Bromodosis is the scientific word for smelly feet. No matter how you say it, though, having feet that are stinky isn’t a pleasant experience. If your feet smell bad, chances are you aren’t the only one who notices. There are several reasons for foul-smelling feet in both men and women.
The most common cause of the ammonia or vinegar-like smell is bacteria. This bacteria often builds up when our feet get sweaty. Excessive sweating creates, even more, bacteria, and the stench gets worse. As the sweat decomposes on the pores of your skin, it can start to smell like stinky cheese.
Some of the most common reasons for sweaty and stinky feet include wearing the same shoes every day, poor hygiene, hormonal changes, stress, or medical conditions that may cause you to sweat more than others.
Bromodosis isn’t just embarrassing. It can be detrimental to your health and cause pain and irritation. Excessive sweating can lead to things like toenail fungus or athlete’s foot. Bacterial and fungal infections spread quickly in warm, moist environments. If your feet sweat a lot, you could be setting yourself up for foot fungus. So, what can you do about it?
Table of Contents:
- 1 Easy Ways to Quickly Cure Smelly Feet at Home
- 1.1 What Are the Main Causes of Foot Odor?
- 1.1.1 Baking Soda
- 1.1.2 Lavender Oil
- 1.1.3 Epsom Salt
- 1.1.4 Vinegar
- 1.1.5 Shoe Spray
- 1.1.6 Clipping Your Toenails
- 1.1.7 Odor-Blocking Shoe Insoles
- 1.1.8 Sugar Scrub
- 1.1.9 Practice Better Hygiene
- 1.1.10 Make Your Own Foot Powder
- 1.1.11 Try a Trusted Foot Powder
- 1.1.12 Sage
- 1.1.13 A Tea Soak
- 1.1.14 Foot Deodorant
- 1.1.15 Dry Them with Heat
- 1.1.16 An Over-the-Counter Acne Treatment
- 1.1.17 Tea Tree Oil
- 1.1.18 Change Your Shoes
- 1.1.19 Sneaker Balls
- 1.1.20 Go Barefoot at Home
- 1.1.21 Wear the Right Socks
- 1.1.22 Change Your Eating Habits
- 1.1.23 Stop Smoking
- 1.1.24 Antibacterial Toe Spreaders
- 1.1.25 Ginger Root
- 1.1.26 Shoe Deodorizer Bags
- 1.1.27 Alum Powder
- 1.1.28 Wash Your Sneakers
- 1.1.29 Cat Litter
- 1.1.30 Rubbing Alcohol
- 1.1.31 Oatmeal
- 1.1.32 Vodka
- 1.1.33 Radishes
- 1.1.34 Kosher Salt
- 1.1.35 Rosemary
- 1.1.36 Chill Your Shoes
- 1.1.37 Lemon
- 1.1.38 Potassium Permanganate
- 1.1.39 Change Your Socks
- 1.1.40 Bleach
- 1.1.41 Mouthwash
- 1.1.42 Change Your Insoles
- 1.1.43 Pumice Stone
- 1.1.44 Electric Shoe Deodorizer
- 1.1.45 Boost Circulation
- 1.1.46 Baby Powder
- 1.1.47 Hand Sanitizer
- 1.1.48 Wear More Sandals
- 1.1.49 Dryer Sheets
- 1.1.50 Borax
- 1.2 Is It Possible to Cure Bad-Smelling Feet?
- 1.3 Read Our Latest Posts:
- 1.1 What Are the Main Causes of Foot Odor?
Easy Ways to Quickly Cure Smelly Feet at Home
We will focus on 50 of the most effective ways to get rid of smelly feet. First, we’ll cover several common causes. Obviously, one of the easiest ways to stop your feet from smelling bad is to make sure you’re practicing the right habits. Once you know some of the common causes, you can make sure they’re not a part of your everyday life.
However, if your foul-smelling feet won’t seem to go away, we will offer a complete guide on how to cure the stench. Plus, many of the solutions offered will use items you may already be able to find in your own home.
What Are the Main Causes of Foot Odor?
Our feet have more sweat glands than anywhere else on the body. These glands are designed to regulate our body temperature and keep skin soft and moist. However, because there are more glands on the feet, they produce more sweat than other areas of the body. When bacteria from the skin starts to break down that sweat, feet that smell like cheese can occur.
The most common causes of a bad odor coming from the feet include:
- Wearing the same shoes each day
- Hormonal changes
- Poor personal hygiene
- Excessive sweating, sometimes due to hyperhidrosis
While other factors can come into play, most foot odor will stem from these common problems. Thankfully, because no one wants to deal with pungent feet, there are dozens of ways to cure them quickly. From tried-and-true products to home remedies, you won’t have to deal with the foul smell for long after checking out these fast solutions.
Have you ever put a box of baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb any bad smells?
