Stinky Feet Remedies! Eliminate Foot Odor Naturally

| Modified on Jan 12, 2023

Have you got stinky feet? It's okay, you can admit it, and in so doing take your first step toward many future odorless steps with a few home remedies to remove the causes of smelly feet!

All feet are liable to some odor, since they are often the warmest parts of our bodies and are trapped in socks, shoes, and the like where heat, moisture, and darkness can provide the perfect environment for bacteria to live and produce odorous byproducts of their digestion. Then again, some feet are just stinkier than others, whether due to genetics, diet, illness, or foot care and general hygiene habits.

Natural Cures for Foot Odor: Obviously, increased foot cleaning habits will help reduce foot odor, to start. Sprinkling alum or baking soda in your socks and shoes can help absorb and/or kill off foot odor. Soaking the feet in something like diluted vinegar or hydrogen peroxide may kill off odor-causing bacteria.


2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Monica (Salt lake City, Utah) on 02/09/2009

Alum cured my stinky feet/stinky shoes. You can find Alum in the Spice/Herb section of any grocery store, and is very affordable. You don't need much just put it in your shoes before you wear them. I put enough in to coat the entire sole of the shoe, and I lightly very lightly shake out the excess. You will want to put in every time you wear them for a week or so or equivalent if you do not wear them everyday. Not only will the smell be gone and completely neutralized, it has a cleaning effect to the sole of the shoe as well. It completely took out the dark area of the shoe where you would normally see your foot print. Now I do not have to leave my shoes outside, nor do I have to come in and soak or wash them. Not to mention No more embarrassment. Only down side (but very worth it to me) it has a texture of very fine grit sand. If you can handle feeling like there is a little bit of sand in your shoe (for a week) then this is very much your cure!! Not sure if the smell comes back, all my shoes I have only went through the week process once and not had to since. Its been approx. 3 months and still no foot or shoe odor.

Replied by Errica
(Ft. Myers, Fl)


I just read about ALUM and it is bad for you. It said that it is toxic to humans. "Alum is approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as a food additive, but in large quantities well, an ounce or more it is toxic to humans. As a result, efforts have been made and are being made to wean us of our alum dependency"

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile, Tn Usa)

Errica, you are right on because Alum is Aluminum Sulfate. Aluminum is a heavy metal and ends up in your brain. For years I used Alum to make pickles crisp but no more. We have also thrown out all our Aluminum cookware. Ball has out a product now called Pickle Crisp which is Calcium Chloride. This is what the commercial folks have used for years to make their pickled veggies crisp. It is now available to all.

=======ROBERT HENRY======

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Angie (Los Angeles, CA) on 07/17/2009


I used the acv for my daughter. Her feet smelled really bad since her feet are very sweaty. I soaked her feet for about 5 min in water and poured some ACV and the following day when she took her shoes off her feet were still sweaty but they did not smell at all. So relieved that this works for her because she has always been self conscious about the bad odor.

Baking Soda

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Regulator555 (Grand Rapids, Mi, Usa) on 06/02/2010

For my husband's smelly feet: 1) Use a stainless steel callus shaver to shave off the dead skin (a pumice stone may work if the skin isn't too thick) on clean, dry feet 2) Soak your feet for at least 20 minutes in a pan of warm water to which you have added a 1/2 cup of baking soda. My husband was plagued for years with smelly feet. After shaving off the dead skin (he had tons) and soaking them in BS, it cured the stench. I think the calluses store up the funk. :-)

Replied by Susan
(San Francisco, Ca)

The Baking Soda was a great trick for me, but only if I was wearing shoes and socks. My problem was that my feet were NEVER dry so I couldn't get rid of or reduce the bacteria. Even after I washed and dried them they were still damp. My feet dried out (and stopped smelling) the day after I quit smoking. I've been cigarette free (and smelly feet free) for 8 years.

Baking Soda
Posted by Not My Real Name (Kansas City Area, Mo) on 08/09/2009

I was plagued with stinky feet since childhood. I sprinkled baking soda GENEROUSLY into my shoes and wore them. My feet felt wet the whole time but there was no odor from my feet or shoes after one day. I kept doing this for months and have had no problems from stinky feet now for years. This is hard on the shoe so make sure that you are wearing shoes that are not expensive. Ironing your socks may also help. When I bathe I wash my feet with dial or safeguard deodorant soap. I have not used baking soda in my shoes now for years, I only wash them during my bath.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Donna (Janesville, WI) on 07/01/2008

Not sure if bleach is considered to be natural, but it was a miracle for my husband's stinky feet! It was so bad that he could clear a room if he took his shoes off. All you do is take 1 gallon of warm water and add 1/2 a cup of bleach to it. Soak your feet for 5 or 10 min. and your feet will smell fresh as can be! It will last for months on end! Thank you Earth Clinic~you are truly a God Send. Many blessings~donna

EC: Thanks, Donna. New remedy page now created for stinky feet!

Replied by Lynette
(Atlanta, GA)

I use a small quanity of bleach in my bath also. But, PLEASE DO NOT use bleach to soak your feet if you are a diabetic. My dad did this and it caused deep open wounds on the feet. Please, please, please not if you are diabetic!

