feet with shoes on

How to Cure Smelly Feet - 5 Ways to Remove Foot Odor

Sometimes you can't bear the foot odor coming from your own smelly feet. Imagine how embarrassing it can be, when more people are around you. The condition also known as bromhidrosis is common as the feet sweat creates a conducive environment for the bacteria residing on the skin to grow inside the close enclosure of the shoes.

A combination of dead skin and increased bacteria produces the dreaded smell no one likes. Since the problem is common, some simple natural cures are also available to get rid of the foul foot odor. Most of these methods will permanently fix your smelly feet problems and some of them will help you to remove the odor immediately.


Obviously, though everyone wants a permanent solution to this dreadful and embarrassing condition, usually it is the urgency of getting rid of the foot odor which bothers the most. It is almost like a social sin to let your feet to continuously pollute the atmosphere. You don't want that disgusting looks of others towards you.

Many natural cures are worth trying to get rid of annoying foot odor. You’ll need to follow them religiously for a certain period of time to get good results. Most are able to resolve the problem within a week or so.

The very first thing you have to do is to get out of the social circle, with whatever excuse you can make, and dash to the nearest washroom. remove your shoes and socks. Wrap your socks in a plastic bag and dispose of them off. Wash your feet thoroughly, apply talcum powder, wear a fresh pair of socks and shoes.

Following are the other home remedies for smelly feet. All these methods are for a permanent solution to the foot odor. They will take a long time-usually a week to 10 days. But you have to be patient and persistent in ensuring regular use until the feet stop smelling foul.

1. Stop Wearing the Same Socks and Shoes Daily

It is important to maintain shoe hygiene as you maintain the rest of the body hygiene (assuming that you maintain body hygiene regularly-just kidding). The dead skin cells and the bacteria together thrive in the sweat produced by the feet. If you have been wearing the socks and shoes for a long period of 6-8 hours, then your feet have not got any fresh air exposure. Remove your socks and shoes. Wash your feet and wear flip flops.

Change your socks daily with the fresh washed pairs of socks. Keep a set of at least 3 pairs of shoes. Alternate wearing the shoes will help in reducing the stink. The shoe will get dry in the shoe wrack within the next 48 hours to wear them again. Don't wear rubber shoes, instead wear leather or canvas shoes which can breath air.

2. Apply Surgical Spirit on your Feet

If you are one of those who have more frequent bouts of smelly feet than most of the other people, then you must be extra careful in keeping your feet dry. You can do the following to avoid foul foot odor

  • After the bath, dry yourself with a towel.
  • Dab surgical spirit on your foot sole and the entire feet. This dries out the skin and will keep it dry longer.
  • Wear a fresh pair of socks.
  • Spray deodorant (underarm deodorant will do a good job) and wear shoes.

3. Use Antibacterial Soap to Wash your Feet

Using antibacterial soap to wash feet will reduce instances of foot odor. It is pretty simple. Instead of normal bath soap, use antibacterial soap to wash your feet. Apply the soap on the feet. Leave it there for a couple of minutes and wash it off. Dry your entire body and feet with a towel.

You can clean your feet again with the antibacterial soap when you remove your shoes after a 4-8 or longer hours of wearing the shoes.


4. Camouflage the Odor with Lavender

Lavender oil is antibacterial also. Apply lavender oil on your feet after the bath and before wearing a fresh pair of socks and shoes. Lavender oil will kill bacteria and maintain the good smell of lavender. Even if there is a smell after prolonged wearing the shoes, the lavender oil will camouflage it.

If you don't have Lavender oil then use talcum powder with a lavender smell. This may not kill the bacteria but can certainly suppress the foul foot odor.

5. Soak your Feet in Salt Water

Salt water absorbs the moisture from the skin, therefore keeping the feet inside a salt water tub for 10-15 minutes will help. Epsom Salt does a good job but normal sea salt will do the job also.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of Salt in a half filled 12 inch diameter water tub. If your both your feet can't fit in such a tub then take a bigger diameter tub.
  • immerse your feet in the salt water and keep it there for 10-15 minutes.
  • Wash and dry your feet.
  • Wear fresh pair of socks and shoes.

Epsom salt has microbial properties to kill bacteria, therefore if you have access to Epsom salt it will do much better job than the sea salt. But under normal circumstances sea salt will also help in eliminating foul foot odor.

The density of sweat glands in feet is much higher than the rest of the body, and then the feet are covered by the shoes. This combination increases the sweat, which remains trapped inside the shoes causing bacteria to multiply and producing foul smell. Teen age and pregnancy when the hormonal changes are occurring in the body further adds to the challenge. Stress also is one of the reasons to increase sweat. So if you fall in any of these categories, then take above precautions and avoid the embarrassment caused by your sweaty, smelling feet.