It is the end of the day, and you are pulling off your shoes, only to be greeted with an odour so foul you would have thought you just stepped into a dead skunk. But it shouldn’t be this way! You are wearing new shoes. You washed your feet this morning. You even put odour eaters insoles in your shoes! But your feet still smell!
Well, worry no longer. Once you have finished this article, you will know some easy methods to get rid of stinky feet asap!
Why do my feet smell? A quick primer
Your feet sweat. It is something they are designed to do. It helps to regulate temperature and keeps your skin soft, supple and moist. Unfortunately for our bodies, we were never intended to spend all day with our feet cooped up in little leather prisons!
So when we wear shoes, our feet sweat a bit more than normal, which causes the natural bacteria that live all over our bodies to multiply. They feed, and the by-product of that is the stinky feet smell that is currently plaguing you. But sweaty feet are healthy, and shouldn’t cause excessively smelly feet. If your feet are too sweaty or smelly, there might be a few causes.
- If you wear the same footwear day after day, the sweat from your feet can soak into the linings. If you don’t give the shoes time to dry, the problem only compounds.
- Hormonal changes can cause issues, both with excessive and excessively smelly sweat. So pregnant women and teens can have stinky feet.
- Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, can give your feet like bathing pools.
- Stress causes us to sweat. So try and chill a little more. If you feel overstressed, even taking 60 seconds to relax and breathe can make a huge difference.
- Lastly, simply not washing can cause you to sweat more, and cause your sweat to smell more.
It is all well and good, I can hear you say, but how do I solve my problem? Relax, my loves. We got you.
How to cure stinky feet, once and for all
There are a few ways to deal with this issue. As you read through our list, bear in mind that you can use more than one of these at a time, so if one doesn’t work, just move on and try the next. But if none of them works, maybe it’s time to book a trip to your podiatrist.
Make sure you are cleaning your feet properly
Because foot odour is caused primarily by bacteria, you might be able to solve the problem with the simple step of washing your feet with an antibacterial soap. Not only that, but when you are washing your feet, make sure that you are also drying them correctly, and by that we mean completely. Make sure you are drying between the toes, and if you need further help, dip a cotton swab in witch hazel and use it between your toes. It is also good to remove the hard skin because when hard skin patches get damp, they stay moist for longer than normal healthy skin, which can promote the growth of bacteria.
Use an antifungal powder or foot product
Whether you buy it from the pharmacy or make your own at home, an antifungal powder will make a massive difference in foot odour. If you fancy trying to make some foot odour remedies at home, baking soda, arrowroot powder, cayenne powder and cornstarch are a great start.
Soak your feet
There are multiple methods to this, but the primary purpose is literally to soak your feet in something that will kill the bacteria, then thoroughly dry them.
Here are some different feet soaks you can try;
Apple cider vinegar Soak:
In a bowl large enough to contain both your feet comfortably, pour measure in some lukewarm Water and Vinegar in a ratio of 2:1 i.e 2 parts of water to 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar. Some people might want it more diluted but this concentration will be just fine and give the desired results.
Clove Oil Feet soak:
Fill a bowl with warm (not hot) water, add a few drops of clove oil, and leave your feet to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this once per day and remember to dry your feet properly with a soft towel after each soak.
Prepare a salt soak by getting a quarter cup of Epsom salts and four cups of water and mixing in a large bowl. Soak your feet in this preparation for up to 30minutes everyday.
Tea tree oil contains about 30% to 50% of terpinen-4-ol, a compound that has been shown to kill some bacteria, viruses, and fungi. To make a soak, add a few drops of tea tree oil into warm water and soak your feet until the water becomes cold. Alternatively, apply around half a dozen (6) drops to the entire feet after washing and drying them and blend into the skin using clean hands. See our guide on how to use tea tree oil for smelly feet.
Wear fresh socks
Socks help to wick away the sweat from your skin, and some socks are also designed to help with foot ventilation, allowing your feet to breathe and cool down. Either way, a fresh pair of socks every day is a must if you really want to get rid of stinky feet.
Disinfect your shoes
If you notice your shoes forming a bit of mould or getting smelly when you’re not wearing them, you can try to disinfect them first. Mould or excessive growth of bacteria in your shoes may especially hinder the progress you’re making while trying to cure stinky feet. It’s like a dog rolling in the sand immediately after having a bath!
For disinfecting your shoes, most general-purpose disinfectants should work. You can also take the insoles out, disinfect them and allow to air for up to 24hours.
Change your shoes
As we explained earlier, if you wear the same set of shoes day after day, you might not be giving them time to dry out completely. You should be giving your shoes a day or two to dry out, so have a few pairs you can wear. Yes, we did just give you an excuse to buy more sets of shoes. If you are at home, try not to wear shoes so your feet can breathe for as much of the day as possible.
Take a glance at what you are eating
It is more of a long shot, but if you are eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs, you might be contributing to the problem. Apparently, a diet high in sugar and carbs can act as fuel for bacteria, and increase their numbers. An increase in bacteria is equal to more smell. To get rid of stinky feet, try cutting back on the soda for a few days, and see if it makes a difference.
Hopefully, now you understand your problem a little better, and with a few simple changes can beat it once and for all. When you hit it, make sure you come back here and share what worked for you in the comments, so other people in the same situation can deal with it just as well as you did!