Home Remedies for Stinky Feet, How to Stop Foot Odor Naturally

Are you looking for home remedies for stinky feet that work? A mixture of sweat and bacteria on your feet can result in an embarrassing whiff which can really take away your self- esteem. Below learn more on how to stop sticky feet and deodorize your shoes using these simple natural and herbal remedies. Home remedies for foot odor and smelly shoes are cheap, easy to use and come with a whole lot of other benefits for your feet such as soft feet, relaxation and prevention of foot infections such as athlete’s foot.

If you are looking for what to do about stinky feet, home remedies make simple DIY but the best cures for foot odor. Smelly feet or bromhidrosis is a common problem that can affect anyone. Fortunately this problem can be managed using simple home treatments.

What Causes Stinky Feet?

The major cause of smelly feet is build-up of sweat which in turn allows bacteria to thrive. The action of bacteria while breaking down sweat is what results in foot odor.  According to footvitals.com, “Most of the moisture our feet produce each day evaporates before it has a chance to attract bacteria. But if you wear socks and shoes that do not allow evaporation, the moisture gets trapped and the bacteria begin growing. The bacteria initially stick to the shoes and socks, but over time they stick to the skin and cause the foot to smell bad. “

Other causes of smelly feet include:

  • Hyperidosis (sweaty feet)
  • Certain medication
  • Improper footwear
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Stress
  • Poor hygiene
  • Hormonal changes

If you are looking for how to eliminate foot odor, you need to keep in mind that the two things you should get rid of are bacteria and sweat.

Best Home Remedies for Smelly Feet

According to everydayroots.com, on 5 foot soaks to remove foot odor, “It is not actually the sweat that makes your feet smell, but the bacteria that thrives in the moist environment it creates. Sweat is actually odorless, for the most part, except for the kind that comes from the glands in the armpit/genital area. There are proteins and amino acids in sweat from those glands (called the apocrine glands) that feed bacteria, giving it a particular unappealing smell.”

To get rid of bad foot odor, here are home remedies for stinky feet.

Effective Foot Soaks for Stinky Smelly Feet

Baking Soda for Stinky, Sweaty Feet

Baking soda is a cheap home remedy for stinky feet. It creates an alkaline environment that is not bacteria friendly. It balances the PH of the feet and reduces the odor that is formed by bacteria.

  1. Add one tablespoon of baking soda in a quart of warm water
  2. Soak your feet in this mixture for 15-20 minutes
  3. Do this twice a week to cure smell feet
  4. Alternatively, you can sprinkle baking soda into your shoes and socks before wearing them

Remember to always dry your feet thoroughly after any foot soak to get rid of any moisture that might attract bacteria.

Sprinkling baking soda into shoes and socks soaks up any moisture that may create a thriving ground for bacteria. You can also sprinkle cornstarch into shoes to absorb moisture and keep bacteria away.

Baking Soda Citrus Soak

Adding lemon to the baking soda foot soak adds an astringent element to this remedy. It helps to get rid of the sweat and leave your feet smelling fresh.

  1. Add ¼ cup of baking soda into a basin of warm water
  2. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon and soak your feet in it for 15 minutes
  3. Be sure to dry your feet after

Epsom Salt for Stinky Feet

Epsom salt contains lots of beneficial minerals for the body. It can be easily absorbed through the skin making it an ideal foot soak. It removes fungus, bacteria, and dead skin cells and neutralizes foot odor.

  1. In a basin of warm water, add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt and mix well
  2. Soak your feet in this solution for 15 minutes and dry them
  3. Do this every day before bedtime

Epsom salt has magnesium salts that are very soothing for feet. This can be a relaxing treat for your feet after a long tiring day. This foot soak also helps to get rid of fungus that may cause athlete’s foot. Try Dr. Teals Epsom Salt Foot Soak from the Drugstore.

Rosemary and Sage Foot Soak

Sage has natural antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria and get rid of bad foot odor. Rosemary on the other hand has astringent properties which clean and minimize the production of sweat.

