How to Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy

Three Methods:Creating a Foot Odor Remedy at HomeTreating Foot Odor NaturallyEliminating Shoe Odor

The moisture produced when your feet sweat can promote the growth of bacteria on your feet and in your socks and shoes. These bacteria produce odorous gases as a byproduct of their life cycle, and when too many are allowed to grow, the resulting smell can be unpleasant and embarrassing.[1] Many artificial disinfectant and deodorizing products are commercially available, but it is possible to use more natural, everyday products and practices to prevent and eliminate foot odor, both on your feet and in your footwear.

Method 1
Creating a Foot Odor Remedy at Home

  1. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 1
    Start with an absorbent powder, like baking soda or cornstarch. These products will absorb moisture from the surface of your feet, preventing the continued growth of odor-causing bacteria. Place 5-10 tablespoons of whichever powder product you choose into a dry container with a lid. [2]
    • Other natural powders which could be substituted for baking soda or cornstarch include talcum powder, baby powder, or arrowroot powder.
    • You can use a single absorbent powder, or a combination of two or several if you prefer.
  2. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 2
    Add a few drops of a fragrant essential oil. Lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils are all popular choices. Essential oils provide a lovely fragrance, and contain natural chemicals called tannins which kill bacteria. Start with 3 or 4 drops of whichever oil or oils you choose, and add more if you'd like the powder to have a stronger smell.[3]
  3. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 3
    Close the lid of the container, and shake vigorously. This will mix the essential oils with your chosen absorbent powder. After you've shaken it, remove the lid and take a whiff to determine if you'd like to add more drops of essential oil.
  4. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 4
    Apply the powder to your feet. You might want to stand on a towel, or set your feet in the bath tub to avoid a mess. Sprinkle over the top and bottom of your foot, paying special attention to the spaces between your toes, where bacteria tend to thrive. If your feet are already sweaty or dirty, wash them first with warm water and soap. [4]
    • Consider applying your powder at the start of your day, before putting on clean socks and shoes, after a shower or bath, or just before bed.
    • You can also use your foot powder as a shoe deodorizer. Just sprinkle the foot powder into your shoe, making sure the shoe is dry first, then leave overnight.
  5. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 5
    Store your powder in its lidded container in a cool, dry place. Don't make too much powder at once, since essential oils evaporate over time, losing some of their potency.

Method 2
Treating Foot Odor Naturally

  1. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 6
    Keep your feet dry as much as possible. Moisture promotes the growth of bacteria, which are the root cause of most foot odor, so if you are prone to foot odor you should let your feet "air out" as often as possible. [5]
    • Going barefoot whenever it is safe and appropriate to do so will help your feet remain dry.
    • Socks made from natural fibers like cotton or wool are more breathable than most synthetic materials. Wearing more breathable socks will help your feet remain dry, and free from odor.
    • Sprinkling a natural deodorizer like talcum powder or baking soda on your feet before putting your socks and shoes on will help them remain dry throughout the day.
  2. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 7
    Wash your feet daily with antibacterial soap. This will keep the growth of odor-causing bacteria on your feet in check by killing already present bacteria, and removing dirt and dead skin which can promote their growth. Pay special attention to the gaps between your toes, and be sure to thoroughly dry your feet after washing. [6]
  3. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 8
    Rub your feet with essential oils after washing. Fragrant essential oils, like tea tree and lavender oils, not only provide a pleasant scent to mask foot odor, they also contain natural disinfectants which can slow the growth of odor-causing bacteria.[7]
  4. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 9
    Soak your feet in a salt bath. Dissolve half a cup of kosher salt in a liter (about 4 cups) of warm water in a basin or bucket large enough for you to comfortably rest both feet in, and allow your feet to soak in the solution for 15 minutes, then allow them to air dry. Salt is an effective disinfectant, and the salt which remains on your feet after they have air-dried will help keep your feet dry and free from bacteria.[8]
    • Epsom salt is a popular alternative to kosher salt, and can be prepared in the same way. Simply substitute 1/4 cup of epsom salt for the 1/2 cup of kosher salt.
    • You can soak your feet in this manner as often as you like, even daily. If the skin on your feet becomes irritated or over-dry, reduce the frequency of the salt soaks, or use a different kind of soak.
    • Other natural alternatives for soaking include lemon juice (use about half a lemon's worth per liter of water), white or apple cider vinegar (about 1/4 cup per liter) or baking soda (2 tablespoons per liter). [9]
    • Soaking your feet in black tea is another all-natural alternative to a salt bath. Add 5 bags of black tea to 4 cups of boiling water, and allow the tea to steep and cool to a comfortable temperature before using.
  5. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 10
    Exfoliate your feet with a pumice stone. This can help reduce the presence of odor-causing bacteria, which feed on dead skin. It is best to exfoliate after you wash or soak your feet, as moisture makes dead skin easier to remove.[10]

