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 it does not evaporate because you are wearing shoes or socks. Bacteria naturally present in your skin grows as it feeds on the sweat, 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 foot to solve the problem. Talcum powder helps destroy bacteria and remove the smell.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for foot odor.
1. Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is an effective way to minimize the amount of bacteria. Baking soda neutralizes the pH of sweat and reduces bacteria.
- You can put baking soda in both your shoes and socks before wearing them.
- You can also soak your feet in a bucket of warm water and baking soda for 15 to 20 minutes every night.
2. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil not only smells good, it helps kill bacteria. It is also a natural anti fungal oil, and hence extremely effective in treating foot odor. You must soak your feet in warm water mixed with a few drops of lavender essential oil for several minutes. Do this remedy twice daily for a few days.
Alum powder has astringent and antiseptic properties. Thus, it inhibits the growth of bacteria.
- Wash your feet with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of alum powder.
- After 15-20 minutes, dry your feet and sprinkle some alum powder on them.
- Do this once daily.
4. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt can also minimize the smell coming from your feet.
- Mix two teaspoon of Epsom salt in half a bucket of warm water.
- 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.
- Boil two tea bags in three cups of water. Add half a bucket of normal water to lower the temperature of the solution.
- Soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
You can use any type of vinegar expect apple cider vinegar for this home remedy.
- Prepare a mixture of vinegar and hot water, and soak your feet for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Wash your feet thoroughly with soap to remove the vinegar smell.
Borax is a disinfectant that kills odor-causing bacteria. You can spray the inside of your shoes with it. If you have the powder form, dust the inside of your shoes with it and wait until the powder appears to disappear before putting on your shoes.
8. Sugar and Isopropyl Alcohol
Calluses can contribute to smelly feet. Regular use of a scrubber toclean your feet will prevent the formation of calluses. You can make a powerful homemade scrubber by following these directions.
- Mix sugar, clean water and isopropyl alcohol (91% or above). Use more sugar than water in order to create a thick mixture.
- Scrub your feet with the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes to remove dead skin cells, bacteria or fungus that might have developed.
Sage has tannic acid that helps reduce sweat that contributes to foot odor.
- Put dried ground sage inside your shoes and socks. It will absorb odor and leave behind a nice green scent.
- Another way to use sage is to soak your feet for 15 minutes in sage tea, or drink a cup of sage tea before going to bed.
10. Ginger Root
Ginger is also an effective solution to smelly feet.
- Make a puree out of a medium sized ginger root. Steep the puree in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Use a coffee filter to strain the solution. Use the smooth liquid to massage your feet gently each night before going to bed.
- Repeat the process daily for two weeks to get positive results.
You can easily control or eliminate foot odor with these home remedies. Try different ones until you find a remedy that really works for you. If you do not get relief after trying the natural cures for smelly feet, consult a doctor.
Diet for Foot Odor
- Take corn flour and sprinkle it generously in your shoes and socks. Corn flour will able to absorb excess moisture and neutralize the bad odor.
- Also you can use tea bags to get rid of foot odor. The tannic acid present in tea helps to keep your feet dry and thus controls excessive sweating and odor. Take two tea bags and dip it in a bucket of water, and then soak your feet in this solution for about half an hour. Do this once daily for better result.
- White vinegar works like a disinfectant and controls the growth of bacteria that causes foot odor. Take half cup of white vinegar and mix it with half bucket of water and then soak your feet in it for several minutes. Instead of white vinegar you can also use apple cider vinegar.
- Baking soda produces an alkaline environment that kills bacteria and hence you can always use baking soda whenever you suffer from smelly feet.
- You can also your feet with salt. Salt water will reduce the moisture level of your feet and hence the problem of smelly feet will resolved. After taking your shower, soak your feet in a solution of warm salt water for ten minutes. Finally wipe it off with a towel and allow your feet dry fully before putting socks on.
- You can use ginger, radish and lemon juice to scrub your feet. These products will truly cleanse your feet and solve the problem of foot odor. Do this once or twice a week.