Stinky feet? 5 best recipes to treat foot odor

Foot odor could be caused by fungi, improper footwear, excessive sweating, among other things. here are five easy remedies that won't cost you anything!
Stinky feet? 5 best recipes to treat foot odor
Karla Henríquez

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Karla Henríquez.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

Everything is going well… until you let go of your shoes and release your feet! Too much sweat, bacteria or fungus can cause your feet to reek. Ugh! Now that summer is right around the corner, it’s key to have nice feet. If you want to know how to treat foot odor, read on! 

Shortly put, that foul smell coming from your feet could have a variety of causes. In order to properly treat foot odor, you need to determine the cause.

Foot odor could be caused by the presence of fungi, using improper footwear, excessive sweating, anxious or stressful situations, metabolic or hormonal disorders, or even having a bad diet.

All of these situations aid the foul smell in two ways: first, they increase sweat and moisture in the feet; second, due to the moist environment, microbial organisms overgrow and start causing issues.

Today you’ll know some of the best recipes to treat foot odor. These are natural, economical, and easily prepared so you can fight the bad smell in a pinch. Say goodbye to bad-smelling feet!




Five remedies to treat foot odor

Clay foot mask

We have recommended clay masks to beautify skin and alleviate pains caused by inflammation.  They also serve to eliminate foot odor.  You can use green or red clay, which will be mixed with warm water until creating an oily paste.  Smear the cream on your feet, and leave the mask for 20 minutes.  Wash feet with warm water afterward.  Because clay has a tendency to dry things out a bit, you can moisturize your feet a little with almond oil or hydrating creams.

Use these foot masks once or twice a week. For better results, use some of the next remedies as well.

Essential oils

Essential oils are a therapeutic and pleasant resource for preventing bad foot odor.  Mixing a few drops of essential oil with a vegetable base (olive, sesame, almond, sunflower, etc.) should be enough.  You can also blend them with your normal moisturizing cream.

Use the oil mixture in your feet in order to combat excessive microbial growth, and treating foot odor swiftly.

It’s key to select the proper essential oils for the task. Tea tree essential oil is the first oil we will choose to eliminate possible fungi or bacteria that could be contributing to the bad odor. The compounds found in tea tree oil show important antimicrobial activity that has even killed Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that, if overgrown, can cause a bad smell.

You can combine it with lemon essential oil, which is astringent and purifying, and also smells good.

On the other hand, you can also use lavender essential oil, which is cleansing and relaxing. It will add a touch of luxe to your little spa time.

essential oils will treat foot odor in a pinch

Walking barefoot

Walking barefoot in natural areas like sand and beach water, fresh grass, moist ground, or in the river, is the best way for the foot to sweat and release toxic substances.  This tones and improves general circulation in the body.

Do this preferably for at least a half an hour, in the morning or at dusk.  Clean and cover your feet well afterward.

If you do this exercise daily, you will notice benefits not only in your feet but also in your general health as well.

walking barefoot is great to treat foot odor

Foot baths

Foot baths in nice and warm water are an easily prepared ancient remedy.  You can add sodium bicarbonate to the water, which will help remove the acidity and toxins from the bottom of the foot, and will make the blood more alkaline.  You can also use large crystal sea salt, which is very relaxing and also helps reduce swelling in the feet.

Mix 2 spoonfuls of bicarbonate or salt in the water, which should be as warm as you can tolerate.  Soak your feet for at least half an hour.  If the water begins to cool, you can add more hot water.

You can take these baths every day before going to bed, or you can alternate them with other remedies.

use foot baths to help with the bad odor

Want to know more ? 5 Homemade Foot Odor Remedies

Sulfur or boric acid in your shoes

You can prevent bad odor throughout the day by putting a bit of boric acid or powdered sulfur in your shoes.  This prevents excessive sweating and fungal growth.  Use only a pinch in each shoe, making sure it doesn’t come into contact with children or pets.  Wash your hands well afterward.

More advice to treat foot odor

This general advice can help you prevent foot odor:

  • Use a well-ventilated shoe, especially in summer or when doing physical exercise.
  • Use natural fiber socks, like cotton, and avoid synthetic blends.
  • Drink water between meals, at least 6 glasses a day.
  • Have a balanced diet, rich in raw foods (fruits, salads, juices, sprouts, etc.).
  • Air your shoes out after using them, and don’t use the same shoe for a few days afterward.

We always recommend you consult a physician or dermatologist – especially if you suffer from chronic foot odor – along with using these natural remedies.  Keep in mind that some medications and food can also cause excessive sweating and bad odor, but in those cases, this should only be temporary and disappear once you stop taking them.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bayer. Razones por las que huelen mal los pies. Disponible online:
  • Hodge BD, Brodell RT. Anatomy, Skin Sweat Glands. [Updated 2019 Apr 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from:
  • Williams LB, Metge DW, Eberl DD, et al. What makes a natural clay antibacterial?. Environ Sci Technol. 2011;45(8):3768–3773. doi:10.1021/es1040688
  • Orchard A, van Vuuren S. Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:4517971. doi:10.1155/2017/4517971

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.