How to Treat Smelly Feet

image001Smelly feet or foot odor is a common problem caused by bacteria that noshes on foot sweat, producing the distinct foot stink. There are many medicines and home remedies to save you from foot odor embarrassment and many of these remedies have proven to be helpful. Below are the simple natural home remedies and medical solutions to treat foot stench, which usually work after several times of trying and offer long-lasting results.

Home Remedies for Smelly Feet



Black Teaimage002

The tannic acid in black tea helps in eradicating the bacteria and closes pores, which reduces sweating. Grab two tea bags out of your kitchen drawer and boil them up in two to three cups of water. Now add this tea water into a bucket of regular water. Soak your feet in this solution for 15 to 20 minutes, and then dry them up.


Vinegar is another useful and cheap way in treating smelly feet. You can also use apple cider vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have in the kitchen) with water to remove the bad odor. Add two tablespoons of vinegar in water and soak your feet in for 20 minutes. After rinsing with soap and water, don’t forget to dry your feet thoroughly and the annoying smell will be gone in a few days.

Ginger Rootimage004

Grab a ginger root from your refrigerator, cut a small section from it and wrap it in a small cotton bag. Now soak this cotton bag in a cup of warm water. After a few minutes, strain the solution and apply it on your feet. For better results, massage your feet with this solution before bed. Use this remedy for two or so weeks for good result.


You can also use dried ground sage for foot odor. Place some dried sage into your shoes before you wear them, it will replace the stench with a green scent. Alternatively, soak your feet in a sage water solution for a couple of minutes. Sage has tannic acid in it, which kills the bacteria and eradicates the smell. Drinking Sage tea before bed will also help.

Baking Sodaimage006

Baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) is another cheap home remedy for your smelly feet and can be easily purchased in stores. You can sprinkle some baking soda into you your shoes before you wear them. Another way to make use of baking soda is to soak your feet in a baking soda solution for about 20 minutes. Rinse your feet and thoroughly dry them.

Epsom Saltimage007

Epsom salt is another effective home remedy that minimizes stench. Warm up some water, add two tablespoons of Epsom salt in it and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes. Dry them thoroughly afterwards. This remedy would be more effective if used before bedtime. Avoid adding too much Epsom salt, it might cause irritation.

Talcum Powderimage008

Talcum powder is one of the most effective and cheapest remedies for foot odor which helps dry the feet. It effectively reduces excess sweating for longer durations and eradicates the foot odor if applied constantly. Apply some talcum powder before you wear your shoes; make sure that your feet are properly dry, otherwise it will stick.


Borax is a disinfectant widely used for foot stench for it can kill the sweat bacteria and help get rid of the bad odor of your feet. Simply spray the inside of your shoes with some borax powder 15 to 20 minutes before you wear them. Be careful, do not wear shoes with borax powder still inside them. You should clean the borax powder away before wearing the shoes.

Daily Care to Treat Smelly Feet

One can never underestimate the power of daily cleansing. Daily cleansing your feet not only removes dirt and impurities, but also removes the dead skin caused by dead surface cells. Below is the daily care regimen you can use to keep your feet healthy and clean.

  • Start by washing your feet with a mild soap or body cleanser (you can also use a foot cleanser, but why waste money). Your bathroom soap would do the job, but use a medicated soap if you think you need it. Work the soap in thick leather, apply it to your feet, and scrub gently with a brush (or use hands). After rinsing, dry your feet thoroughly with a paper towel (left over moisture causes stench).
  • If there are traces of dead skin on your soles, grab a foot file or pumice stone and scrub it away. Dead skin becomes sodden after you take a shower, which is an excellent atmosphere for the bacteria to grow.
  • Always wear clean socks, and change them every 12 hours (if you get to wear shoes all day). If your feet sweat a lot, get them out of your shoes and allow them to dry.
  • Wear sandals on your casual days, on working days, wear thick, moisture absorbing socks. Give your feet some freedom and take a barefoot walk around the house. Avoid getting shoes made of synthetic material, prefer leather or canvas material.

OTC Products to Treat Smelly Feet

Numerous over-the-counter products are available for foot odor, in both low and high price range. Choose whatever product suits you.

  • Surgical spirit is known to dry the foot skin. Dabbing spirit on your feet every night before bed will parch the skin, reducing sweat.
  • Buy anti-fungal feet spray and use it before you descend your feet into shoes. You can also use a medicated foot powder.
  • You can also purchase a medicated insole that acts as a deodorant, protects feet and reduces sweat production.
  • Your antiperspirant spray can also work as your foot spray.
  • Wide array of antibacterial soaps and lotions are available in the market at reasonable prices to treat foot odor.
  • Ask your chiropodist to guide you about using Potassium permanganate, which is a mild antiseptic and can do wonders with feet, if used correctly. Excess use might turn your feet and nails brown for the interim.
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