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How To Get Rid Of Smelly Feet

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How To Get Rid Of Smelly Feet Hyderabd040-395603080 April 30, 2019

Did you know that your feet have more than 250,000 sweat glands? No wonder that they sweat a lot more than the rest of your body! This sweating may give rise to smelly feet.

Do you smell a foul odor every time you remove your shoes? Do your shoes stink a lot more compared to the other members of your family? Foul-smelling feet are outright embarrassing. They not only ruin your social life but also affect your confidence. Read on to know more about this condition and how it can be managed naturally.

What Causes Smelly Feet?

Smelly feet are a result of a common medical condition that causes a foul odor to emanate from your feet. This condition is medically known as bromodosis. It is usually triggered by the build-up of sweat in the feet, which provides the perfect thriving environment for bacterial growth. It is the growth of bacteria on the feet that causes them to stink.

Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, may also cause bromodosis.

It is common for some individuals to sweat more than others. Factors that can increase your chances of getting smelly feet are:

  • Sweating more – Pregnant women and teenagers usually sweat more due to the fluctuating hormones.
  • Stress
  • Certain medical conditions like trimethylaminuria or hypermethioninemia
  • Poor hygiene
  • Wearing used socks

Smelly feet can be an instant turn-off. But, worry not. More often than not, you can get rid of smelly feet using some quick and inexpensive home remedies.

8 Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Smelly Feet

1. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

Baking Soda Pinit

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You Will Need
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • Water
  • A plastic tub
What You Have To Do
  1. Add one-fourth cup of baking soda to a plastic tub.
  2. Fill the tub with water.
  3. Allow the baking soda to dissolve completely.
  4. Soak your feet in the baking soda bath for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove your feet from the bath and pat your skin dry.
  6. Alternatively, you can also put one to two tablespoons of baking soda in your shoes and leave it overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Baking soda can help prevent your feet from sweating excessively and absorbs the smelly odor. Its antibacterial properties may help prevent bacterial growth in your feet (1).

2. Essential Oils

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You Will Need
  • 10 drops of lemongrass or eucalyptus or peppermint or orange essential oil
  • Water
  • A plastic tub
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill a plastic tub with water.
  2. Add 10 drops of any of the above essential oils to it.
  3. Mix well and soak your feet in the tub for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove your feet from the tub and pat your skin dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

Essential oils of lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint, and orange possess antimicrobial properties (2). These oils not only eliminate the bacteria and fungi that cause smelly feet but also impart a pleasant aroma.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix two tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and water.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and apply it to your feet and in between your toes.
  3. Leave it on until it dries.
  4. You can rinse it off after 30 minutes.
  5. Alternatively, you can also make an apple cider vinegar bath and soak your feet in it.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

The antibacterial property of apple cider vinegar can help prevent bacterial growth in your feet (3). This, in turn, helps you get rid of the foul odor in your feet.

4. Tea Foot Soak

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You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of tea powder
  • 2 cups of water
  • A plastic tub or basin
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two teaspoons of tea powder to two cups of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer and strain.
  4. Allow the tea to cool down a bit.
  5. Transfer the tea to a plastic tub.
  6. Soak your feet in the tub for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Pat your feet dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

The tannic acid in black tea can help prevent bacterial growth on your feet, thus helping you get rid of the odor (4).

5. Salt Water

Salt Water Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of table salt
  • A plastic tub
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon of table salt to two to three cups of hot water.
  2. Mix well until the salt dissolves completely.
  3. Transfer the solution to a plastic tub or basin.
  4. Soak your feet in the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Pat your feet dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

Salt possesses antibacterial properties that can help in inhibiting bacterial growth on your feet (5). This, in turn, can also prevent your feet from stinking.

6. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some virgin coconut oil in your palms and
  2. massage it onto your feet.
  3. Leave it on overnight.
  4. Rinse it off the next morning.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil can help in keeping your feet soft and free of bacteria due to its emollient and antimicrobial properties (6). Inhibition of bacterial growth also prevents your feet from smelling bad.

7. Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cups of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze the juice from two lemons.
  2. Mix the lemon juice with two cups of warm water.
  3. Soak your feet in the solution for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pat your skin dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily, preferably before putting on your shoes.

Why This Works

Lemon is antibacterial, which can help inhibit bacterial growth on your feet (7). It also has deodorizing properties due to its pleasant smell and can thus help keep foot odor at bay.

8. Listerine

Listerine Pinit

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You Will Need
  • ½ cup of Listerine
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • A plastic tub
What You Have To Do
  1. Add half a cup of Listerine to one and a half cups of water.
  2. Mix well and transfer the mixture to a plastic tub.
  3. Soak your feet in the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Pat your feet dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily, preferably right before you put your shoes on.

Why This Works

Listerine contains essential oils like menthol, thymol, and eucalyptol that impart antibacterial potential to it (8). Hence, it can help in getting rid of the foul smell in your feet.

While these remedies can help you deal with smelly feet, there is a high chance of recurrence if you stop using them. Hence, you may want to follow the tips below to prevent foot odor.

Tips To Prevent Foot Odor And Sweaty Feet

  • Wash your feet daily, especially after a long day at work or gym.
  • Wash your shoes and insoles regularly.
  • Do not wear used socks.
  • Wear sweat-wicking or breathable socks.
  • Dry your shoes daily if your feet sweat too much.
  • Store your shoes in a cool, dry place.
  • Cut your toenails regularly.
  • Exfoliate the soles of your feet.
  • Wear sandals or open-toed shoes when the weather is warm and humid.
  • Try putting on some antiperspirant or deodorant on your feet.
  • Apply a medicated powder to your feet once daily to prevent bacterial growth.

You can get rid of smelly feet easily by using a combination of the remedies and tips discussed in this article. If your feet continue to stink despite trying these remedies, you must consult a physician to rule out the possibility of any serious underlying medical issue.

How do you deal with smelly and stinky feet? What are your go-to hacks? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

When to visit a doctor for smelly feet?

If none of the remedies and tips discussed here help or you experience profuse sweating in your feet, you should consider visiting a doctor to find the root cause of your symptoms.

How do I get my feet to stop stinking?

You can try out the above remedies and tips to get rid of smelly feet. If nothing helps, it is better to consult a doctor to find the cause.

Can sweaty feet cause athlete’s foot?

Sweaty feet can increase your chances of getting athlete’s foot as it provides the perfect environment for fungi to multiply.

Can sweaty feet cause itching?

In some individuals, sweaty feet may also be accompanied by symptoms of itching.

How can I make my feet stop smelling?

You can make your feet stop stinking by washing them regularly and trying out the remedies mentioned above for faster results.

How do you remove odor from shoes?

One of the best ways to prevent your shoes from stinking is to dry them after use and before wearing them again. Putting some baking soda in your shoes overnight or exposing them to the sun once in a while can help with the bad odor.

Can diet affect feet odor?

Yes, one’s diet can also promote feet/body odor. Consuming foods high in sulfur like garlic, onions, and broccoli may contribute to stinky feet.

References

  1. Antibacterial activity of baking soda.” Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, US National Library Of Medicine.
  2. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro.” Microbios, US National Library Of Medicine.
  3. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression” Scientific Reports, US National Library Of Medicine.
  4. Antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity of tannic acid against Staphylococcus aureus” Natural Product Research, US National Library Of Medicine.
  5. Antimicrobial properties of salt (NaCl) used for the preservation of natural casings.” Food Microbiology, US National Library Of Medicine.
  6. Comparison of antibacterial efficacy of coconut oil and chlorhexidine on Streptococcus mutans: An in vivo study.” Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, US National Library Of Medicine.
  7. Bactericidal activity of lemon juice and lemon derivatives against Vibrio cholerae.” Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, US National Library Of Medicine.
  8. Antibacterial effects of Listerine on oral bacteria.” Bulletin of Tokyo Dental College, US National Library Of Medicine.

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