Stink Less. Tips, tricks and advice to help you stink less and live more.

So, your favorite shoes stink. You don’t dare take them off even though your feet are screaming to be let out. Embarrassing, but true. Don’t worry, help is on the way.

Here’s 16 Home Remedies for Stinky Shoes:

  • 1. Wash + exfoliate feet (especially in between toes)
  • 2. Stop sweaty feet to stop stinky shoes
  • 3. Foot and shoe deodorant spray
  • 4. Wear shoes that breathe (reduce sweat + bacteria)
  • 5. Alternate your shoes – give them time to air out
  • 6. Use shoe insoles to fight foot odor
  • 7. Sprinkle baking sode in those stinky shoes
  • 8. Keep shoes fresh smelling with dryer sheets
  • 9. Deodorize shoes with cat litter or wood chips ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 10. Clean shoes with rubbing alcohol
  • 11. Steam clean shoes
  • 12. Denture tablet shoe soak
  • 13. Freeze the stink out of your shoes
  • 14. Spray essential oils into your shoes
  • 15. Use tea bags to keep shoes smelling fresh
  • 16. If all else fails: Spring for new shoes

Where do stinky shoes come from anyway? The answer is… well… obvious. First comes foot sweat, then comes bacteria, then comes stinky feet, socks and shoes.

Why do my feet stink?

Foot odor is a universal problem unless you happen to live someplace where shoes are not worn. Most of us spend many hours a day in our shoes, so let’s talk about what causes foot odor.

Our feet smell because they sweat inside our shoes. When the sweat reaches the skin’s surface the foot sweat encounters bacteria that break it down. The decomposing sweat releases an offensive odor. The medical term for smelly feet is Bromodosis. The common term is stinky feet.

Here’s a fun physiological fact: There are more sweat glands in human feet than anywhere else on the human body.

You’re more likely to have smelly feet if you’re in your shoes most of the day. Stress can cause sweaty, stinky feet, as can a medical disorder called hyperhidrosis. Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections can also lead to bad foot odor. Hormonal changes that are prevalent in teenagers and pregnant women can cause abnormal sweating which leads to heightened foot odor.

Stinky feet = stinky shoes.

Let’s first talk about how to prevent stinky feet and then we’ll talk about how to get the smell out of shoes and other helpful odor-fighting remedies.

1. Wash + exfoliate feet to prevent stinky shoes

Since stinky shoes start with stinky feet, seems like that’s a good place to begin. Practicing good foot hygiene can help keep the foot odor down.

Wash your feet every day. Even if you don’t shower or bathe every day, take the time to wash your feet with warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and then dry with a clean, dry towel. Make sure you clean between your toes where bacteria love to grow.

Exfoliate. Removing dead skin can reduce foot odor. Scrub your feet with an exfoliating pad or pumice stone.

Keep your feet dry. The bacteria that reacts with sweat thrives in moist areas. If your socks or shoes are wet, you’ve set up a feast for odor-causing bacteria. Wear breathable socks made of fabric that will wick away foot perspiration. Wearing shoes without socks may be fashionably cool, but it’s never a good idea. If you like stinky tennis shoes, don’t wear socks.

2. Stop sweaty feet to stop stinky shoes

If you’re often plagued by sweaty feet, you’ll want to focus on stopping some of that sweat. An antiperspirant lotion like SweatBlock is perfect for reducing excessive sweat on the feet. Your feet contain more sweat glands than any other part of your body. Bacteria love sweaty feet and and stink loves bacteria.

If you can reduce some of that foot sweating, you can reduce a lot of the stink that comes along with it.

3. Use a foot and shoe deodorant spray

A deodorizing foot spray is a great way to freshen both your shoes and your feet at the same time. Just shake the can a few times and you’re ready to spray. This quick and effective remedy is perfect for active walkers, sports enthusiasts, and students after gym class. The small spray bottle fits easily in your backpack or gym bag, and the fresh smelling spray will make your feet and shoes smell great right away. The deodorant spray provides natural anti-fungal protection and works on all types of shoes, sandals, and slippers.

4. Wear shoes that breathe

One of the most effective remedies is simple: Wear the right shoes. The best shoes for stinky feet are made from leather or breathable fabric. These materials allow moisture to vent to the outside world. Avoid shoes made of vinyl or other man-made materials. Non-breathable shoes act to prevent moisture dissipation and evaporation. And once you unlace those babies, you and anybody in the area will be reaching for a gas mask.

5. Alternate your shoes – give them time to air out

The smell of your shoes can be greatly reduced by not wearing the same pair on consecutive days. Of course, this means you’ll need more than one pair of shoes. Assuming that you have at least two pairs, alternate the days you wear them. Give ‘em a well-deserved rest. On their days off, pull out the tongue, loosen the laces and put them in a ventilated spot where they can air out.

6. Use shoe insoles to fight foot odor

Another way to minimize shoe odor is with specially treated insoles. Several varieties are available at your favorite grocery or drug store. They’re treated with activated charcoal or baking soda (or both) and neutralize unpleasant odors. They not only provide long-lasting odor protection (a few weeks or months), but they can also absorb foot moisture and add extra footbed cushioning.

Most brands come in a standard size that can be easily cut to fit any size shoe. These odor-neutralizing insoles are especially useful in taming those smelly gym shoes.

7. Sprinkle baking soda in those stinky shoes

Baking soda is another good home remedy for stinky shoes. Sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda in the offending shoe(s). Let the power of baking soda do its thing overnight. Dump it out in the morning and, boom, your shoes are as fresh as new. Well, maybe not quite that fresh, but they’re ready for the upcoming day.

One caution: Be careful about using baking soda too often with leather shoes, as it can extract the moisture from the leather and cause it to dry out and crack.

8. Keep shoes fresh smelling with dryer sheets

If we’re going to talk about how to deodorize shoes, we should mention using dryer sheets. It’s another unusual idea to freshen stinky shoes.