It can work the same way for your feet! Sodium bicarbonate works by neutralizing the pH level of sweat. If you find that your feet sometimes smell like ammonia, it’s likely because the sweat is too acidic. Baking soda can help to balance out the pH and reduce the unpleasant scent. It also helps to get rid of bacteria that will decompose your sweat and make it smell bad.
There are two different ways to use baking soda to get rid of the stench. First, create a soothing foot soak following these simple directions:
- Combine one tablespoon of baking soda with one quart of warm water.
- If you need more water, add one additional tablespoon per quart.
- Soak your feet in the solution for 15-20 minutes each night. For greater benefits, use a foot bath & spa machine.
- Be sure to dry your feet thoroughly when finished.
- Repeat every night for one week, or until smell starts to subside.
Additionally, you can sprinkle the insides of your shoes with baking soda to absorb any excess sweat and neutralize the smell.
Lavender oil can help to kill toenail fungus, it smells great, and it can also kill bacteria associated with rancid feet. Its antifungal properties will stop your feet from producing a cheese-like smell. It doesn’t just mask a stench with its own fragrance, and it actually contains medicinal properties to eliminate the odor.
To use lavender effectively, simply squeeze a few drops of 100% pure lavender oil into a basin of warm water and soak your feet each night for 15-20 minutes. You can repeat twice a day as needed.
If toenail fungus or another bacterial infection is causing your feet to smell, lavender works in two ways. Not only does it help to kill bacteria and fungus, but it can also boost the immune system.
Be sure to use only 100% pure lavender oil, and not a blend. Essential oils are extremely potent, and using them in their purest is the best way to see results quickly.
Many people use Epsom salt for toenail fungus or in a foot bath to exfoliate their skin. When it comes to getting rid of bad-smelling feet, it’s just as effective. Epsom salt neutralizes foot odor by fighting microbial infections, and the bacteria that causes sweat to decompose. It helps to ‘detoxify’ your feet, especially when used in a foot soak.
To use Epsom salts, combine two tablespoons in a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. You can choose to add essential oils, like lavender, for an added aromatherapy experience and more odor-fighting power.
Be sure your feet are completely dry after you soak them. It’s best to do this soak every day in the evening before bed. That way, you don’t have to put shoes or socks on for several hours, and your feet have a chance to ‘air out’ for a longer period of time.
You may not associate vinegar with a pleasant smell. But, the potency of vinegar is exactly what helps it to neutralize foot odor. Bacteria don’t thrive in an extremely acidic environment. Soaking your feet in vinegar forces them into this environment and effectively kills that bacteria are causing the odor. You can use almost any type of vinegar for this soak, including apple cider vinegar for added benefits.
To prepare the soak correctly, follow these steps:
- Mix ½ cup vinegar with six cups of warm water in basin or foot bath.
- Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse off the solution and wash your feet with soap. This will help to get rid of the vinegar smell.
- Make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on socks and shoes.
It only takes a few minutes a day of this natural solution to get rid of foul-smelling feet quickly. Plus, vinegar is an inexpensive treatment option, so you can feel good about the money you’re saving with this home remedy.
Using a proven product from a trusted brand is a great way to make sure you can get rid of odorous feet fast.
The 10-Seconds Shoe Deodorizer is a great option to eliminate bad smells from your shoes. If you choose to use a shoe spray to combat against feet that smell bad, be sure you understand how the ingredients in the formula work.
It’s also a good idea to choose a deodorizing spray that doesn’t just mask a bad smell with artificial fragrances. Foot sprays should also help to disinfect your shoes from bacteria and fungus.
The disinfecting process will make it less likely for you to experience such bad-smelling feet going forward. Foot sprays are easy to use and convenient. It takes almost no time at all to spray your shoes at the end of each day, so they are ready to go for you in the morning.
Clipping Your Toenails
Sometimes, smelly feet can be the result of toenail fungus. One of the major symptoms of toenail fungus is a foul odor coming from the nail(s). While there are many treatments for a fungal infection, one of the best thing you can do is keep your nails trimmed and clean.
Toenail fungus grows and thrives in warm, moist environments. If your feet are ‘trapped’ in shoes and socks all day, that makes for a pretty idyllic environment for growth. It makes it even easier for the fungus to grow when your toenails are longer. It can penetrate into the nail bed deeper, and it can be harder to treat.
By keeping your nails clipped relatively short with a pair of quality toenail clippers, you can make the environment for fungus harsher. It also allows any treatment solution you use to penetrate the fungus further and heal it quicker.
One of the symptoms of toenail fungus is a hardening and thickening of the nails. It’s not always easy to cut them with standard nail nippers. You may need a special set of clippers designed specifically for thick nails.
Odor-Blocking Shoe Insoles
It’s easy for sweat and the smell that goes along with it to get trapped within the fibers of your shoes. Using insoles to block and eliminate odor from shoes is a great way to get rid of the smell even when you aren’t wearing your shoes.
