Q. Is there any home remedy or over-the-counter product that will permanently eliminate the strong odor of my husband's smelly feet? Bathing them daily does not help.

A. Smelly feet may not be a sign of poor hygiene. Instead, the odor may be result from sweating and bacteria or fungi that thrive in moist conditions.

One approach is to soak smelly feet in a warm Epsom salt solution every night for a week. Another is to soak them in a baking soda footbath.

We are sending you our Guide to Solutions for Smelly Feet, which offers details and many other remedies.

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  1. John E. C.
    Reply

    Soap, water, scrub brush. So many people do a once over in the shower and neglect the feet. They need to be soaked and scrubbed, the exfoliation from scrubbing will remove dead skin and sweat (of course) and the soaking insures that the treatment is “skin deep”, more so than just the top layer. Remember, skin, living skin tissue anyway naturally has no smell, dead skin breeds bacteria and the manner in which bacteria acts upon whatever it comes in contact with causes a chemical reaction which in turn causes discoloration, malodor, and infections.

  2. cindy
    Reply

    My husband’s feet stink sooo bad, that it actually puts me in a bad mood! He showers daily, & uses foot powder in his boots, but it does NOT help. I’m tired of my house smelling like rotten feet. Any ideas? Please help me, I’m at my wits end!
    People’s Pharmacy Answer:
    Dear Cindy,
    There are actually a LOT of suggestion on the People’s Pharmacy Web site…so please put smelly or stinky into our search engine and see what comes up (www.peoplespharmacy.com). Some of the favorites are also found on our Guide to Smelly Feet (found in the People’s Pharmacy Store). It is free!
    Soaking feet in a tea solution is reported to work. There are also suggestions about foot baths in Epsom Salts, baking soda and vinegar. Good luck!

  3. RWJ
    Reply

    Boric acid is number one… it will remove the smell and it dosen’t come back… Sprinkle some in your shoes and make sure all your socks have been washed… I use it about every 4 to 6 weeks now…

  4. bk
    Reply

    For smelly feet, I use sesame oil or coconut oil on my (dry) feet before putting on my socks and shoes. I live in Hawaii and was told to use it by the locals, and it works. Personally I use Jean Nate’ body oil, so when I take off my shoes they don’t have a sweaty smell to them, but a pleasant odor. I don’t know why it works, but it did for me. Try getting new shoes before trying this.

  5. Nancy Jarrin
    Reply

    To eliminate foot odor, try eliminating refined carbohydrates from your diet. I discovered this when I went on the Atkins diet in the 1970’s.

  6. mkc
    Reply

    Drink tea made with alfalfa. Buy sifted chopped alfalfa at the health food store. One tbsp. per large cup, steep for at least 10 min., strain. Also good for underarm odor. Drink daily. No more chemicals on your body from deodorants.

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