Method 3
Eliminating Shoe Odor

  1. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 11
    Keep your shoes dry. The bacteria responsible for foot odor thrive in moisture, so you should make sure that you allow your shoes to dry out quickly, and remain dry, whenever you aren't wearing them. Setting your shoes in a warm, dry, well-ventilated space as soon as you take them off will help them dry out more quickly, naturally slowing the life cycle of any odor-causing bacteria.[11]
    • Laying your shoes in sunlight on a bright, warm day is a great way of drying them out.
    • Storing your shoes on a shoe rack will increase the ventilation they receive, and help them dry out faster.
    • Wearing the same shoes every day can prevent them from thoroughly drying out. Rotating which shoes you wear on a daily basis will help ensure that all your shoes have plenty of time to dry out between uses.
  2. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 12
    Wear socks. Socks prevent moisture and bacteria from your feet from coming directly into contact with the lining of your shoes, so always wearing a pair is a simple way of preventing shoe odor without resorting to the use of any artificial products. Socks are also susceptible to infestation by odor-causing bacteria, so be sure to wash them often, and try not to wear the same pair more than once between cleanings.[12]
  3. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 13
    Disinfect smelly shoes. Because shoe odor is largely caused by the presence of live bacteria, it's important to eliminate bacteria in your shoes' lining. Thoroughly disinfecting your shoes before deodorizing them will help them stay fresh far longer. [13]
    • Steaming the inside of your shoes with a clothes steamer is a great, natural way to kill any bacteria which are present. Exposing bacteria to the high temperatures present in steam is an effective way of eliminating them without the use of chemicals.
    • Vinegar naturally contains acetic acid, a chemical which kills bacteria, and can be used to disinfect shoes. Simply mix one part water with one part vinegar to create a natural disinfecting solution. Apply it to the inside of your shoes (a spray bottle helps), then allow the shoes to dry thoroughly.
    • Contrary to popular opinion, placing your shoes in the freezer is not an effective way of disinfecting them, since a typical household freezer does not reach temperatures low enough to kill bacteria. [14]
  4. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 14
    Deodorize your shoes. Once you have killed the odor-causing bacteria in your shoes, you can introduce a powdered deodorizing agent to absorb and eliminate any remaining odor and moisture. Baking soda is a popular option, but other common household products like corn starch, baby powder, and kitty litter are also good alternatives to store-bought chemical deodorizers. Simply sprinkle a generous amount of whichever deodorizer you choose inside your shoes, making sure to cover as much of the inside of your shoes as you can, then leave them in a dry place for at least 24 hours. Dispose of the powder inside your shoes, using a moist cloth to remove any excess. [15]
    • To avoid having to clean the powdered deodorizing agent from your shoe's lining, you can instead place the powder in a clean sock, and then insert the sock into your shoe.
  5. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 15
    Add a natural fragrance to cover up any remaining odor. While it will not eliminate the root causes of shoe odor, a pleasant scent will mask minor odors, allowing you to go longer between cleanings. [16]
    • Essential oils, such as eucalyptus, clove, or tea tree oils, are good options, and provide a pleasant, long-lasting fragrance. Apply a few drops of essential oil to a wad of crumpled up newspaper, then stuff the newspaper into your shoes and leave overnight.
    • Citrus peels contain fragrant essential oils, and can be used to scent your shoes. Simply place the peels inside your shoes and leave overnight, then discard the peels. [17]
    • Teabags, especially black teas, are a great choice. Not only are they convenient and fragrant, but black tea is known to contain tannins: natural chemicals which can help kill odor-causing bacteria inside your shoe.[18]
  6. Image titled Make a Natural Foot Odor Remedy Step 16
    Discard worn-out footwear. If cleaning and deodorizing a particular pair of shoes has proven ineffective at eliminating their odor, it may be time to discard them. Keeping and wearing already stinky footwear provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which can then be transferred to your feet, or any other shoes or socks you might wear.[19]

Article Info

Categories: Feet Knees and Legs | Home Remedies