wikiHow to Make Your Feet Smell Good

Three Methods:Using Natural RemediesUsing Professional ProductsPreventing Smelly Feet

We all know how embarrassing and frustrating it can be to deal with smelly feet. Medically known as bromodosis[1], smelly feet are largely caused by bacteria growth and excessive sweating. Though there are several ways you can combat this issue, the most effective way to fight smelly feet and ensure your feet smell good every day is to prevent the development of odor causing bacteria in the first place with good foot hygiene.

Method 1
Using Natural Remedies

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    Soak your feet in water and baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is an effective remedy to eliminate foot odor as it neutralizes the pH of your sweat and reduces the amount of bacteria on your feet.
    • Add baking soda in warm water (one tablespoon for every cup of water) in a tub or foot basin.
    • Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes every night for about one week. To add a nice smell to the soak, squeeze the juice of one lemon into the baking soda and water. Make sure you dry your feet completely after the soak.[2]
    • You can also sprinkle baking soda in your shoes and socks to fight any odors.
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    Use black tea to get rid of smelly feet. The acid in the tea kills bacteria and closes the pores in your feet, keeping them dry and bacteria free.[3][4]
    • Pour several cups of very hot or boiling water into a tub or foot basin.
    • Add 4 bags of black tea, or two tea bags per cup of water.
    • Let the bags steep in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Then add a few cups of cool water to bring the temperature of the water down until it is comfortable for your feet.
    • Soak your feet for 20 minutes. Do this once a day, making sure to thoroughly dry your feet after each soak.
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    Try a vinegar soak. Vinegar does a good job of getting rid of odor and creates an acidic environment that discourages the development of smelly bacteria.[5]
    • Fill a tub or foot basin with 5-8 cups of warm water. Add ½ cup of white distilled or apple cider vinegar.
    • Place your feet in the basin, swish the mixture around and let them soak for 15 minutes, twice a day.
    • Make sure you clean and dry your feet completely when you finish soaking them by rinsing them in cold water and towel drying them.
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    Use Epsom salts to reduce the sweat on your feet. Epsom salt minimizes the bad odor on your feet as it fights microbial infection and neutralizes most odors. As an added bonus, it’s also great at soothing aching or sore feet.
    • Mix two cups of Epsom salt into warm water in a foot basin or tub.
    • Soak your feet for 15 minutes, twice a day. For the best results, do this soak before you go to sleep so you do not have to wear socks or shoes for a few hours.
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    Apply lavender oil to your feet. Lavender oil will not only make your feet smell good, it will also kill bacteria on your feet, thereby preventing them from smelling bad.[6]
    • Before trying this remedy, always check to make sure the oil won’t irritate your skin by putting one drop on a small area of your body. If there is no reaction or itchiness after several minutes, use the oil.
    • Rub a few drops of the oil onto your feet and massage it in right before you go to bed.
    • You can also create a soak with lavender oil by putting a few drops of oil into warm water in a foot basin or a tub and soaking your feet for 15-20 minutes, twice a day.
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    Try a sage and rosemary soak. Sage is a bit of a wonder herb, as it is has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, and is also an astringent. Rosemary is also an astringent that has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which means both herbs help to minimize the production of sweat from your sweat glands.[7]
    • Less sweat on your feet means a less ideal environment for smelly bacteria. Plus, these herbs will leave your feet smelling pleasant and feeling refreshed.
    • Fill a tub or foot basin with several cups of boiling water. Add 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary and 1-2 teaspoons of dried sage to the water.
    • Let the herbs steep until the water is cool enough to put your feet in, but still warm.
    • Soak for 30 minutes, one to two times a day.

Method 2
Using Professional Products

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    Use Hibiscrub soap on your feet. This special antibacterial soap is very effective at killing the bacteria responsible for smelly feet.[8]
    • You can purchase Hibiscrub soap online or at your local drugstore.
    • Wash your feet with Hibiscrub soap in a tub or foot basin, and leave a lather of the soap on your feet for about 2 minutes before you wash it off.
    • Apply the soap once in the morning and once before you go to bed. Your feet should smell pretty fresh within a week of using this soap.
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    Buy a foot powder. There are many commercially available foot powders, like Gold Bold[9] and Dr. Scholl’s Odor X-Foot Powder[10], which control foot odor and reduce any itchiness on your feet.
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    Apply a spray deodorant or antiperspirant to your feet. A normal underarm deodorant can work just as well on your feet as a specialty foot product, at half the cost.[11]
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    Ask your doctor about prescription foot powders and ointments. They can prescribe stronger powders and ointments to fight foot odor, as well as stronger antiperspirants to fight excessive sweating, if over the counter options are not working.
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    Consult with your doctor if you feel your level of sweating is abnormally high. Your doctor could refer you for a treatment called iontophoresis, which delivers a mild electric current through water to your feet to combat excessive sweating.[12][13]

Method 3
Preventing Smelly Feet

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    Wash your feet daily and dry them well. Use lukewarm water when you wash them and make sure you dry them well after every shower or bath. Moisture can encourage the growth of smelly bacteria.[14]
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    Switch up your shoes so you aren’t wearing the same pair every day or several days in a row. Odors from your feet can linger in your shoes, so give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out.
    • To help your shoes dry out faster, remove the inner soles in the shoes, if possible.[15]
    • Avoid wearing plastic shoes, as they will not let your feet breath. Instead, look for shoes made of leather, canvas, or sports mesh.[16]
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    Change your socks once a day. You should also only wear thick, soft socks made of an absorbent material like cotton or wool.[17]
    • Nylon socks are not very good at preventing smelly feet as they are not very breathable and may cause your feet to sweat.[18]
    • Look for feet-fresh socks, which are specifically made for people who play sports. They have ventilation panels to keep your feet dry.[19]
    • You could also switch to antibacterial socks, which are covered in chemicals to discourage the growth of odor producing bacteria on your feet.
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    Dust your feet frequently with non-medicated baby powder or foot powder. This will help to sooth your feet, and prevent itchiness, and odor.
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    Get medicated insoles for your shoes. These are insoles that are specially made to fight foot odor, as they keep your shoes smelling fresh when your feet are sweaty and they will also absorb some of the sweat.[20]
    • Cedar insoles are also very effective as they are made of natural, anti-fungal cedar wood. They also have a pleasant menthol aroma and will combat fungal build-up.
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    Wear sandals in the summer or during warm weather. This will prevent your feet from sweating too much in your shoes and lessen the development of odor causing bacteria.[21]
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    Examine your feet for any infections and get them checked. Look between your toes and on the bottoms of your feet for any redness or dry, patchy skin. Get treatment for any fungal infections as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming a larger issue.[22]

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Categories: Hand and Foot Care