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9 Home Remedies for Foot Odor That Are Surprisingly Effective

Struggling with stinky feet? These simple natural remedies can help kick foot odor to the curb.

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Soak in a black tea foot bath

Tannic acids in strong black tea kill odor-causing bacteria and close pores, which helps your feet to sweat less. Boil two tea bags in a pint of water for 15 minutes. Remove the bags and dilute the tea with two quarts of water. Let the mixture cool, then soak your feet for 15-30 minutes. Repeat daily until odor is gone. Don’t miss these 14+ ways to use tea to ease whatever’s ailing you.

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 Try an antibiotic ointment

Sweat, on its own, doesn’t smell. It’s when it interacts with bacteria that it begins to stink. So how do you kill bacteria? Before you go to bed, rub your feet and nails with a thin coating of antibacterial ointment like Neosporin, put on some socks, and get some rest. In the morning, the bacteria will be gone, and with it, your foot odor problems. Here are some more potential reasons you might have body odor.

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Use a fragrant foot rub

Lavender oil not only smells good, but it helps kill bacteria as well. Rub a few drops on your feet and massage it in before you go to bed. Cover your feet with socks for full benefit. In fact, you should probably be wearing socks to bed anyway. Here’s why.

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Zing it with zinc

Some experts suggest that adding zinc to your diet can help eliminate foot odor. Top pantry sources for this mineral include seafood, beef, spinach, beans, oatmeal, fortified breakfast cereals, mushrooms, almonds, and cashews. Another great source of zinc—dark chocolate! As if that weren’t enough, dark chocolate’s actually good for your heart, too!

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Neutralize odor with vinegar

Soak feet in a solution of about 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar to a foot basin full of warm or cool water. The acid in the vinegar will neutralize the odor and help kill bacteria. Here are some other great ways to use apple cider vinegar to boost your health.

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Dust on some starch

Cornstarch absorbs sweat, which keeps your feet feeling fresh. Once or twice a day, sprinkle the starch liberally on your feet before putting on socks. You can also try dusting your feet and smelly shoes with baking soda, which is known to kill bacteria and fungus. Check out these other home remedies for foot and toenail fungus.

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 Make a minty scrub

This scrub will leave your feet smelling wonderful and feeling like new. Peppermint cools and deodorizes the skin, while sugar buffs away dead skin cells. To make, combine 1 tablespoon of oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of cornmeal, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 2 teaspoons dried peppermint in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon natural yogurt, juice of one lemon, and 5 drops of peppermint essential oil. Mix to form a grainy paste. Massage the mixture into your feet (this can be messy, so sit over a bathtub or a large bowl). Learn more about how to bust foot odor using essential oils.

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 Salt your dogs

Epsom salts act as an astringent to reduce sweating and kill bacteria. Mix 2 cups of Epsom salts into 1-2 gallons of warm water in a bucket or basin. Soak your feet for 15 minutes, twice a day. Here are some more great ways to use Epsom salts around your house.

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Create a refreshing deodorizing spray

Pour 4 ounces of boiling water over 2 tablespoons dried sage. Sage has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that will help reduce odor. Cover and steep for 15 minutes, then strain and cool. Add 4 tablespoons witch hazel and 10 drops lavender essential oil to the water and sage mixture. Pour into a 4 ounce spray bottle and refrigerate. Shake well before use. Spritz on feet after bathing or anytime you need a pick-me-up. Use within 10 days. — from Kitchen Cabinet Cures

Next, learn the surprising secrets your feet can reveal about your health.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest