56 answers

STINKY Feet...

My son is 6 years old. His feet smell like a dead thing!!! We have tried sandals, we've washed shoes, we've tried boots...they started growing a mold that made his brother very sick!!! I feel bad always telling him to go wash his feet, but this is bad. We have to replace his shoes/sandals every 6 - 12 weeks sometimes...there is no getting the stinky out! I am not interested in medicine except as a total last resort...so does anyone out there know of natural ways to treat this strange problem? He's the youngest of 4 boys and none of the others have odor issues at all out of the ordinary. THANKS for your help!!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I decided to go with the TEA idea that so many suggested...and we are doing SO much better!!! His shoes aren't nearly so bad and there is almost no odor on his feet either. THANK you for all the great suggestions.

Featured Answers

I had a problem with my 10 yr old girl's feet. Try soaking them in a bucket of tea. Regular old tea. i filled a small bucket with warmer water and steeped 4-5 tea bags for a few minutes then soaked her feet, with the tea bags still in it, for about 30 minutes. I did this for 7 days. It did help a lot. It's been almost 6 months and we haven't had a problem.

I was recently reading in a nutrition magazine that to treat fungus use hydrogen peroxide and then coat with tea tree oil. I wonder if that might help with foot odor.

There is also a hunter's deodorant you might can use that eliminates body odor. I think you can get it at a hunting supply store or department.

Good luck!

There are 2 things that will help. First put Zinc in his bath, second never ever let him wear shoes without white socks unless it is sandles.. Hope this helps B. mother of 3 granmother of 10

More Answers

I used to have this problem, too, and it's not very ladylike! My aunt who was selling herbs, vitamins, and natural supplements like that told me that I was deficient in ZINC. I figured it wouldn't hurt to take zinc, and believe it or not, it worked!! I just bought a cheap bottle of zinc at Wal-Mart. The smell went away, and I had to get rid of some of my shoes and buy some new ones! I still take zinc in addition to my multi-vitamin, and the smell has never returned!! Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi R.. My brother-in-law's feet used to smell so bad, that when he took off his shoes at end of day, the whole house would smell.This is no joke. He worked at a Naval base and that's where someone told him to wash his feet with Clorox.I know that sounds crazy, but I also had smelly feet and I tried it. It really works. I haven't had foot odor in years and neither has my brother-in-law. Rub your son's feet with a little clorox and water. Maybe do it once or twice a week. When you notice them smelling again, do it again. Eventually they won't smell any more. Hope this helps.
A little about me - I'm 53 yrs. old with 4 grown children - 2 boys and 2 girls - ages 22-26. About to be a grandmother for the first time in October.My daughter is expecting a little girl. I'm so excited.

1 mom found this helpful

I have heard soaking you feet in tea will help you might go to people's pharmacy to get a natural remedy Good luck J.

1 mom found this helpful

To get the stink out, try putting a piece of charcoal in each shoe, yes, the type you put on your barbecue grill. As far as why his feet stink, you might want to check with your doctor for a suggestion. Have your researched it on the internet?

1 mom found this helpful

Stinky feet (and breath) have been linked to yeast issues. The problem is likely internal, not external. Usually this sort of thing becomes an issue when we're older.

Yeast issues come up when our good bacteria, an important part of our immune system, are compromised. Yeast occurs naturally in the body and our good bacteria keep it in check so it doesn't get out of hand. But there are many ways our good bacteria can be compromised. Pro-biotic and biotin therapy is an excellent way to tackle this and have no adverse side effects. Garden of Life has the best broad spectrum pro-biotic used by medical professionals that I know of. It's expensive and worth every cent and you can get it at most local vitamin stores. However, if you cannot get this, Flora-Balance has an excellent probiotic as well. Not broad spectrum, but they also have very high standards and effects. OutletNutrition.com has the best price on Flora-Balance I've seen in a while. There are currently no known contraindications for biotin therapy. Biotin is a bi-product of your good gut bacteria. It's essential for the metabolization of fatty acids and sugars, supports the immune system and acts as a fungal growth inhibitor. There are no known adverse effects of these therapies even if there are no fungal issues, as they will simply support the body in its natural state.