Take a standard dryer sheet, tear it in half and place one half in each shoe. Let the shoes sit overnight. Really stinky tennis shoes may require more time. Just remember to pull the dryer sheets out before putting on the newly freshened shoes.

Bonus tip: If you keep your gym shoes in a gym bag, throw a dryer sheet into the bottom of the gym bag. It will act as a shoe and gym clothes deodorizer.

9. Deodorize shoes with cat litter or wood chips

If your shoes are attracting attention (the wrong kind) because of shoe odor, here’s a hack you may want to try. You’ll need some cedar wood chips or kitty litter. You’ll also need some clean old socks or paper towels.

This cure is easy: Fill up a pair of old, but clean, socks with either cedar wood chips or cat litter. Place one of the socks in each shoe, and let them stand overnight. The wood chips or kitty litter will absorb the foot odor hiding in the shoes. Citrus peels can also do a passable job of refreshing your shoes.

10. Clean shoes with rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can be used to kill odor and clean your shoes. There are two methods.

The first utilizes a mixture of water and alcohol. Take a cup of water and a cup of rubbing alcohol. Mix them together in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the inside and outside of each shoe. Place the treated shoes in a well-ventilated area where they can dry.

The alcohol acts to kill the bacteria that causes stinky shoes. The alcohol will also help dry out areas where moisture collects.

The second method uses alcohol and cotton balls. Saturate several cotton balls with rubbing alcohol. Place the saturated cotton balls in each shoe, filling up all the space. Be sure to get them way down in the toe area, and let the shoes stand overnight. Things should be looking up and smelling much fresher in the morning.

Tip: How to wash tennis shoes and sneakers to get rid of foot odor

Today’s tennis shoes (athletic shoes) and sneakers often cost north of $100. To keep them looking and smelling like new, you can use your washing machine. To protect your investment, there are a few steps to follow. This method works well for fabric and leather athletic shoes.

  • 1. Remove the laces (if any) and any removable insoles or inserts.
  • 2. Wipe away any loose dirt and debris.
  • 3. Place shoes, minus laces and inserts, in a mesh bag or pillowcase. Secure the opening so the shoes can’t come out.
  • 4. If you have a washing machine with an agitator, include some towels along with the shoes to balance the load. If you have a newer machine without an agitator, you probably don’t need the towels.
  • 5. Wash in warm water with a heavy-duty detergent.
  • 6. Air dry your newly cleaned shoes. NEVER put them in the dryer.
  • 7. Use a solution of water and baking soda to hand clean the insoles/inserts.

11. Steam clean shoes to kill bacteria and odor

Steam can help eradicate bacteria and foot odor in your shoes. If you have a dryer with a steam feature, give that a try. Be sure that you try this method on shoes that can tolerate moisture.

Another method using steam requires a steam cleaning appliance. These are used for cleaning and disinfecting things around the house. Just stick the steam machine’s nozzle into each shoe for about 30 seconds. Let them completely dry before wearing again.

12. Denture tablet shoe soak

You’ll only want to use this method on shoes that can be submerged completely in water without damage.

Take a bucket or medium size bin. Fill it with hot water. Drop in 3 to 4 denture tablets and allow them to dissolve. Toss in your sneakers and let them soak for 2 to 3 hours. Not only will they smell better but they’ll be germ-free, at least for a while.

13. Freeze the stink out of your shoes

Disgusting foot odor is caused by bacteria lurking in the dark recesses of your footwear. Putting them in the freezer overnight kills this bacteria. These foul-intentioned germs can’t stand the cold environment. But first, you’ll want to protect whatever else is in the freezer by following these simple steps:

  • Make sure your shoes are completely dry.
  • Put them in a sealable plastic bag or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Leave them in the freezer for the night.
  • Remove them in the morning

In the morning, don’t be afraid to stick your nose where it normally doesn’t belong. You’ll be pleased to find that the shoe stench is gone.

14. Spray essential oils into your shoes

Essential oils are a big thing for millions around the world. If you’re a fan of essential oils and their natural “super powers,” this essential-oils-for-stinky-shoes treatment will surely appeal to you. Be sure you’re using high-quality essential oils.

  • 1. Grab a small spray bottle. The 2.7-ounce size is ideal.
  • 2. Fill halfway with unscented witch hazel.
  • 3. Add distilled water leaving just a little space at the top of the bottle for these essential oils:

    6 drops peppermint essential oil
    4 drops tea tree oil (aka melaleuca oil)
    2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
    1 drop thyme essential oil

  • 4. Screw the spray top onto the bottle.
  • 5. Shake well.
  • 6. Spray lightly the entire interior of the shoe. Don’t forget the toe box.
  • 7. Place the treated shoes in a sealable plastic bag to heighten effectiveness.
  • 8. Let dry.

Each time you detect offending shoe odor, spray again. Not only will this essential concoction deodorize your shoes, but it also has the power to kill odor-causing bacteria. It might just be the best deodorizing spray you’ve ever tried.

15. Freshen your shoes with tea bags

This home remedy for shoe odor works the same way as the cat litter and wood chips methods. All you need are some stinky shoes and unused tea bags.

Place two or three tea bags inside each shoe. Let stand for several hours or overnight. The dried tea in the bags will absorb that bad odor emanating from your shoes. Simple. Easy. Effective.

16. If all else fails: Spring for new shoes

All the above remedies for smelly shoes have been tested, tried and proven. But if your favorite shoes just don’t respond well to one or more of these methods, it may be time to hang ‘em up for good and buy a new pair. New shoes smell great– for a few days. But then, the creeping bad shoe smell will return. So, keep experimenting with these cures for stinky shoes. The inevitable occasion will arrive when your shoes must come off in public. And this time? You’ll be ready.

