other shoes.