How to Treat and Prevent Foot Odour

How to Treat and Prevent Foot Odour

Last update: 26 July, 2015

If your feet stink, don’t be ashamed. It’s fairly common and most of us are familiar with it. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to prevent foot odour? It’s entirely possible to do so. You just need to work out what’s causing the pong. You see, foot odour might be the result of poor hygiene – but it could equally be due to your shoes, moisture, bacteria, fungus or even stress. There might be quite a lot of trial and error involved.

Of course, the market is inundated with all manner of lotions and potions for treating foot odour. The problem is that there designed merely to neutralise smells rather than address the underlying issues. You’ll probably just end up spending money – which is what the manufacturers want! We’d like to give you some tips and tricks for natural treatments you can do at home. We’d also like to save you a few pennies.

Is it really possible to prevent foot odour?

For the most part, yes: it is possible to stop tootsie stench. A treatment, to be effective, must be combined with a few common sense precautions. Daily habits are often to blame in the first place. That means that you need to identify an bad habits that may be contributing to your condition. When you do, you can move towards a permanent solution.

  • Hygiene plays a major role in overall health – and your feet are no exception. Make sure that you wash your feet well every day. This will wipe out odour-causing bacteria. You may want to use a natural soap together with an exfoliant to slough off dead cells.
  • Moisture is another one of the usual suspects when it comes to smelly feet. Take care to keep your feet dry and limit prolonged exposure to overly humid environments. Humid conditions often encourage the growth of fungus.
  • Deodorant? For your feet? Yes, you can. Powder deodorants – especially those that contain baking soda – can keep your toes feeling comfy and dry. Reduces sweat means reduced odour.
  • Shoes should be chosen with care. If yours don’t allow your feet to breathe, you’re essentially create a swamp down there – and swamps don’t smell too delightful. Choose shoes that are roomy and made of natural materials. There are all sorts of high-tech synthetics these days. Canvas and hemp are also good.
  • Socks should not be an afterthought. They make direct contact with your skin more often than not…so make sure that they’re 100% cotton. Bamboo socks are another smart choice.

Foot odour: if you’ve got it, treat it

Now that you’ve implemented some of our preventative measures, are your feet still malodorous? Don’t panic. We haven’t yet told you about all the remedies! There are several ways to naturally eliminate your problem.

A sprinkling of soda makes your feet sweet

Baking soda

A renowned natural deodoriser, baking soda can and should be used in lieu of fancy sprays and powders. Simply sprinkle a bit in your shoes, over your feet and between your toes to keep sweat and odour at bay.

Apple cider vinegar’s a winner

This vinegar’s versatile. It will virtually eradicate the odour and balance your skin’s pH levels. As a mild antibacterial, it’s safer and gentler on your skin than those you’ll find on supermarket shelves. To a tub of hot water, add 5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Soak your feet for at least ten minutes. Dry thoroughly. Why not take this opportunity to dust them with a bit of baking soda?

Sage advice for staving off stinkiness


There’s a reason that sage is known as a purifying plant. Its powerful antibacterial properties can put the kibosh on excess sweat. What do you do? Simply put some dried sage leaves in your shoes or plunge your feet into a tub full of hot water and sage. Let them soak for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to dry off thoroughly before you put on your socks, shoes or slippers.

Ginger’s gentle touch

Did you know about ginger’s antibacterial abilities? Odours don’t stand a chance against it. Oh, and that inflammation that causes your feet to swell and sweat? Ginger can take care of that for you. It’s pretty infamous as an anti-inflammatory. For the remedy, just grate one medium sized ginger root into a litre of water. Boil for 15 minutes. Let it cool and then decant it. Massage your feet with this liquid every night before bed.

Everything’s rosy with rosemary, lemon and mint

Infusion of rosemary

Ideal for eliminating odour, this terrific triumvirate can do all sorts. It reduces sweating, wipes out bacteria and makes your feet so sweet that they’ll be the freshest things you’ve ever inhaled.

Preparation’s a doddle. In a large bowl, add the juice of one lemon, a tablespoon of rosemary and a tablespoon of mint to a litre of warm water. Enjoy a good soak (about 15 minutes should do it), then completely dry your dogs. Make sure there’s not a trace of moisture or you’ll be right back where you started.

And there you have it: happy feet!