Smelly feet are a common problem that can cause embarrassment and discomfort. The odor is often caused by sweat, bacteria, and fungal infections. While good hygiene habits help prevent and reduce foot odor, sometimes extra measures are needed to fully eliminate unpleasant smells. Luckily, there are many effective home remedies for smelly feet that can tackle the problem naturally.
Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and absorbs moisture that contributes to foot odor. Pour 1⁄2 cup of baking soda into a basin of warm water and soak feet for 15 minutes daily. You can also sprinkle baking soda directly on feet and inside shoes and socks to fight odors.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is antimicrobial, helping kill bacteria responsible for foot odor. Mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water and soak feet for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly. The vinegar smell dissipates quickly. Do this daily until odor improves.
Soaking feet in warm water mixed with Epsom salt draws out toxins, softens skin and reduces bacteria. Add 1⁄2 cup Epsom salts to a foot tub of warm water. Soak for 20 minutes and scrub feet with a pumice stone to diminish odors.
Oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree and thyme have antibacterial and antifungal properties to neutralize foot odor. Add 5-10 drops of your chosen oil to a foot bath, massage directly onto feet or put a few drops on cotton inside shoes.
A weekly 20-minute foot soak using antiseptic ingredients can help deodorize feet. Try a soak with black tea bags, rosemary, sage or lemon slices. The tannins, acids and antibacterials in these items help destroy odors.
Believe it or not, rubbing raw potato slices on the soles of feet can curb odor! Potatoes contain antioxidants that neutralize foot bacteria. Rub slices on clean feet for 5-10 minutes daily until the potato darkens.
Sage & Vinegar
Make a homemade deodorizing spray by boiling 2 cups of fresh sage in 2 cups of vinegar for 5 minutes. Let cool, strain and put in a spray bottle. Spritz on feet and in shoes to kill bacteria and absorb moisture.
Vodka & Essential Oil
The alcohol in vodka kills odor-causing bacteria. Mix equal parts vodka and water with 5 drops of your favorite essential oil. Store in a spray bottle and use on feet and shoes before wearing.
Finely ground oatmeal is an exfoliant that scrubs away dead skin cells where smelly bacteria accumulate. In a foot bath, soak feet in warm water mixed with 1⁄4 cup ground oatmeal for 20 minutes. Rinse and dry completely.
Activated charcoal absorbs moisture and impurities. Make a paste with equal parts charcoal powder and aloe vera gel. Scrub feet with paste for 5 minutes, rinse and dry. Use weekly to deodorize.
White Vinegar Foot Soak
For a simple foot soak, mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts warm water in a basin. Soak feet for 15 minutes, scrub with a soft brush, rinse and dry thoroughly. The vinegar kills bacteria and fungi.
Rice Flour & Citrus Foot Scrub
The citric acid in citrus fruit removes dead skin cells and bacteria buildup. Mix 1 cup rice flour with 1 tsp each lemon, orange and lime juice. Gently scrub paste on feet for 8-10 minutes and rinse. Use weekly to deodorize feet.
When to See a Doctor
If you’ve tried these remedies consistently and your feet remain smelly, or you see signs of infection like oozing, see your doctor. They can determine if there is an underlying condition causing persistent odor, such as hyperhidrosis. Prescription-strength treatments may be needed.
Don’t let smelly feet cramp your style. With this arsenal of homemade remedies, you can tackle foot odor andfeel fresh in no time. Find the solutions that work best for you and make them part of your regular foot care routine.