Introduction: Got Foot Odor? Here's What You Need to Stop Doing

When I was a teenager I had incredibly stinky feet. I used some foot odor spray and it did little good. My shoes smelled bad too, and I used to launder my sneakers frequently.Nothing worked, and the problem came to a head when the odor from my sneakers asphyxiated the family cat, (see video). Something had to be done, but what?

I was an athlete, and got Athlete's Foot really bad. It was so bad I went to the doctor with my cracked, itchy feet. He prescribed some cream which I had to smear on my feet before bedtime, cover with plastic bags, and then put my socks on over the bags on my feet. It was itchy and sweaty and generally made it hard to sleep. But it worked. It cured my Athlete's Foot!

So I concluded that the Doctor knew what he was talking about. I then went for a follow-up visit and asked him if he had any advice on how to cure my foot-odor problem. He told me how, and the cure has worked for all of the forty years I've lived since I learned the secret.

Step 1: Got Stinky Feet? Don't Do This!

There's only one step to cure your stinky feet: Don't wash your feet!

I know, that sounds crazy. But the Doctor had explained that we all have bacteria on our skin all the time and some are good and some types are bad and cause foot odor. The bad bacteria are good at resisting being washed away and they re-colonize the skin on our feet faster than the good bacteria, the ones that don't cause foot odor. So to have more good bacteria, we are shooting ourselves in the foot if we scrub our feet. The Doctor said that the soap and shampoo used on the rest of my body would wash down over my feet and be enough but not too much. So I took his advice and my foot odor problem went away in a few days.

That was 40 years ago. The problem has never recurred. I stayed cured! If you know someone with stinky feet, you might send them a link to this Instructable or share my video with them.

Comments

author
escapefromyonkers (author)2016-03-09

i remember a guy in the service use to spray his feet with lysol for his athletes foot problem. This was in the 1970's we didnt know as much about the problems with chemicals on the skin. , i don't think lysol is meant to be sprayed on the skin, I wonder how it is for spraying on the interior of shoes to kill the odor causing bacteria.

Once your rid of athlete's foot, you have to remember to never step foot on a floor at the gym/pool without flip,flops,crocs,or shower shoes, including the carpeted floors that some gyms have. It doesn't come from athletics , it is from a fungus, the same one that causes "jock itch" and it lives on all locker room, shower and pool area floors.

The worst smell on footware was the teva sandal smell, after using in the rivers and lakes they would get a stink that couldn't be destroyed, someone even said freezing them works, i tried that and it failed,maybe i needed a deep sub zero freeze.tried freezing them

author
davidc508 (author)2016-03-06

Soaking your feet in vinegar also helps to rid of smell.

author
Lovetra (author)2016-03-02

There is a product on the market called HEXOL. It is a disinfectant/hygiene. I find it in the cleaning supply aisles at many drugstores. It comes is silly little bottles these day. I order it from my Pharmacist by the GALLON because I use quite a lot of it for lots of things. It is like zip-ties in my household. NOT exactly the same as Pinesol, it works better.

FOR FEET: Step one. It makes my feet feel good -- even better if I've gotten stupid and cut a foot, stepped on a nail, or stubbed a toe or torn a toenail. A pan of hot water, a big dolop of Hexol and a good soak. Feels good! I use this to heal injuries to my pets unless they need stitches. (Some folks can't stand the odor of the disinfectant. To me it smells clean).

Step 2: Buy a container of Alum powder and another of unscented talcum powder. Mix 50/50. Put a tsp. full in each sock every morning. Makes feet feel silky. Use for a couple of weeks. It drys your feet out and gets rid of the rot.....................

My husband had such a problem when he came home from Vietnam he had to buy a new pair of shoes almost every month due to a wet salt line just above the sole on the outside of his shoes that would not take polish. STINKY wasn't the word for it. Doctors at base didn't have an answer. Found this due to an "OLD LADY" from the wetlands of Louisiana 30 years my senior.

Over the years he has mistreated his feet a couple of times and had to use the treatment again but he's pretty free of it. About 40 years worth too!

author
neopolitan (author)2016-02-26

am i the only one to get the "one step" bit?

but seriously your doctor has provided a solution for you, and people with genetic predisposition to rancid foot odour often will find this useful. Others without the condition can wash their feet silkwood stylie and be all rosy like.

horses for courses...

author
MDZPNMD (author)2016-02-24

To enlighten those who might not know:

The so called "bad" bacteria feasts upon flakes of shed skin and are called Brevibacteria like the ones found on cheese. So the author is right, the more other bacteria lives on your feet the less bad odor the brevibacs produce because less of them live on your feet. The conclusion from this might be as well completly different then the one of the author. You can also reduce the amount of shed skin flakes by rubbing them off with sandpaper or whatever kids nowadays use. You can also alkalify your feet using natron/sodium bicarbonate which will reduce the fitness of the Brevibacteria on your feet but will most likely also influence the "good" bacteria. Also note the method proposed by the instructable also works for many people. I guess especially for people that wash more often then others like the one in the video showering 2 times a day.

I'm not an expert, feel free to correct me.

author
tintinmilou (author)2016-02-23

Yeah, I tried that for a while. The Hazmat team evacuated the neighborhood. My fix was to get two sets of Dr Scholl's insoles for my shoes, and remove them every evening, and swap in the other pair every morning. That way, the insoles got to dry for about 36 hours before being used again. That kept bacteria from forming in my shoes.

author
JohnW81 (author)2016-02-23

Thanks, I'll give it a go!

author
buildandsewandstuff (author)2016-02-23

I'm glad this worked for you, but I had the exact opposite experience. My spouse used to stink up the apartment, but when he bought a nail brush and began really cleaning between his toes and around his nails, the odor went away.

author
ricosuave4 (author)2016-02-22

Awesome advice!

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