How to Naturally Treat Foot Odor

· August 30, 2014

Foot odor could be caused by the presence of fungi, using improper footwear, excessive sweating, anxious or stressful situations, metabolic or hormonal disorders, or bad dieting. Today we will talk about a few natural, economical, and easily prepared remedies, as well as general advice for fighting foot odor by acting directly on the cause. 

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 should disappear once you stop taking them.

Clay foot mask

We have recommended clay masks to beautify skin and to 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 afterwards.  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, interspersing with the following remedies.

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.

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.

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

You can also use lavender essential oil, which is cleansing and relaxing.


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 dust.  Clean and cover your feet well afterwards.

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

feet beach-mattsabo17

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 you 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.

foot bath-Intercontinental-Hong-Kong

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 afterwards.

General advice

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 afterwards.
Photos courtesy of mattsabo17, rutger, Intercontinental Hong Kong, and bark