One of the best examples of a powerful shoe insole is Odor-Eaters Super Tuff. It contains ingredients like activated charcoal and also contains antibacterial agents. This helps to get rid of the bacteria that can break down your sweat and cause it to smell in the first place.
Many people use insoles because they are discreet, easy to slip into your shoes and keep working 24/7. While you’re wearing your shoes, they will help to absorb sweat and block any odors. When you aren’t wearing your shoes, they continue to work and will keep bad smells locked in. They also work to wick away moisture, so you may find that your feet don’t sweat as much throughout the day.
Sugar can be used for much more than baking! There are many DIY recipes for sugar scrubs that you can use on your face and skin for exfoliation. But, it also does wonders to stop stinky feet. Making and using your own sugar scrub on your feet will not only get rid of foot odor, but it will help to remove dead skin cells from your feet.
To make a safe and effective sugar scrub at home, follow these steps:
- Mix sugar, water, and isopropyl alcohol together in a basin.
- Use one part alcohol to every five parts of water.
- Add enough sugar to make a thick, paste-like solution.
- Scrub your feet using a gentle brush or cloth for about ten minutes with the mixture.
- This process will help to remove dead skin cells and unwanted bacteria.
- For best results, repeat two or three times a week.
You can purchase pre-made sugar scrubs. However, making your own is easy, affordable, and when you know the exact ingredients going into the solution, you can feel safer about the low risk of negative side effects.
For even better results, try soaking your feet in warm water for several minutes before applying the scrub. This can be done in a foot bath or electric spa machine.
Practice Better Hygiene
You already know the importance of keeping your toenails properly maintained. But, keeping your toes, nails, and feet completely clean will also help to stop odor in its tracks. Keeping your toenails and feet clean and healthy at home is simple.
The best thing you can do is have a daily hygiene routine for your feet. The easiest way to do this is with a quality antibacterial soap. Simply wash your feet every day, and make sure they are completely dry – especially between and around the toes.
You can file away the hard skin on your feet with a foot file once they are clean. This helps to get rid of dead skin cells and creates a harsher environment for bacteria to grow. Keeping your feet clean and dry is one of the easiest ways to fight back against foot odor, as long as you commit to doing it every single day. If you sweat excessively, you may need to combine this solution with another cure. But, it’s a great place to start.
Make Your Own Foot Powder
If you’ve taken the time to wash and dry your feet, follow it up with a homemade foot powder. You can easily make an odor-eating powder with ingredients like cornstarch or baking soda. These help to absorb moisture and odor. For added benefits, use essential oils like tea tree oil to add antifungal and antibacterial power.
Homemade foot powders are great for people who may have sensitive skin, because you know which ingredients are going into it. You can sprinkle it directly on your feet, or even in your shoes.
Try a Trusted Foot Powder
If you don’t feel like making your own foot powder, or would rather go with a brand that has seen success, there are multiple options. Try to choose powders that focus on natural ingredients and no chemicals, like Shoe Rescue.
Foot powders that you can purchase should be able to control bacteria and fungus and should be able to absorb sweat from both your feet and your shoes safely. The benefit to choosing a pre-made powder is you know the ingredients are effective. So, you may see results in just one or two uses.
Using certain herbs can not only take away the smell of sweat but can help to prevent it. Sage is one of the best herbs for the job. It contains a substance called tannic acid. This helps to reduce the amount of sweat your feet produce, thus, reducing the bad smell.
Additionally, it has both antifungal and antibacterial properties. It will work to get rid of the bacteria that decomposes sweat. If you’re at risk for a fungal infection, it will also help to fight against it and weaken it.
It’s important to use real, whole sage leaves when you’re applying it as a treatment option. For the best results, simply grind up fresh sage leaves and sprinkle them in your shoes and socks. Not only will the leaves help to soak up excess moisture, but they will leave behind a pleasant, fresh scent.
Some people also swear by sage tea. If you find that sage is working to reduce the smell in your shoes and socks, doubling up with a cup of sage tea each day can help from the inside out, and could reduce the amount of sweat your feet give out.
A Tea Soak
If you’re an avid tea drinker, you can take those tea bags to your feet for even greater benefits! Tea soaks are a popular way to fight odor from the feet. Black tea contains large amounts of tannic acid. This acid will help to kill bacteria. It also will help to close the pores on your feet, allowing you to sweat less. The less sweat, the less odor.
To soak your feet in tea correctly, boil two tea bags in two cups of water for about fifteen minutes. Add two quarts of water to dilute the mixture and remove the tea bags. Then, soak your feet in the mixture for about 30 minutes. You can repeat this process daily for a relaxing spa-like treatment that will get rid of stinky feet quickly.
You probably put deodorant underneath your arms each day to reduce sweat and odor. But, did you know you can also use deodorant on your feet for the same purpose? Simply spray or roll on your favorite antiperspirant before putting on your socks and shoes. Be sure it’s a formula that will dry quickly, so you’re not left with a sticky scent in your socks all day.
