7 Sure-fire Ways You Can Get Rid of Smelly Feet

Updated on March 3rd, 2020
how to get rid of smelly feet

Have you noticed people turn up their noses when you remove your shoes or ever wondered why your friend always smells so nice even after wearing those shoes all day long but as soon as they take off those shoes, it smells like someone died. It is a medical condition called Bromodosis. In plain language, we call it having smelly feet.

Smelly feet often occur due to sweat build-up that results in bacterial growth over the skin. It’s the bacteria that eventually lead to bad odors. So if you are looking for tips on how to get rid of smelly feet, you can opt for the natural, inexpensive, and quick home remedies.

What causes smelly feet?

What causes smelly feet you ask? The problem lies in what you wear as opposed to your feet. Smelly feet generally occur from the lack of proper ventilation in the feet. Each foot houses 250,000+ sweat glands that produce ample sweat in a single day.

It means a good chunk of moisture is locked below your feet when you wear clothing items that obstruct ventilation. People often suffer from itchy smelly feet given the fact that there is no pathway for the sweat to evaporate away. The bacterium that thrives on this moisture tends to eat it thereby producing the isovaleric acid and thus the smell.

It starts the onset of skin infection increasing the intensity of smell. Add to that poor hygiene and harsh environments, and you will surely make everyone stay 100 feet away from you.

Common causes of Smelly Feet

Several things tend to cause smelly feet. However, bromodosis can be seen prevalent in a particular fraction of the population as opposed to others. The common causes of chronic smelly feet include things such as:

Synthetic Shoes:

Wearing synthetic and non-breathable shoe material can often cause the onset of foot odor. It is because the foot sweat tends to get trapped inside while making it difficult for the sweat and moisture to evaporate.

Worn socks or shoes:

When you wear already worn socks or shoes without washing it correctly, you tend to expose your feet to a collection of smell causing bacteria. If you put in your feet inside these types of clothing items the bacterial buildup start increasing at a rapid fashion. It adds to the problem of smelly feet.

So if you are wondering how to get rid of smelly feet, make sure you wash your socks in water that is hot enough to kill the bacterial growth.

[ Read: Home Remedies for Smelly Feet ]

Dry Skin on foot:

If you happen to have a dry skin filled with calluses on your feet, be assured that the bacterial growth in your feet is in for a treat. The more the dry skin, the better the bacterial growth and the smellier your feet get. So make sure you use moisturizer and scrub off any dead skin.


Many doctors believe the fact that hormones could also promote smelly feet. That is why several babies, children, and pregnant women tend to suffer from smelly feet. You might have often come across smelly baby feet, but fortunately, this goes away as the baby reaches a certain age with more balanced hormones.

Anxiety or Stress:

People who tend to experience a heightened level of anxiety or stress suffer from excess production of sweat all over the body as well as feet which adds to the smelly feet chaos.

Plantar Hyperhidrosis:

It is a condition of the foot in which the sweat gland located at the foot start malfunctioning eventually producing a copious amount of sweat in the foot area.

Athlete’s Foot:

Athlete’s foot is a widespread fungal infection ailing the foot that tends to create a rotten and sour smell in the feet. The symptoms of this issue include itchiness, redness, and signs of cracked skin between toes. If you tend to suffer from foot odor with nothing that works, chances are athlete’s foot is the cause that needs medication.

Give These Home Remedies A Try To Avoid Smelly Feet

Before you fix an appointment with your doctor to know the cause behind your smelly feet, you might want to try some natural remedies as well. Maybe your foot smelling so bad is just an outcome of poor hygiene. So make sure you try out these home remedies to keep them healthy, clean, and fresh smelling all the time.

1. Smelly Feet And Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil benefits

Lavender oil doesn’t just smell good; it also helps kill the bacteria covering your feet. If you ever feel like your feet needs a hint of freshness, take a few drops of lavender oil and rub it in your feet evenly. Make sure you apply a good amount between the toes which is where you can find the most bacterial infestation.

Lavender oil kills the bacteria responsible for bad odor. It has antifungal and antioxidant properties. Smelly female feet or male feet can benefit from regular application of lavender oil.

2. Cedarwood Oil

Cedarwood oil serves as a powerful antiseptic and antibacterial essential oil that gets used for aromatherapy. You can either mix it with a carrier oil of your choice to spray some before you go to sleep on the feet or mix a few drops in luke-warm water to soak the feet for optimum results.

Make sure the water isn’t too hot so that you don’t burn your skin. Wipe off any dripping water after you are done soaking and top the feet with some good quality moisturizer for how to get rid of smelly feet.

