Everyday life can get embarrassing for people suffering from foot odor. The main causes of foot odor is excessive sweating. The increased moisture level on the skin of your feet is an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. These microbes multiply and increase in number while releasing a strong, bad odor. This pungent smell can get worse with the soaring temperatures in summer.
Apart from excessive sweating, bad hygiene can also cause your feet to smell. Socks made from unbreathable materials or not changing your socks every day can also result in an increase in bacteria on your feet. Other reasons include excessive hair on feet and medical conditions such as hyperhidrosis that cause excessive sweating.
Prevent foot odor
- Washing your feet after removing your shoes and drying them every day
- Exfoliating your feet
- Wearing breathable cotton socks
- Changing your socks daily
- Wearing open-toed shoes or shoes made of breathable fabric
- Keeping your shoes dry and aired out
- Rotating your shoes daily
Here are 10 tips to remove foot odor instantly:
1. Essential oils
Essential oils have many beneficial properties. They have antiseptic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties that kill the odor-causing bacteria on your feet. Their fragrant smell will linger on your feet and cover the bad smell till you completely get rid of your foot odor. These oils also have a soothing effect on the skin, mind, and body. You can choose from eucalyptus, clove or tea tree oil or mixture of those oils.
- Add 8-10 drops of essential oil to the half bucket of warm water and soak your feet in it for 20 minutes. Remove your feet from the water and pat them dry.
Instead of using just one type of essential oil, you also create a simple concoction of two or three of them. Repeat this twice daily.
2. Lemon Juice or Vinegar
The citric acid present in lemon juice or vinegar kills the bacteria and reduces foot odor. It also has astringent properties that will shrink your skin pores and help deal with excess sweating. You can use any type of vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar for this home remedy. Pour 1-cup lemon juice or 1/2 cup of vinegar into the tub of water and soak your feet in this for 15 minutes. Wash with regular water once done. Repeat this two times a day.
3. Epsom Salt
The magnesium content in Epsom salt absorbs the excess moisture from the skin, thus killing the bacteria responsible for the bad smell. It also acts as an astringent and reduces any inflammation that might be present, softens your skin, and soothes aching feet. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to the water and stir well to dissolve it. Soak your feet for 20-30 minutes. Repeat this twice daily.
4. Tea Foot Soak
Black tea is rich in tannins and polyphenols, which possess antioxidant and antibacterial properties and help you get rid of smelly feet. Fill two-thirds of the tub or bucket with hot water and dip 4-5 tea bags in this water. Let them steep for a few minutes. Remove the tea bags and soak your feet in this water for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this twice daily.
5. Sodium Bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate or soda powder has antibacterial properties. This makes skin more alkaline, which inhibits bacterial growth. It may balance the pH level of the feet, neutralizes the foul odor, and softens your feet at the same time. Add about 2 spoon of soda powder to the hot water in the foot basin. Let it dissolve. Soak your feet in this water for 15 minutes. Repeat twice daily. You can simply sprinkle a little baking soda right into the shoe, allowing it to soak up any bacteria-causing moisture.
6. Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid that kills the bacteria present on your feet. Cedarwood essential oil possesses natural anti-fungal, anti-infectious properties. Combining these oils makes a potent and effective home remedy for foot odor.
- Wash your feet thoroughly and pat dry. Mix 5 drops of cedarwood oil in 2 tablespoon of coconut oil and apply this mixture to your feet. Massage it well so that the skin absorbs it easily. Let the oil air dry. Do this daily.
7. Alum Powder
Alum powder is also one of the most functional stinky feet cure. It has potent astringent and antiseptic properties. Alum powder hinders the growth of the bacteria responsible for stinky feet. It is widely used in making deodorants all thanks to its antiperspirant properties.
- Add a teaspoon of alum powder in a cup of warm water. Use the solution to wash your feet. After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse your feet, sprinkle some alum powder on them, and rub in. Be sure to add alum in between your toes. Do not forget to add some alum to your shoes to prevent moisture from happening. Do this every day.
Bleach is used to sanitize various surfaces around the house. Soaking your feet in this potent solution will kill all the bacteria and fungi that are growing on your feet and causing the foul odor. Add 1/2 cup of bleach to the water and stir it. Soak your feet for 10 to 12 minutes.
Note: As bleach can cause skin irritation and/or inflammation if you experience this, immediately remove your feet from the soak and wash them thoroughly with fresh water.
The alcohol present in vodka will kill the odor-causing bacteria on your feet and reduce the foot odor. Aside from the fact that it can help remove the smell of the shoes, it can also act as a disinfectant and can kill bacteria and remove dirt at the same time. Soak the washcloth in vodka and wipe your feet thoroughly with it. Repeat this if required.
10. Baby Powder
Feet start smelling when they get damp so keep them from getting damp. Best way is to use baby powder or talcum powder. The powder has a pleasant, subtle, smell and it could help your feet from sweating in the first place. However, it will be best to avoid baby powder with scents that are too strong because this might aggravate the shoe odor. Place powder on the feet before wearing shoes. Powder the feet from time to time especially if they are already starting to get sweaty.