Alternatively, you can choose to use a deodorant specifically designed for your feet. Products like Trust Foot Deodorant are meant to eliminate foot odor for days at a time with just one application. You simply rub the formula on your feet and go about your day.
If you choose to use your current under-arm deodorant as a solution, it’s a good idea to buy a separate container. If you happen to have foot fungus or any other type of infection, you don’t want to risk spreading it to your arms or other areas of the body. Have a designated deodorant for your feet, and you’ll keep the rest of your skin safe and protected.
Dry Them with Heat
If you’re prone to foot fungus or athlete’s foot, one of the quickest and easiest ways to get rid of moisture and prevent infection is to use a hairdryer. Turn the dryer on the lowest setting, and let the warm air gently blow over your feet and toes for a few minutes.
You can make this simple method a part of your daily routine. It’s especially effective after a shower or bath, ensuring that your feet and toes will stay completely dry. Don’t let the temperature of the dryer get too hot, or you could irritate your skin.
If your feet get sweaty when not wearing socks, keep this tip in mind. A quick drying session before you step into your shoes for the day can make a big difference.
An Over-the-Counter Acne Treatment
Acne treatments you can purchase in the store or online are typically used on the face. But, think about what makes them so effective: They contain ingredients that kill bacteria. Most acne treatments have an ingredient called benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and helps to remove excess oil from the skin. It also helps to remove dead skill cells, effectively taking away the ‘food’ bacteria eats in the process. Acne on the face and elsewhere on the body can be triggered by sweat. While you may not experience breakouts of pimples on your feet, the bacteria can be similar. Using an over-the-counter acne medication on your feet is an easy way to kill odor-causing bacteria.
If you do use an acne medication, be sure to know the rest of the ingredients. Some people can be more sensitive to these types of medications than others. Once you know it won’t irritate your skin, you can use it as often as directed.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is often considered to be the ‘magic’ essential oil since it contains so many restorative properties. It is an antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic agent – everything you would want to get rid of odor on the feet!
Because tea tree oil is completely natural, you don’t have to worry about harmful side effects, and can apply it regularly. There are many soaks, soaps, and creams that contain this potent ingredient. But, you can also use 100% pure tea tree oil on its own, mixing it with a neutral carrier oil.
Not only will it help to kill bacteria, but tea tree oil can also be used for toenail fungus and other infections. When applied correctly, it can put a stop to fungal growth, and get rid of bad smells in the process. If you have sensitive skin, using an essential oil like this is a great way to treat foot conditions safely.
Change Your Shoes
If you wear the same shoes every day, they’re more likely to smell bad. You’re not giving them enough of a chance to ‘dry out,’ before trapping moisture inside again. Of course, the amount of sweat that collects in your shoes will greatly depend on what you do each day. But almost everyone experiences at least a little perspiration.
Instead of wearing the same pair each day, try to rotate between two or three different pairs. This will give each pair a chance to dry out before you wear it again. This simple action can significantly reduce the odor within the shoe, and as a result, unpleasant foot odor. You can add to this method by sprinkling your shoes with baking soda or cornstarch when you’re not wearing them. This will help to soak up sweat and odors even faster.
If you’d rather fight foot odor when you’re not wearing your shoes, a great option is to use Sneaker Balls. Plastic odor-blocking balls like this fit easily into almost any type of sneaker or boot. They are small enough to get down to the ‘toe’ area of your shoes, where a lot of the odor can settle in.
You simply twist the devices to activate, and they help to block odors and give your shoes a fresh, clean scent. You can use them again and again as needed. Many people suggest using them for work boots, or even in a gym bag to prevent smelly sneakers from ruining your clothes, etc.
The best part about these small devices is that they are convenient and easy to take with you wherever you go. If your shoes are prone to getting smelly, being able to take these Sneaker Balls with you will ensure you have a way to fight odor all the time. No more embarrassment, even when you’re traveling, at the gym, or at work!
Go Barefoot at Home
If you’re prone to sweaty feet, going barefoot as often as possible can help. It’s safest to do this at home, or in a clean environment. Going barefoot allows your feet to air out as much as possible, and will reduce the amount of perspiration they give out.
Be careful about going barefoot in public places. This is especially important to keep in mind in areas like public pools, gyms, locker rooms, etc. These locations can be breeding grounds for fungal infections and bacteria. Instead, wear open-toed sandals or flip flops. That way, you’ll still be able to air out your feet while protecting them at the same time.
Wear the Right Socks
Socks can make a huge difference in not only how much your feet sweat, but how much that sweat might cause them to smell. There are two things to keep in mind regarding socks: Wear the right kind and change them frequently.