  1. In a basin of hot boiling water add 1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary and dried sage
  2. Let it steep and cool enough
  3. Soak your feet for 30 minutes once or twice daily to get rid of foot odor

This foot soak can also help you keep your feet healthy and soft. Sage leaves also contain tannic acid that helps to get rid of sweat. Put dried sage leaves in your shoes and socks before wearing them to get rid of foot odor.

Alternatively, make sage tea and drink a cup before going to bed.

Vinegar Foot Soak for Itchy Stinky Feet

Vinegar creates an acidic environment that makes it very difficult for bacteria to thrive reducing foot odor. It is cheap and calms irritation and itching that comes with accumulation of moisture and bacteria. You can use any type of vinegar.

  1. In 8 cups of warm water, add ½ a cup of apple cider or white vinegar
  2. Mix well and soak your feet in it for 15 minutes twice a day
  3. Rinse your feet with cold water and dry

This should be able to eliminate foot odor in a few days.

Black Tea

Using tea is one of the cheapest and most effective foot odor remedies. It contains lots of tannic acid which has strong astringent properties. It also reduces production of sweat by contracting sweat pores.

  1. Add 4 teabags into 4 cups of boiling water
  2. Allow it to steep for a few minutes and cool
  3. Soak your feet in this tea for 20 minutes and dry your feet afterwards
  4. Do this once a day to get rid of foot odor permanently

You can use black, green or herbal tea bags in the same way to get rid of foot odor.

Salt Water Soak

Salty water is an easy and cost effective to get rid of foot odor. Salt works by simply creating a dry environment and kill bacteria. Simply add half a cup of salt into warm water and soak your feet in the salty solution for 20 minutes. Rinse and dry well.

Essential Oils

Essential oils like lavender and tea tree oil make excellent foot soaks for healthy feet. They possess antimicrobial properties that help get rid of bacteria and other organisms that may cause foot odor.

  1. Add several drops of lavender and tea tree oil in warm water
  2. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes every day to get rid of foot odor

Essential oils also leave your feet healthy with a pleasant smell.

Vodka Foot Soak

According to Dr. Oz on So Weird it Works, the high content in vodka acts as an antiseptic. Alcohol is also drying getting rid of moisture thriving environment of fungus and bacteria.

  1. In a basin of water
  2. Add in a little cheap vodka and mix well
  3. Soak your feet for 10 minutes
  4. Alternat ivel y, soak a washcloth in vodka and use it to wipe your feet

Hydrogen Peroxide for Stinky Feet

A hydrogen peroxide foot bath will help kill bacteria and get rid of unpleasant smell. It also gets rid of fungus helping to prevent foot infections like athlete’s foot.

  1. Add 1 part of 3% hydrogen peroxide into 2 parts of warm bath
  2. Add in several drops of essential oil of your choice for fragrance
  3. Soak your feet twice daily for 15-20 minutes to get rid of foot odor

Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle to spritz hydrogen peroxide onto your feet and toes. Allow the feet to air dry as much as possible before wearing shoes. This hydrogen peroxide solution can also be used to prevent body odor in armpits and groin areas.


According to the newhealtguide.org, borax is a disinfectant that reduces sweat, kills bacteria making it one of the most effective home remedies for foot odor. Simply spray the inside of your shoes with borax powder and wait for 20 minutes before wearing them.

How to Stop Stinky Feet with Ginger

The antibacterial properties of ginger prevent formation if bacteria and neutralize the smell of sweat.

  1. In a cup of hot water, add in a fresh crush ginger
  2. Allow it to steep and cool for a few minutes
  3. Soak your feet in this ginger solution every night before going to bed
  4. Alternatively, crush ginger to make a smooth paste. Rub this paste onto your feet and massage for a few minutes. Leave it on for a few minutes and wash off with warm water.

Home Remedies for Stinky Shoes

Does getting your shoes off at other people’s home embarrass you? Having stinky shoes is considered both embarrassing and unsanitary. If you are looking for what to do about smelly shoes, here are the answers you need. Learn how to naturally deodorize shoes using these simple home remedies.

Cloves for Smelling Shoes

Cloves are pleasantly smelling spices that can help de-stink your shoes.

  1. Add some cloves into your shoes and leave them overnight.
  2. You can also tie a handful of cloves in a handkerchief and stuff it into your shoes overnight
  3. Alternatively, apply clove oil inside the shoes and allow them to air-dry overnight before wearing them

If your shoes have a stronger stench, leave them to air dry longer before wearing them.