Also, oregano extract is one of nature's strongest antifungals. In a way it's a "miracle" herb because it has a variety of good things about it. It supports the respiratory system, boosts the immune system, is an anti-fungal, anti-viral and ant-bacterial without compromising your friendly bacteria. Basil is another strong anti-fungal with garlic less so. Eating it is fine, but for a real issue, you need to get something more intense. Go for the extract capsule over oil for comfort - which you can find at Vitamin Shoppe.

All this being said, note: I am not a doctor or a health professional. My opinions are based on my own experience, research and conversations with various health professionals. And I provide them as amateur opinions only. Your choices regarding yours and your family's health are your own and made at your own risk. I encourage you to research these things for yourself and talk to your health professionals about any questions or concerns you may have.

Avon has some foot products, including a powder and spray for foot odor.

My daughter had stinky feet from the time she was able to run and play. I put foot powder and it solved my problem. I nephew is in the marines one of the number one requests by himn and his platoon is Gold Bonds foot powder. They get athletes feet bad out there and this helps soak up the bacteria that causes foot odor that leads to athletes foot. I know if you go to the web and look up natural remedies everything they tell you to mix up has green tea oil. Good luck. By the way my daughter still puts powder in her shoes to keep her feet from smelling but now that she gets pedicures she doesn't have such a big problem anymore. My mom used to have my brother soak his feet in epson salt, baking soda and peroxide. He used to get athletes feet something horrible. Another think is don't buy shoes made out of plastics, buy shoes that are leather. I cant buy my daughter cheap tennis shoes they have to be made of leather or it makes her fee smelly also.

Does your son wear leather shoes? I know that when you wear man made plastic shoes your feet will smell.


I had an employee a few years ago with the same problem. I went on the internet (just type in stinky feet or even foot odor). There will be several home remedies. The only one I remember is a footbath with tea, just plain tea. There's something about the acid in it. Have you tried sprinkling plain baking soda on his feet and in his shoes? Good Luck.

try spraying his feet every morning and evening with a aerosal deoderant - and sprinkle athletes powder inside his shoes....

I know I wear dress shoes everyday to work and prefer two pair in particular - my feet get hot in them but they are comfortable. I use the deoderant and it works for me....

Good luck and dont let him think there is anything wrong with him but ask his doctor during youe next visit and he may just have overactive sweat glands or somthing.

try insoles...they worked for me, and they are very comfortable. find ones that control moisture and odor.

Our 4 1/2 month old has very stinky feet. I use a q-tip to clean inbetween it dosent seem to help for that long. I started putting baby powder on his feet and it helps termendiously. Good luck.

I was recently reading in a nutrition magazine that to treat fungus use hydrogen peroxide and then coat with tea tree oil. I wonder if that might help with foot odor.

There is also a hunter's deodorant you might can use that eliminates body odor. I think you can get it at a hunting supply store or department.

Good luck!

Use deoderant. The spray kind. It works well. Also try buying crocs. They are microcrobial.

Try checking out this website:
Simply click on search and type in your question. When you find something you would like to try you can contact me at:
Essential Oils really are amazing. My family is a living testimony on how oils can help you in a safe and natural way.
Each 15 ml. bottle goes a long way. There are approximately 380 drops of oil in each bottle. It usually only take a couple of drops per application.

try soaking his feet about 30 min. in a little bleach & baking soda water at luke warm temp. try this about every other day or when time is not so limited.

Good Luck

Maybe you've tried it but if not, put baking soda into all his closed shoes and inside all his sox.

Iam a mother of 5, 3 boys and twin daughters. My second son had the same problem, he was a little older when it became so bad for all of us, his feet looked as if he had jungle rot and smelled the same. I had tried every thing any one suggested nothing worked, washing did not help. I had him see a podiatrist, [should have done it sooner], it was a long treatment but worth it. It ment 2 pairs of shoes and several pairs of white socks, soaking his feet every night and morning and keeping a pair of shoes and socks in a plastic bag with a tablet of some kind and changing 2 times a day. It was a year before his feet healed and did not smell. Your son may not have the same thing but my advice is dont delay, have him see a dr. Hope all goes well

My dh had this problem and even had athlete's foot. We switched the bar soap we were using to an all natural one and it made all his symptoms go away even the athlete's foot. I couldn't believe he was so excited about a bar of soap! It is only available on-line and is reasonably priced. If you want more info, just let me know.

