title_add_160x600.gif, 0 kB

Get rid of foul-smelling feet with a black-tea foot bath or a fragrant foot rub.

  1. Must-Have Massage Tips
  2. Homemade Bath Products
  3. Feel-Better Baths
Freshen Your Feet


Do people turn up their noses when you slip off your shoes? Has the family dog fallen in love with your footwear? Suffer no more! You can stop smelly feet with these simple home remedies.


Give Feet the Underarm Treatment

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the same antiperspirant you use on your underarms can also keep feet less sweaty (and therefore less smelly). Simply spray or roll it on before putting on your shoes and socks.


Wash your feet daily in warm water using a deodorant soap or antibacterial soap.

Turn Up the Heat 

Especially if you are prone to athlete’s foot or nail fungus, blow-dry your feet with a hair dryer that’s turned to the lowest temperature. This helps avoid infection and reduces moisture.

Soak ’Em and Scent ’Em 

Try a black tea footbath. Boil two tea bags in two cups of water for 15 minutes. Remove the bags and dilute the tea with two quarts of water. Let the mixture cool down if necessary, then soak your feet for 30 minutes. Repeat daily. The tannic acid in strong black tea kills bacteria and closes pores to help your feet sweat less.


Make an odour-fighting foot soak by adding a cup of vinegar to a basin of warm water. For more odour-fighting force, add a few drops of thyme oil. The oil contains a strong antiseptic that kills odor-causing bacteria. Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes a day for a week. (Off-limits...if you have any open sores or broken skin.)


If you don’t have access to thyme oil, you can easily buy a product that contains it: Listerine. Try adding a splash to your footbath. (The same cautions as with thyme oil apply.)

Fragrant Foot Rub

Lavender oil not only smells good, it helps kill bacteria. Rub a few drops onto your feet and massage it in before you go to bed at night. Cover your feet with socks. Before trying this remedy, check to make sure the oil won’t irritate your skin by putting one drop on a small area.

Salt Your Dogs

Mix two cups of Epsom salt into a basin half-full with warm water. Soak your feet for 15 minutes twice a day. The Epsom salt acts as an astringent to reduce sweating, and may kill bacteria.

Try an Acne Treatment

Apply benzoyl peroxide 5% or 10% gel to the bottoms of your feet to fight bacteria. Why not? It works on your face.

Powder Power

Dust your feet with talcum powder or foot powder before you put on your shoes and socks. It will absorb odour-causing sweat.


Two other good foot powders to try are baking soda, which neutralizes odor, and cornstarch, which absorbs moisture.

Dress Well for a Better Smell

  • Change your socks at least once a day, replacing them with a clean pair.
  • Alternate between at least two pairs of shoes. After you’ve worn one pair, set them aside and let them air out for at least twenty-four hours. 
  • Wear shoes with open-mesh sides or sandals that allow your feet to “breathe.”  Your feet will also breathe better if you wear cotton socks rather than polyester. 

Treat Shoes with Savvy 

  • Check the care instructions on your athletic shoes. If they’re washable, toss them into the washing machine at least once a month.
  • Store your shoes in a place that’s bright and ventilated—not in a dark closet, where bacteria thrive.
  • Each time you put your shoes away, insert a sachet filled with cedar chips into them. You can also try products that consist of mesh pouches filled with zeolite. Zeolite is a natural volcanic mineral that attracts odors and traps them. Expose the reusable pouch to the sun for six hours to discharge the collected odors.
  • Buy odour-absorbing insoles and cut them to fit. Replace them every three to six months.
  • If your shoes have removable insoles, take them out to dry every time you remove your shoes. And toss them in the washer from time to time.


From: 1801 Home Remedies, Reader's Digest Canada


View All


( ! ) Warning: mysql_fetch_row(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /usr/www/users/rdac/eng/cms/a.php on line 137
Call Stack
10.000089832{main}( )../cms.php:0
20.0050127392include( '/usr/www/users/rdac/eng/cms/a.php' )../cms.php:4
30.0129164648mysql_fetch_row ( )../a.php:137

Editor's Picks

( ! ) Warning: mysql_fetch_row(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /usr/www/users/rdac/eng/cms/a.php on line 182
Call Stack
10.000089832{main}( )../cms.php:0
20.0050127392include( '/usr/www/users/rdac/eng/cms/a.php' )../cms.php:4
30.0138164872mysql_fetch_row ( )../a.php:182
You could win this $50,000.00 car!
title_add_300x250.gif, 0 kB

Health Tools

email editor
inside this issue

With Our Partners



Do you think video games should be banned?


Could You Use $5,000?

Enter our monthly draw for your chance to win fast cash.

Our List of Sweepstakes Winners.

Recent Draw Winners.

Fun & Games

View All
Crossword Puzzle
Online Sudoku Game
Word Power
Free e-Cards

Reader's Digest Canada: Health | Food | Home & Garden | Pets | Travel | Money
About Us | Advertise with Us | News Releases | RD International | Careers | Customer Care/FAQ | Sweepstakes | Privacy Policy | En français
Subscribe | Gift Subscription | Subscribe to our Newsletters | Recipes | Christmas | Product Tester | Site Map

© 1996-2010, Reader's Digest Magazines Canada Limited
© 1996-2010, The Reader's Digest Association (Canada) ULC
All rights reserved.