How To Clean Smelly Sheepskin Slippers?

How to clean smelly sheepskin slippers - 1

Other than being quite stylish, sheepskin slippers are also very comfortable and cozy thanks to the soft quality of the material used in the lining. Unfortunately, they tend to get smelly pretty easily after being worn a couple of times. This is especially true if you wear your sheepskin slippers without socks, which is usually the case with most people. Thankfully, there are several techniques you can use to deodorize them and consequently prevent it from reoccurring. Read on to find how you clean your smelly sheepskin slippers.

How to clean smelly sheepskin slippers? There are several techniques you can use to get rid of the smell that may build up in your sheepskin slippers.

  • You can put a bit of baking soda in each of your slippers, and allow it to sit overnight or 24 hours (depending on how strong the odor is) and then shake it out.
  • Instead of using baking soda on its own, you can also mix it with cornflour with its equal proportion. Pour the mixture into the slippers and shake vigorously to ensure that the powder reaches all the spots of the slipper. Let it sit for a night then shake the powder the next morning.
  • Alternatively, you can wash slippers in water and allow them to dry before using a shoe deodorizer. If the lining is removable, take it out and wash it or seal it in a container partially filled with baking soda.

After an extended period of exposure to the natural oils secreted by your feet, dirt, and sweat, it is inevitable for your sheepskin slippers to start looking dingy and smell musty. Instead of tossing them in the machine and risk damaging the sheepskin, there are several DIY techniques that you can use.

How to get rid of the smell

Getting rid of any lingering odors is one of the main aspects of cleaning sheepskin slippers.

Baking soda

One of the most common techniques that are used to eliminate the smell that tends to build up when sheepskin slippers are worn for extended periods involves the use of baking soda. Most odors tend to have a high pH level, and since baking soda is a base, it works by lowering the pH and consequently neutralizes the odor.

To use it to eliminate odor in your sheepskin slippers, pour ¼ of baking soda into each slipper and shake thoroughly to make sure that it reaches all the corners of the slipper. Depending on how smelly the slippers are, allow the baking soda to sit overnight or for 24 hours. Shake the slippers outside or over a garbage can get rid of the baking soda. If there is baking soda residue still left in the slippers, use a full-size vacuum cleaner’s hose or a hand vacuum to suck it up.

Baking soda and cornflour

You can also use a mixture of baking soda and cornflour to get rid of odor in sheepskin slippers. Mix them in equal proportions, ensuring that there are no lumps. Take half of the mixture and sprinkle it into one slipper and the rest of it into the other slipper. Shake your slippers to spread the mixture and let it sit for up to 24 hours. Shake the mixture out once done.


Not all odors cannot be eliminated using baking soda since some have a pH above 7 which makes them strong bases that another base cannot neutralize. In this case, use an acidic compound instead. One of the most common acids that you will find in most homes is vinegar. Boil vinegar in a water solution and use a soft cloth to apply it to your sheepskin slippers. You don’t have to worry about the smell of vinegar lingering – when you use a boiled mixture of vinegar and water, the molecules of vinegar attach themselves to water vapor which will then bond to whatever is causing the bad smell. As a result, both the odor and the smell of vinegar are neutralized.

Activated charcoal briquettes

Another way you can eliminate the odor in your slippers is by using activated charcoal briquettes. Activated charcoal works by attracting all odors present and absorbing them.

To use activated charcoal briquettes, place them in two pairs of old nylon leggings. Insert each legging filled with the briquettes into the slippers for about 24-48 hours. Activated charcoal is very effective in absorbing odors, and it thankfully doesn’t leave behind a residue when used.

Sneaker balls

Just like activated charcoal briquettes, sneaker balls also absorb any foul smell that may build up in sheepskin slippers. Simply stick a sneaker ball in each slipper and allow it to eliminate odors overnight.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another simple yet effective solution for eliminating odor in sheepskin slippers. Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and squeeze out the excess before you wipe down the interior of your slippers. Ensure that you don’t apply too much so that your slippers don’t end up smelling like alcohol. Since rubbing alcohol evaporates very quickly, you don’t have to worry about your slippers staying damp for long.

How to prevent the smell

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips on how you can keep odors at bay.

  • Clean them regularly – When cleaning your sheepskin slippers, don’t forget about their insides. You will want to read the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer on how to care for the slippers and wash accordingly.
  • Rotate liners – Some sheepskin slipper brands carry replacement linings, and by purchasing an extra pair, you will be able to treat one pair while using the other. This way, you will never have smelly slippers.
  • Don’t wait for the odor to build-up – Don’t wait for your sheepskin slippers to become smelly to start using the various odor-eliminating techniques. Use baking soda, activated charcoal briquettes, sneaker balls, or any other solution you prefer any time you don’t have your slippers on. This will keep your slippers constantly fresh.
  • Dry cleaners – Opt to take your sheepskin slippers to the dry cleaners every few weeks or months. There, they will be cleaned without using water-based cleaning methods, consequently removing the odor that may have built up.
  • Keep your feet clean – In some cases, your feet may be contributing to the odor in your sheepskin slippers. Make certain that they are always clean before you wear the slippers, and if you have a foot condition that may cause an odor to develop, ensure that it is treated.
  • Wear socks – Wearing your sheepskin slippers without socks is one of the contributing factors to the odor. Although wearing socks with this type of slippers is generally unpopular, you might want to consider doing just that if none of the other solutions seem to be working. Go for a pair of socks that has moisture-wicking properties to prevent your feet from overheating and sweating.

Cleaning tips for sheepskin slippers

While cleaning the interior of your sheepskin slippers, don’t forget about the upper as well. You may not need to clean the exterior of your slippers as frequently, but it is still important to clean it regularly or whenever you notice stains to maintain their quality. Here are some tips on how to clean sheepskin slipper uppers.

  • Removing water stains – When your sheepskin slippers get wet, don’t just let them dry without cleaning them since this can cause water stains or streaking. Instead, use a damp sponge to wet the slippers until they are evenly wet. Be careful not to soak them.
  • Removing salt stains – If your sheepskin slippers have winter salt stains, mix water and a white vinegar solution. Use a cotton ball or a soft cloth to wipe the stained area. The acetic acid in the white vinegar will dissolve the salt. You can then proceed to remove the stain as you would a normal water stain.
  • Removing scuff marks – For scuff marks, use a soft suede brush or an old toothbrush. Be careful to rub the material of the sheepskin slipper upper gently to avoid damaging it. For tougher scuffs, use a cleaner specifically suited for the material.
  • Removing oil stains – For oil stains, sprinkle an absorbent material such as cornflour or talcum powder onto the stained areas. Leave it for at least 24 hours to allow for absorption of the oil. Afterward, brush away the absorbent powder using a soft brush. Repeat the procedure as needed.
  • Washing your slippers – For overall cleaning of the exterior of your sheepskin slippers, always use a cleaner that is suited for the material. Never let your slippers stay wet or soak in water for too long as this might contribute to odors and damage the construction. Once they are clean, let your slippers air dry.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning sheepskin slippers requires a lot of care and attention since they tend to retain odors quite easily over time. Other than cleaning them regularly and using the recommended techniques to get rid of odor, it is highly recommended that you have two pairs of slippers that you can alternate to reduce the chances of odor building up. Additionally, you may want to replace the insoles of your slippers, especially if they are worn out.

Recent Posts