3. Smelly Feet and Black Tea

black tea (1)
Image: Shutterstock

Black tea consists of tannic acid which is known for its strong astringent properties. It kills any bacteria on the skin while closing the sweat pores to avoid excessive sweating. If you want to know how to stop the smell coming from your feet, then try using black tea to do so. Brew the tea bags in some warm water and soak the feet for at least 15-20 minutes to get some satisfying results.

4. Smelly Feet and Baking Soda

baking soda
Image: Shutterstock

Baking soda has powerful properties when it comes to absorbing excess moisture from the feet while neutralizing the overall sweat pH secreted from your body. If you plan on knowing how to treat the smelly feet, all you need to do is put the baking soda in some water and soak your feet for the duration of 15 to 20 minutes each night before you go to sleep.

You can also opt for using baking soda as sprinkling powder inside the shoes or socks you plan on wearing. It will absorb the excess moisture and keep the bacterial growth from producing any nasty smell.

5. Smelly Feet and Vinegar Soak:

Wondering how to get rid of smelly feet with vinegar? Here is how this works. Vinegar tends to be acidic which means it houses the capacity to neutralize any odd odor coming from your feet. It also helps kill any bacteria that might be contributing to the smelly feet. To get help from vinegar, all you need to do is soak your feet in vinegar solution that gets comprised of 1/3 cup of apple cider or white vinegar. Now keep your feet inside this mixture for at least 20 minutes. Dry off with a cotton towel once done.

6. Smelly Feet and Mint Scrub

mint (1)
Image: Shutterstock

Mint is your perfect answer for how to prevent or how to cure smelly feet. This scrub made out of mint will surely leave you feeling wonderful with feet that smell so great and fresh.

Peppermint houses properties that help deodorize and cool the skin. To make this scrub, mix one spoon oatmeal with the same amount of cornmeal along with one tablespoon sugar and two teaspoons of dried peppermint.

Now mix these items with one tablespoon of natural yogurt and juice from one lemon. Now mix them all to form a granular paste. Add 5-6 drops of the peppermint based essential oil and massage the mixture over your feet. Let it stay for some time and wash off gently.

7. Epsom Salt

How to fix smelly feet? Well, Epsom salt is your go-to option when wondering what will work as a practical solution to reduce the horrible smell. Epsom salt houses sulfate and magnesium. It also works as an anti-inflammatory item and naturally exfoliates. This salt knocks out any bad odor by leveling out your feet’s pH levels. In a big bowl that is large enough to hold your feet, mix up warm water along with a teaspoon of the Epsom salt. Now keep your feet in this solution until the water starts entering room temperature. If you feel the smell persists, try adding more Epsom salt to the mixture and if it persists, its time you get in touch with your doctor.

Treat Smelly Feet With These Daily Routine Hacks

If you are looking for ways for how to get rid of smelly feet, it is usually easy if you stick to a particular routine. Try to keep the feet dry and clean.

To know how to get rid of smelly feet, you need to follow the following tips:

  • At least once every day wash the feet with the use of antibacterial soap. If your pharmacist has advised you a special soap, use the same
  • Dry away your feet properly after you take a bath or if you feel they are wet. Look for the areas in between the toes
  • Try to refrain from wearing the very same shoes two days straight. Allow them at least a time frame of 24 hours to dry out properly. Keep the shoes out in the sun post use as the sun dries out any residual moisture or smell
  • Change the socks on a daily basis. Regardless of the material you use, it is better that you change your socks every day. The ideal choice for sock material is cotton or wool with nylon being an absolute no

If you happen to experience sweaty feet now and then, you need to try these tricks to help reduce the excessive sweating and stop smelly feet.

  • Use an antiperspirant or spray deodorant on the feet that will help keep the moisture at bay and thereby reducing the chances of smelly feet
  • Try opting for medicated insoles when going out for long durations that might require you to keep the shoes on for long
  • Wondering how to get rid of smelly feet? Try using foot powder to absorb the sweat that can easily be prescribed by your local pharmacist
  • Look for socks designed for smelly feet. You can easily find these types of socks in the sports section. Also, you can opt for the socks decked with antibacterial features
  • Choose wearing canvas or leather shoes to allow your feet to breathe freely as opposed to the plastic ones
  • Always wear socks with the shoes that are closed-toe ones

When should you visit a doctor?

If you have opted for every method for how to treat smelly feet with no results, it’s time for you to consult your doctor. Smell that doesn’t go away could be a significant sign for underlying medical conditions. Your doctor can offer you an accurate diagnosis as per your issue and help you combat any excessive sweating.


Smelly feet are fun for no one. Neither you nor your friends would want to be near something that smells. So it is important that you maintain proper hygiene while alternating your shoes on a regular basis for how to get rid of smelly feet and as a critical smelly feet solution. Make sure you always wear freshly washed socks to avoid any embarrassment

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