Home Remedies for Foot Odor

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It’s a surefire way to clear a crowded room – remove your shoes and reveal a stinky secret. Foot odor is a common problem that occurs when bacteria gathers on the feet and in-between the toes. From wearing a certain color of socks to consuming strong-smelling foods, a host of factors contribute to unpleasant odors that demand the assistance of home remedies for foot odor.

foot odor

Causes of Foot Odor

One of the leading causes of foot odor is excessive perspiration – a condition known as ‘hyperhidrosis.’ Anything that causes moisture in the foot region can lead to unwanted odors that offer a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast to grow. Other causes of foot odor include extreme anxiety, wearing dark-colored socks, putting on sweat-soaked sneakers, and some skin conditions.

Foot Odor Home Remedies

Dealing with smelly feet can become a socially alienating problem – one that affects both men and women. To eliminate, treat and prevent the lingering stench coming from your footwear and socks, consider the following home remedies for foot odor:

a) Warm, Soapy Water:

Keeping your feet clean and thoroughly dry will help solve a foot odor problem. Use warm, soapy water to wash your feet – even if for several times a day. Use a soft brush to gently scrub between your toes.

b) Change Your Socks:

Some people must curb a foot odor problem by continuously changing their socks throughout the day. Choose socks made with natural fibers (like cotton), which provides a more efficient absorbency than synthetic materials. In some cases, it is necessary to change socks three or four times a day.

c) Cedar:

When you’re not using your footwear, fill with cedar, which provides a sweet smell and also helps eliminate unwanted odors.

d) Sandals and Flip-Flops:

Give your feet a chance to breathe by wearing sandals and flip-flops inside the house instead of stuffy slippers that promote sweating of the feet.

e) Avoid Spicy Foods:

Curb your habit of eating spicy foods if you are susceptible to sweaty feet. If you can’t stay away from the jalapenos and Tabasco sauce, avoid foot odor by washing your feet soon after consumption.

f) Avoid Stinky Foods:

Eating spicy or pungent foods (like garlic and onion) can escape through your pores when your feet sweat, causing unwanted odors.

g) Powder:

After washing your feet, apply baby powder or cornstarch, which helps keep feet cool and dry. When not using your shoes, sprinkle a bit inside.

h) Antiperspirant:

If you thought antiperspirant deodorants were just for the underarms, think again. By helping to eliminate perspiration of the feet, the antiperspirant also treats foot odor. Keep in mind that the best selections are roll-ons that contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate.

i) Shoe Choice:

Since the closed environment of some shoes encourage sweaty feet – avoid bacteria growth by opting to wear sandals and open-toed shoes when possible. Rubber and plastic shoes are known to worsen foot odor problems because they do not allow the skin to breathe. Another tip is to allow at least one day between wearing the same shoes, as it takes at least 24 hours for footwear to completely dry out.

j) Rubbing Alcohol:

After thoroughly washing your feet, apply rubbing alcohol as a nighttime treatment for foot odor. The alcohol provides dry, cooling relief.

k) Hydrogen Peroxide:

Combine hydrogen peroxide and water to create a solution for fighting foot odor. Add one teaspoon of 3% peroxide to one cup of water. Use a cotton ball, gauze pad or washcloth to wipe your feet with the mixture to eliminate the bacteria that causes foot odor [1].

l) Tea Bags:

Tannins found in tea bags work as a drying agent. After boiling three or four tea bags in one quart of water for about 10 minutes, add enough cold water to create a comfortable soaking environment. Dip your feet into the water for 20 to 30 minutes. Thoroughly dry your feet and then apply powder. Use this remedy two times per day to get your foot odor problem under control.

m) Kosher Salt:

Treat excessively sweaty feet by soaking them in a solution comprised of ½ cup of kosher salt and one quart of water.

n) Vinegar:

Combine ½ cup of vinegar with one quart of water to create a soothing footbath. Soak for 15 minutes two times per week to treat foot odor.

o) Sage:

Follow in the footsteps of early Europeans and take advantage of an herb known for its fragrance by adding the dry, crumbled leaves of sage to your shoes for foot odor control.


[1] http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/preventing-body-odor