Getting Rid of Smelly Feet: The Best Oils to Use

Smelly feet, also known as bromodosis, is a common problem that can cause embarrassment. The smell is usually caused by sweat mixing with bacteria on the feet. While good hygiene such as washing and drying the feet well can help, using oils can also be an effective remedy. Certain oils contain properties that combat fungus and bacteria responsible for the odor. Here are some of the best oils to use for getting rid of smelly feet:

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant native to Australia. It contains powerful antiseptic and antifungal compounds like terpinen-4-ol. Research shows tea tree oil is effective against a variety of microbes that cause foot odor like Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus. To use it, add 4-5 drops of tea tree essential oil to a foot bath or mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil and rub it directly on the feet, especially between the toes. Apply it twice daily and after washing the feet. The strong aroma of tea tree oil can help combat smelly feet.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains lauric acid which gives it antimicrobial properties. One study found applying coconut oil on the feet for a week significantly reduced foot odor in children compared to mineral oil. The moisturizing effect can also help soften rough skin which is prone to bacteria growth. Use a cotton ball to apply virgin coconut oil on clean feet before bed. Its cooling effect is soothing and it won’t stain sheets like other oils.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil has a refreshing, invigorating scent and can naturally treat smelly feet due to its germicidal effects. A 2011 study showed eucalyptus oil was more effective than other treatments in killing microorganisms that cause fungal toenail infections and athlete’s foot. To use, mix 5 drops of eucalyptus oil with 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive carrier oil. Massage it on the feet and cover with cotton socks overnight. The cooling effect can help with sweaty feet as well.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil has powerful citric acid as well as antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal compounds. It creates an unfavorable environment for bacteria and fungi growth. For foot odor, mix 4-5 drops of lemon essential oil in a foot soak or spray diluted lemon oil directly on feet. You can also add a few drops on damp cotton pads and place them inside shoes overnight. Through its astringent effect, lemon oil can help eliminate odor-causing bacteria.

Peppermint Oil

The potent antimicrobial properties of peppermint oil make it ideal for assuaging smelly feet. It contains menthol which gives it a cooling sensation that can soothe tired feet. To use it, add 10 drops of peppermint oil to a bucket of warm water and soak feet for 15 minutes. You can also mix it with a carrier oil and rub it on the soles of feet. Peppermint oil will invigorate your feet and leave them smelling fresh.

Using the right essential oils can be an easy, natural way to combat foot odor. Oils like tea tree, coconut, eucalyptus, lemon, and peppermint contain anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial compounds to neutralize odor-causing microbes. Along with good foot hygiene, using these oils can help freshen up smelly feet.