Foot odor, known as bromodosis, is a common problem that is embarrassing for you and those around you. Foot odor is usually caused by sweat and shoes. Your feet and hands have more sweat glands than most other parts of your body, which can make it difficult to control your sweat. But by focusing your attention on your feet and shoes, your feet can be free from bad odors.
Part 1 of 3: Preventing Smelly Feet
Step 1. Wash your feet every day
To keep your feet smelling good, keep your feet clean. Wash your feet daily with warm water and soap. This step removes dirt, sweat, and bacteria that cause bad odors. Make sure you pay special attention to washing your feet while in the shower. Often times people forget to wash their feet or just do it quickly. Your feet need the same or even more attention than the rest of your body.
- Wash between your toes and around the curves of your nails. These are places where bacteria can grow.
- If your feet smell, try to wash them several times a day. Once in the morning, once in the evening, and once after you have worked out or are sweating heavily.
Step 2. Exfoliate your feet
Removing dead skin can help reduce foot odor. Scrub your feet at home with an exfoliating scrub or pumice stone, or treat your feet with a pedicure.
- Also, keep your toenails clean and tidy to reduce bacteria.
- Apply moisturizer to keep your feet soft and healthy. Try scented lotions like lavender or peppermint to help fight bad odors.
Step 3. Keep your feet dry
Foot odor is caused by bacteria that breed and live in damp areas. When you wear sweaty and wet socks and shoes, those bacteria grow and eventually start to stick to your feet and cause a foul odor. By keeping your feet dry, you remove moisture that can be used as a breeding ground for bacteria to live.
- Dry your feet completely after you shower. Make sure you've completely dried your feet, including the area between your toes.
- When you're done drying your feet, wipe the area between your toes with rubbing alcohol. Alcohol helps dry out the skin between your toes.
Step 4. Put on socks
When you can, wear socks when wearing your shoes. Socks absorb moisture, so if you don't wear them, the sweat on your feet will transfer to your shoes or get trapped between your toes. Always wear socks when you wear boots and sneakers.
Socks are not suitable for wearing with pumps or ballet shoes. Buy small socks that are designed to be invisible when worn with formal shoes. Socks like this can be bought in major stores
Step 5. Put on the right socks
The socks you wear can make a difference when it comes to the smell of your feet. Always wear a clean pair of socks; do not reuse the same pair of socks for several days in a row. When choosing socks, choose those made of synthetic materials.
- Avoid cotton socks. These socks absorb moisture which can make your feet wet and smelly.
- Try wearing moisture-wicking socks that absorb moisture from the skin, or breathable foot-refreshing sports socks. You can also buy antibacterial socks that contain ingredients that help prevent bacterial growth.
- It doesn't matter what synthetic or cotton socks you wear, make sure the fabric is breathable.
- Turn the inside of your sock outward when you wash it to wash away dead skin and moisture from within.
Step 6. Apply antiperspirant (antiperspirant) on your feet
Antiperspirants contain chemicals that help reduce sweat production. On the other hand, deodorants only hide bad odors on the feet, so avoid using deodorants. Spray antiperspirant on your feet before you go to bed. This gives the product enough time to absorb into the skin so that it will start working the next day. Don't forget to use it between your toes, the places where sweat and bad odors arise.
You can also apply antiperspirant on your feet before putting on your shoes the next day. Just make sure not to only use it in the morning, because if your feet start to sweat right away, the sweat can wash away the antiperspirant
Part 2 of 3: Preventing Smelly Shoes
Step 1. Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row
By always changing the shoes you use, you give your shoes at least 24 hours to dry. This reduces moisture, which is a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.
If you exercise every day, buy two pairs of shoes. One of the main causes of sweat on the feet is exercise. Sports shoes are a common breeding ground for smelly feet. Alternate between the two pairs of shoes for a week to ensure that each pair has enough time to dry completely before re-wearing
Step 2. Sprinkle odor-fighting powder on your shoes
When you're not wearing your shoes, sprinkle baking soda or talcum powder on the inside of the sole.
