Here’s a Breather! 6 Home Remedies That Actually Work for Smelly Feet

Updated on March 20th, 2020
home remedies for smelly feet

“Watch Your Shoe!” if you’ve been commanded this time and again, you probably have smelly feet. Getting the shoes off becomes an embarrassing task. The leading cause of smelly feet is millions of bacteria residing on your feet. When you wear socks and shoes for prolonged hours, the sweaty skin cells give rise to the growth of these bacteria that cause the stinky smell in your feet(1).

A fungal infection like Athlete’s foot is also a common cause of this condition; you can use many lifestyle changes and home remedies for smelly feet to reduce the bad odor.

Home Remedies for Smelly Feet

1. Soaking in Water

feet Soaking in Water

Just washing your feet with water doesn’t help with microbes. Soaking your feet in water mixed with Epsom salt or vinegar helps with the infection and reduces smell effectively. Epsom salt helps with moisture in feet and in turn, helps with reduced production of bacteria.

Home remedies for smelly feet like vinegar in water help make an inhospitable environment for bacteria and other microorganisms on your skin.

You can mix Epsom salt in warm water and soak your feet for 10-20 minutes in it. The mixture of vinegar and water is also an effective soak recipe for smelly feet.

  • Half cup Epsom salt is enough in a tub of warm water.
  • The vinegar foot soak is made with one part vinegar and two parts water.

2. Use Disinfectants

Shoes play a significant role in causing smelly feet. Shoes may sometimes smell even when left unworn. A general spray containing disinfectants is the best way to clear that odor from your shoes.

The sanitizing ingredients and ethanol help kill bacteria, which is the root cause of smelly feet.

You can spray the disinfectant on the insoles and insides of the shoe.

Leave the spray for 24 hours to dry.

[ Read: Home Remedies for Smelly Feet ]

3. Lavender Oil


Lavender oil is a natural disinfectant with antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. It helps with the elimination of bacteria and keeps feet clean.

You can apply lavender oil mixed with any carrier oil on your feet. A foot soak made with lavender oil and water is also beneficial.

  • Two to five drops of lavender oil in a spoon of carrier oil works wonder for your feet.
  • A few drops of this oil in a tub of water can be used for a foot soak. Keep your feet in this for 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is used as a popular remedy in many conditions like soreness or stress. It is also used as a bath salt.

Epsom salt has specific properties that treat the bacterial as well as fungal infections. It helps in the elimination of foot odor.

The laxative properties of Epsom salt also help in pain & swelling in feet after prolonged work hours.

Epsom salt can be best used in a warm foot soak. Immersing your feet in Epsom salt detoxifying foot soak for 10-20 minutes every day before bed helps reduce the smell in the feet.

  • Use two tablespoons of salt in a small tub of water to treat your stinky feet.

5. Vinegar

Vinegar is used by every household for day to day cleaning. The acidic content in vinegar creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria on your skin.

You can use vinegar in any form, but apple cider vinegar is the most effective one. A feet soak made with water and vinegar is effective. Once done, wash your feet to remove the smell of vinegar.

Use half cup vinegar and approx 8 cups of warm water as a foot soak for smelly feet. Soak your feet for approx 15 to 20 minutes every day.

6. Sage Leaves

Sage leaves are staple ingredients used in various food recipes. They are used as a natural addition in sprays or pesticides.

The presence of tannic acid in sage leaves helps in treating smelly feet. The astringent properties constrict sweat glands on the feet. This helps in reducing the growth of bacteria.

It also has antimicrobial properties that help reduce existing bacteria on feet.

Boil sage leaves in water for approx 10 minutes and soaks your feet in this solution.

  • Soak a few leaves of sage to a tub of water. Soak your feet in this for 20 to 30 minutes.

Bottom Line

Smelly feet are a common problem and can be a result of various factors. Using specific lifestyle changes and home remedies helps in reducing this problem. Wearing clean socks and shoes is the first step towards keeping your feet fresh.

Use any of the above remedies to reduce the smell. Also, these ingredients are mostly safe if used in the right quantities.


1. How is talcum powder effective for smelly feet?

Baby powder or talcum powder is a useful way of treating foot odor. It has astringent properties that help absorb moisture and keeps feet dry. It further helps in reduced growth of odor-causing bacteria. Also, powders have a beautiful fragrance that keeps feet fresh. Use powder 2-3 times a day for the best results.

2. Are essential oils useful in treating smelly feet?

Essential oils are very beneficial for smelly feet. The strong aroma of oils like rosemary and lavender helps with stinky odor. Also, they have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help reduce the growth of bacteria on feet. The fresh fragrance of thyme oil is also useful in overpowering the pungent odor.

3. Which scrubs can you use to treat smelly feet?

Many ingredients are used in making foot scrubs that help with the smell. A ginger paste is the best scrub for keeping feet bacteria free and fresh. Also, oatmeal works as the best exfoliating ingredient and is the easiest way to remove bacteria and dead skin from your feet. A salt scrub mixed with jojoba oil is also useful in treating smelly feet. Massage with any of these scrubs gently for 10-15 minutes.

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