There are 4-5 million sweat glands on the human body. Over 250,000 of those sweat glands reside on your feet. It’s no surprise that sweat and stink find their way between your toes and in your tennis shoes.

We’re not gonna to mince words here. Smelly, sweaty feet can be as embarrassing as public flatulence. Sure, stinky feet may not be as audible. But unlike an untimely “break of wind”, that silent –yet deadly– sweaty foot smell doesn’t fade.

The smell, slipping, sliding, blisters and infection are just a few of the side effects of sweaty feet. For those who suffer with plantar hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the feet), things only get worse.

How to Stop Sweaty Feet

If you’re tired of soggy socks and toe-curling foot odor, we’ve got some tips to help you stop the sweat and stink. For your convenience, we’ve divided these tips into three categories: Prevention, Home Remedies, and Treatments.

Tips to Prevent Sweaty Feet (and stinky feet)

1. Wash your feet daily

Wash your feet daily with an antibacterial soap. Dirty, sweaty feet attract bacteria which can lead to foot odor.

2. Use Antiperspirant for Feet

With all those sweat glands hanging out on your feet, sweat can come fast and furious. A strong foot antiperspirant is one of the best ways to stop unwanted sweating.

3. Use a Foot Deodorant Spray

You put deodorant in you armpits to stop smell. Why not do the same with your feet? A deodorizing foot spray like Right Foot or Lumi Outdoors can de-stink your feet and your shoes.

4. Use Foot Powder to Keep Feet Dry & Fungus Free

After cleaning your feet, apply an anti-fungal foot powder. This will help reduce wetness from sweat and control foot odor.

5. Use an Alcohol Wipe Reduce Sweating

Wipe down your feet with an alcohol wipe to close up your pores and reduce sweating temporarily. Do this before you put on your socks and shoes for the day.

6. Use Cornstarch to Absorb Sweat and Keep Feet Dry

Like foot powders, cornstarch can absorb sweat and keep your feet dry and comfortable. Sprinkle clean feet with cornstarch and let sit for a few minutes before putting on shoes and socks.

7. Put Baking Soda in Your Shoes

After you remove your shoes, put some baking soda in them to soak up excess moisture. This prevents nasty smelling bacteria from festering.

8. Choose the Right Shoes

Wear breathable shoes if possible. Shoes with poor ventilation won’t do your sweaty feet any favors. Avoid plastic and leather shoes. And … always wear socks. (but never with sandals. PLEASE!)

9. Keep Shoes Dry to Prevent Bacteria Build-up

Alternate shoes to give them time to dry out. Dry shoes are less likely to be stinky shoes.

10. Wear Socks, Wear the Right Socks

If you’re wearing closed toe-shoes, you need to wear socks — clean, dry, socks. Change your socks daily and avoid wearing cotton socks. The best socks for sweaty feet are going to be breathable, moisture-wicking socks. Wool, bamboo, and anti-bacterial materials are all good options for preventing sweaty feet.

Home Remedies for Sweaty Feet

Even if you’re just looking for a smelly feet cure, it’s important to remember that sweat leads to bacteria … which leads to stink.

11. Diet and Exercise

Eating a healthy diet and avoiding spicy, processed, fatty foods can help reduce sweating. More water and less coffee (or caffeine) can also help.

Foot sweating is largerly influenced by emotional stress. So, keeping stress to a minimum is in your best interest. Regular exercise and relaxation techniques can help manage stress before it turns into pools of sweat in your shoes.

12. Soaking Feet in Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a great home remedy for sweaty feet and stinky feet. It’s a natural astringent (tightens skin and closes pores) which can help reduce sweat — just like an antiperspirant. But it also keeps foot odor away with its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Use a cotton ball to apply the vinegar to problem areas of your feet or you can do an apple cider vinegar soak. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part water, and 1/2 part baking soda in a large bowl or basin. Then soak for your feet for 15-20 minutes. This also works for sweaty hands.

13. Soaking Feet in Tea (Black or Sage Tea)

Like apple cider vinegar, black and sage tea are natural astringents. Many people claim that sage tea is one of the best remedies for sweaty feet and sweaty hands.

Just add 4 – 5 tea bags to a quart of boiling water. Once cooled, soak your feet for 15-20 minutes. Some report that drinking the tea can also be helpful in combating foot sweat.

14. Exfoliate Feet

This is more of a stinky feet remedy. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from your body. Odor causing bacteria love to feed on these dead skin cells. Use an exfoliating brush or glove on your feet 2-3 times a week to help keep bacteria away.

15. Lemon Juice

Use cotton balls to apply fresh lemon juice to the soles of your feet before putting on your shoes and socks. It helps to close your pores and prevent sweating. Lemon juice can also work as a natural deodorant.

Sweaty Feet Treatment Options

16. Prescription Strength Antiperspirant

Clinical strength antiperspirants can be very effective in treating hand and foot sweating. Antiperspirant works by plugging up your pores and blocking sweat. By blocking the sweat, it can also prevent bad foot odor.

17. Iontophoresis Treatment

If antiperspirant doesn’t stop foot perspiration, Iontophoresis might be a good option. It’s been used for over 50 years to treat excessive sweating of the hands and feet. Iontophoresis works by using electrical currents to drive medication into the skin surface. It’s similar to an injection, but without the needles. Iontophoresis machines can be purchased and used in home. (cost ranges from $300-$1000)

18. Botox Injections (Botulinum Toxin)

Botox injections temporarily block the chemicals that activate the nerves that cause sweating. Affected areas of your feet will receive enough injections to ensure that all the nerves have been treated. The desired effects will last 3-4 months. Then treatments must be repeated. Botox injections for plantar hyperhidrosis (excessive foot sweating) can be very painful.

What Causes Sweaty Feet?

Sweating is an essential part of our body’s cooling system. To regulate body temperature, the body releases excess heat via sweat glands in the form of sweat. Our feet are not exempt from this process.

