deodorizing feet

deodorizing feet

Bacteria and fungi thrive in the dark, warm, moist, protein and lipid rich environment of enclosed feet

removing odor-causing compounds and microbes from feet will quickly deodorize them for a short time

however feet can become smelly again if socks and footwear aren’t also treated

keeping feet fresh long term requires daily removal of sweat, moisture and dead skin to minimize microbe food sources


tools to deodorize smelly feet: chlorhexidine 4% surgical scrub, nail brush, tap water, toenail clippers, moisturizer, clean towel, anti-fungal cream
tools to deodorize smelly feet
chlorhexidine is a powerful antibacterial antifungal antiparasite antivirul used in surgery prep
chlorhexidine 4% surgical scrub

chlorhexidine 4% surgical scrub

chlorhexidine is a broad spectrum antimicrobial that will kill bacteria and fungi

chlorhexidine is commonly used for sterilization in hospitals and is typically colored pink

chlorhexidine is inexpensive and available from various online and in store retailers from as little as USD$5 for a 500ml pump bottle

there are many different brands containing 4% chlorhexidine and all will be effective

tap water can be used to deodorize smelly hair and scalp, bad breath, underarm odor, smelly genitals, smelly feet and whole body odor


feet can be deodorized in the bath, shower, with a hose or any clean water source

one small bowl of water for scrubbing and another small bowl of water for rinsing can be used if water is scarce

a nail brush is used to scrub feet to remove buildup of dead skin fats and proteins which are a food source for bacteria and fungus and other microbes
nail brush

nail brush

a nail brush can be purchased for as little as USD$1 online or at a local dollar store

choose a nail brush that can be held comfortably to thoroughly scrub each foot for at least two minutes

always use a clean dry towel after deodorizing to prevent recontamination
clean dry towel


use a clean dry towel each time to avoid recontamination

moisturizer is necessary after deodorizing the body to replace lost lipids or fats and provide a barrier


feet receive the least nutrients of all body parts and can be very dry

for this reason a thick rich oil based moisturizer will soften skin, create a moisture barrier and speed up the deodorizing process

any moisturizer will work but if buying new select an oil based moisturizer for dry skin

use toenail clippers to keep nails short so bacteria, fungus and parasites can't grow underneath
toenail clippers

toenail clippers

removing excess nail growth will remove both a living environment and food source for microbes

opt for any clippers that are comfortable to use that won’t damage nails or feet

antifungal cream can be used to kill off chronic fungal infections and any odor these may be causing
antifungal cream

anti-fungal cream (optional)

if feet are showing any signs of fungal infection such as inflamed flaky skin or thick yellowing nails then twice daily application of a fungal cream such as ketoconazole 2% for at least one month should clear up the infection and any associated odor

different active ingredients may be tried if ketoconazole is not an option

anti-fungal creams can be purchased at pharmacies and online for as little as USD$6 for 60 grams


deodorize internally

before deodorizing the feet it is recommended to complete the prepare phase in the steps to eliminate odor

this step cleanses the body internally of odorous compounds

note zinc deficiency is sometimes linked to foot odor

deodorize accessories

it is also recommended to deodorize all fabrics, tools and accessories that touch the feet to prevent re-contamination

  • shoes
  • socks
  • other

if anything can’t be deodorized or replaced then set it aside for now

deodorize feet

  1. scrub each foot thoroughly with approximately 1 teaspoon chlorhexidine surgical wash, nail brush and water for at least two minutes per foot
    • scrub all sides of each toe and nail thoroughly
    • scrub the soles of feet aggressively
    • concentrate most effort on the thickest skin
    • if there is broken skin or blisters then avoid scrubbing these areas with the nail brush until they have healed thoroughly
  2. rinse and dry feet thoroughly with a clean dry towel
  3. if there is a fungal infection apply an anti-fungal cream such as ketoconazole, fluconazole, miconazole or other
  4. moisturize feet to prevent over-drying and to soften thick skin
  5. clip toenails as short and straight as possible if needed to avoid ingrown nails

repeat twice per day for three weeks

after three weeks feet will be odor free and noticeably softer

the feet can then be scrubbed once per day with regular soap as part of a regular bathing routine to keep them soft and odor free

tips to keep feet fresh

to prevent smelly feet there here are some good tips

thick cotton socks are more breathable, absorb more moisture away from feet, and are easy to deodorize synthetic socks such as polyester aren’t very breathable, encourage sweating, don’t absorb much moisture, can retain odor and are almost impossible to deodorize
cotton toe socks (socks with separate toe parts) are highly moisture absorbent and keep feet coolersocks without separate toe parts can increase heat and sweating between the toes
keeping feet in open air as often as possible helps to dry skin out and resist microbeskeeping feet enclosed for long periods, especially in warm environments, encourages foot moisture buildup and microbe growth
changing socks more than once per day in warm environments will keep feet drier and fresherwearing moist socks will encourage skin breakdown and smelly microbe growth
keeping toenails short eliminates a potential growth spot for smelly microbesletting toenails grow provides a warm protected environment under the nail for moisture and microbes
moisturizing clean feet keeps skin soft and flexible and so easier to keep clean and microbe-freenot moisturizing feet may lead to thick cracked skin buildup which can be painful and harder to keep clean
leather shoes are breathable, are moisture absorbent and the tannins in leather discourages smelly microbe buildup synthetic shoes aren’t breathable, don’t absorb moisture and encourage sweating
canvas shoes are breathable, moisture absorbent and can be deodorized with a hot washsynthetic shoes are almost impossible to deodorize
not wearing the same shoes two days in a row & keeping them opened in a light airy environment will allow them to thoroughly dry out after each wearwearing the same shoes two days in a row or more may encourage moisture and microbe build up
have any other tips? get in touch

get support

If you have complications or need in depth analysis and ongoing assistance and support you can book a comprehensive correspondence consult