5 Soaks to Remove Foot Odor

foot odorThere are 2 things that you need to deal with when it comes to foot odor, and that is bacteria and sweat. It is not actually the sweat that makes your feet smell, but the bacteria that thrives in the moist environment it creates. Sweat is actually odorless, for the most part, except for the kind that comes from the glands in the armpit/genital area. There are proteins and amino acids in sweat from those glands (called the apocrine glands) that feed bacteria, giving it a particular unappealing smell. The bacteria on your feet give off a kind of gas as they eat, which is the source of your problems. If you can keep your feet dry, clean, and fight the bacteria, you won’t have to worry about letting them out to breathe in a room with other people around. That’s easier said than done though, and when you need a little help, these 5 foot soaks can make it simple for you kick the odor-causing culprits.

5 Homemade Foot Soaks- to get rid of foot odor.

1. Simple Epsom Salt Foot Soak

Epsom salt neutralizes odor, and as a bonus, it also happens to be very soothing on aching feet.

You will need…
-1/2 cup of Epsom salt
-8 cups of warm water
-Something to soak your feet in

Dissolve ½ cup of Epsom salt in 8 cups of warm water and soak your feet for 30 minutes 1-2 times daily. Dry thoroughly afterwards.

epsom salt foot soak

2. Sage and Rosemary Soak

Sage has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, and is also an astringent. Rosemary is antibacterial/antifungal, and is an astringent as well-which means that both help minimize the production of sweat from the sweat glands. Less sweat means a less ideal environment for bacteria to harbor in.

You will need…
-1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
-1-2 teaspoons of dried sage
-A small foot basin or something similar

Fill a foot basin with boiling water and add the herbs to it. Let it steep until it is cool enough to put your feet in, but still warm. Soak for 30 minutes 1-2 times daily.

rosemary and sage

3. Bubbly Baking Soda and Citrus Soak

Baking soda has too many uses to list here, but when it comes to foot odor, it can be a true miracle worker. It naturally helps control odor, kill bacteria/fungus, and softens your feet to boot. Lemon is an astringent, which will help with excessive sweating causing food odor, plus it has a wonderful fresh scent.

You will need…
-¼ cup of baking soda
-8 cups of water
-Juice of one lemon
-Something to soak your feet in

Place ¼ cup of baking soda in your foot basin, and then cover with approximately 8 cups of toasty (but not hot) warm water. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon, sink your feet in, and give it a little swish. Soak for 15-20 minutes or so, and then dry completely.

lemon and baking soda

4. Very Vinegar Soak

Apple cider vinegar might not seem like the first thing you want to submerge your stinky feet in, but it actually does a nice job at getting rid of odor. It creates an acidic environment that bacteria have a hard time thriving in, reducing the count and subsequently the smell.

You will need…
-1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
-5-8 cups of warm water
-Something to soak your tootsies in

Fill a foot basin with 5-8 cups of warm water and add ½ cup of white distilled or apple cider vinegar to it. Submerge your feet, swish the mixture around, and soak for 15 minutes twice a day. Dry completely when you’re finished-you can rinse them in cold water afterwards if you want.

apple cider vinegar foot soak

5. Black Tea Foot Soak

Common folklore often tells of soaking feet in black tea to remove foot odor-thought to be effective because of the high levels of tannins, or tannic acid, in the tea. The acid would create an unfriendly environment for bacteria, while it also possibly acted as an astringent (contracts body tissues therefore sweat glands.) It’s hard to find scientific evidence of this, but it might be worth a try as many people swear by it!

You will need…
-5 bags of black tea
-4 cups of hot water
-Something to soak your feet in

Pour 4 cups of very hot or boiling water into your foot basin, and add 5 bags of black tea. Allow them to steep for 10 minutes, and then soak your feet for 20. Do this once a day, drying your feet thoroughly afterwards.

black tea foot odor remedy

Smelly feet are no fun for anyone (even our shoes suffer), but with a little bit of dedication, knowledge, and some awesome foot soaks on your side, you can triumph over this unpleasant condition.

Stinky Feet Tips

-Wash your socks often.
-Sprinkle your shoes with baking soda, it is not only totally odor absorbing it helps keep feet dry and has kills off bacteria.
-Wear open toed shoes when possible.
-Avoid synthetic material in socks, which make it harder for feet to breathe.

Fabulous Foot Fact

Out of the 2-3 million sweat glands on our bodies, ½ million are located on are feet. Scientists think this is because way back in the day when we walked everywhere, and didn’t yet have shoes, our feet would get hot from walking on ground baked in the sun. The multitude of sweat glands allowed them to cool themselves off more effectively.

We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:


  1. Marilyn says:

    Love your post.

  2. GOOLY says:


  3. Thiele says:

    Foot soaks are amazing. Pre/Post menopause, I have had a problem with stinky feet. During a hot flash (which can last anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes, my entire body perspires but my feet are drenching wet. Typically when this occurs, my feet are cooped up in a closed shoe for 8-10 hours. Since these days I basically live in flip flops or sandals or just go barefoot, I’ve noticed the problem is not so bad. I soak my feet everyday. It’s a nice pamper while reading or watching tv. Notice that my feet do not stink anymore.I’ve tried all of them. They all work. I’ve also taken to rubbing Rosemary oil on my feet after they have soaked and dried. Makes them so soft and smell wonderful! You can also purchase Peppermint Epson salt and Lavendar epson salt at the Walmart.

  4. Elly says:

    Are you supposed to rinse your feet afterwards or just dry them with the salt/vinegar/tea water on them?

  5. karina says:

    this worked for my husband and daily he sprinkles a little bit of baking soda in all his shoes.

  6. Pedro says:

    That deodorant that you use under your armpit, it works on your feet too. I used to have stinky feet but not anymore. I rub my feet with deodorant (brand doesn’t matter) after showering, wait for it to dry, before putting my socks.

    • Ashley says:

      I tried this for a while and it did work! I was tired of spending money on the expensive spray. But after a few weeks it’s like the underarm deodorant started to dry the bottoms of my feet too much and they started to crack and hurt!

  7. Uva says:

    I bought a UV deodoriser, seems to work well.

  8. Cange says:

    I will like to think you for all the good things you did to help people around the world.I learn so much from this site thanks again.

  9. Kimmy says:

    Most of the soaks say to do them one to two times a day, but for what duration? A week? Two weeks? A month? 3 months?

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