Replied by Suzanne
(Abbotsford, Bc Canada)

PLEASE don't soak any body parts in bleach! Use diluted hydrogen peroxide, if you must. However, 25 mg. of zinc per day (1/2 a tab here) helped my family with excessive smell (not just feet), and it may do the same for you.

Replied by Lily

I tried bleach and it didn't work for me. What does work for me is triple antibiotic cream bought at the drug store and benzoyl peroxide on top of that. I do it 2x a day.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Aviva (Israel) on 03/27/2022

I find Borax very effective in eliminating bad smells from the feet. We put a tablespoon of borax in warm water and soak the feet for 10 minutes. I then soak the socks and also put some borax in the shoes. A miracle!

Boric Acid

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Gale (Monterey, Tn.) on 08/14/2010

When my children got bad feet odor and their feet would stink either from their shoes or sweating, we would sprinkle a little boric acid in their shoes an in their socks for a couple days and their feet would be fine, no more stinking. Gale

Replied by Anna
(Ca, Us)

Boric acid is very toxic, please be careful!

Cedar Soles

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jane (Paris) on 03/17/2017

I can just recommend to try using cedar insoles in the shoes you most sweat in. I think they are a natural product, but for me they work better than anything else I had tried, and I did a lot of weird stuff to my feet just in order to make them stop sweating that much! So I can just say, those saved my life :) Hope I could help somebody here!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 02/10/2018

My 9 year old had very smelly feet all of a sudden. He would take off his shoes I could smell his feet across the room. I was making him go wash his feet every time he removed his shoes. (I do have an overly sensitive nose, but others noticed it too.)

I started to give him one home made capsule of calcium bentonite clay with a glass of water each day. Some days I used 1 capsules of charcoal. And I gave him alfalfa tablets once in a while too. Each are useful for internal deodorizing.

Within 10 days or so I realized that he can take off his shoes without clearing a room. :) I don't even notice an odor anymore.

I did the same a number of years ago for another one of my children who, at the age of 10 smelled like onions all the time, even if he hadn't eaten any. I just used the clay then.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Brilliant MtM!!

I wonder if clay footpaths would have done the same.

Replied by Sim
(Culver City)

Could this work for underarms smell?

Replied by Marnie
(Madera, Ca)

You're great, Mama!

This very thing just happened yesterday with my 4-year old, and a few days ago with my 9-year old! Not the first time either :) With 4 little boys in my house, this is going to save me a lot of foot washing and wasted shoes.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Sim,

It certainly could. It may take regular use over several weeks.

Activated charcoal would have a similar action.

Deirdre has a youtube video about using charcoal for this purpose on the Earth Clinic channel.

~Mama to Many!

Freeze Shoes, Socks

Posted by Harmonious1 (Alamogordo, Nm) on 09/16/2011

If your feet stink, simply place your shoes in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer overnight. Do this with all your shoes, socks too, if necessary. This worked for all in my family.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Deborah (NC) on 05/15/2022

For smelly feet use Hibiclens. It works. Get a plastic dish pan large enough for both feet to fit it. Squeeze some over your feet & rub one foot over the other so that they both contain it on them. Keep on for 5-10 minutes rubbing your feet over one another & then rinse & dry off. We buy the 4 ounce blue bottle.

Milk of Magnesia

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Glaudine (South Africa) on 05/25/2015

Stinky Feet: The best remedy, after many years and trying almost everything, is "Milk of Magnesia", rub it on the soles of the feet every morning before putting on shoes. Only a small amount is needed.

Pennies in Your Shoe

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Kent (Portland) on 01/10/2023

Pennies. Me and a friend I went to high school with were having one of those dumb conversations that you have once you have a couple of beers under your belt about how pennies cost more than their value and he said just about the most interesting thing. Pennies are made of both copper and zinc (which are naturally antibiotic) and if you put them in your shoes between wearing them they will kill off stink producing bacteria. He majored in chemistry so I thought I'd at least give it a try. I only had about six pennies but I threw three in each of my work boots and wouldn't you know it, it worked.

Replied by mmsg
(somewhere, europe)

Hmmmmm Kent, I wonder if that was a reason for those "penny loafer" shoes of our youth??!!

Pitted Keratolysis

Posted by 111laker111 (Ontario, CA) on 07/14/2014

Hello: I was wondering if anyone knew of a possible cure for pitted keratolysis. I have tried everything I can think of and not much even touches it. I think it is what is preventing a 20 year case of fasciitis from healing.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Palemauve (Beijing, China) on 12/28/2012

Hi! I'm surprised to find that the best remedy for stinky feet is not available on earth clinic!

Since childhood, I've been plagued by very stinky feet, and its been a subject of humiliation many times over. Although I didn't have the opportunity to try all the various solutions that people have recommended, I found one that just solved my problem without having to buy or prepare anything. I came across some sites that recommended urinating on your feet, as the bacteria in your urine counters with the bacteria on your feet (something like that, ) removing the smell pretty much permanantly!

I just simply peed on my feet while in the shower and let it sit for about a minute, while rubbing my feet against each other. No joke, after my shower, the smell was gone! Not just for a few hours, but for years! (PS: pee on them before you have your shower and before you run the water.)

There's no risk, no mess, and you don't have to buy anything. I just can't understand the people who get grossed out by this. Its natural remedy at its finest. If you'd never been plagued by stinky feet, I guess you wouldn't understand right? Good luck to all you guys who have this problem, and I hope it works for you!

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