Foot odor or smelly feet or stinky feet is really an embarrassing problem for the people those who suffer from it. It is generally caused due to sweat and bacteria, as the sweat creates a moist environment and the bacteria can easily thrive in and thus causes foot odor.
Prolonged wearing of shoes or socks will cause sweat and the bacteria which naturally present on the skin will feed on the sweat and dead cells and thus produce the foul smell from your feet.
Other reasons that trigger stinky feet are poor hygiene, athlete’s foot, certain medications, hormonal changes, tight and uncomfortable footwear, stress, hyperhidrosis, alcohol or smoking, lack of proper ventilation for the feet, etc.
Stop worrying; you can easily clear this foot odor problem by simply following some natural home remedies and few changes in your lifestyles.
Home Remedies for Foot Odor:
The listed below are the best natural home remedies that effectively helps you to get rid of stinky feet. Let’s get started.
Remedy – 1: (Foot Soaks)
Soaking your feet in warm water will kill the bacteria and also clears sweat causing foot odor. Here are few best foot soaks that kick out the odor-causing culprits.
Method – 1: (Epsom Salt)
Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate fights against the microbial infection to neutralizes the foot odor and also relaxes your aching feet. Salt pulls out the moisture and reduces the bacterial action.
- Mix 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in 8 cups of warm water.
- Soak your feet for 20 – 30 minutes and dry your feet thoroughly.
- Repeat 1 – 2 times daily. For effective results, do this soaking once at night before bedtime.
Note: Or use kosher salt instead of Epsom salt in this soak to get rid of smelly feet.
Method – 2: (Sage and Rosemary)
Sage and rosemary herbs have antibacterial, antifungal and astringent properties that minimize the production of sweat from your sweat glands. Hence less sweat means less odor.
- Fill your foot basin with boiling water and add 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary and 1 – 2 teaspoon of dried sage in it.
- Stir well and let the water reaches warm but not hot to place your feet.
- Then soak your feet for 30 minutes and rinse off gently.
- Continue doing this process for 1 – 2 times daily.
Note: Also, soak your feet in sage tea for 10 – 15 minutes (or) drink 1 – 2 cups of sage tea at night before bedtime (or) place dried sage powder inside the shoes and socks to prevent foul smell and to have a nice green scent.
Method – 3: (Baking Soda)
Baking soda is an amazing ingredient that works like a miracle on the applied area. It controls the foot odor, neutralizes pH levels and kills the bacteria and thus softens your feet.
- Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water.
- Mix well and soak your feet in it for about 15 – 20 minutes at night before bedtime.
- Continue doing it daily for a week.
Note: Or lemon acts as an astringent that prevents excessive sweating causing foot odor. Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda and fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon in 8 cups of warm water. Swish and soak your feet for 15 – 20 minutes and then dry your feet.
Method – 4: (Apple Cider Vinegar)
Apple cider vinegar has acidic nature that makes your skin unfriendly for the bacteria to thrive in and create odor. It also makes your feet feel fresh and relaxed. You can use any type of vinegar but apple cider vinegar gives faster results.
- Fill your foot basin with 5 – 8 cups of warm water.
- Mix it with 1/2 cup of organic apple cider vinegar in it.
- Submerge your feet and stir it well.
- Soak your feet for 15 – 20 minutes and then rinse off your feet with cold water to close the pores and to get rid of the vinegar smell.
- Re-soak your feet for twice daily with a freshly prepared mix.
Note: Or clean your feet with a cotton ball dipped in ACV mix.
Method – 5: (Black Tea)
Black tea has a rich amount of tannic acid that provides an unfriendly environment for bacteria and also this tea acts as an astringent that contracts sweat glands and reduces the foot odor.
- Fill your foot basin with 4 – 5 cups of boiling water.
- Then add 5 black tea bags in it and let it steep for about 10 minutes.
- Soak your feet in this black tea water for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Repeat it once daily and dry your feet thoroughly after every soak.