Mom to 5 Wonderful Kids (1 girl,4 boys)

Supposedly if you soak his feet in tea everyday the problem will go away. Something about the tannin and antioxidents in the tea changes the chemistry of the feet. I hope that works!

Try buying Crystal Body Deodorant Spray and using it on his feet and shoes. It is made of Natural Mineral Salts which actually fight the odor-causing bacteria. If it helped my husband that has to wear steel toed boots every day, I am sure that it will work for your son. :-)

I purchase it at HEB Grocery Stores, but I am sure it must be available other places too. If it is used daily you will get the best results.

I would try a regular tea foot bath. Just soak his feet in tes every day for a week or so. I would also put crumpled up newspaper in his shoes at night. Throw out the paper every day. This will get rid of the oder everday instead of powders that absorb and stay there for the next day.
You might look into CROCS. They are dish washer safe. You can through them on the top rack and wash them once a week or so to really get the oders out.

Baking soda in his shoes...If you think about it, why do you put an open box in your fridge?? to absorb odors... ;-).. Also, I would get soak his feet in warm water with baking soda in it once or twice a week to help neutralize the odor in his feet and prevent the build up of any bacteria...

I hope this works for you.

Good Luck!!!! ;-)

Hi R., someone told me about soaking the feet in warm tea. Not bottled tea but brew tea in hot water and let it warm, soak the feet in the tea for about 30 minutes and you should not experience this problem again. My husband tried this remedy and it worked. Let me know if this works for you.

Hi R.,

Stinky feet are no fun.
Hi I am an Avon Representative and Avon has some great products for feet. I have not personally tried the footworks line, but I've read great reviews. The Foot Works Odor Neutralizing Foot Spray or the Foot Works Deodorizing Foot Powder would probably be what you need. Also if you suspect fungus there is Foot Works Antifungal Foot Spray and Foot Works Antifungal Foot Cream.
Let me know if you are interested or have any questions about the products.
My name is W. Bierschenk and my number is ###-###-####. I have an Avon website www.youravon.com/wbierschenk
If you are interested in ordering online but don't want to pay shipping select representative delivery and I'll deliver it to you personally.
Also on my website you can read reviews on all the products and most have the ingredients listed.

Good Luck,

I had a problem with my 10 yr old girl's feet. Try soaking them in a bucket of tea. Regular old tea. i filled a small bucket with warmer water and steeped 4-5 tea bags for a few minutes then soaked her feet, with the tea bags still in it, for about 30 minutes. I did this for 7 days. It did help a lot. It's been almost 6 months and we haven't had a problem.

Hi R., There are things you can buy in the store for athliets feet that should help. But if he has 2 pair of shoes (sneakers) have him change his shoes some time during the day rub his feet down with the foot powder, before putting the other shoes on. Once he takes his one pair of shoes off stuff them with wadded up newspaper.(the news paper will absorb the oder) white cotton socks are best to wear. and no leather shoes it seams to make it worse. (the smell). my middle daughter had smelly feet and this worked for us. i wish you luck. It's cheaper than going to the drs. if he replaces new newspaer in his shoes every time and no colored paper just the black and white you'll notice a big difference quickly.(a week or so) good luck and fresh air. Val

a podiatrist once told me you can use the deo.spray you use on your underarms for your feet. Might be worth a try.


I agree with Kate. Try the Baking Soda. My dad always had bad foot odor and that's what he used all the time while I was growing up. It absorbs the moisture.
Apart from that, I have no idea.
Good luck!

I found some information on a few medical sites; hope it helps.
The number one cause of foot odor is sweat. All the sights I looked at say that the worst thing for foot odor is cotton socks. Your son should wear a medium-bulk acrylic sock and sprinkle Zeasorb - an over-the-counter drying powder - into his shoes daily.
My ex-brother-in-law has horribly smelly feet; they still stink after he showers sometimes. Once a week he puts in new odor eater insoles and daily he puts a Snuggle fabric softener sheet under the odor eater. It greatly reduces the smell and he can actually take his shoes off around people without clearing the room.
Also, if your son's feet are red or have cracked skin he should see a doctor because that is a sign of something more serious.
I hope some of this helps you...good luck

Dear R., My husband saw this on T.V., and it does work. Brew up a big pot of tea. Regular Lipton tea or whatever will do. When it cools, pour into a pan, and let your son soak his feet in it.