- Baking soda is believed to be effective in neutralizing odors. Baking soda neutralizes the pH of sweat and reduces bacteria. Baking soda also helps absorb moisture. You can put baking soda in your shoes between wears, and even rub it on your feet before putting on socks.
- You can also dust your feet with cornstarch before putting on your shoes to absorb moisture.
- You can also try applying an antibacterial cream on your feet to reduce the number of bacteria.
Step 3. Try using an antibacterial deodorant spray
Spray some deodorant or disinfectant into your shoes to reduce the smell. You can also try washing the insides and soles of your shoes with rubbing alcohol.
Step 4. Try going barefoot
When at home, leave your feet free. Don't wear socks or shoes unless you have to. If your feet are cold, wear clean socks that are thick and soft as they will help pull moisture away from your feet.
Step 5. Wear the right shoes
One of the main causes for sweaty feet is shoes that do not have air circulation. When choosing shoes to wear, choose shoes that have air circulation. Stay away from shoes made of plastic and rubber because these types of shoes do not circulate air.
- Buy shoes made of leather, canvas or mesh that provide air circulation for your feet.
- Wear shoes with open toes if possible. Open-toed heels and flip-flops allow a lot of airflow to your feet which keeps sweat from being produced.
Step 6. Wash your shoes regularly
If you have shoes that can be put in the washing machine, wash them every week or two. Add a little baking soda to the washing machine to help remove odors.
- Wash your socks regularly. Add baking soda or bleach to the washing machine to help reduce odors.
- Do not dry the sneakers in the dryer. Instead, place the sneakers in the dryer and allow the heat from the machine to help dry them. You can also let the shoes air dry.
- If you can't wash your shoes in the washing machine, wash them with hot water and baking soda.
Step 7. Avoid activities that get your shoes wet
When you go out in snow or water, make sure you wear the right shoes so they don't get wet. If you get your shoes wet, make sure you dry them properly. Otherwise your shoes may get smelly.
- Dry the shoes in a tumble dryer, with a hairdryer, or dry them in the sun. Make sure you dry them as soon as possible so they don't get damaged.
- If you know you have to leave the house and can't put on waterproof shoes, try buying plastic shoe covers. Shoe protectors like these can be purchased at major stores.
Part 3 of 3: Treating Smelly Feet with Homemade Medication
Step 1. Spray hand sanitizer or hand sanitizer on your feet after washing them
After washing your feet with soap and water, consider spraying an antibacterial hand sanitizer on your feet. This step can help prevent bacteria from growing on your feet.
Step 2. Soak your feet in the Epsom salt solution
Epsom salt helps neutralize bad odors and fights bacteria. Dissolve 150 grams of Epsom salt in 1.9 liters of warm water. Soak your feet for 30 minutes every day. After soaking do not rinse the salt off your feet, just dry your feet thoroughly. This step is especially effective if you do it before bed and don't wear socks afterward.
Step 3. Wash your feet with vinegar
Vinegar is an acid that creates an environment in which bacteria cannot live. Mix 120 ml of white or apple cider vinegar with 1.4 ml of hot water. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes.
Wash your feet with soap and rinse thoroughly afterward to get rid of the vinegar smell
Step 4. Make a black tea mixture to wash your feet
Many people believe in the efficacy of traditional medicine by soaking the feet in black tea to get rid of foot odor. The tannic acid in tea is believed to prevent the growth of bacteria by creating an unfriendly environment for the growth of bacteria.
- Dip 5 black tea bags in boiling water. After the tea is dipped, mix in 950 ml of cold water to make the water warm - Don't scald your feet. Soak your feet for 20 minutes every day.
- Instead you can use green tea which is also thought to destroy bacteria.
Step 5. Rub your feet with lime
Cut a lime in half and rub each slice over each of your feet. Let it dry completely. The acid in limes is believed to prevent the growth of bacteria.
You can also use lemons instead of limes. Instead you can try mixing lemon or lime with baking soda and soaking your feet in it
Step 6. Try using hydrogen peroxide
Mix 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with 240 ml of water. Place the mixture on a washcloth and wipe the cloth over your feet. This method can help eradicate some of the bacteria present.