The ‘right kind’ of socks should be breathable and absorb moisture. Cotton or wool socks are much more absorbent than nylon materials. If you play sports, look for socks that contain ventilation holes for even more sweat protection. If you do sweat through your socks frequently, keep an extra pair with you at all times. Change them out as needed. This will well to combat smell and lower your risk of a fungal infection.
If you do get a smelly fungal infection due to excess moisture, the best antifungal socks usually contain copper. Not only is copper an antifungal agent, but it works against bacteria as well, reducing any stench that might be coming from your feet or socks.
Change Your Eating Habits
You can fight smelly feet from within by switching up your diet. Take a look at your current eating habits. If you have a diet that is high in carbohydrates, those carbs can serve as fuel for certain types of bacteria and fungus. This gives those bacteria more power to discharge from the skin.
Limiting carbohydrates and getting a healthy mixture of lean protein, healthy fats, and anti-inflammatory foods can help. Additionally, reducing your intake of alcohol can make a big difference. Alcohol is typically full of more carbohydrates than people realize. If smelly feet are becoming a problem, try curing
Alcohol is typically full of more carbohydrates than people realize. If odorous feet are becoming a problem, you may be able to cure them from the inside out with a few of these simple lifestyle and diet changes. You could notice a difference quickly without having to do anything else.
Smoking can cause a lot of different health problems, but it isn’t always associated with a bad foot smell. Unfortunately, smoking causes your body to lose Vitamin B. While this can create a multitude of health issues, it also can result in excessive sweating.
The nicotine in cigarettes can also increase your heart rate, resulting in more perspiration to allow your body to cool off. If your body didn’t naturally do this, you would run a greater risk of a heart attack. Unfortunately, more sweating can equal smellier feet.
Of course, the best thing you can do for this particular situation is to quit smoking. This may be easier for some people than others. Take the steps necessary to get out of this habit. The sooner you do, the less sweat you’re likely to see. As a result, you probably won’t notice your feet smelling as much – not to mention the multitude of additional health benefits throughout your body!
Antibacterial Toe Spreaders
Again, the cause of most of the bad smell that comes from your feet is due to bacteria. Using any type of antibacterial product on your feet or toes can help to get rid of some of that smell. A product that can also help to make your toes less cramped can also be beneficial. This includes antibacterial toe spreaders.
Toe spreaders can help to reduce foot pain and improve balance. But, they also give your toe a chance to ‘breathe.’ It’s less likely that bacteria will form in between them. It also makes it harder for a toenail fungus to spread to other toes if they aren’t right next to each other. Being able to keep your toes separated can help to cool them off a bit, and lessen the amount of perspiration between them. The less sweat you accumulate between the toes, the less foul odor you’ll experience.
Ginger has multiple health benefits for different areas of the body. When it comes to odorous feet, it works by removing toxins and inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Simply put, it’s one of nature’s best antibacterial ingredients.
To use ginger root for your feet, puree a few inches of the root in a blender or food processor, and add to a cup of hot water. Let the mixture steep for about 15 minutes before straining it. Use the leftover liquid to massage your feet each day. Within a matter of weeks, you should notice a significant difference in the way your feet smell. They shouldn’t give off such an offensive odor. Plus, because this is a natural solution you can repeat it as needed without worry about any negative side effects.
Shoe Deodorizer Bags
Shoe deodorizer bags are often made with natural ingredients. These ingredients are designed to pull away moisture from your shoes when they aren’t being worn. As a result, they also pull out any bad smells that might be lingering in your shoes. Most natural shoe deodorizer bags contain charcoal.
The charcoal used in these bags is a natural odor eater. Not only will it soak up moisture, but it will help to dry out the air within your shoes in the process. They are reusable again and again. Many bags can be used for up to two years. That makes these charcoal solutions one of the most cost-effective way to make your feet smell better.
Using them couldn’t be simpler. You insert the bags into your shoes whenever you’re not wearing them, and they’ll get to work absorbing perspiration and any bad smells. They’re even great for things like gym bags or lockers. But, if you’re prone to smelly feet, sticking them in your shoes is the best way to go.
Alum powder is an astringent with antiseptic properties. That means it works double duty to help remove bacteria from your feet and stop them from sweating and smelling so much. The astringent properties help to close up your pores, so you sweat less. The antiseptic properties help to kill bacteria.
Alum can be used similarly to baking soda or Epsom salts. Just add a few tablespoons to a basin of warm water, and use the treatment as a relaxing soak. Soak your feet in the powder/water solution for about 20 minutes for best results.
While it’s rare to experience any negative side effects from alum powder, you may notice that the skin of your feet feels a bit tight after you soak them. This is because of the astringent nature of the powder itself. It’s a good thing, and shows that the powder is working!
It may take only one soak with this powder before you start to notice a difference in the way your feet smell. But, if you’re trying to fight against foot odor daily, use this simple soak as often as needed.