Hope this helps. Good luck and best wishes.

I just had to chlorox my six year-old's daughter's pair of keds...soaked them in the chlorox water overnight and sun dried them...so far so good. I had a fungus in my toenail that made my feet stink too once, I didn't even know I had it, I was misdiagnosed as having "eczema." Once I took the medicine for the fungus, my feet cleared up and the smell was gone. Also, the moisture in shoes breeds bacteria, make sure he has two pairs of shoes that he alternates so one can "dry" out. Maybe leave them in the sun during the day. Good luck.

He may have some type of fungus. You should have him checked out by his pediatrician to rule out any illness. Otherwise, charcoal is a natural odor absorber. If you place charcoal in his shoes when he takes them off, it will help the shoes last longer. Body powder with baking soda may help, too. Have him wash often, and apply powder. Also, what kind of socks does he wear? Synthetic fabrics don't breathe, and cause odor. Make sure his socks are 100% cotton. If he can wear cotton or leather shoes, that would help, too. Manmade materials don't breathe and cause excess sweating.

wow....you are having a time of it. I wonder if it's allergy-related. Have you taken him to see a podiatrist? Or a dermatologist? Or an endocrinologist? The latter is specialized in glandular issues and perhaps this has something to do with your child's sweat glands producing an overabundance of something they shouldn't.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Peppermint and rosemary are natural deodorizers. The Body Shop at Home sells naturally-based foot products. The spray is what my family uses, and it works. (All of the products are 100% satisfaction guaranteed too.) You can find it at www.thebodyshopathome.com/web/amyn.

try getting a pear of shoes that allows lots air flow. no leather shoes what so ever!!! trust me on that one. Also try putting some baking soda in them at night to absorb the sweat. you can even spray his feet with anti-fungal spray at night to help. Even thou you have tried sandles thy dont allow half of the foot the air flow that is needed with stinky feet.

I use to have that same problem and still do sometimes. What finally saved me from the smell of my own feet was going to payless and getting those airwalks (I think thats the name of them) and I dont have to use any sprays to hide the smell anymore. if you need I can send you a picture of them. I have been wearing them for over a year and havent had one problem. They allow tons of air flow so it keeps my feet from sweating alot. Plus with those kind of shoes you dont have to wear socks!!!!

It may be his shoes.
If he has cheap shoes that are made of a manmade material not leather(shoes from walmart and target are of a manmade material.)Manmades materials don't breathe with means no air circulation goes in or out of the shoes.
My son is 7 and has only worn stride rite ,nike or reebok.
Marshall's is a good place for cheap name brand shoes.
Also, try crocs .they have great ventilation b/c of all the holes.

Good question. I'd like to know too.

Here are the links on Oprah.com, about the stinky feet lady and Dr. Oz's natural remedy (soaking in tea):


Good luck!

Everyone has great suggestions! If those suggestions do not work you may want ask your pediatrician. A fungus or ahtletes foot could be causing the smell. If the fungus is treated, the smell will go away.

I know my sister had this problem with a pair of shoes she loved. I actually had to throw the shoes away and tell her to wash her feet. Luckily once the shoes were gone so was the problem.

It sounds like since the shoes are not the problem that it could be symptoms of a bigger issue. Try some gold bond power in the shoes too.

Good luck!

I hear that Vicks Vapo Rub applied to the feet at night works on this sort of thing. Can't hurt to try it. It might be a fungus that makes them smell. You might want to take him to a doctor.

Dear R. D just take a few minutes to do.Wash your son's feet in a bucket with water and add a spoon of baking soda on his feet scrab with a little towel and rinse do this for aproximatly 15 days. good luck

The tea soak that many are talking about makes sense! Those de-tox foot pads that you wear to bed at night have tea in them! I guess the tea draws toxins and junk that collects in the feet. I teach yoga and we do inversions (anything that puts your feet above your heart) and we do them because toxins in your body collect in the feet (they even form crystals) putting your feet above your heart allows some of the toxins to release into the blood stream so that your body can get rid of them through elimination. If his bowel movements aren't regular that could be another problem. I don't usually have foot odor, but once when I had a job where I was on my feet for several hours, I had this pair of cotton canvas tennis shoes, they were comfortable, so I wore them they had an open heel so i didn't wear socks and my feet got so stinky after a few wears! I couldn't get the smell out of my shoes and everytime I wore them my feet would stink. So I started spraying them and my feet with antifungal foot spray every time that I wore them and there was no odor on my feet or in my shoes! I used the avon foot spray since I am a rep, it was easy to get for me. try the tea, try the spray, best of luck with his feet

There are 2 things that will help. First put Zinc in his bath, second never ever let him wear shoes without white socks unless it is sandles.. Hope this helps B. mother of 3 granmother of 10

Try baking soda, wash his feet (pan of water with baking soda in it) with it and when they dry rub his feet down with it, between toes and everything and see if that helps....

