How to Get Rid of Smelly Feet?
3 Tips to Get Rid of Foot Odor
When you spend an evening at a friend’s house, do you fear being asked to remove your shoes? Do you only shop for new footwear online because foot odor fills you with embarrassment? If smelly feet are making you miserable, you are about to discover my top tips for getting rid of embarrassing foot odor once and for all!
1. Clean your feet thoroughly
My first advice to anyone suffering from foot odor is simply to wash their feet. However, I recommend going far beyond a swift rub with a flannel in the shower.
Every time you wash your feet, use antibacterial soap and scrub vigorously to exfoliate, using a stiff brush or sponge. Don’t forget between your toes! Once your feet are clean, dry just as thoroughly, – moisture is what makes a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.
Coat your feet lightly with hand sanitizer, to kill bacteria and inhibit bacterial growth, then use a small amount of antiperspirant on them. Feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body; reducing this will immediately reduce foot odor. If you use roll-on, buy a separate one to avoid introducing those bacteria to your underarms!
Ideally, shower at night and apply antiperspirant to clean, dry feet, then put on clean socks in the morning.
You can soak your feet in a basin of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts hot water for 20-30 minutes, perhaps adding a scoop of baking powder and a few drops of thyme oil, and coat dry feet in talc-free powder or cornstarch to absorb sweat, adding baking soda to create an alkaline environment inhospitable to smelly bacteria!
2. Freshen up your shoes
Of course, all of the work you do to properly wash an dry your feet may be for naught if you are putting those fresh feet in the same smelly shoes.
I recommend open-toed shoes when possible to keep your feet cool and allow sweat to evaporate. When it’s too chilly, I recommend minimizing sweatiness with leather or canvas shoes and absorbing sweat with natural fiber cotton socks – avoid plastic shoes and non-absorbent nylon socks. Change your socks every day to keep bacterial numbers low – you can carry a fresh pair and change during the day if your feet become very sweaty – and turn your socks inside out before washing to ensure dead skin flakes are washed away. These are favorite snacks for odor-causing germs!
I also recommend cedar insoles during use and cedar shavings and cloves when you’re not wearing them to keep older shoes fresh, and sprinkling baking soda inside footwear to maintain an alkaline environment which inhibits bacterial growth. It’s also worth checking if your shoes are machine-washable – if so, chuck them in regularly!
3. Home remedies to beat smelly feet
Some classic home remedies against foot odor include footbaths in black tea, where the tannic acid may act as a barrier, and in kosher, Epsom or sea salts, using five cups to every quart of water. You may also find regular use of a pumice stone to remove dead skin from your feet helpful but remember to wash and dry thoroughly after each use.