Foot odor can be caused by a variety of issues; though, most of these issues are related to the growth of bacteria along your feet. Sweat from your feet does not actually contain an odor, but it does contain proteins and amino acids that can promote the growth of foul-smelling bacteria.
Your body contains two to three million sweat glands, and a half million are located on your feet. Before humans wore shoes everywhere, our bodies depended on these sweat glands to cool off our feet, from walking on hot ground. By wearing shoes, you prevent your feet from being able to properly dispel this sweat, which may lead to a buildup of bacteria or fungus.
Taking care of foot odor can be an annoying problem, but there are many ways to deal with it. In order to conquer your foot odor, you will need to address two separate issues – sweat and bacteria. By using a DIY foot soak, you can target both of these problems, eliminating your foot odor.
Take a look at these six DIY soaks for getting rid of your foot odor.
Sage and Rosemary Foot Soak
Rosemary and sage both contain antibacterial and antifungal properties, helping to limit the production of sweat and kill bacteria that may be causing your foot odor. When you are able to cut down on the amount of sweat that your feet produce, you can cut down on the chances of growing bacteria on your feet.
To make your sage and rosemary foot soak, use the following ingredients:
- 2 teaspoons of dried sage
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
Fill your foot bath with hot, or boiling water, and then add the two herbs. Allow the mixture to sit until it is cool enough for you to place your feet in the bath. Soak for thirty minutes, twice a day, until your foot odors are eliminated.
Essential Oil Foot Soak
Make your own essential oil foot soak using a combination of tea tree oil and lavender oil. Both of these oils can help to remove foot odor, thanks to the antifungal properties that they contain. For your essential oil foot soak, you will need these items:
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
Fill your foot bath with warm water. Add the drops of oil to the water and stir with your foot. Place your feet in the tub and soak for fifteen minutes, every day, until you no longer detect any foot odor.
Black Tea Foot Soak
Black tea has been used as a treatment for foot odor for centuries. Researchers believe that the reason that black tea can help to eliminate foot odor is that it contains high amounts of tannic acid – which can kill bacteria. To prepare your black tea foot soak, use these ingredients:
- 5 bags of black tea
- 4 cups of hot water
Fill your foot bath with 4 cups of hot water and then add the black tea. Steep the tea bags for ten minutes. Soak your feet for twenty minutes each day. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after each soak.
Apple Cider Vinegar Foot Soak
Apple cider vinegar shows up a lot in home remedies, mostly due to the powerful antioxidants and antibacterial properties of the vinegar. It also has a high acidic content, which creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria. When you want to prepare your own apple cider vinegar foot soak, use these ingredients:
- ½ a cup of apple cider vinegar
- 6 cups of warm water
Fill your foot bath with six cups of warm water. Add a half cup of apple cider vinegar. Place your feet in the foot bath and mix the vinegar into the water with your feet. Soak your feet for about fifteen minutes. You can use this soak twice per day, but make sure you dry your feet afterwards. You may even want to rinse your feet in cold water to remove the apple cider vinegar from your feet.
Baking Soda and Citrus Foot Soak
Baking soda has a wide variety of uses, yet many people use it strictly for baking. This is a shame, as baking soda can be used in many different home remedies, including foot soaks. Baking soda can kill bacteria or fungus, while softening your feet. The inclusion of lemon will help deal with excessive sweat. For a baking soda and citrus foot soak, use the following ingredients:
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- Juice from one lemon
- 8 cups of warm water
Pour the baking soda into your foot bath, and then add the 8 cups of warm water. Squeeze the juice from a lemon into the foot bath. Place your feet in the water and stir the ingredients with your feet for a minute. Allow your feet to soak for about twenty minutes, before removing and drying.
Epsom Salt Foot Bath
Epsom salt can neutralize odors, while helping to soothe your tired, aching feet. To make your own Epsom salt foot bath, you will need the following items:
- ½ a cup of Epsom salt
- 8 cups of warm water
Pour the warm water into your foot bath, followed by the Epsom salt. Allow the Epsom salt to fully dissolve. You may want to stir the Epsom salt slightly. You can use your foot, if you do not want to dirty any utensils. Place your feet in the bath and soak your feet for about thirty minutes. Remove your feet from the bath and dry thoroughly.
Additional Tips and Suggestions for Removing Foot Odor
Foot soaks can help eliminate foot odor, but there are other steps that you can take to prevent foot odor from becoming an issue to begin with. Make sure that you wash your socks regularly, always wear clean socks. Sprinkling the inside of your shoes with baking soda can help keep your feet dry while killing bacteria.
While you can take steps to prevent foot odor, you may still occasionally end up with smelly feet. Use the six foot soaks described above to easily deal with your foot odor and eliminate any foul smells.