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20 Tips for How to Get Rid of Foot Odor

Updated on October 30, 2012

Everyone is familiar with the smell of stinky feet and I’d venture to say that most of us don’t like it. People who regularly suffer from bad foot odor may be embarrassed about the smell, self-conscious taking their shoes off around others and concerned about why they are having this problem. Luckily there are lots of things that you can do to try to eliminate the smelly odor from your feet and shoes so that you can once again be comfortable baring your toes to the world.

Here’s a look at twenty different ways to reduce foot odor:

1. Air out your feet to keep them dry. The single most common reason that feet smell is that they get wet (usually with sweat). Air out your feet regularly by removing your shoes and socks when you don’t need them

2. Wear moisture-smart socks. There are socks out there that are designed specifically to help keep your feet dry. If you wear socks and shoes all throughout the day and can’t be airing your feet out regularly then it may be smart to invest in these moisture-control socks.

3. Wash with salt. Salt water can dry out your skin so if you wash your feet in it then you can reduce the moisture of your feet and that will reduce their tendency to get stinky fast. When you are done with your shower, soak your feet in a solution of warm salt water. Don’t rinse it off; merely wipe it off with a towel and let your feet dry fully before putting socks on.

4. Wash with vinegar. You can also soak your feet in vinegar once or twice a week to reduce the problem. Of course, vinegar stinks too so you’ll want to do this one at the end of the day when you’re not going anywhere. Wash your feet, dry them thoroughly, stick them in a pair of socks and go to bed.

5. Wash with green tea or black tea. If you can’t stand the idea of washing your feet in vinegar but you do want to try a foot soak then a good alternative is to soak your feet in tea. Black tea is best although green tea works as well.

6. Use a foot scrub. In addition to soaking your feet, you can scrub them to reduce the problem of foot odor. This is best done with natural home remedy products that have a strong smell. Ginger, radish and lemon are all good products for creating a foot scrub that will truly cleanse your feet. Do this once or twice a week.

7. Dry out your shoes as well. If you dry out your feet but then stick them inside of sweaty shoes then you’re just going to get smelly feet again right away. Air out your shoes (preferably outside so you don’t stink up the house) before wearing them again.

8. Try to find shoes that breathe. You’ll reduce a lot of the foot odor problem if you’re wearing shoes that breathe well instead of shoes that hold all of that moisture in.

9. Change out your shoes regularly. Don’t wear the same pair every day because this worsens the problem. Rotate the shoes that you wear regularly so that you can dry them out naturally between each wearing.

10. Wear socks with your shoes. Wearing running shoes and heels without socks causes them to retain their sweat which increases the stink of the shoe and affects your feet. Women who wear nylons may want to wear socks underneath with some shoes to further reduce the problem. The exception here is with open-toed shoes and sandals that may be better off socks-free for maximum aeration of the foot.

11. Apply a foot deodorizer product to your feet. The problem is often taken care of when you purchase an over-the-counter foot deodorizer to apply regularly to your feet.

12. In a pinch, use deodorant. Yes, take the deodorant / anti-perspirant that you wear under your arms and apply it to your feet. The odor should diminish. This is a great quick-fix solution for times when you’re embarrassed about the smell of your feet and want to take care of the issue immediately.

13. Use a deodorizer inside of your shoes. In addition to products that are for your feet, there are deodorizers meant to go into your shoe (powders are the most common type of this product). Corn starch and baking soda are home remedy products that can be used instead. Use these products as needed.

14. Use a benzoyl peroxide gel on your feet daily. This can reduce the bacteria that is causing the problem.

15. Determine what causes you to sweat and take care of the problem. If you sweat because of stress, do relaxation techniques. If you sweat because of heat, get a personal fan. If you sweat when working out, take a clean pair of socks and shoes to the gym with you.

16. Consider your diet and the rest of your body odor. If you notice that it’s not just your feet that smell but the rest of you as well then the problem may be a dietary one. Ask yourself what you’re eating and whether it could be exacerbating the smell of your stinky feet.

17. Get enough zinc. This is one common dietary problem among people with foot odor – they aren’t getting enough zinc in their diets. Check to make sure that you are and start adding to your zinc intake if you’re not. The smell could go away.

18. Wash your feet at least once per day with anti-bacterial soap. The main thing that you need to do is to keep your feet clean. Some people need to wash their feet two or three times a day to keep the problem under control. Take just a few minutes to do this washing and the problem should clear up.

19. Make sure there isn’t a more serious problem. If you’ve done all of these things and you still have a problem with foot odor then you may have some type of foot disease. See a podiatrist to get it checked out.

20. Serious doctor-prescribed solutions. You may find that you don’t have any other foot problem but that your particular situation is bad enough to warrant medical solutions. Solutions to foot order that can be prescribed by a doctor include prescription-strength antibiotics, aluminum chloride with ethyl alcohol, Botox and even surgery. This should, of course, be a last resort.


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  • profile image

    Ly 3 years ago

  • profile image

    Jess 4 years ago

    Yeah Carissa!!!

