Top 6 Smelly Feet Remedies That Work Overnight

You might not notice a slight odor coming from your feet when you’re at home, but the moment you take off your shoes after a long day out, the smell hits you like a ton of bricks – and everyone else around you notices it too.

We’ve all encountered someone with smelly feet before – it’s unpleasant, undesirable, and downright embarrassing. While a bit of foot odor is normal, just like body odor, excessive smells can indicate poor personal hygiene.

If you’re struggling to keep your feet smelling fresh, you’re in luck. Today, we’ll show you how to banish smelly feet for good, so you never have to worry about kicking off your shoes again.

Why do our feet smell?

Similar to the rest of our body, our feet sweat, creating an ideal environment for bacteria. These bacteria thrive in the warm, moist darkness of our sweaty shoes and happily feast on our dead skin cells. Like any living organism, bacteria produce waste – and it’s these organic acids that give feet their funky odor. The more your feet sweat, the more bacteria thrive, producing a variety of smelly byproducts that can rival the scent of blue cheese.

But what factors influence how much our feet sweat?

Aside from physical activity, temperature, and the materials of our socks and shoes, hormones also play a role, which is why teenagers often have particularly pungent feet.

Now, let’s talk prevention

  1. Keep Clean: Regular washing is key to staying fresh. Make sure to thoroughly wash your feet daily, including in between your toes.
  2. Choose Breathable Fabrics: Avoid synthetic materials that trap moisture. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or moisture-wicking sports materials to keep your feet dry.
  3. Get the Right Fit: Avoid tight shoes, as they restrict airflow and increase sweating. Make sure your shoes fit properly and have enough room for your feet to breathe.
  4. Invest in Good Socks: Choose socks made from breathable materials like cotton or those woven with metals like copper, which help combat odor.
  5. Rotate Your Shoes: Alternate between different pairs of shoes to allow them to air out and prevent bacteria buildup. This also helps extend the lifespan of your shoes.
  6. Give Your Feet a Break: Whenever possible, go barefoot to let your feet breathe. Allowing them some air helps freshen them up and regulates their temperature. Plus, the cold air helps eliminate those pesky bacteria causing the stench.
  7. Avoid Sharing Shoes and Towels: It’s best not to share your shoes or towels with others to prevent the exchange of bacteria. While your sister might adore your glittery heels, sharing them could mean sharing smelly bacteria – not a pleasant thought.
  8. Try Foot Antiperspirant: Don’t limit antiperspirant to just your armpits. You can find special foot deodorants that help control sweat and odor, ensuring your feet stay fresh throughout the day.
  9. Use Natural Foot Deodorizers: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution, try natural kitchen ingredients like cornstarch or baking soda. These absorb sweat, keeping your feet dry and bacteria-free. Simply sprinkle some on clean feet before putting on socks and shoes.
  10. Remove Dead Skin: Regularly exfoliate your feet to keep them smooth and bacteria-free. Dead skin cells are a feast for odor-causing bacteria, so using a pumice stone to remove hard skin can help keep your feet soft and odor-free.

Smelly Feet Remedies

Having smelly feet is a common issue, especially after activities like gym sessions or sports. But if the odor persists even when you’re not active, trying some home remedies for foot care before seeking professional help is a good idea.

1. Antibiotic Ointment

Bacteria, not just sweat, causes foot odor. While you can’t stop your feet from sweating entirely, you can tackle the bacteria. Apply antibiotic ointment between your toes and on your toenails before bed. This helps kill odor-causing bacteria.

2. Lavender Oil

Essential oils like lavender have healing properties and can combat smelly feet. Massage a few drops of lavender oil onto your feet, focusing on the bottoms, tops, and between your toes. Lavender oil helps kill bacteria causing the odor. Wear socks after applying the oil to enhance its effectiveness.

3. Vinegar Foot Soak

Neutralize foot odor with a foot soak using warm water and apple cider vinegar. Soak your feet for 15 minutes in a basin filled with warm water and 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar. You can do this multiple times a day if needed, as vinegar has antimicrobial properties.

4. Epsom Salt Foot Bath

A foot bath with Epsom salt can help control odor-causing bacteria. Mix two cups of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day. Epsom salt helps combat bacteria that contribute to smelly feet.

5. Switch to Moisture-Wicking Socks

Wear socks, preferably moisture-wicking ones, to keep your feet dry. Moisture-wicking socks transfer sweat away from your feet, reducing odor. Synthetic materials are best for moisture-wicking.

6. Use Deodorant

Consider using your regular deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet. Many antiperspirants can be applied to your feet to control odor and excessive sweating. Check the label to ensure it’s suitable for use on feet.


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