Is It Safe to Put Shoes in the Freezer? (4 CONSIDERATIONS!)

Everyone has a favorite pair of shoes.

However, you’ll have second thoughts when they exhibit an unpleasant smell.

Freezing them is one solution.

But, Is It Safe to Put Shoes in the Freezer?

Yes. Freezing shoes is an unusual practice. But, recently, people have started following it. It effectively kills germs and pathogens that cause your shoes to smell. 

Why Do People Put Shoes in the Freezer?

Freezing your shoes has various benefits. These include;

1. Kills Bacteria

People put shoes in the freezer mainly to kill bacteria that lingers around the shoes. If your favorite shoe pair has a stinky odor, placing them in the freezer for a few hours can be all you need to remove the odor and kill bacteria.

Remember that bacteria love a warm and moist environment. Therefore, when you expose them to a cold temperature, like in the freezer, they will not thrive. So, if you are looking for a natural way to kill bacteria and remove the unpleasant smell from your shoes, think of freezing them.

But we should mention that although freezing can help kill germs and pathogens, it will not remove stains and dirt. Therefore, you will still need to clean the shoes if they are dirty.

2. Helps Stretch the Shoes

Freezing can help stretch shoes, especially leather ones. If you have a tight-fitting pair, placing them in the freezer for some hours can help stretch them so that they are comfortable.

Here are the steps to follow to do this;

  • Put a freezer bag inside your shoes and fill it with water
  • Zip it up and put it in a plastic bag, then place it in your freezer
  • As the water in the freezer bag freezes, it expands, stretching the shoe out. Also, the cold weather in the freezer will make the shoe fibers contract and acquire a new shape.

Remove the shoes from your freezer after some hours and give them time to thaw.

Once they are completely thawed, you can then wear them.

They should fit comfortably, but if they are still tight, repeat the above process until you get the right size.

But please do not leave your shoes in the freezer for a long time to avoid damaging the leather.

Freezing your shoes is an excellent trick for stretching them when they are tight. It changes the structure and is an affordable option if you don’t have money to take it to a professional stretching service.

3. Prevents Mold and Mildew

Freezing shoes can also slow down the growth of mold and mildew.

These fungi thrive in moist and warm environments.

Therefore, people living in humid climates may have a mold problem. Thankfully, freezing can help prevent mold and mildew from growing, multiplying and spreading.

The temperatures in the freezer are cold and hostile to mold and mildew. Therefore, they likely will not survive.

But, this trick will not work if you already have mold and mildew on your shoe.

Placing shoes in the freezer that already have these fungi only helps deactivate them or make them dormant. But once you return the shoe to a warm place, the mold and mildew will start growing again.

If your shoes already have mold and mildew, try cleaning them with water and vinegar. Then, you can put them in the freezer so that mold and mildew will not grow back.

Four Things to Consider Before Putting Your Shoes in the Freezer

1. The Type of Material

The type of shoe material is an essential consideration when freezing shoes.

Generally, leather shoes are more likely to dry out than other materials.

Also, note that some leather types like suede are more delicate than others. So, consider that as well.

2. Preparing the Shoes Before You Freeze Them

You should not directly throw your shoes in the freezer.

You need to take various prep steps to avoid damaging your shoes.

Start by removing the insoles if they can be removed. If they are not removable, clean and dry them before freezing the shoes.

Please always ensure that your shoes are dry, especially leather, before freezing them.

Otherwise, you risk the leather cracking. It is also a good idea to wrap the shows in a towel, a show cloth sack or a zip lock back.

This adds an extra insulation layer which protects the shoes from the cold air and prevents damage by ice or frost. Additionally, you can put your pair in a shoebox and then in the freezer to protect them from the cold air.

3. Freezing Time

You need to think about how long you plan on freezing your shoes.

Remember that cold air can damage your shoes.

So, it is better to limit the exposure to this cold temperature (2 hours max).

But if you are planning to leave them in overnight, please take them out first thing in the morning.

4. The Temperature

The recommended temperature for freezing leather shoes is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If you go below this level, you risk damaging them.

If using a chest freezer, set it to 0 degrees Fahrenheit but if using a regular freezer, set it at -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lastly, you should ensure that the shoes do not touch the freezer walls or any other hard surface as they can stick to them.

Final Thoughts

So is it okay to put shoes in the freezer?

Yes, you can freeze your pairs. In fact, freezing shoes has various benefits like stopping bad smells, stretching them and preventing mold and mildew from growing.

But please remember to take the right measures to prevent damaging your shoes.

Prepare them correctly, and make sure you provide the right temperature. Also, do not let your shoes sit in the freezer for long.