These Are the Best Essential Oils to Combat Smelly Feet

Updated: May 13, 2021

Stinky feet: they happen to the best of us. Luckily, all it takes is some essential oils, and a few other easy-to-find ingredients, to get your feet smelling fresh again.


Smelly feet are just an unpleasant side effect to our bipedal existence (and shoes don’t help). It’s completely natural, and there are plenty of equally natural remedies that can take the edge off. Take a look at our best essential oil cures for foot odor, straight from Reader’s Digest’s Kitchen Cures: Homemade Remedies for Your Health. Before you get started, make sure you know the essentials about essential oils.


Fragrant foot rub

Lavender essential oil can help ease everything from stress to allergies to insomnia, and foot odor is no match for it either. Aside from its lovely smell, this oil also helps kill odorous bacteria. Rub a couple drops on your feet right before you go to bed, and sleep in socks. (You should probably be wearing socks to bed anyway; here’s why.) You might not want to use lavender essential oil, though, if you have low blood pressure.


Refreshing minty scrub

Combat the smell of your tootsies with the pleasant scent of mint. The sugar in this scrub helps purge dead skin cells, which are also a major contributor to foot odor.


1 tablespoon coarse-ground oatmeal
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon dried peppermint
1 tablespoon natural yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
5 drops peppermint essential oil


  1. Combine oatmeal, cornmeal, sugar, and peppermint in a bowl.
  2. Add yogurt, lemon juice, and oil. Mix to form a gritty paste.
  3. To use, sit on the edge of the bathtub and massage the mixture into your feet, paying particular attention to heels and soles.

Learn the many secrets your feet wish they could tell you.

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Refreshing deodorant foot spray

A simple spritz is all it takes for this easy remedy to work its magic.


4 ounces boiling water
2 tablespoons dried sage
4 tablespoons witch hazel
10 drops lavender essential oil


  1. Pour boiling water over the sage. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain and cool.
  2. Add witch hazel and lavender oil.
  3. Pour into a 4-ounce spray bottle. Refrigerate. Shake well before use. Spritz on feet after bathing or anytime you need a pick-me-up. Use within 10 days.

You can also combat foot odor by focusing on your shoes rather than your feet. Here are the best ways to do that.


Super deodorant foot soak

This ultra-powerful remedy is a triple threat: its different components deter perspiration, encourage circulation, and, of course, fight the stink.


1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon fresh gingerroot, finely grated, OR 1 teaspoon dried powdered ginger
4 cups water, plus extra as needed
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon Epsom salts
10 drops tea tree essential oil
Small ice cubes or crushed ice


  1. Place rosemary, sage, and ginger in a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain.
  2. Add baking soda, Epsom salts, and tea tree oil. Mix well. Pour into a foot spa or shallow basin big enough for both feet. Top with extra water and add ice.
  3. Soak feet for 15 minutes; pat dry. Follow with a dusting of Fragrant Foot Powder (next slide).
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Fragrant foot powder

Whether you pair this one with the Deodorant Foot Soak or let it stand on its own, its bacteria-fighting powers will have your feet smelling fresh in no time. And your skin will feel nice and smooth, too!


1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
15 drops lemon essential oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil


  1. Sift baking soda and cornstarch to remove lumps. Add the lemon, lavender, and tea tree oils and sift again.
  2. Store powder in an airtight, lidded container in a cool, dark place.
  3. To use, dip a powder puff into the mixture and apply after bathing, or decant the mixture into a small shaker.

There are other ways of eliminating foot odor, too, that don’t involve essential oils: check them out here.

NOTE TO READERS: If you try several of these remedies and keep your feet clean, and the odor doesn’t go away, your foot odor might have a medical, unnatural cause. If you think this might be the case, you should see a doctor. And keep these secrets your podiatrist won’t tell you in mind.