In fact, our feet have more sweat glands per inch than any other part of the body. That’s over 250,000 sweat glands on just your feet. The feet alone will produce roughly half a pint of sweat daily.

So, even if you don’t have an extreme sweating problem, you’ll likely still sweat quite a bit on your feet.

But there are things that can cause more-than-normal sweating on your feet. Your genes, for example, could be the main reason you sweat more than normal (thanks a lot mom and dad).

Your shoes, socks, diet, and emotional stress levels can also dictate how much your feet sweat.

One thing to note is that sweat glands on the soles of your feet respond mostly to your emotions. So people who are prone to anxiety, get nervous easily or have a lot of emotional stress are more likely to have sweaty feet.

For some people, foot sweat flows in niagra-like proportions. For others, sweating is unpredictable and happens regardless of physical activity or temperature. This type of extreme sweating is called Plantar Hyperhidrosis (or excessive foot sweating).

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Hyperhidrosis is abnormally excessive sweating that’s not necessarily related to heat or exercise.”

The most common types of hyperhidrosis are:

  • Craniofacial Hyperhidrosis (Head and Face Sweating)
  • Axillary Hyperhidrosis (Sweaty Armpits)
  • Palmar Hyperhidrosis (Sweaty Palms & Hands)
  • Plantar Hyperhidrosis (Sweaty Feet)

Think you might have plantar hyperhidrosis? Consult with your doctor about possible causes and best treatment options. Hyperhidrosis could be a side effect of certain medications or a symptom of more serious health conditions (i.e. diabetes, cancer, heart failure)

What Causes Stinky Feet?

Sweat isn’t the sole contributor to foul smelling foot odor. When the bacteria on your skin mingles with sweat, it causes that “stinky feet” smell (bromhidrosis).

For most people, the odor doesn’t start out strong. But over time, the smell gets locked into your shoes, and then, mixes with more sweat and bacteria.

In mathematical terms: Sweat + Bacteria = Stinky Feet

If you’re prone to anxiety or your hormones are out of whack, it only exacerbates the sweating and odor. That’s why teenagers have such sweet smelling feet (sarcasm alert).

How to prevent sweaty feet in shoes

If you wear tennis shoes, loafers, or similar closed-toe shoes, it’s important to keep them clean and dry. Sweat and odor can build up as you sweat each day. Alternating your shoes every day can give them time to dry out and reduce bacteria.

To help keep your feet from sweating while wearing this type of shoe, consider putting a bit of baby powder into your socks.

If you prefer, you can also use anti fungal foot powder, which you can purchase at amazon or most drug stores. It will help absorb the moisture and odor causing bacteria.

Also, when you take the shoes off, put a bit of baking soda inside them to absorb left-behind moisture and neutralize the smell.

There are also stinky shoe home remedies you can try if your favorite pair of sneakers are already smelling a bit ripe. We recommend things like deodorizing sprays, tea bags and even old socks filled with cat litter.

How to prevent sweaty feet in flats and heels

If you have overly sweaty feet, you probably avoid wearing flats because they aren’t worn with socks — which helps keep moisture at bay. And of course, when it comes to heels, your options are pretty much limited to strappy dress sandals or nothing. Don’t worry! You don’t have to avoid those cute ballet flats or edgy stilettos anymore.

Try soaking your feet in a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and hot water three times per week to keep the smell away. Then, apply rubbing alcohol to the bottom of your feet before putting on your flats to help close the pores and prevent sweating. You can also use SweatBlock antiperspirant towelettes instead of rubbing alcohol.

Common Problems Caused by Sweaty Feet

Did you know sweaty feet can actually cause other problems? Basically, when your feet sweat a lot, they end up sitting in excess moisture all day long.

It’s the perfect environment for infection to breed — and some of them are pretty darn serious! And, if you have excessively sweaty feet, you’re probably more prone getting warts and blisters too.

Can sweaty feet cause athlete’s foot?

Sweat doesn’t cause athlete’s foot, but sweaty feet could lead to it if you aren’t careful. Athlete’s foot is actually a fungal infection. It’s caused when the bacteria on your feet mingles with moisture for too long.

You’re more likely to get athlete’s foot if you wear wet shoes and socks for long periods of time. By taking steps to prevent your feet from sweating too much, you lower the risk of getting athlete’s foot immensely.

Keep in mind, athlete’s foot is really easy to catch if you come in contact with the fungus directly — and because you have naturally sweaty feet, the infection is more likely to grow and spread.

So instead of going barefoot outside, at the gym, in public showers, and at swimming pools, wear flip-flops to protect your feet!

Can sweaty feet cause itching?

When most people think of skin itching, they think of dry skin. But moisture can make your skin itch too. So yes, excess sweat can cause your feet to itch. However, once you’ve washed and dried your feet, the itching should stop. The only exception to this rule would be if the added moisture causes the skin on your feet to dry out.

Keep in mind, excess sweat isn’t the only thing that can cause your feet to itch. Athlete’s foot, allergic reactions, and scabies are also common causes. So if your feet itch a lot or itch consistently, regardless of what you do, you should have a doctor examine you.

Can sweaty feet cause trench foot?

Trench foot is a serious condition that’s caused by prolonged exposure to cold and wetness. But because it depends more on the water exposure than the cold, it’s possible for people to get trench foot in the dessert too. This condition can cause nerve damage and low blood circulation, which could result in amputation if not treated.

However, you have to remember that it’s prolonged exposure to moisture that causes it. That means it takes awhile to develop. Basically, you won’t get trench foot from wearing sweaty tennies one day. You can avoid this condition by removing wet shoes and socks as soon as possible, and then, cleanse and dry your feet.

