Several factors including fungal infections like athlete’s foot and hyperhidrosis may cause foot odor. Persons with hyperhidrosis have excessive sweating on their feet and hands. If you have foot odor, your shoes are likely to have a very strong and unpleasant smell. This smell may not disappear even after eliminating the source of the odor. If you have this problem, do not throw away sweaty shoes. Instead, try some home remedies, which can eradicate the bad smell.
How to Clean the Feet
Always keep the feet uncontaminated and dry to prevent both shoe and foot odor. The first step toward eliminating shoe odor is to address foot smell first. Feet usually stink because of the sweat secreted by the sweat glands found in both feet. A mixture of this sweat and bacterial causes the unpleasant smell. Keeping the feet thoroughly clean and free from moisture prevents bacteria from building up, absorbs sweat, and eliminates the bad smell. Washing the feet with soap and warm water more than once daily is also important. When drying your feet, take care of the area between the toes.
Fill your feet soaking tub with ¼ gallon of water. The water should be warm. Mix it with vinegar (½ cup) or baking soda (1 teaspoon). The next step involves soaking the feet for about fifteen minutes once in every 7 days. Foot soaks made from baking powder or vinegar make the feet extremely acidic, which makes it difficult for bacteria to thrive.
Dry Your Shoes
The bacteria that cause shoe odor usually thrive in shoes because of the dark, warm, and moist environment. You can reduce these bacteria by drying your shoes. Do not wear the same shoes for two consecutive days because the inside parts of shoes may not dry completely within 24 hours. Consider removing removable insoles when you are not using your shoes. Moreover, place your wet shoes in the sun for several days to allow them to dry. You can also use a dryer to dry wet shoes. Sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch on your dried toes and feet to reduce moisture when wearing shoes. Also, sprinkle inside the shoes after wearing them.
It is advisable to wear different socks in a day. This strategy ensures that your shoes are less dank and helps to reduce the odor. Wear socks made from natural materials like hemp and cotton to allow the feet to take in adequate air. Natural materials are also excellent sweat absorbers.
Conceal the Smell
You can use shoe deodorizers to conceal the smell. Place shoe deodorizers inside the shoes to make the odor more pleasant. Herbs such as rosemary and lavender also have a strong and pleasant smell that can hide the bad smell produced by shoes. Sprinkle desiccated or fresh leaves from these herbs into the shoes when wearing them. Essential and scented oils also act as good deodorizers for smelly shoes. These oils are unlikely to cause irritation on your skin, unlike synthetic perfumes.
Put some drops of patchouli or clove oil on a cotton ball and cover it with waxed paper or a plastic wrap. Place the deodorizer inside the shoes and keep them this way if you are not using them.