10 Best Home Remedies For Smelly Feet And Shoes

Our feet constantly sweat (close to 250 ml seeps out) throughout the day, and it is not surprising that feet often smell awful. With 250,000 glands working around the clock, the sweating goes on irrespective of the body temperature or weather conditions outside. Especially pregnant women and growing teenagers, who sweat due to certain hormonal changes, can be very embarrassed because of smelly feet.

People who do strenuous work, and stay up on their feet most of the time and others who undergo a lot of stress are likely to suffer smelly feet, as will people suffering from hyperhidrosis, a medical condition that generates significant quantities of perspiration leading to feet and body odor.

However, people who feel terribly embarrassed due to smelly feet need not hide in the closet – several effective home remedies help fight stinky feet effectively. Let’s take a look at the various causes of smelly feet first.

Causes of Smelly Feet

  • Excessive sweating in the feet can cause bad odor.
  • People undergoing stress or suffering from hyperhidrosis.
  • Athlete’s foot, a type of fungal infection causes smelly feet.
  • Ignoring personal hygiene and not washing the feet properly.
  • Hormonal changes in teenagers and pregnant women causes smelly feet.

See A Doctor, If:

  • You have sweaty feet all the time.
  • You have tried the remedies listed below, but the problem persists.

10 Best Home Remedies for Smelly Feet

There are several excellent home remedies for smelly feet, and here are the top ten.

Home Remedies For Smelly Feet And Shoes

10. Baking Soda


  • Take two tablespoons of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).
  • Mix the baking soda in 2 liters of clean water and soak your feet in the solution for 20 minutes. Pat your feet dry with a clean towel.
  • Sprinkle dry baking powder on your feet before wearing footwear.

How Does This Work?

Although sweating causes body odor, the real reason is sweat mixing with bacteria that gives out an unpleasant odor. Bacteria can thrive in a moist, warm environment that is created in the feet due to excessive sweating.

Baking soda is an excellent absorbent that helps get rid of the moisture caused by sweating. It also neutralizes the pH levels of sweat generated in the feet, destroys the bacteria, and prevents them from multiplying as well as thriving in the feet. This effectively kills the bad odor emanating from the feet, making baking soda a perfect home remedy for smelly feet.

The Remedy Is Not Good, If:

  • There is a severe infection in the feet.
  • If you are allergic (very rare) to sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

9. Talcum Powder


  • Wash the feet with antiseptic soap and water. Pat dry. Sprinkle generous quantities of talcum powder on the feet, on your socks, and inside your shoes.
  • Clean feet 2 to 3 times every day and sprinkle fresh talcum powder. Keep the feet dry while applying talcum powder.

How Does This Work?

Talcum powder is probably one of the easiest and most effective home remedies for smelly feet. Almost every household will have either talcum powder or baby powder, both of which are effective in controlling the bad odor emanating from feet. Talc is a form of clay mineral that contains hydrated magnesium silicate and oxygen. It helps by absorbing the excess moisture in the feet and keeps them dry for long. Just make sure that the talcum powder you use is a food grade cosmetic, which is safe to use.

The Remedy Is Not Good, If:

Your feet are heavily infected and require clinical medication. Otherwise, talcum powder is safe for any skin type.

8. Vinegar and Alcohol


  • Take ½ cup of kitchen grade vinegar and ½ cup of isopropyl alcohol.
  • Mix vinegar and isopropyl alcohol together. Apply the mixture on your feet.
  • Let it sit for a while until it dries, do not wash the feet.

How Does This Work?

Alcohol helps keep the skin on your feet dry. As most of the bacterial and fungal infections thrive only in a moist environment applying alcohol and keeping the feet dry is not conducive for the growth of bacteria and fungus. Vinegar also has excellent anti-fungal properties and is great at destroying bacteria that thrive on the feet. Applying a potent mixture of alcohol and vinegar ensures that the feet remain dry and germ-free, making this combo the ideal home remedy for smelly feet.

The Remedy Is Not Good, If:

  • The isopropyl content in the alcohol is not high enough.
  • If you don’t choose alcohol, that is around 90% proof.