Wrap Up

Sweaty feet aren’t fun. And the resulting foot odor is even less fun. Try some of the tips above and grab yourself a foot antiperspirant like this one. If you don’t get the results you’re looking for, talk to your doctor about Botox Injections or Iontophoresis Treatment.

If you’re concerned about the type of chemicals you put on your skin, natural deodorant might be a good option. It’s not simply deodorant made with all-natural ingredients. It works to eliminate body odor but doesn’t include chemicals normally found in store-bought deodorants such as parabens, triclosan, and formaldehyde. Before you transition to an all-natural deodorant, learn more about it, how it works, and how it differs from antiperspirant to make sure it’s the best option for you.

Making your own natural deodorant at home is super easy! And it only takes about 20 minutes. We’ve included a few DIY natural deodorant recipes below, but first, you need to decide which ingredients you want to use.

Top 6 All-Natural DIY Deodorant Ingredients

  1. Baking soda
  2. Cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  3. Coconut oil
  4. Essential oils
  5. Shea butter
  6. Beeswax

Simple Recipes to Make at Home

There are a million reasons people choose to make their own deodorant. Some do it to save money, others want control over what they put on their body for health or skin sensitivity reasons. As mentioned above, most homemade deodorant recipes use the same basic ingredients — baking soda or cornstarch — and add different items depending on skin type and personal preference.

When choosing essential oils to use in your recipes, consider which scents you like and who will be using it. Some good options for women include lavender, sage, and lemon. Cypress, rosemary, and bergamot are all good options for men. You could also use patchouli, frankincense, or tea tree oil to scent your deodorant.

Easy, Cost-Effective DIY Natural Deodorant

If you’re looking for a simple, cost-effective option, this DIY natural deodorant recipe only uses three ingredients:

1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of baking soda
40-60 drops of essential oils
To make the deodorant, put the coconut oil in a mixing bowl. Then, mix in the baking soda. Lastly, add the essential oils you’ve chosen. You can store this homemade deodorant in a small glass jar and apply it using your fingers.

Natural Deodorant Recipe for People Worried About Excess Body Odor

If you’re worried about having a strong body odor, this recipe helps eliminate even the manliest, musky scents:

3 tablespoons of baking soda
5 tablespoons of arrowroot powder or non-GMO cornstarch
6 tablespoons of shea butter
30-60 drops of essential oils

To make this natural deodorant, put the baking soda, arrowroot (or non-GMO cornstarch), and shea butter in a large mixing bowl and use your hands to combine the ingredients. It might seem like the deodorant is a bit powdery at first — that’s okay. Add your essential oils, and then, use a hand mixer to whip the mixture together until it becomes creamy. Store the deodorant in a 4-ounce jar and apply sparingly with your fingertips.

If this recipe is too harsh for your skin, you can replace the shea butter with four tablespoons of melted coconut oil and eliminate the essential oils. This is a good option for anyone with really sensitive skin because it shouldn’t cause a pH imbalance.

Calming DIY Natural Deodorant Recipe for People with Sensitive Skin

Did you know that frankincense has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties, but it’s still gentle enough to use on sensitive skin? That’s only one reason why this recipe for natural deodorant is a great option for anyone with overly sensitive skin — the rest of the ingredients are also gentle.

  • 2 tablespoons of shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons of tapioca, arrowroot, or potato starch
  • 50 drops of frankincense essential oil

Place the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil into a glass measuring cup. Then, fill a pot partially with water and place the measuring cup into the water — this makes a double boiler. Simmer on medium heat until the beeswax melts completely. Once the beeswax is melted, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the baking soda and starch. Make sure it’s completely mixed in, and then, add the frankincense oil.

Before the mixture hardens, pour it into two 2-ounce tins. You can keep this deodorant in the tin for up to 12 months, as long as the tin is kept in a cool, dry place. The mixture won’t harden completely, so it’s easy to apply with your fingertips.

The Effectiveness of Natural Deodorant

Many people avoid switching from their go-to antiperspirant and deodorant because they think that natural deodorant won’t work as well. After all, who wants to be the person in the office with a funky body odor? The good news is, natural deodorant works a lot better than you probably think.

Are Natural Deodorants Effective?

Natural deodorants are effective, but it’s important that you understand the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant before making the change. All-natural deodorants control body odor, but not sweating. For that, we recommend an antiperspirant like our SweatBlock towelettes. They help cut down on sweating and they can be used to provide relief for issues such as clammy hands, in addition to underarm sweat.

What Ingredients Are in Natural Deodorant?

All-natural deodorants are made using organic ingredients. These are typically plant-based components and essential oils that work together to reduce unpleasant odors.

The essential oils are used to scent the deodorant, so it’s possible to purchase or make non-scented versions as well, which is a good option for anyone with extremely sensitive skin. Natural deodorants that aren’t scented are typically used solely to neutralize unpleasant body odors. So basically, they will help eliminate body odor, but won’t make your armpits smell like flowers.

Some people prefer using a DIY natural deodorant instead of a store-bought option. These are typically made using ingredients such as baking soda, cornstarch, lemon juice, and rubbing alcohol. They’re pretty easy to make at home and can be used with an antiperspirant that helps control sweating.

How Do Natural Deodorants Work?

Did you know that your sweat doesn’t stink? Body odor is actually the result of protein-packed sweat mixing with the bacteria that sits on your skin.

So deodorants, including natural ones, work by reducing the bacteria on your skin to neutralize body odor. Most are scented to help mask the smell of body odor throughout the day. For example, a natural deodorant for women might be scented with lavender essential oils to give it a fresh, flowery smell, while options for men might use a more masculine-smelling oil such as bergamot. The type of essential oil you use is completely up to you, but before you make a selection, consider researching the benefits of specific oil types — beyond scent. For example, if you choose an option that’s anti-bacterial, it will also reduce the bacteria under your arms, which can help control odor even further.