    If you exercise a lot or spend extended periods of time outdoors, then Lavilin is a great foot deodorant for you. You only need to use it once a week and you'll walk away smelling great. It's all-natural too!

  • profile image

    jh 4 years ago

    lol it worked

  • profile image

    Carissa 4 years ago

    Ever try Lavilin? It's an amazing all-natural foot deodorant. Lasts up to a week!! I cannot imagine my life without it!!

  • profile image

    Wsbs 4 years ago

    Great tips, my feet simply copy the smell of all the new shoes I used to wear and when I wear those shoes it always smell like the shoes, I really do not know what to do, can anybody help me with this please?

  • profile image

    catamex 4 years ago

    Using Peusek products eliminates this problem. Visit

  • profile image

    Michelle 5 years ago

    Thanks for the great tips! Increasing your water intake definitely helps with the problem as well.

    I recently purchased these silver lined shoe inserts and I've definitely seen improvement with the odor-

  • profile image

    dol 5 years ago

    thanx alot for the tips its kinda helping me so much as i ve been feeling so embarrased lately. Are u sure black tea wud really help? cos its better for me and eventually much more cheap..

  • profile image

    Shelby 5 years ago

    My feet stink no matter what I do. My sandals even stink! I may have a pair of shoes for just a week and they will still get a stinch. I have tried everything. I need help!

  • profile image

    Hcngrb 5 years ago

    What if I where wedges? I have this pair of

    Wedges that I love because they are very comfortable but they stink and I don't know what to do the wedges are nice open strapy wedges

  • profile image

    antriksh patel 5 years ago

    hi i m a doctor and we have made a successful research on foul foot smell and finally reached to the answer the world is waiting for... yes we got the perfect and accurate medicine for your foul foot odor and that too just 1 dose and kick off the odor from ur beautiful foot... thanks for treatment just contact me at " "

  • profile image

    Polly 5 years ago

    The article is good. But why so complicated? It's easier to wear simple Zederna Insoles inside your shoes. The cedar wood of the inserts absorbs any sweat and odor. I made good experiences too.

  • profile image

    anamika 5 years ago

    d best way is to wash ur feet at least 3-4 tyms a day...mreover put few drops of dettol solution n ur bathwater everyday to get amazing results...srcubbing wd lemon acts lyk imeediate wonders..i prefer to put some talc/powder wnevr i wear socks n closed shoes n belv me t try wt i said n do gv me if my experience helped u...thanku guys :)

  • profile image

    anamika 5 years ago

    d best way is to wash ur feet at least 3-4 tyms a day...mreover put few drops of dettol solution n ur bathwater everyday to get amazing results...srcubbing wd lemon acts lyk imeediate wonders..i prefer to put some talc/powder wnevr i wear socks n closed shoes n belv me t try wt i said n do gv me if my experience helped u...thanku guys :)

  • profile image

    antriksh patel 5 years ago

    hello everyone i m a doctor and just experimenting my new medicine on many of my colleagues and on my self i got amazing results... By just single doze my patients get complete relef from foul foot smell nd that too without practicing nd of the odd methods given above... Its just single dose and keep the foot smell aside... So if u want a treatment just contact me on :-

    Thanks... Nd it will be my pleasure to help any of u...

  • profile image

    Amna 5 years ago

    @khokhar I know.. I'm Muslim too *smile*

  • profile image

    Mary Stephens 5 years ago

    Try this place for getting your feet cleaned - it has interesting articles to read:


  • profile image

    khokhar 5 years ago


    after ambarrsing psition, when my office colluges was not happy to my foot stinks problem either i am a very relegious & do prayer 5 time in a day. pls help me on my this problem......

  • Jerry Thompson profile image

    Jerry Thompson 5 years ago from New York, New York

    Hey Jeff, that site worked for me too!

  • profile image

    Jeff Gores 5 years ago

    These are great tips. I tried them all. I guess I had a bad case of foot fungus causing stinky feet. The cure that worked for me was and amazingly its been months with no smelly feet. My wife is so happy :)

  • profile image

    Ralf 5 years ago

    Hi there!

    Why does nobody know cedar based remedies? Such as cedarsoles (special cedar wood insoles made from antibacterial and medically active cedar wood)... it's very simple to use and you get rid of foot odor and sweat. Maybe give this a try! I've made best experiences with these cedar insoles.

  • profile image

    kelly nealson 5 years ago

    thanks for the tips i have bad problems with my feet

  • profile image

    kelleyward 5 years ago

    Don't often have this problem but thanks for the informative hub! I'm bookmarking this one!

  • profile image

    SEO Company Bhubaneswar 5 years ago

    thanks for information!

  • profile image

    nuka 6 years ago

    thanks for the great info..i will follow ur methods and see if it helps.

  • sfpodiatrist profile image

    sfpodiatrist 6 years ago from San Francisco

    I'm just wondering where to get a pair of those foot gloves...those things are cool!

  • sfpodiatrist profile image

    sfpodiatrist 6 years ago from San Francisco

    I've heard that your diet can also have an impact on foot odor...andy experience with this?