Wash Your Sneakers
We tend to sweat more when we’re active. If you play a sport, work out at the gym, or go on a run, your feet are likely going to get sweatier than they would be sitting at a desk all day. The one thing these physical activities have in common? The same kind of footwear.
One of the good things about sneakers is that they are typically made of washable materials. While it may not be practical to throw your athletic shoes into the washing machine after each use, you can periodically clean them. It may help to lengthen the life of your sneaker.
In the process, you’ll be killing bacteria and getting rid of bad smells from the inside of the shoe. Be sure to wash with hot water and a disinfecting soap for even better results.
Most sneakers can, in fact, go into the washing machine safely. However, it’s better to let them air dry, rather than putting them in a dryer.
Putting cat litter on your feet probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But, think about its purpose. It is designed to absorb odors. Many litters include deodorizers that also contain pleasant fragrances.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to absorb odor from your shoes, look to your feline friend. Fill up a pair of socks with clean litter, tie them at the ends, and stick them in your shoes overnight. The kitty litter will work in the same fashion as it does in a litter box. It will absorb moisture (it may even clump, depending on how much sweat is on the shoes). It will also absorb the bad smells from your shoes.
In the morning, remove the socks and throw out the litter. Your shoes should be relatively odor-free and smell much better. If you already have a cat who goes through litter regularly, this is a cost-effective way to get the stench from your shoes as often as needed.
Rubbing alcohol can help to sanitize shoes if you’ve just gone through a fungal infection. However, it can also be used as a deodorizer that stops bacteria from growing within your shoes. It works as a powerful disinfectant and is much more cost-effective than over-the-counter shoe sprays.
To use rubbing alcohol effectively, mix a solution of the alcohol with water in a spray bottle. Thoroughly spray the inside of your shoes. Alternatively, you can use a Q-tip or towel to rub the solution into the shoe. Allow it to dry thoroughly before putting them on your feet. Also, be sure not to get the alcohol solution on the outside of your shoes. In some cases, it may cause discoloration of materials. This is especially true for leather shoes.
Oatmeal is for more than just a healthy breakfast! It also works as a safe, natural exfoliator for your feet. There are many exfoliating scrubs and products on the market, but why not use something you probably already have in your house? It will allow you to start fighting back against foot odor immediately.
To use oatmeal for your smelly feet, follow these steps:
- Add two teaspoons of dry oatmeal to one cup of warm water.
- Put your feet in an empty bowl or basin.
- Gently scrub your feet with the oatmeal solution for about ten minutes.
- Rinse your feet clean with warm water, and dry completely with a towel.
You should notice that your feet feel softer right away. As the dead skin continues to shed away, you’ll notice the odor start to disappear more and more. You can repeat this process up to five times a week as needed. The less dead skin on your feet, the less bacterial growth.
Drinking alcohol may not be good for sweaty, smelly feet. But, using it as a remedy for bad smelling feet can work wonders. Because vodka is such a strong alcohol, it will help to kill bacteria. Not only will this get rid of the bacteria causing your feet/shoes to smell, but it can help to heal any possible foot infections you may have.
Another benefit to this clear alcohol is that it’s odorless. It won’t just mask the smell of sweat with another fake fragrance.
Apply vodka to the inside of your shoes using a spray bottle, or wiping them down with a cloth soaked in the alcohol. Leave it to dry overnight, and your shoes will be clean and odorless in the morning.
Since drinking is frowned upon for smelly feet, this is a great way to make the most out of any leftover alcohol you may have! Be sure only to use vodka, and not a lower-proof or colored liquor. The antibacterial properties of this alcohol are what makes it effective.
Radishes have a strong smell on their own. But, using them to help with bromodosis won’t just mask one smell with another. This little vegetable is a natural disinfectant. It also contains powerful nutrients that will fight back against bacteria, like:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
The best way to use radishes for this purpose is to create a foot soak. Grind up between 6-8 radishes and mix them in a basin of warm water. Soak your feet in the solution for 20-30 minutes. You can repeat this process as needed. With continued use, the properties of the radishes will help to inhibit bacterial growth on your feet. If the bacteria starts to weaken, you’ll notice less of an offensive smell coming from your feet.
If you have kosher salt around the house for cooking, put it to work for your feet as well. Kosher salt will help to dry out your skin. While most people think dry skin is a bad thing, in this case, it’s necessary to prevent excessive sweat.
Create a soak with a ½ cup of kosher salt in a basin of warm water. Allow your feet to sit in the mixture for 20-30 minutes. When you’re finished, don’t rinse them off. But, be sure to pat them dry thoroughly. The salt will remain on your skin and continue to soak up moisture throughout the day. This is a great way to keep sweat at bay even when you’re wearing shoes throughout the day.
Not only is rosemary a pleasant-smelling herb, but it can help to dispel bad smells from your feet. It works as an astringent, and also has antibacterial properties. The astringent properties will help deal with excessive sweat. The antibacterial nature will kill any harmful bacteria that feed on that sweat and causes it to decompose.