The Pros and Cons of Natural Deodorant

Like everything else, natural deodorant has both pros and cons. However, for most people, the good outweighs the bad. The biggest concern for most people who want to switch is finding an organic deodorant that works.

Many people think that because natural deodorant doesn’t include an antiperspirant it isn’t working. But it’s easy to find one that works. In fact, most do work — really well.

Remember, natural deodorant blocks odor but doesn’t prevent sweating. So if you sweat a lot, it’s important to use an antiperspirant with your new deodorant to help prevent stains and wet spots on your clothes. SweatBlock antiperspirant is a great option for this because our towelettes help cut down your sweating for four to seven days. Also, if excessive sweating is a major concern, there are several sweat-reducing foods you can eat to help alleviate the problem.

Because there are so many different ways to help prevent excessive sweating — and avoid embarrassing pit stains — the fact that natural deodorant doesn’t have a built-in antiperspirant isn’t really much of a “con.”

Why Natural Deodorant is Better

Natural deodorant is a better choice for most people because it doesn’t include the harsh chemicals found in regular deodorant and antiperspirants. It’s common for deodorants and antiperspirants to be made using ingredients that are considered toxic or harsh such as propylene glycol, which is known to cause eye and skin irritation. Other potentially harmful ingredients normally found in conventional deodorants include parabens, which can affect your hormones; triclosan, which is actually used as a pesticide; and bleach, which can irritate your skin.

Ingredients used in organic and do-it-yourself natural deodorants are, as you would expect, natural. In most cases, the plant-based ingredients used to make natural underarm deodorants that work are a lot more gentle, making them ideal for people with sensitive skin.

Why You Should Switch to a Natural Deodorant

Switching to a natural deodorant is a great option if you have any type of skin issues or you’re prone to rashes. Because you’re eliminating the use of harsh ingredients by making the switch, it’s possible that you won’t have as many skin problems or it won’t become irritated as much once you start using natural deodorant.

When you switch from conventional to natural deodorant, there is a transition period. But once your body has eliminated all of the toxins in it, you may actually notice that you sweat less than you did when using conventional brands.

All-natural deodorants are also a good option for anyone concerned about the environment. They feature environmentally-friendly ingredients, and many come in recyclable packaging.

Also, one thing many people don’t realize is that switching to organic deodorant can actually save you a few bucks. Sure, some products labeled “all-natural” or “organic” will be more costly, but when it comes to deodorant, it’s so easy and cost-effective to make at home.

Which Natural Deodorant Works Best?

There isn’t one “best natural deodorant” on the market or a natural deodorant recipe that’s one-size-fits-all. The fact is, everyone’s body is different, so one type of all-natural deodorant may work great for you, but not your best friend.

The key to finding the best all-natural deodorant is reading product labels. You might think a product is all-natural when it actually includes some harsh chemicals. So be sure to read the ingredients on the label carefully.

Also, remember that you won’t find a product that’s really the “best natural deodorant for sweating” because natural deodorants only mask odor. They don’t include an antiperspirant that helps prevent sweating. That’s why, if you’re worried about getting sweat stains on your clothing, we recommend that you use an antiperspirant, such as SweatBlock, in addition to your new natural deodorant.

Ultimately, when it comes to finding the most-effective all-natural deodorant for you, there’s a good chance you’ll need to try a few different options — whether you buy them or make your own. Homemade organic deodorants work just as well as store-bought options, so it’s really just a personal preference. Regardless of which option you choose, you should consider using an antiperspirant, such as SweatBlock, with your new natural deodorant to help cut down the amount of sweat your body produces.

How to make natural deodorant.

Did you know that deodorant and antiperspirant aren’t the same? It’s okay if you didn’t; most people think they’re interchangeable — but they aren’t.

5 Interesting Facts about Antiperspirant and Deodorant

  • 1) Deodorant controls odor – not sweat.
  • 2) Antiperspirant blocks sweat – but isn’t designed to stop odor.
  • 3) Using deodorant and antiperspirant together is the best way to beat sweaty armpits and foul body odor.
  • 4) Antiperspirants and deodorants do NOT cause cancer.
  • 5) Both Antiperspirant and deodorant can lead to “sweat stains”

Fight Body Odor with Deodorant

Most people associate body odor with excessive sweating, but your sweat doesn’t actually stink.

Body odor occurs when the proteins and fat in your sweat mingle with the bacteria on your skin. The parts of your body that do produce an odor when sweating, have two things in common: more bacteria growth and apocrine glands.

See, not all sweat glands are created equally. The apocrine glands, located primarily around your underarms and groin, tend to be the most stinky because they sweat they produce is laced with fat and proteins. When this mixes with the bacteria on your skin, it creates a funky odor.

Also, because some parts of your body are more prone to bacteria growth, they are also more prone to unwanted odors. Areas that aren’t prime breeding grounds for bacteria can still sweat, but they won’t stink.

For example, you might sweat a lot on your face or have a problem with clammy hands, but your face and hands don’t have an odor when you’re sweating. On the flip side, areas of your body that are prone to high levels of bacteria, such as your armpits and groin area, do get a funky odor when you sweat.

Basically, body odor is produced by that specific combination of fat and protein in your sweat mixing with bacteria on your skin.

How Does Deodorant Work?

Deodorant works by killing the bacteria on your skin. This way when you sweat, there isn’t enough bacteria sitting on your skin to create an odor. Your armpits and pubic area have thousands of hairs. These hairs hold on to bacteria and sweat, which is why, when it comes to body odor, these are the most problematic areas of your body.

When and Where Should You Use Deodorant?

Deodorant is meant to be used on your armpits. However, some women also use it underneath their breasts. It’s also common for people to swipe deodorant along their upper inner thigh — the bikini area — to help mask odors and prevent chafing. But it’s important to remember that these aren’t places that deodorant is meant to be used. For these body parts, baby powder is a much better — and safer — option.

