The main cause of smelly feet and stinky shoes is bacteria. These tiny critters love the damp, dark and sweaty recesses of our feet where they multiply rapidly leading to foul odor. In some people, foot odor can get really bad. Stinky smelly feet, socks and shoes are most common in children and adults who have to wear closed shoes in hot, humid weather for more than 8 hours. Let us take a look at easy ways to get your feet to stop stinking.
1. Wash them more often
The easiest way to keep feet from stinking is to wash them more often. This will eliminate bacteria and prevent them from multiplying. Also wash your socks every day, especially in hot, damp weather. If possible, toss your sneakers in the washing machine from time to time to clean them inside out.
2. Use old newspapers
Check your shoes on the inside. Are they damp? Wet shoes are one of the most common smelly feet causes. Insert a wad of old newspapers inside the shoes and leave it inside the shoes overnight. The newspapers will absorb all the moisture which will reduce foul odor. You can also dry wet shoes by using a hair dryer on them to absorb moisture. Never wear wet shoes before drying them out completely as it can lead to fungal infections and smelly feet.
3. Air out smelly feet
As far as possible, avoid wearing shoes for prolonged periods of time, particularly in hot and humid weather. If needed, wear open toed shoes or sandals/slippers. While relaxing at home, avoid wearing footwear. Outdoors, choose to wear clean and absorbent socks inside the shoes to keep sweat to a minimum. This is necessary to stop smelly feet and shoes.
4. Use powdered alum
One of the best home remedies for smelly feet is alum. It is inexpensive, effective and readily available in grocery stores. Add powdered alum inside smelly shoes and leave it on overnight. Next day, before wearing the shoes, remove excess alum. The odor will be gone and your feet and socks won’t stink.
5. Apple cider vinegar for smelly feet
Soak your feet in warm water mixed with a cup of apple cider vinegar. Vinegar absorbs odors, eliminates bacteria and leaves your feet clean and odor free. You may also use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
6. Baking soda
Sprinkle baking soda liberally inside dry but smelly shoes and socks before wearing them. You can also soak your feet (at the end of the day) in warm water mixed with baking soda to get rid of stinky, sweaty feet. Soda absorbs odors and leaves you with clean fresh feet.
Add half a cup of bleach to a gallon of water and soak your smelly feet in it for 5-10 minutes. Bleach kills the bacteria and leaves your feet clean and odor free. The effect of this home remedy also lasts for weeks to come!
8. Milk of magnesia
Rub Milk of Magnesia on the feet before wearing the shoes. This absorbs odors and leaves your feet fresh all day long. Use this home remedy every day to get rid of sweaty feet.
9. Clay and charcoal
Take a capsule of calcium bentonite clay and activated charcoal for 2-3 days. This will rid your system of toxins and eliminate body odor, arm pit sweat and sweaty feet.
10. Epsom salts
Soaking stinky feet in Epsom salt enriched foot bath can also eliminate bacteria to help you get rid of sweaty, smelly feet.
11. Hydrogen peroxide
Soak your smelly feet in diluted hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes every evening to stop feet from stinking.
12. Essential oils
Massaging the feet with essential oils can help eliminate bacteria to stop feet from stinking. Dilute one of the following oils with coconut or olive oil and use them for a foot massage before bedtime: tea tree, lemon, peppermint, cedarwood, lavender, lemongrass or bergamot. Massage feet with the blend for 5-10 minutes. Cover up with socks and let the skin absorb the oils. Use this remedy nightly to stop feet from smelling.
13. Take zinc
Deficiency of zinc is one of the lesser known smelly feet causes. Take a good multivitamin pill with zinc to get rid of sweaty, smelly feet as well as body odor.
14. Use foot odor products
Many foot odor products are available these days to prevent smelly feet. Try a foot odor powder which contains bactericide and kills odor causing bacteria. Add the powder inside socks or directly inside the shoes. Also sprinkle liberally on the feet before wearing socks. Other foot odor products are Cedar insoles. Simply insert the insoles inside smelly shoes and no more stink! For preventing stinky smelly feet and shoes, there are also foot odor sprays. Most sprays contain essential oils and apple cider vinegar all of which work synergistically to eliminate odors. Spray the product on shoes, socks and skin to stop smelly feet and shoes.
Use these 14 easy ways to get rid of sweaty feet and smelly shoes.