Finding natural solutions that contain both of these properties is one of the best ways to safely deal with bromodosis. Plus, you may already have the ingredients needed on hand. If you have sensitive skin or a lot of allergies, choosing herbs or oils is a great option.
To use rosemary for your feet, fill a basin or foot soaker with boiling water. Add one teaspoon of dried rosemary and allow to ‘steep’ until the water cools to lukewarm. Soak your feet for 20-30 minutes, then dry them completely.
After just one or two sessions with this particular treatment, you should notice a significant difference in the amount of sweat your feet regularly produce.
Chill Your Shoes
Did you know that cold temperatures can help to kill bacteria? If you know it won’t affect the material of your shoes, try putting them in plastic bags and sticking in the refrigerator overnight. Making this a part of your routine can ensure that you’re wiping away stench-causing bacteria every night. Your shoes should smell fresher in the morning, and you shouldn’t have a problem with them smelling bad throughout the day.
Additionally, sunlight can also help to remove odors by placing your shoes in direct rays for several hours at a time.
Lemon works as a natural astringent and can leave your feet smelling bright and fresh. Plus, it will block excessive sweating. While you can rub a lemon directly on your feet, it may not give you lasting effects. Plus, if you have any cuts or scratches, it can cause burning or irritation.
Instead, try a foot soak made with baking soda and lemon juice by following these steps:
- Add ¼ cup of baking soda to a large basin.
- Fill the basin with warm water.
- Add the juice of one lemon.
- Soak your feet in this solution for 15-20 minutes.
- Dry feet thoroughly.
The astringent properties of the lemon combined with the moisture-absorbing power of baking soda will help to keep moisture from pooling in the skin of your feet.
Potassium permanganate is a powerful chemical with strong antiseptic properties. While it can be extremely helpful with foot odor, it is recommended you ask your doctor or podiatrist before using it. People with sensitive skin may experience irritation from it. However, for many people, it doesn’t cause any problems.
To prepare a disinfecting soak for your feet, put a tablespoon of potassium permanganate into a basin of warm water and gently mix. Soak your feet for 30 minutes. The potassium permanganate will help to kill the bacteria causing the odor. It will also absorb sweat from your feet. Be sure to dry your feet and toes completely following the soak.
Change Your Socks
We’ve already touched on the fact that you need the right kind of socks to fight foot odor. This is especially important if you have certain types of toenail fungus. However, the simple act of changing your socks throughout the day can make a big difference, too.
Even if you wear the right socks, excessive sweat can be a problem. Always keep an extra pair or two on hand that you can change into throughout the day. If you are an athlete or work out regularly, don’t wear the same socks to the gym as you do the rest of the day. The less moisture that gets trapped inside, the better.
Many people use bleach for toenail fungus because it is an antibacterial solution. In fact, some bleach can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria. Since it’s bacteria that causes the worst smells, the two seem to go hand in hand.
While bleach has been used as an effective home solution for foot odor, keep in mind that it may be irritating to those with sensitive skin. Never put bleach directly on your skin, and always make sure it is diluted in some way.
To use bleach safely and effectively for your feet, add ¼ cup to a basin of warm water (at least eight cups). Soak your feet for 30 minutes, then rinse them off and dry completely. Bleach can also help to whiten your toenails if you experience any discoloration.
You use mouthwash to kill off germs and bacteria inside your mouth. Why not use it to do the same thing for your feet? When you use mouthwash to rinse after brushing your teeth, not only does it leave you with a clean feeling, but it’s destroying the bacteria that causes bad breath.
The bacteria that causes a foul odor on your feet can also be eliminated with the ingredients in a strong but safe mouthwash. To use, dilute the wash slightly with a bit of water. Then, soak a cotton ball in the solution, and rub all over clean feet.
Not only will Listerine mouthwash kill off any residual bacteria, but it will help to protect your feet from things like fungal infections. That is due to the high alcohol content. Because fungus can also cause irritation and smelly feet, mouthwash works double duty to protect your feet and toes.
Change Your Insoles
One of the best ways to fight back against smelly feet is to take better care of your shoes. Many times, we buy a pair of shoes and wear them until they nearly fall apart. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s important to maintain them throughout their ‘lifespan.’
Change your insoles regularly. The insoles are the interior bottom part of the shoe that can be removed. They absorb a lot of moisture from sweaty feet and socks. While foot powders and sprays can help, some odors will seep deep into the fibers of the insoles and have a hard time coming out.
A good rule of thumb is to change your insoles seasonally. If the soles are easily able to be removed, you can also wash them periodically.
Being able to remove hard skin from your feet can help to combat against the smell. One of the best ways to safely get rid of excess skin is with a pumice stone. A pumice stone is a natural product, made from volcanic rock. It feels rough to the touch but won’t cut or irritate your skin when used properly.
