The Best 8 Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor

Foot odor is often caused by sweat mixing with bacteria on the skin. Thankfully, there are many effective remedies available to tackle foot odor issues. Certain key ingredients have proven antibacterial and antifungal properties to neutralize odors at the source. While good hygiene habits help prevent smells, odor eliminators provide extra protection when you need it. Read on to discover the best foot odor eliminators to keep feet fresh all day.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural essential oil long used for its antimicrobial abilities. Derived from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, it contains powerful antiseptic compounds like terpinen-4-ol. For foot odor, tea tree oil destroys bacteria and fungus thriving on the skin. Add several drops of pure tea tree essential oil to a foot soak or combine with a carrier oil for a foot rub. The oil reduces foot odor within minutes and offers lasting protection. Be sure to dilute before applying directly as tea tree oil can cause skin irritation.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has become popular for absorbing odors in shoes and on feet. It is incredibly porous, creating an expanded surface area to trap odor-causing bacteria and sweat. Look for activated charcoal incorporated into foot powders, creams, and shoe inserts. The charcoal pulls odors out of feet and shoes, leaving a clean, fresh scent behind. It also reduces excessive moisture. Use charcoal foot powder inside socks or shoe inserts daily to maintain a odor-free environment.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent for fighting foot odor. Create a foot soak using 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water. Soak feet for 15 minutes to eliminate bacteria and soften skin. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar kills odor-causing germs and fungus for long-lasting relief. For extra softening, add coconut oil. The apple cider vinegar soak restores pH balance to your feet. Use this DIY soak 2-3 times a week to stop odors at the source.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil may be best known for flavoring foods, but it also packs a punch against foot odor. It contains a compound called carvacrol which acts as a natural antifungal and antibacterial. Add a few drops of oregano essential oil to a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. Apply it directly onto clean feet and massage in gently. This oil combo kills microbes causing smelly feet while conditioning skin. Oregano oil foot balms provide moisture too. Use oregano oil daily at first detection of foot odor.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an effective odor eliminator for feet due to its alkaline nature. It neutralizes acids that bacteria produce on the skin. The sodium bicarbonate in baking soda absorbs moisture and deodorizes sweaty feet. Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a little water. Gently scrub on and around feet and let sit before rinsing. Baking soda foot baths also remove odors by breaking down bacteria membranes. Sprinkle loose baking soda inside shoes or socks to soak up excess sweat and prevent smells.

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is often found in diaper rash creams, but it can also treat foot odor. This mineral powder is antimicrobial against fungi like athlete’s foot. It creates a protective barrier on the skin, sealing out smelly moisture on feet. Look for foot creams and powders containing zinc oxide to neutralize odors. Make sure to massage into clean feet, especially between the toes where moisture gets trapped. Regular application of zinc oxide allows you to skip days showering without odor.

Essential Oils

A variety of essential oils offer antifungal and antibacterial properties to eliminate foot smell. Eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, thyme, and lemon oils all contain compounds like menthol that destroy odor-causing bacteria. Mix desired oils with a carrier oil before massaging onto feet. Or add a few drops to foot soak water for a cleansing aromatherapy bath. Essential oils cleanse feet at microscopic level for lasting relief. Try combining different oils for maximum potency against odors.


Camphor has a strong, penetrating aroma that overrides foot odor. At the same time, it acts as a disinfectant that kills bacteria on contact. Camphor is found in foot sprays, powders, and creams focused on odor elimination. It leaves feet feeling refreshed and smelling clean. Look for alcohol-free camphor formulas that won’t dry your skin. Apply camphor products onto clean feet whenever you need a quick odor fix. The scent dissipates as it works to banish bacteria over hours.

With the right foot hygiene tools and techniques, you can tackle embarrassing foot odor issues. Make activated charcoal, essential oils, apple cider vinegar and other natural ingredients part of your foot care routine. They work at the microscopic level to kill odor-causing bacteria and fungus so you can walk with confidence. Implementing these foot odor eliminators daily or weekly will leave your feet fresh around the clock.