Natural Home Remedies to Prevent and Eliminate Feet Odor
Together with bad breath, smelly feet is probably one of the most awkward afflictions as so many people associate it with being dirty. In reality, people with bad feet odor bath as often and are no less hygienic than those whose feet do not smell. Lack of cleanliness is not the culprit.
The number one cause of odor-rich feet, is bacteria that thrive in an environment that is moist and slightly acidic. People whose feet sweat in their socks or closed shoes inadvertently create such an environment as sweat is both moist and acidic. Home remedies for feet odor should, therefore, tackle the moisture, the acidity, and the ability of bacteria to proliferate.
The Best Natural Remedies to Eliminate Feet Odor
1. Baking Soda
I’ve already mentioned that baking soda is a powerful kitchen medicine that can be used as a natural remedy and you can also use baking soda to treat smelly feet. Bacteria cannot live in an environment that is highly alkaline. As baking soda is one of the strongest alkalis in your house, you cannot overlook it as a remedy.
Put baking soda in your socks – One plan is to put some baking soda inside your socks before you put them on. By doing so, your feet will perspire into an alkaline substance that can neutralize some of the acid in the sweat. In addition, the powder will absorb some of the sweat and thereby keep your feet dryer than they would otherwise have been.
Baking soda foot bath – Alternatively, if you think your problem is not severe enough for baking soda in your socks, stir some baking soda into water and bathe your feet in the mixture twice a day. After an hour or two, the acidity in the sweat will overwhelm the alkaline foot soak, however, so this is probably not sufficient for the really bad cases.
2. Vinegar for smelly feet
Vinegar has surprising household uses and you can also use it to fight feet odor. Bacteria cannot live in an environment that is highly acidic, which makes vinegar the ideal solution. The vinegar will mix with your sweat and lower its pH to a level where the bacteria struggle to grow.
Since few people would be happy with walking around in vinegary socks, a foot soak or rub is probably your only option. If you wear shoes without socks, you can even keep a bottle of vinegar in your office and apply it straight to your feet every hour or two, as the shoes are probably easy to remove.
Many people have discovered that salt dries out the skin. If you dissolve half a cup of salt in a bowl of warm water and you bathe your feet in it for 20 minutes every day, it will pull some of that excess moisture out of your skin. Use this only in extreme cases, however, as dry skin that cracks and peals is not much easier to deal with than smelly feet. If you suffer from cracked heel, read my post about thebest natural remedies for cracked heels.
Alternatively, you can use Epsom salt which not only neutralizes odor and reduces sweat, but also helps to soothe aching feet. You can read more about these great uses for Epsom salt.
4. Essential Oil Blend for Feet Odor
Collect some anti-bacterial and anti-fungal essential oils and make your own essential oil blend to combat smelly feet.
Tea tree oil (which has many medicinal uses), eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil, sage oil, lavender oil, thyme oil, peppermint oil, geranium oil, and cinnamon oil all have anti-bacterial properties. You can also use grapefruit seed extract which is not an essential oil but it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Moreover, any blend that contains some of these will mask the odor and you have several options:
Essential oil foot bath – One idea is a foot bath that combines your favorite selection of these oils with water. Put a few drops of your preferred essential oil blend and a carrier oil in warm bath and soak your feet in such a blend for 10 minutes twice a day. It can clean the bacteria off your feet and it will make your feet smell great.
Topical treatment – Alternatively, blend some of these oils and dilute with carrier oil such as coconut oilor jojoba oil. You can carry it around with you as a topical treatment to apply whenever you think your feet are getting especially sweaty.
Essential oils and your shoes – Brush diluted oil blend over the inside that touches your foot. This will remove some of the smell and will combat the bacteria.
5. A Spicy Herbal Powder to Eliminate Feet Odor
Most households have antiseptic herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary and sage somewhere in the kitchen. If you have some of these herbs, you can mix them in water as a solution in which to soak your feet. One tablespoon of dried herbs per three cups of water should be enough.
Otherwise, rub the diluted oil blend into your feet, dry them completely, and dust them with the powder blend before putting on your shoes. This double treatment will help to keep the bacteria away and will keep your feet dry.
You should also treat your shoes with this antibacterial herbal powder. When you take your shoes off at night, pour the powder blend inside them, rub it on the inside where your feet go, and leave the powder in them until the next morning. Even better, if you have two pairs of shoes, wear the second pair on the next day and leave the powder blend inside the first pair until the next evening.
More Tips to Eliminate Foot Odor
Use Sweat-Absorbent Socks
These days many socks are made of nylon because it is tough, lightweight, and elastic. It is, sadly, also traps sweat on your feet.
Cotton, on the other hand, absorbs the sweat and thereby takes some of it away from your feet. This will help to keep your feet dry and free of the bacteria that feed on sweat. Some companies make special sports socks for this purpose.
If your feet sweat a lot, you should think of carrying an extra pair of socks with you so you can change halfway through the day.
Pick Your Shoes Carefully
When you buy shoes, choose shoes that do not fit too snugly. If they are slightly elastic and open up a bit on the sides while you walk, a lot of the sweat and heat can escape. Alternatively, wear open shoes like sandals that do not build up so much heat around your feet.
If A Remedy Doesn’t Help, Look Inside
If you have tried all of the above measures to help combat foot odor naturally without success, your problem may need to be treated internally through addressing your diet. Simple changes that correct your pH, nutrient and hydration levels can be very powerful for an array of health conditions, including problematic foot odor.
If after seeing a naturopath or nutritionist you still have not been able to make any progress, it would be wise to book in and have a chat with your doctor about what further steps could be taken.