You should apply deodorant to your underarm area when you get out of the shower. But you need to wait until your skin is fully dry.

You can also apply deodorant mid-day if you feel like you’re starting to get a bit funky. After all, you don’t want to be the person in the office that’s stinking up the room. It’s embarrassing. Fortunately, you can purchase travel-size deodorants to keep at work, in your gym bag, or even in your purse to make mid-day applications easy and convenient. In addition to layering on the deodorant and baby powder, you can also use body spray, perfume, or cologne to help mask any unwanted odors throughout the day.

Which Deodorant Is Best?

If you’re on a mission to find the best deodorants on the market, you might be a bit disappointed to know that there’s not really a one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone’s body is different. So the deodorant that your bestie swears by may not be the right option for you. That’s okay though because there are plenty of products available. You could even opt for an all-natural or homemade deodorant over a more traditional brand.

Here’s a few things to consider when deodorant shopping…

Natural vs. Non-Natural If you swing for the natural stuff, your deodorant options are limited. The natural experience does have a downside. Deodorizing is often less effective. The application experience can be like rubbing peanut butter in your pits. The baking soda in natural deodorants is notorious for burning armpits. If that doesn’t bother you, check out Native, Schmidts or a Crystal Deodorant.

Glide (Application) Most people apply deodorant at least once a day if not twice daily. A deodorant stick with a smooth glide can be the difference between fresh comfort and great pits of fire. Consider glide when buying antiperspirant to avoid unnecessary skin irritation.

How long does it control odor? Even if a deodorant smells great. Consider testing it odor fighting longevity. If it doesn’t get you past lunchtime, you need something stronger in the odor defense category. Sometimes you may have to sacrifice a sweet smelling deodorant for one that keeps odor away longer. Hopefully, you can find a deodorant smells great and lasts all day.

Combination Antiperspirant Deodorants Most options you’ll find at the store are a combination of deodorant and antiperspirant. So if you pick up a product from a popular company, such as Secret, Speedstick, or Dove, and read the label, there’s a good chance you’ll notice that the product is actually both a deodorant and antiperspirant. This is a good option for you if you want to mask body odor and prevent sweating. But if you sweat excessively, the antiperspirant that’s in your deodorant may not be enough. You should consider using a stronger antiperspirant, such as SweatBlock, in addition to your deodorant.

Natural and homemade deodorants don’t have an antiperspirant in them. This means that unless you rarely sweat, you would need to use an antiperspirant too. Most natural options are made using plant-based ingredients and scented with essential oils. If you have sensitive skin, consider purchasing or making unscented natural deodorant.

If razor burn is a problem for you, consider using a spray-on deodorant that includes a moisturizer. Just make sure it’s alcohol-free so it won’t burn when you apply it. If you have sensitive skin, consider using a deodorant made using coconut oil. This should help avoid any skin irritation problems you might be experiencing. If you experience excessive sweating, pick up a deodorant with a clinical-strength antiperspirant.

Stop Sweat with Antiperspirant

If you’re worried about sweaty armpits or sweat stains on your favorite shirts, you need antiperspirant, NOT deodorant. Antiperspirant helps you stop sweating, deodorant does not.

Your body is covered with hundreds of thousands of sweat glands. Not surprisingly, there are high concentrations of sweat glands on the soles of your feet, palms of your hands, forehead, cheeks, and in your armpits. These are known as the eccrine glands.

Sweating helps regulate body temperature by releasing extra heat via the skin. Sweating can be triggered by a variety of things including exercise, hot weather, anxiety or emotional stress. For some, sweating is excessive and uncontrollable. This kind of sweating is classified as Hyperhidrosis.

No matter who you are or how much you perspire, sweat can seriously cramp your style. Antiperspirant can block the sweat, eliminate embarrassment and give a real boost to your confidence.

How does antiperspirant work?

Antiperspirants use aluminum salts to block sweat. When the aluminum comes in contact with sweat, it turns into a gel that forms a plug over your sweat glands. This plug will reduce the amount of sweat released to the skin surface. Sweat is still produced by your sweat glands, but it won’t be released in areas where antiperspirants have been applied.

When and where should you use antiperspirant?

If sweating is bothersome or embarrassing, you should use antiperspirant. If you experience excessive sweating, you should use a clinical strength antiperspirant.

Unlike deodorant, antiperspirant can be used on most areas of the body including underarms, hands, feet, face, back and chest. We don’t recommend using antiperspirants in more sensitive areas (groin) without first talking to your doctor.

If you want to get the most out of your antiperspirant, you need to apply at the right time.

Applying antiperspirant in the morning, fresh out of the shower, followed by a swipe of deodorant is NOT going to keep you dry.

You should apply antiperspirant at night — before you go to bed. This gives the antiperspirant ample time to “activate”. When you’re sleeping, sweat glands are less active and your body is at rest. This creates the optimal environment for antiperspirant to work its magic.

This is extremely important when using clinical strength antiperspirants. Clean, dry skin + sufficient time to work will make all the difference.

Which antiperspirant is best?

Good question. Trusting a list of random antiperspirants from a popular blog may not be the best way to find the right sweat stopper for you. Instead, here’s a few things to consider when choosing an antiperspirant that will work best for you.

How much do you sweat? How severe is your perspiration? Mild, moderate, heavy and extreme sweating will require different types/strengths of antiperspirant. A drugstore antiperspirant like Degree or Old Spice might be sufficient for light to mild sweating. But for more severe sweating cases, you’ll need something stronger like an extra strength, clinical strength or even prescription strength antiperspirant.

How strong is it? Antiperspirants come in all shapes, sizes and strengths. As mentioned above, you’ll need an antiperspirant strong enough for your lifestyle and sweat levels. There are two quick ways to determine the strength of an antiperspirant:

First, the label will indicate a general antiperspirant strength level (i.e. 12hr, extra strength, clinical strength). Clinical and prescription strength are the strongest you’ll find over-the-counter. For the most severe sweating cases, a prescription antiperspirant might be the best option.

