Rubber hunting boots make the hunting experience better. They’re comfortable, protect your feet, and keep them dry. The top rubber hunting boot manufacturers are also producing some outstanding quality boots that stack up against any leather or synthetic product.

However, wearers have to contend with the unpleasant smell new rubber hunting boots produce due to off-gassing. 

While this is normal as the rubber reacts to the manufacturing processes, it doesn’t mean a hunter must live with the smell.

Although, surprisingly, some hunters believe that deer tolerate the smell. They say that the deer cannot notice the rubber boot smell.

Here are some techniques for removing rubber hunting boot smell for the rest of the hunters who don’t buy into this notion.

Bathe Boots in a Bucket of Baking Soda

This is a simple solution to the smell of rubber hunting boots. All you need to do is fill a bucket with water, add about a half cup of baking soda, and mix well. 

Place the boots inside the solution and let them soak for three to four hours, then remove and dry. The baking soda will have absorbed almost all the smell.

Alternatively, you can try the baking soda shake-up technique.

  • Sprinkle some baking soda inside a large plastic bag

  • Put the boots inside

  • Tie the bag tightly to ensure no air gets in and shake thoroughly 

  • Leave the shoes in the bag for a few hours. 

When you remove them, the smell will be gone.

You can also use vinegar as an alternative to baking soda. Follow the same procedure, but let the boots sit in the solution for an hour. Then remove and air dry them. 

The vinegar will have neutralized most of the rubber odor.

Scent Spray the Outside of Boots

Another way of removing the rubber boot smell is to spray the outside with a scent killer.

After rinsing your boots, spray them with a no-scent spray. Now let them sit for a few hours or overnight before air-drying them. 

Although spraying the outside of your hunting boots with a scent-killer or no-scent spray may reduce the odors, it may not remove the smell entirely. 

You can complement the efforts with other methods, especially those that focus on the inside of the boot.

Wear the Boots Outside to Get Them Muddy or Give Them an Earthy Odor

Another trick to remove boot odor is to get the shoes dirty. Wear boots outside and rub them against the grass. Follow this with getting them muddy. Smear dirt all over the shoes.

That way, you get the new odor out of the boot, replacing it with an earthy smell deer are used to. 

If you’re worried about the dirt, don’t. The rubber can handle it. 

Leave the Boots in the Sun for a Couple of Hours, or Leave the Boots Outside for a Day or Two

Believe it or not, the sun is a powerful deodorizer, thanks to its UV rays. 

When you expose your boots to the sun, these rays neutralize most odors, leaving them with a fresher smell.

Therefore, leave the boots outside in direct sunlight for about two hours. Remember to regularly rotate them to ensure the sun rays reach every corner of the boots’ surface. 

That said, note that prolonged exposure to the sun can weaken the rubber materials. This can even cause cracking, so avoid leaving the boots under the sun for too long.

Leaving the pair of boots out in the fresh air for a day or two will reduce the extent of the smell. 

Alternatively, you can keep the boots in your storage area or garage, free of their packaging to allow time for the boots to diffuse their odor.

Bathe Boots in Warm Water and Dish Soap

Warm water mixed with dish soap accelerates the removal of the rubber boot smell. Any dish soap will do. 

First, warm some water and pour it into a bucket. Then, add dish soap and bathe your boots gently in the mixture. 

Don’t worry about the soap damaging your boot. Dish soap is gentle. Thus it won’t go hard on your valuable hunting asset. 

After bathing the boots for a while, let them air dry.


That smell from your rubber boots that may make someone think there’s a chemical factory around is not pleasant at all. 

The good thing is now you better understand how to get rubber smell out using the techniques mentioned above. 

Granted, not every method will altogether remove boot odor, but you can be sure it will minimize it significantly.

Being able to deal with any noticeable smell coming from your boots, you will have removed one of the perceived weaknesses when deciding on either rubber or leather hunting boots.

You could also try several of the methods. I guarantee you this will go a long way in succeeding at removing that pesky rubber boot smell.

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