Home Remedies for Stinky Shoes

By Krystal Miller

Having stinky feet is not only an annoyance but can be quite embarrassing. Foot odor is usually caused by sweaty feet and rapid-growing bacteria. A variety of preventive measures and home remedies can help with the foul odor of stinky shoes caused by your sweaty feet. Most of these remedies can be done in the convenience of your own home.

Stinky, sweaty shoes can be very embarrassing.


Make sure you are getting at least 15 milligrams of zinc daily. Within a week or two of taking daily zinc, you should notice a difference in the smell of your feet. The remedy should eliminate the smell completely, but if it doesn't you should increase the dosage to 100 milligrams for a couple of days. The zinc will make the skin more resistant to the bacteria that causes feet to smell, according to the Health 911 website. Do not take more than 15 milligrams of zinc for more than a week without medical supervision, as it can interfere with the absorption of copper.


Antiperspirant deodorant can be used as a home remedy against stinky feet. Simply spray the bottom of your feet to stop the wetness, as this could be the cause of your problem. You can also use stick deodorant by rubbing it on your feet. If you have cracked skin, use the deodorant with caution, because it could irritate the skin.


Sage is a small evergreen shrub that is used in cooking to season meats. Sage has been used as a remedy for foot odor for hundreds of years and is thought to reduce sweating, states the Granny Med website. Sprinkle sage in your shoes before putting them on, or drink a cup of sage tea before going to bed every night. You can also make a sage tea foot bath by infusing 10 large leaves (or 1 tsp. of dry, ground sage) in hot water. Soak your feet in this foot bath daily. Sage has antibacterial properties and may reduce bacteria on the feet that cause the feet to sweat. It is also high in tannic acid, which is an astringent that causes the blood vessels to contract and temporarily shrink the sweat glands.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common household product that is used in cooking and cleaning. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tsp. of baking soda in your shoes before putting them on to help reduce the odor. Baking soda is thought to soak up odors, so it may help to absorb excess sweat and keep your feet drier. You can also mix the dry sage and baking soda in an airtight jar overnight and sprinkle the mixture in your shoes nightly.

Clove Oil

Place a piece of plastic wrap on the inside of your shoe and make sure it covers the entire (inside) bottom. This will ensure you do not get any clove oil directly on your shoes. Put a few drops of clove oil on a couple of cotton balls and place them in your shoe. Leave the cotton balls there for a couple of hours or overnight. This will help to remove the odor from your shoes.