Foot odor is a type of body odour that affects the feet of humans and is generally considered to be an unpleasant smell. The main cause is feet sweat. Sweat itself is odourless, but it creates a beneficial environment for certain bacteria to grow and produce smelly feet bad-smelling substances. The front part of the foot is where it produces the most sweat. Therefore, more smell is created with factors causing more sweat feet, such as wearing closed-toe shoes for many hours. Socks generally do not cause foot odour on their own, but when worn along with shoes, socks can help to trap the hair on the feet, especially on the toes, may contribute to the odour’s intensity by adding increased surface area in which the bacteria can thrivethen stinky feet.

foot odor


The quality of foot odor is often reported as a thick, cheese-like smell. Some describe the smell like that of malt vinegar. However, it can also be ammonia-like. Brevibacteria are considered a major cause of foot odour and stinky feet because they ingest dead skin on the feet and, in the process, convert amino acid methionine into methanethiol, which is a colorless gas with a distinctive putrid  feet smell that has a sulfuric aroma. The dead skin that fuels this process is especially common on the soles and between the toes.


What causes foot odor and stinky feet


  • Wearing same shoes every day without allowing the sweat to dry out completely causes food odor or stinky feet.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Excessive stress and tension
  • Hyperhidrosis – A condition in which a person sweats more than normal causes foot odor or stinky feet.


Natural remedies for Foot Odor (stinky feet)

Black Tea

Black tea has tannic acid that helps kill the bacteria that produce foot odor. It also helps close pores on your feet, thereby reducing the amount of sweat on which the bacteria feed.

Boil two black tea bags in three cups of hot water. Add half a bucket of normal water to lower the temperature of the solution. Soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this daily for about a week for foot odor treatment and stinky feet cure.


Apple Cider Vinegar


Apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural foot odour remedies that show immediate results. The acidic environment created by apple cider vinegar makes it difficult for the bacteria to survive. It also helps in regulating the pH level of the skin and getting rid of the  foot odor-causing bacteria permanently.

Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to 5 cups of warm water and soak your feet in this concoction for 15 minutes 2 times a day for 1 week to get wonderful results and stinky feet cure . You can also steep your socks in apple cider vinegar for foot odor treatment . It helps in hyperhidrosis.


Ginger Root

Ginger is also an effective solution to smelly feet as it inhibits bacterial growth and also removes toxins.

Make a puree out of a medium sized ginger root. Steep the puree in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a coffee filter to strain the solution. Use the smooth liquid to massage your feet gently each night before going to bed.

Repeat the process daily for two weeks to get positive results foot odor cure.


Alum Powder

Alum powder has astringent and antiseptic properties. Thus, it inhibits the growth of bacteria and stinky feet,foot odor.

Mix one teaspoon of alum powder in one cup of warm water. Wash your feet with this solution. After 15 to 20 minutes, dry your feet thoroughly and then sprinkle some alum powder on them. Do this once daily for foot odor, cure for stinky feet.


Boiled Rice Water

One of the most effective ways to remove foot odor permanently is soaking your feet in rice water.

You can put some plain rice in water for half an hour and then drain it to get the rice extract. Soak the feet in this water and the odour will never come back.


Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is an effective remedy to eliminate foot odor and stinky feet. It neutralizes the pH of sweat feet and reduces bacteria.

Add baking soda in warm water (one tablespoon to quarter of water) and soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes every night for about one week to stinky feet . You can also sprinkle baking soda in both your shoes and socks before wearing them.


Sugar Scrub

Best ways to get rid of foot odour is to remove the deposits of dead skin cells and calluses from the feet with the help of regular exfoliation. A natural scrubber not only cleans your feet but also prevents the formation of corns and calluses, some of the main reasons for foot odour.

Mix 1 part of isopropyl alcohol (91% or above) with 5 parts of water and 7 to 9 parts of sugar in order to make a grainy mixture and scrub your feet with this mixture for 10 minutes. Then wash your feet with water. Repeat this treatment 3 times a week for best results. Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes before using the sugar scrub.


Epsom salt

The Epsom salt acts as an astringent to reduce sweating, and may kill bacteria.

Mix two cups of Epsom salt into a basin half-full with warm water. Soak your feet for 15 minutes twice a day.


Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil

Tea tree essential oil helps in getting rid of foot odour naturally by healing fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. It also neutralizes foot odour. This strong essential oil can be combined with water or some other carrier oil.

Add 8 drops of tea tree oil to 1 cup of water and apply this water on your feet. Let it air dry. Repeat this cure every night before going to bed. You can also mix tea tree oil with lavender oil and apply the mixture directly to your feet every night.


Ways to prevent Foot Odor


  • Wash Your Feet – Clean your feet on a daily basis by washing them with soap and lukewarm water, especially in between the toes.
  • Pick the Right Socks – Using socks made of nylon or any other synthetic material don’t allow your feet to breathe, and traps moisture around your feet. Therefore, always use cotton socks which let your feet breathe.
  • Keep Your Shoes Clean and Dry – After you get back home, don’t store away your damp and sweaty shoes in a dark closet. It acts as the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Instead, keep them in an open place so that they can dry out before you wear them the next day.
  • Wear Fresh Socks Every Day – Don’t wear the same socks on two consecutive days. The socks absorb the sweat from your feet. Wearing the same socks on the next day reheats and produces a bad smell. So, make it a point to wear clean socks every day.
  • Exfoliate – The dead skin cells on the feet act as a food supply to the odor causing bacteria. So make sure to scrub your feet periodically in order to remove dead skin cells, calluses, and corns.
  • Keep Moisture at Bay – Moisture in the form of sweat and water acts as a breeding ground for bacteria. keep your feet fresh and dry at all times including the spaces between the toes.

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