Can there be anything more embarrassing than smelly feet (medically known as Bromodosis)? The problem can be camouflaged while wearing shoes, but once they have to be slipped off…there’s no hiding the source.
If you’re looking for helpful methods to fight odor, I have a few different recipes below to try (including a homemade herbal spritz).
Are you are dealing with a chronic situation and find shoes get ruined frequently because of the lingering smell? I added a tip at the bottom of the page that may do just the trick to save them.
Directions: Mix these up and store in a shakeable container then dust bare skin as needed (don’t forget in between the toes). They are also effective when dusted inside footwear (sprinkle then set aside for overnight, empty before wearing).
Tip: An old talcum or seasonings container that has been washed & dried first comes in handy here and does just the trick.
4 TBS boric acid powder (for its antiseptic qualities)
1/3 C. unscented talcum
1 TBS powdered alum
1/2 C. cornstarch
1/2 C. baking soda
Peppermint EO (approx. 12-14 drops)
- Combine well and set aside overnight. If there are lumps in the dried batch, sift.
- Store in an airtight container.
1/2 C. orris root powder*
16 drops tea tree
16 drops lavender EO
- Mix well and set aside for 24 hours. Sift out lumps. Rub on skin.
*Can substitute with baking soda
#4 – DIY Spritz Freshener:
This herbal mix will rejuvenate tootsies, can also sprinkle on the soles of sandals to remove odors (test an area first for discoloration).
Small handful of fresh mint (about 1/4 cup)
1 C. Distilled Water
1 C. Vodka
1/2 tsp. Tea Tree
- Gently rinse the herbs, roughly rip them into big chunks and put in the bottom of a sterilized mason jar.
- Bring to a boil the distilled water, pour over the leaves. Seal the jar and place in a sunny spot for 24 hours (shake vigorously in the morning and again at night).
- After 24 hours strain and throw out the leaves, keeping just the infusion.
- Add vodka and the 1/2 tsp of Tea Tree. Combine then pour into spray bottle. Use as needed, shaking well first.
May also substitute the fresh herbs with 1/2 tsp. of a favorite mint EO, just add it to the liquids–shake bottle before each use.
Optional: Toss in some lemon peel as boiling water is being poured.
If sweaty feet is the issue and more than one pair of shoes have been ruined, here’s a helpful trick:
- Clean inside the shoes with soap and water (if they’re machine washable–throw them in there).
- Once thoroughly dry, double bag the footwear and stick in freezer for a day or two. This will help kill the bacteria and fungi.
- Once thawed and back to room temperature, spritz with choice of vinegar, cider vinegar, rubbing alcohol, vodka, or Pine-Sol (do your best to cover the entire inside).
- Dust with a favorite foot talc after they’re dry.
Good To Know
Stinky feet are caused by bacteria that grows due to sweaty, enclosed tootsies. This damp environment creates the stench that offends the nose and embarrasses its victims at the most inopportune times.
Weekly treatments: Give yourself regular soaks (recipes on this page) and frequently slough off any dead skin on soles with a pumice stone (this is what the bacteria feeds on). You can also do a soak by adding a cup of apple cider vinegar (or regular) to the foot bath.
Why not: Some swear by using armpit deodorant spray on the soles to combat moisture.
Are you pregnant? If smelly tootsies isn’t normally a problem but something you’re suddenly dealing with, the hormonal changes your body is currently dealing with is likely the culprit…this condition typically passes after birth and the body readjusts.
For severe problems: Try commercial anti-bacterial creams and soaps.
When nothing works: Check with your doctor, a prescription for topical antifungals or antibacterials might be better suited for your situation. Some even find botox treatments beneficial (though these are quite painful).