Hi R.! :)

There's this natural "Deodarent rock/crystal" (made from minerals) they sell at health food stores. It works great for armpits AND feet. You just wet the rock and rub it on the freshly cleaned stinky area. Lasts for up to 2 days. Make sure to smell the rock regularly. Sometimes if there is stink still left on your armpits or feet when you use it---it will obsorb teh smell and pass it along the next time you use it. To prevent/stop it, just run the rock under water while rubbing it for a few seconds.

I know this sounds stupid...... but someone told me to do this with my son and youngest daughter... they both had feet that would make you gag.... some of it is pretty disgusting.... but here goes....
When they take a shower..... have them pee on their feet.... that will eliminate the fungus causing the problem... it works!!! as for the shoes..... pour brewed tea into them and swish it around the shoes (for sandals, I guess you would have to soak them in a bowl of it) and then let them air dry in the sun...
Good luck!

Sounds like a diet issue. Toxins usually cecret from our underarms and feet. Does he eat a lot of meat. Refer to Dr. Mercola.com...he's my favorite on health matters. Good luck!

Are his hands sweaty alot too? I have over-active sweat glands and I sweat in very strange ways.

I don't remember a time when my feet smelled fine after emoving my shoes and my socks were always soaked.

You might check his other sweating habits, if any have started yet. He could have over-active sweat glands. Supposedly there is a shot out there that is a one time thing into the main sweat gland that regulates it. It's been a while since i have seen anything about it, but you could always do some research!

Good luck!

Also, if he is taking baths or if the water is building up in the shower...then clean your tub really well...and then have him take showers and make sure the water is draining well, so that there is no water standing around his feet. The standing water while he baths could be causing his feet to stink!

OK, this is going to sound weird, haven't tried it, have no idea if it works, but it is worth a try. I saw on Oprah's Dr. OZ special one time about a year ago that soaking your feet in tea is supposed to neutralize the smell...something about the tannins in tea. I think it is just natural black tea, but you may want to look on line. Once again...I have no idea if it actually makes a difference. I think you have to do it every day for a while! Good luck! I feel your pain!! E.

Don't gross out. But try having him unrinate on his feet. My husband had the same problem and I heard of this remedy on one of the daytime shows and it did work.


you might want to check the Oprah website for past episodes. I remember she had Dr.Oz on and he was covering different topics. I want to say soaking the feet for 30 min with tea bags in the water helps with that. I don't think it was any specific tea mentioned to use. I hope this helps. I am pretty sure it works, my co-worker used it for her teenage daughter, and she did not ever comment on her childs foot problem again. Good luck.

Soak his feet in tea! I saw in on Opera w/Dr. Oz!

Hi R., I suggest you take your son to a naturopathic doctor. I quote from The Chemistry of Man by Bernard Jensen PhD. "There is a decomposed odor issuing from the body of a fluorine starvation patient. Perspiration from the fluorine-hungry person is sour and the foot sweat is unendurable." I recommend the Heights of Health in Houston. Totally painless, no blood, sweat, tears involved. HTH, C.
ps. I agree with Julia that it is probably an internal issue, not an external one. Yeast is another good possibility.

This is going to sound crazy, But it works. I have a 14 year old daughter that had the same trouble. Go to the grocery store and get large tea bags. YES, Large Tea bags. Get something he can soak his feet in. Make up a large amount of Tea in the bucket and have him soak his feet for about 10-15 minutes. You can also soak shoes, but the tea will stain just about everything except dark colors. Have him do this once or twice a week for a 6-8 weeks. We noticed improvement after about the 2nd or 3rd time. A nurse at our pediatricians office told us about it. The odor comes from a fungus that lives on the skin. The tanic acid in the tea kills the fungus.
Good luck,

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.