Baking Soda for Stinking Smelly Shoes

  1. Pour 1/3 a cup of baking powder into a small bag and place it inside each shoe
  2. Leave it overnight
  3. Alternatively, you can directly sprinkle baking powder into shoes and pat out the powder in the morning before wearing the shoes

Natural Shoe Deodorizer

Using strong herbs as sage, lavender and rosemary can help to mask shoe odor. Simply sprinkle fresh or dried leaves of any herb and leave them overnight. Essential oils can also be effectively used as they have natural pleasant fragrances. Moisten a cotton ball in essential oil and place in a paper wrap to prevent staining shoes. Put these natural deodorizers in the shoes and leave them overnight.

Talcum Power

Talcum powder is an easy way of getting rid of dampness in shoes. Talcum powder has a pleasant smell that controls sweating and keep your feet smelling great. Simply put talcum powder on your feet and cover with socks. Follow this up with a light sprinkle into your shoes before wearing them.

Cedar Wood Shoe Inserts

Cedar wood has antimicrobial properties that help get rid of bacteria. Cedar wood shoe inserts are popular anti-foot odor products found at walgreens. They absorb moisture and keep off bad odor. Cedar wood shoe inserts are comfortable and flexible but can also get saturated making it necessary to change them to make sure the shoe odor does not return.

You can also place a small piece of cedar wood in your shoes and leave them overnight.

Wash Insoles Regularly

Insoles and other foot padding absorb lots of sweat making it necessary to wash them regularly to prevent accumulation of moisture. Wash shoe inserts once a week and allow them to air outside.

Air Shoes Outside

After a long day in shoes, take them off and allow them to air outside overnight to dry excess sweat and remove bad smell. If the weather is not favorable, leave the shoes on a covered porch or in the garage with free flow of air.

Freeze Them

Freezing shoes may sound gross but it is one of the easiest home remedies for stinking smelling shoes. Bacteria cannot survive in cold environments. Placing your shoes in a freezer for several hours will sure help to kill them. Put shoes in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer overnight.

Natural Remedies for Stinky Feet

There are varieties of things you can do by yourself to get rid of stinky feet. Of all natural remedies for stinky feet, prevention is very important. Severe cases of smelly feet should be treated by a podiatrist with prescription products and other methods that can help stop foot odor. Try these natural home remedies for stinky feet to stop foot odor.

Clean Feet to get Rid of Bad Foot Odor

Cleaning feet may sound obvious but it is one of the easiest but effective natural remedies for stinky feet. Cleaning feet gets rid of bacteria and dead skin cells. Wash feet with antibacterial soap and exfoliate using a washcloth and soft foot brush.

Dry Feet Thoroughly

Make sure to dry feet completely. Whether its water or sweat, any kind of moisture can create favorable breeding ground for bacteria and bad odor. Take time to dry feet with a little more focus on the area in between the toes.

Wear Sandals

Wearing shoes that allow air to freely flow allows your feet to breathe and reduce production of sweat. It allows sweat to evaporate quickly preventing accumulation in shoes. According to wikihow.com on how to get rid of foot odor, “During colder months, wear leather or canvas shoes which allow your feet to “breathe.” Steer clear of rubber and plastic shoes.”


Look for socks made of wool or cotton as they can absorb moisture effectively. Non- absorbent socks such as nylon trap moisture and make it possible for bacteria to thrive.

Wash socks regularly, and turn them inside out to wash off the dead skin cells. Unless you are wearing open shoes, you should always wear socks. Change your socks daily, wash and dry them outside.

Herbal Remedies for Smelly Feet

Herbal remedies make some of the best smelly feet home cures. They help get rid of bad odor and other foot conditions. They are easy to use, non-toxic and leave your feet smelling great. Herbs in form of dried leaves and teas have pleasant smell which can be used to mask offensive foot odors.

While using these home remedies for stinky feet, it is important to always remember that dry feet is key in getting rid of bad odor. After cleaning and soaking your feet, dry them thoroughly not forgetting the area in between the toes.

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