Simply rub against the hard areas of skin on your feet to remove the outer layer and exfoliate the skin underneath. Not only does this feel good and can help to alleviate pain, but removing dead skin will help to prevent an outbreak of bacteria. The fewer bacteria that can show up on your feet, the less decomposition of sweat they can create.
It’s best to use a pumice stone on skin that has been softened slightly. You can use it in the shower or bath for best results. Your feet will feel smoother, softer, and look better when you’re done.
Electric Shoe Deodorizer
Because smelly feet are a common problem, certain devices have been created to get the stench out of your shoes. The less ‘trapped’ a bad smell is inside a shoe, the less likely it is to stay on your feet. One such product is the StinkBOSS Shoe Deodorizer.
This product uses ozone molecules to safely and effectively kill bacteria that might be lingering in your shoes. It also works wonders on helping to prevent fungal infections – another culprit of stinky toes that smell like cheese.
If you find that you’re prone to sweaty feet that lead to stinky shoes, investing in a product like this can be well worth it to keep your shoes protected from harmful bacteria.
Occasionally, excessive sweating on the feet can be caused by poor blood circulation. Practicing daily exercises with your feet can help to boost this circulation and get your blood flowing normally. Something as simple as turning your feet clockwise and counterclockwise for several minutes a day.
If you find that you have very poor circulation, you may want to look into a circulation booster system, like the Revitive Circulation Booster. Poor circulation can lead to a myriad of other health problems and can cause aching feet and legs. Boosting your blood flow can fight against foul odors and make your feet and legs feel better and stronger overall.
Here’s our in-depth guide to the best foot circulation machines.
Baby powder works similarly to cornstarch or baking soda. It helps to absorb moisture from your feet, and leave behind a pleasant scent in the process. Baby powder is gentle enough to be used even on sensitive skin. So, while you can certainly sprinkle it in your shoes, you can also apply it directly to your feet.
Use a small sprinkling after every shower to wick away moisture from your feet constantly. Additionally, you can sprinkle it on your feet before you put socks on to help excess sweat from pooling inside the fabric of the sock.
Some people use antibacterial hand sanitizer several times a day. It can have the same bacteria-killing effect on your feet. Restraining the bacterial growth on your feet is a great way to prevent the smell from becoming out of control.
As a plus, some hand sanitizers are already scented. Not only will their effectiveness combat bacteria, but they can cover up a bad smell with a more pleasant one.
Wear More Sandals
You may think that it’s necessary to keep your odorous feet ‘trapped’ within close-toed shoes. However, that often makes the problem worse and makes your shoes smellier in the process. A great way to eliminate that odor is to wear sandals and open-toed shoes as much as possible.
There are multiple benefits to wearing sandals. First, it gives your feet a chance to air out and breathe. If they tend to sweat excessively, exposure to the cool air can help to reduce the amount of perspiration you experience. It will also give the air a chance to circulate around your feet. When bacteria isn’t trapped within the small confines of a shoe, it won’t smell as strongly.
Finally, wearing open-toed shoes and sandals can help with toenail fungus. Fungal infections thrive in moist, warm environments. By wearing sandals and exposing your feet to the open air, you’re creating a harsher environment for fungus to grow.
Using dryer sheets inside your shoes is a quick and simple way to make them smell better, even while they’re being worn. These softener-based sheets can do more than just make your laundry smell good. While dryer sheets may not do anything to get rid of bacteria, they can leave a fresh smell in your shoes.
If you’re in a public place and worried about foot odor, sticking a sheet in each of your shoes is a great way to hide it. They won’t add weight to your shoes, and you’ll hardly even notice they are there after walking around with them. When you’re done, throw the sheets away. This isn’t necessarily a long-term solution to smelly feet. But, if you need to mask odors quickly, it’s a safe and clean way to do so.
Borax is commonly used as a disinfectant. It will also help to absorb moisture and any bad smells that come from your feet. It’s a cost-effective way to mimic the effects of a foot/shoe powder and works quickly.
To use Borax safely, sprinkle a small amount into your shoes. Wait until the powder is absorbed into the shoe completely before putting them on. You can repeat this process every day, and even allow more Borax to absorb into your shoes overnight when you’re not wearing them for better results.
Is It Possible to Cure Bad-Smelling Feet?
Depending on your genetics, your activity level, and simply how much you sweat throughout the day, you may not be able to eliminate perspiration on and around your feet. However, you can do things to reduce the amount of sweat you produce.
Even if you aren’t able to prevent your feet from sweating, you can control the bacteria that cause bad smells. Multiple antibacterial solutions will fight back against these harmful sweat-eating creatures.
We hope this article has given you all the tips you need to cure stinky feet at home. Many of them only take minutes a day, or simple changes you can make to your typical routine. Even if you’re prone to sweaty, smelly feet, controlling the odor can be easier than you might think.