Method – 6: (Lavender Oil)
Lavender essential oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties that eliminate the bacteria causing foot odor. It has aromatherapy that prevents the smelly feet along with the sweat.
- Pour few drops of lavender essential oil in your foot basin filled with warm water.
- Soak your feet in this basin for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Continue this process for twice daily till you get complete relief from foot odor.
Note: Also, use tea tree oil or peppermint oil or any essential oil in the place of lavender oil in it.
Remedy – 2: (Alum Rinse)
Alum powder has antiseptic and astringent properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and prevents foot odor.
- Add 1 teaspoon of alum powder in 1 cup of warm water.
- Mix well and rinse your feet with this solution.
- Leave it for 15 – 20 minutes and after that, dry your feet.
- Sprinkle some alum powder on your feet and leave it like that.
- Repeat the same process for once daily till you get relief from foot odor.
Remedy – 3: (Sugar Scrub)
A Scrub will help to remove dead skin and calluses which in turn eliminate foot odor. So, the regular scrub will not only clean your feet but also prevent the formation of calluses. Here is the homemade DIY scrub for foot odor.
- Mix sugar, isopropyl alcohol, and clean water in such a way that for 1 part of isopropyl alcohol, mix 5 parts of water and also use more of sugar than water to get a thick paste.
- Soak your feet in warm water for few minutes to make the skin soft for proper scrubbing.
- Use this scrub mix to scrub your feet for 5 – 7 minutes to get rid of bacteria, sweat and dead cells.
- Then wash your feet with water and dry it properly.
- Continue this scrubbing for 3 times a week till you get relief from smelly feet.
Note: If you have broken skin or suffering from eczema, then avoid using the scrub.
Remedy – 4: (Ginger)
Ginger has antimicrobial, antioxidant and skin soothing properties that inhibit the bacterial growth and thus removes toxins from the feet to get rid of stinky feet.
- Prepare a puree from a medium sized ginger root.
- Let it steep in 1 cup of hot water for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Then strain the mix to extract smooth liquid.
- Use it to massage your feet gently at night before bedtime and leave it on for overnight.
- Do this massage daily for few weeks to get rid of stinky feet.
Note: Or grind some ginger to get a smooth paste and apply this paste to your feet. Rinse off with warm water after 15 minutes.
Tips and Precautions:
- Sprinkle some baking soda or cornstarch or talcum powder or arrowroot powder on your feet, shoes and socks to get rid of sweat and thereby odor.
- Never ever wear a same pair of socks daily. It’s best to change the socks and shoes to get rid of the odor. Also, wash your socks and dry your shoes regularly to prevent bacteria or sweat causing foot odor.
- Wear open toed shoes or sandals (if possible) to make the feet breathe in and to prevent sweat. Also, avoid wearing shoes or shoes at home.
- Have some cotton socks rather than synthetic material in socks which help your feet to observe sweat and allow the feet to breathe properly.
- Borax acts as a disinfectant that prevents odor causing bacteria. Simply mix 1/2 cup each of borax and vinegar in 2 cups of water. Pour it a spray bottle and spray it inside the shoes (or) dust some borax powder inside the shoes before wearing to get rid of sweat and thereby smelly feet.
- Drink plenty of water, reduce foods (like refined carbohydrates, balance proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates), include zinc-rich foods (like red meat, wheat germ, spinach, nuts, beans, oysters, cocoa or chocolates), etc. will help to get rid of smelly feet.
- Practice yoga, deep breathing and meditation to get rid of stress, as stress also causes smelly feet.
- Soak your feet in warm water by adding either few drops of Listerine mouthwash (or) oatmeal (or) vodka (or) few drops of thyme oil will help to get rid of smelly feet.
- Regularly remove the dead skin and massage your feet with some natural moisturizer to get rid of foot odor.
Quit smoking and limit your alcohol content to prevent the smelly feet.
- Consult your doctor if you’re still suffering from this problem after a week or having excessive sweating for proper diagnose and treatment.
This is all about Natural Remedies to treat Foot Odor. Try these remedies at home and share your experience with us in the comments box.