Published: 09/22/2015 - Updated: 12/28/2017
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Have you ever noticed that your feet stink? You probably know that this can be very embarrassing and uncomfortable for people that experience this.
Often times bad foot odor is caused by poor hygiene, the type of shoe you wear, walking a lot, standing for long periods of time outdoors, excessive sweating…really there are a lot of things that could cause it.
Most of the time, stinky feet occur when your sweat doesn’t evaporate, and bacteria that are present naturally start to grow, as they feed on the sweat and dead skin cells. This creates a nauseating smell.
Natural remedies for foot odor
Fortunately there are a lot of natural remedies that you can use to eliminate foot odor, and the majority of these remedies will solve the problem in just a short amount of time.
1. Foot powder
In order to eliminate foot odor, you first need to eliminate the sweat. The solution for this problem is foot powder, which is applied directly to the feet. Sometimes people make the mistake of putting the powder in their shoes, but this just creates a big wad of powder in the shoes, which will facilitate more odor. Another option is to apply antiperspirant to your feet, which is generally sold in a spray form.
This element is also recommended for other problems, like whitening teeth. It is also great for stinky feet because it can neutralize odor and reduce bacteria.
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Mix one tablespoon to each liter of water in a tub, and soak for feet for 20 minutes each night for approximately one week.
2. Lavender oil
This oil not only has a pleasant aroma that most people enjoy, but it also helps kill bacteria and prevents the spread of fungi which cause bad odor.
Tip: Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to hot water, and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
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This will also relax your feet, which will help control the odor. Do this twice a week for a few days.
3. Alum powder
This also has astringent and antiseptic properties, and is even used as an underarm deodorant. It works fairly well at eliminating odors.
Tip: Mix one teaspoon of alum powder in one cup of warm water. Wash your feet with this solution, and after 20 minutes, dry well. Sprinkle a bit of powder on them afterwards. Repeat this process every day.
4. Black tea
Tea contains tannic acid and helps kill bacteria and closes pores in the feet. This helps reduce sweating and eliminates bad odor.
Boil two bags of black tea in three cups of warm water. Add a small amount of room temperature water.
Soak your feet for 20 minutes every day for a week.
Vinegar is very important in most home remedies. Vinegar’s acidity helps clean and disinfect because it prevents bacteria from surviving. That’s why you’ll commonly find remedies that use vinegar, most especially to clean and disinfect.
Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with 8 cups of hot water.
Soak your feet for 15 minutes, once done, wash well with soap to eliminate the vinegar smell.
Have you ever exfoliated your feet? Well, I’m going to talk to you about exfoliation, because it also helps reduce foot odor. It prevents callouses from forming, and if you already have callouses, it will help remove them.
7. Homemade exfoliant
Mix sugar, water and alcohol. Make sure there is more sugar than water, so you create a thick mixture. You should use 1/5 parts alcohol to your water.
Rub your feet with the mixture, and massage for 15 minutes, then rinse.
If you do this three times a week, you will notice new feet in just a short amount of time.
8. Sage leaves
Just like black tea, they contain tannic acid that helps eliminate sweat and bad odor. Add dry sage leaves to your shoes so that they can absorb the moisture from your socks. This will also leave a fresh smell.
Another tip is to soak your feet in sage tea for 15 minutes, or drink a cup of sage tea before going to bed.
Ginger prevents the growth of bacteria, and eliminates the cause of bad odor.
Make a puree out of a medium sized ginger root, and mix with one cup of hot water. Strain the solution, and use the liquid to gently massage your feet every night before going to sleep. If done for two weeks, you will successfully control your foot odor.
10. Change your shoes
This sounds simple, right? Well, changing your shoes every day allows the shoe you used the day before enough ventilation, which helps prevent the spread of bacteria and fungi that cause odors. If you don’t change your shoes daily, you could spread the fungus and infect other shoes, making the odor more intolerable and difficult to eliminate.
I hope these tips work for you. If you have any tips to share, feel free to publish them in the comments section.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 12/28/2017
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