  • profile image

    Jim bob 6 years ago

    My feet stink I need help I hope these work!

  • Jerry Rice profile image

    Jerry Rice 6 years ago

    This is a great Hub but not perfect because the smell comes back. Sometimes pretty quickly. My wife begged me to do something about it and nothing worked. Until I tried the remedy. Give it a try. It works. And keep up these great Hubs!

  • profile image

    Greg 6 years ago

    H ave you tried any of the product from at all? I hear some good things about there products and was wondering what you thought of them

  • profile image

    Flannery 6 years ago

    Thank you very much for the information. :) Helps a lot.

  • profile image

    Flannery 6 years ago

    Thank you very much for the information. :) Helps a lot.

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    SandTill 6 years ago

    I've found that not wearing socks with running shoes or a sneaker can really make the feet and shoes smell really bad. And plus a letter from my teacher to my parents asking that I start wearing socks.

  • Cheryl J. profile image

    Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

    Thanks for the helpful tips. We suffer so much with this problem. A useful hubpage.

  • profile image

    Redwan 7 years ago

    Just wash your feet every night and use Vaseline® Petroleum Jelly in the morning, before going out at work. This method works for me.

  • profile image

    Muzbeder1 7 years ago from USA

    This works so well that I am amazed it isn't in every store.

    On Your Toes by Frazer laboratories I used it about 3 years ago and it worked on my feet and my shoes.

    It absolutely does what is says!

  • profile image

    Todd 7 years ago

    Wow, hubpages has lots of good articles that have some really helpful tips for battling foot odor. Thank you for all of the helpful tips. I had no idea that zinc could be a possible factor that influences foot odor.

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 7 years ago from Malaysia

    This is a great list. I do face this problem but mostly due to sweat.

  • profile image

    Skatrina 7 years ago

    Interesting will try the vingar and get back to you

  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    Very well written Hub. VeriPure water will also help with odors. Hate to sound like an advertisement here - just wishing to inform. Vinegar would be my second choice - non-chemical is my preference. The contrast baths fascinate me - will have to study a little closer. Very informative and much needed Hub.

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    Whitney B 7 years ago

    Ok. I have had this problem for over 2 to 3+ years of having feet that smell like doritos. i tried the deoderent on the feet, but it does not seem to work for me. is there anything that you want to have me try, just say so and ill try it.

  • shareitt profile image

    shareitt 7 years ago

    You have some great information here. Sometimes we don't think about it too much in the summer with flip flops..but holy cow when are feet are tucked inside a shoe all winter-breathers beware ;0 Thanks

  • Springboard profile image

    Springboard 8 years ago from Wisconsin

    C-los, funny you should mention that. Actually for me it was just the opposite, and I think overall most people suffer a worse odor wearing dark colored socks vs. light colored ones. When I was in the Navy it was common to buy a pair of socks (and we sold them on the ship) that were black above the heel and white on the actual foot. A lot of guys find the black socks make their feet reek badly. I luckily don't suffer terrible foot odor, but when I wore black socks regularly it was more of an issue to be sure.

  • mollysmom4 profile image

    mollysmom4 8 years ago

    Nice tips thanks!

  • successfulblogger profile image

    successfulblogger 8 years ago from Los Angeles,Ca

    Good advice.

  • profile image

    BookFlame 8 years ago

    Somebody needed to attack this subject, and better you than me. It was 958 of my top 1000 things to write about. Oh my God, but stinky feet are intolerable in both oneself and others! The salt tip... now that's easy. Thanks.

  • stars439 profile image

    stars439 8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

    nice informative article. thanks for sharing.

  • articler profile image

    articler 8 years ago

    Hi, this article has it! What a ton of information Kathryn!

    I've heard the easiest recipe from an old woman years ago.. Believe it or not, it's water!

    The person with the cheesy-feet ;) has to wash them in contrast baths! Starting with lukewarm, the waters temperature has to be increased and decreased. The contrast bath has to be ended with cold water!

    Do this for about 10-15 min. every evening for about three weeks and the smell is gone but your girlfriend's back ;)

    I've tried it myself and a friend of mine as well. It worked like a charm!

    You're right of course, with point 8. though "...wearing shoes that breathe..."


  • profile image

    Ted Curtis 8 years ago

    Great job Kathryn!

    People love lists so I linked to your hub page. You have great content about getting rid of foot odor.

    My readers will love this page as well as your others.

    Ted Curtis


  • profile image

    C-los 8 years ago

    I found out that when I wear black socks my feet dont stink and when I wear white socks, ughh my feet stank. So I threw away all those white socks. Does anybody know why. I was wearing the same brand but different colors.

  • mayhmong profile image

    mayhmong 8 years ago from North Carolina

    This is very useful info that I never heard of as a new Nail Tech?! My clients are always asking us how to get rid of foot odors. I need to print this out and share it with the whole crew. But normally we would spray peoples feet with rubbing alcohol. Works good, but not all the time!?

  • SoManyPaths profile image

    SoManyPaths 8 years ago from West Coast USA

    airing those puppies out seems to work well with sandals.