Odor Busters: Easy Foot Powders (& A Spray)

Looking for helpful methods to fight foot odor? I have a few different recipes below to try (including a DIY herbal spray). If you have a chronic problem and find shoes get ruined frequently because of the lingering smell, I added a tip at the bottom of the page that may help save them.

Directions: Mix these up and store in a shakeable container then dust feet as needed (don’t forget in between the toes). These can also be used to dust 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 cup unscented talcum
1 TBS powdered alum


1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup baking soda
Peppermint EO (approx. 12-14 drops)

  • Mix well and set aside overnight. If there are lumps in the mixture once it’s dry, sift.
  • Store in an airtight container and use as needed.


1/2 cup orris root powder*
16 drops tea tree
16 drops lavender EO

  • Mix well and set aside overnight. Sift out lumps. Rub on skin as needed.

*Can substitute with baking soda

Freshen up tootsies with this herbal mix, can also this on the inside soles of sandals to remove odors (test an area first for discoloration):


Mason Jar
Small handful of fresh mint (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup Distilled Water
1 cup Vodka
1/2 tsp. Tea Tree


  • Gently rinse the mint then roughly rip them into big chunks and put in the bottom of a sterilized mason jar.
  • Bring to a boil the distilled water then pour over the leaves. Seal the jar and set in a sunny spot for 24 hours (shake vigorously once in the morning and once 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. Shake well then pour into spray bottle. Use as needed, shake well before using.

Can also substitute the fresh mint with 1/2 tsp. of a favorite mint EO, just add it to the vodka, water and tea tree–shake bottle before each use.

Optional: Try tossing in some fresh lemon peel when covering with boiling water.

If you have a problem with sweaty feet and have ruined more than one pair of shoes with the smell, try this tip:

  • Clean inside the shoes with soap and water (if they’re machine washable–throw them in there).
  • Once thoroughly dry, double bag them and stick in freezer overnight. 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 (try covering the entire inside).
  • Once dry, dust them with a favorite foot powder.

Good To Know: Stinky feet are caused by bacteria that grows due to sweaty, enclosed feet. This damp environment creates the odor that offends the nose and embarrases its victims at the most inopportune times. For severe problems, you can try commercial anti-bacterial creams and soaps. Why not: Some swear by using armpit deodorant spray on the soles of feet to help combat sweat.

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What Readers Are Saying: One Comment
  1. MuLLeT says:

    i’ve also used a mix of 16oz of water with about 15 drops of lavander-tea tree essential oil (desert brand) in a spray bottle. spray a couple spritzes in my shoes before bed. after about a week, the tea tree smell fades away and seems to deoderize my gym shoes.

    i’ve also done 1 cup baking soda mixed with about 5 drops of essentail oil in my shoes srpinkled out of a sugar dispenser from the $1 store

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