You came home from a hard day’s work. Kicked your sweaty boots out on the porch before you entered the home (you already know by now that taking them in wreaks havoc on the household atmosphere).
Tired you drop on the couch for some serious slouching. The pungent odor however, doesn’t stay outside with your boots.
Soon the misses, hands on her sides, stands in front of you. Yelling.
She has had it. This is the last time. You will be kicked out if you don’t do something about your smelly feet. The putrid stench has to go, with or without you.
Time to do something about it. Quickly.
The Quick and Dirty Fix
This is if you need to take immediate action. An emergency fix you can apply right now. A DIY remedy to take care of foot odor immediately to save your marriage.
- Take off your socks too. Besides kicking off your shoes, remove those sweaty socks. The smell is in the socks as well.
- Wash your feet before entering the living room. No time or energy to wash with an antibacterial soap?
- Rinse with rubbing alcohol, pure alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, vinegar or vodka even. It kills the bacteria. Prepare a spray bottle so you can easily and effortlessly treat your feet when necessary.
- Apply a deodorant. Take any underarm deodorant or antiperspirant you can find and apply it to your feet. We’re not picky during this quick-fix solution because we need to mask the foul odor. That’s our primary goal. The foot odor will diminish but you probably won’t be able to completely get rid of it right now. That’s why you should use a deodorant or antiperspirant.
- Put on clean socks
A quick-fix solution for when you’re on the go
- Make sure to always pack at least one pair of clean socks.
- Put a damp wash cloth with some antibacterial soap applied to it in a plastic sandwich bag for instant cleaning (you can wash your feet in the car or a public restroom). You could use Damp Ones or another brand of antibacterial wipes too.
- Add a little towel or some paper towelettes for drying your feet afterwards (remember, drying is crucial since bacteria grow like crazy in dark, damp environments)
- Bring an extra pair of shoes so you can change shoes during the day.
Take this ‘smelly feet survival kit’ with you in your bag and put an extra set in the car so you’re well prepared.
These preparations are lifesavers for when you (or the misses) suddenly decide to go shoe shopping or eat out in a Japanese restaurant.
You will avoid a lot of embarrassment in the shoe store or prevent you from getting refused to be ‘seated’ by mr. Akiyama.
The 3 Days Slick & Solid Fix
When you risk getting evicted you will probably want a more thorough solution. Something to tackle the problem at its core.
Here’s what you should do to get rid of the foot odor within a few days.
Go to the store or order online:
- Antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride. It’s the most effective at reducing the amount you sweat, recommended by dermatologists and podiatrists (foot doctors). A bestseller is Sweatblock antiperspirant. Here’s more info on good antiperspirants for foot odor.
- Surgical-grade antibacterial soap. It kills the bacteria living on your feet. I recommend Betadine Surgical Scrub or Hibiscrub.
- Odor fighting insoles. Popular choices are Dr. Scholl’s Odor-X Odor Fighting Insoles, Cedar Soles, and Summer Soles Ultra Absorbent Insoles.
- Foot powder such as On Your Toes Foot Bactericide Powder. It helps keep your feet dry and reduces foul odor.
In addition to these quick fixes you can take more action.
Rotate shoes, never wear the same shoes two days in a row.
Change to clean socks at least daily. Do it twice or more often if necessary.
Take your shoes off to air them and your feet out. The more you do this the less chance the bacterial colonies have to grow.
- Take them off while waiting at the bus stop (keep your feet from the ground though, what I do is let my feet rest on top of my shoes), kick them off while at your desk at work, and so on.
Treat your shoes. Washing our socks is normal but shoes often get neglected. Do not only de-stink them but get rid of the bacteria too. Here’s how to sanitize shoes.
You may have to throw out your shoes and get new ones. If so, get well-ventilated shoes made from canvas, mesh or leather.
- Some shoes are beyond refreshing. Once thoroughly infested by bacteria they will only cause your freshly washed and powdered feet to stink again.
Dry your footwear. Shoes should be completely dry before wearing them again. Here are some quick and easy tips on how to dry your shoes.
Wear the right socks. Cotton is good right? Wrong. There are better socks for you. Merino wool socks, or Drymax socks help reduce excessive sweating of your feet.
Fixing other foot odor causes
These quick fixes will help most people suffering from bromhidrosis (the technical name for foot odor).
In some cases however, excessive sweating and bacteria feasting on sweat and dead skin cells are not the (only) cause.
If you suspect any of these conditions are the cause, make sure to address these too.
Do you need a quick fix too?
Or does your spouse, room mate or child? I once took of my shoes at night while sleeping over at my boyfriends house.
His parents and siblings were already in bed in their own bedrooms but shortly after, heads came out door openings informing me about the smell. And if I could do something about it. Boy did I feel ashamed.
With red cheeks I quickly tossed my shoes out of the house and gave my feet a soapy rinse. Needless to say this experience made me resolute to find a solution.
What’s your situation? Are you in dire need for a quick remedy too? Drop a comment below.