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Home Remedies for Foot Odor


Foot odor or smelly feet, technically known as bromhidrosis, can be really embarrassing for those suffering from this problem.

This usually occurs when your feet sweat and the sweat does not evaporate because you are wearing shoes or socks. Bacteria naturally present on your skin grow as they feed on the sweat and dead skin cells, producing the foul smell.

Many natural cures are worth trying to get rid of annoying foot odor. You’ll need to follow them religiously for a certain period of time to get good results. Most are able to resolve the problem within a week or so.

For instance, you can apply talcum powder on your feet to get rid of foot odor. Talcum powder helps destroy bacteria and remove the smell.

If you don’t have talcum powder, you can use a good quality antiperspirant on your feet to keep them dry for a longer period of time. There are many other easy and simple home treatments for foot odor.

home remedies for foot odor

Here are the top 10 home remedies for foot odor.

1. Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is an effective remedy to eliminate foot odor. It neutralizes the pH of sweat and reduces bacteria.

  • Add baking soda in warm water (one tablespoon for every quart of water) and soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes every night for about one week.
  • You can also sprinkle baking soda in both your shoes and socks before wearing them.

2. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil not only smells good but also helps kill bacteria. Plus, it has antifungal properties that are effective in treating foot odor.

  1. Put a few drops of lavender essential oil in warm water.
  2. Soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Repeat twice daily for a few days.

3. Alum

Alum powder has astringent and antiseptic properties. Thus, it inhibits the growth of bacteria.

  1. Mix one teaspoon of alum powder in one cup of warm water.
  2. Wash your feet with this solution.
  3. After 15 to 20 minutes, dry your feet thoroughly and then sprinkle some alum powder on them.
  4. Do this once daily.

4. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt can also minimize the smell coming from your feet as it fights microbial infection and neutralizes foot odor. A detoxifying foot bath with Epsom salt is also soothing for aching feet.

  1. Mix two teaspoons of Epsom salt in half a bucket of warm water.
  2. Soak your feet in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes. For best results, do this before going to sleep so that you do not have to wear socks or shoes for a few hours.

5. Black Tea

Black tea has tannic acid that helps kill the bacteria that produce foot odor. It also helps close pores on your feet, thereby reducing the amount of sweat on which the bacteria feed.

  1. Boil two black tea bags in three cups of hot water. Add half a bucket of normal water to lower the temperature of the solution.
  2. Soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Do this daily for about a week.

6. Vinegar

Vinegar is beneficial in getting rid of smelly feet as it creates an acidic environment in which bacteria cannot survive. You can use any type of vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar for this home remedy.

  1. Prepare a mixture of one-half cup of vinegar and six to eight cups of hot water.
  2. Soak your feet in it for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Finally, wash your feet thoroughly with soap to remove the vinegar smell.

    7. Borax


    Borax is a disinfectant that kills odor-causing bacteria, thereby eliminating foot odor.

    • Mix one-half cup each of borax and vinegar in two cups of water. Spray the inside of your shoes with it.
    • Alternatively, you can dust the inside of your shoes with borax powder before putting on your shoes.

    8. Sugar Scrub

    sugar for scrubbing

    Removing dead skin and calluses will also help eliminate foot odor as they too can contribute to smelly feet. Regular use of a scrubber to clean your feet will prevent the formation of calluses. You can make a powerful homemade scrub by following these directions.

    1. Mix sugar, clean water and isopropyl alcohol (91% or above). Use more sugar than water in order to create a thick mixture. As for isopropyl alcohol, use one part of it with five parts of water.
    2. Scrub your feet with the mixture for five to 10 minutes to remove dead skin cells and bacteria and then wash your feet.
    3. Do this at least three times a week.