If you are tired of hearing “Did something die in here?” or the more polite variant, “What’s that smell?” whenever you take off your shoes, then there is a big chance that you are suffering from a very common problem: smelly feet. While this condition is usually benign and does not typically signal any health issues, it remains extremely embarrassing. Fortunately, it is not a lost cause; there are many things you can do to eliminate this problem. If you want to know more, check the following tried-and-true tips to get rid of smelly feet.

Keep Your Feet Clean

Although this sounds like a very generic piece of advice, it is the most effective one. Sometimes, poor hygiene is the main culprit behind smelly feet. Luckily, this means you can fix the problem pretty easily. By simply washing your feet with water and soap every day, you can keep them smelling fresh and eliminate any offensive odors. You do not even have to invest in any expensive soap because the standard variety works well enough. But, be careful not to leave your feet wet after you wash them, as this creates a fertile environment for the bacteria responsible for the bad smell. So, keep a small cloth or towel at hand to dry your feet as soon as you wash them. Additionally, you should not let your toenails grow too long because they can trap dirt and bacteria underneath them.; clip your toenails every week to ensure that they remain clean.

Change Your Socks

The material your socks are made of plays a great role in exacerbating or eliminating the problem. They might even be the source of the stench! Socks made of synthetic materials are not good at absorbing moisture, which, in turn, makes your feet wet. On the other hand, moisture-wicking socks are great at keeping your feet dry, thus eliminating any smell. Similarly, compression socks keep your feet dry but also help you stay comfortable by eliminating the pressure, which is why the ones on this link are all great options for athletes and non-athletes alike. Regardless of the type of socks you opt for, be sure to wear a new pair every day and wash the ones you have already worn immediately after you take them off. To ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned, turn them inside out before you toss them in the washing machine.

Clean Your Shoes

There is nothing quite like the stench of running shoes; these bad boys can make an entire room smell bad. The smell they produce is usually a result of sweat and bacteria mixed. To eliminate this offensive odor, you need to air your shoes every day and avoid wearing the same pair two days in a row. Moreover, try to wear only leather or canvas shoes, as the rubber ones often make the problem much worse. If the smell persists, you can try to put some baking soda in them to absorb it. Teabags also work well, so give these two hacks a try.

Try Homemade Remedies

If the above tips do not work, then you might need a more on-the-nose strategy. Not only are homemade remedies effective at getting rid of smelly feet, but they are also very affordable and accessible. For a homemade solution, you need to mix half a cup of Epsom salt with around five cups of warm water, and then soak your feet in the mix for 15-30 minutes. Another homemade remedy entails soaking your feet in a mix made of half a cup of vinegar and six cups of warm water for 15 minutes.

See a Doctor

In some severe cases, certain medical conditions might be the reason behind smelly feet, so if all else fails, consult a doctor to pinpoint the source of the problem. For instance, an athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is one of the most common conditions that cause feet to smell bad. It is fungal in nature and can be cured by administering antifungal medications. Or, you may be suffering from hyperhidrosis—a condition that causes excessive sweat. In this case, you may be prescribed antiperspirants to stop your feet from sweating too much.

Undoubtedly, smelly feet are embarrassing and can have severe implications on your self-esteem, but it helps to know that you are not the only one suffering from this problem. By following the above tips, you can get rid of smelly feet in no time. However, if home remedies and other solutions do not work, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. Just remember, feet are not supposed to smell like roses, so go easy on yourself!