Second, the active ingredient (and percentage) will indicate how strong an antiperspirant is. Aluminum Chloride is typically the strongest active found in over-the-counter antiperspirants. An antiperspirant with 10% aluminum chloride will be less effective than a product with 14% aluminum chloride. Common active ingredients include: Aluminum Zirconium, Aluminum sesquichlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, and aluminum hydroxybromid.

It’s important to note that certain antiperspirant actives may work better for you than others.

Does it work, does it have social proof? This one is easy. Check the reviews. Google, Amazon, and Walmart have thousands of customer reviews. Look for anti-perspirant brands that have lots of reviews with more positive than negative. Avoid unknown brands with little feedback. Look for FDA approved formulas and avoid products from China.

Does Antiperspirant do anything for body odor?

While antiperspirant products aren’t meant to mask body odor, they can help. The bacteria that makes your stink is responsible for breaking down the sweat on your skin and turning it into acid. It’s that combination of the acids and bacteria that make you stink. So if your sweat glands don’t release any sweat for the bacteria to break down, you’re less likely to have body odor in the first place (or at least it won’t be nearly as pungent).

Is Antiperspirant Bad?

In this modern age it’s nearly impossible to use or consume products that haven’t been labeled as “bad”, “dangerous”, “toxic”, or “cancer causing”. Is Antiperspirant bad? If you’ve wandered the echo-chambers of mommy bloggers and bored celebrities, you might think so. But the truth is… antiperspirant doesn’t cause cancer or alzheimers. In fact, beyond skin irritation and itching, antiperspirant is relatively harmless.

Deodorant vs Antiperspirant: Which one is better?

Honestly, this is like asking if food or water is better? You need them both. But when you’re thirsty, you drink water. When you’re hungry, you eat food.

It’s not too different with antiperspirant and deodorant…

If stopping sweat is your goal, antiperspirant is the better.

If fighting odor is your goal, deodorant is better.

Most people… need both.

How do I tell the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant while I’m shopping?

Usually products are labeled as either an antiperspirant, deodorant or both.

Antiperspirants typically use some sort of aluminum to temporarily block the sweat glands from releasing moisture.

Deodorants don’t usually contain aluminum. Instead, they contain fragrances and antibacterials to reduce odor. Common antibacterials include alcohol, baking soda, coconut oil and cornstarch.

If you’re just looking for deodorant, find something that has a nice fragrance with a bacteria-reducing base. If you’re looking for an antiperspirant, look for aluminum in the active ingredients list.

Can I Use Both?

You don’t have to choose between having stinky armpits or soggy armpits. As long as you use antiperspirant and deodorant correctly, you can certainly use them together to control sweat and eliminate foul body odor.

It’s important to clarify what “together” means. If you apply your antiperspirant and deodorant at the same time, the results will likely be… disappointing. Antiperspirant needs time to activate on the skin without the interference of moisture, sweat, soap or deodorant residue.

To get the best results when using a combination of antiperspirant and deodorants, follow these tips:

  • 1) Apply antiperspirant BEFORE deodorant.
  • 2) When applying antiperspirant, make sure your skin is completely clean and dry. Even leftover soap or deodorant residue can hamper the effectiveness of your antiperspirant.
  • 3) Let anti-perspirant dry and activate for a 2-3 hours before applying your deodorant.
  • 4) For stronger antiperspirant, apply at night and don’t apply deodorant until morning.
  • 5) Here’s a bonus tip. To avoid sweat stains, make sure deodorant (and antiperspirant) is completely dry before putting on your shirt.

Deodorant vs Antiperspirant Difference

There are several differentiating factors when comparing deodorant to antiperspirant.

We’ve listed the most common differences here…

  • Antiperspirant reduces and blocks unwanted sweat.
  • Deodorant masks unpleasant body odor.
  • Antiperspirants use aluminum compounds to block sweat.
  • Deodorants don’t typically use aluminum (combination products are the exception).
  • Antiperspirants can cause minor skin irritation due to the aluminum compounds and alcohol used.
  • Deodorants can also cause irritation due to some fragrances and sodium bicarbonate used.
  • Antiperspirant does NOT cause cancer.
  • Deodorant doesn’t cause cancer either.
  • Antiperspirants can prevent sweat AND odor
  • Deodorants cannot stop sweat… not even a little bit.

If body odor is the problem, start comparing deodorant brands. Choosing the best deodorant is easy. For most people, it just comes down to what smells better.

If you’re trying to control sweat, stick with antiperspirant products. If you’re trying to treat excessive sweating, go with a clinical strength or prescription strength antiperspirant.

A brief history of Antiperspirant & Deodorant

Believe it or not, antiperspirants and deodorants are a fairly modern invention. Before the late 1800s, people mostly drenched themselves with perfumes in an attempt to hide their horrible body stench.

And when we say they drenched themselves in it, we aren’t kidding. The ancient Romans and Greeks literally bathed in perfume and soaked their clothes in it. Some even doused it on their horses and pets.

Those who suffered from excessive sweating usually tried to hide it with strategic clothing and sweat pads.

The first deodorant hit the market in 1888. It was called Mums and it was more of a paste rather than the sticks, gels and sprays were used to today.

Shortly thereafter, the first underarm antiperspirant, Everdry, came out in 1903. However, it would be another 20 to 30 years before deodorants and antiperspirants became an everyday part of American life. Sweat and body odor were still considered a taboo topic, so people just didn’t talk about it.

Believe it or not, we have an iconic Ladies Home Journal Odorono advertisement to thank for introducing deodorant and antiperspirant into the homes of millions of Americans.

While most Americans were aware that antiperspirant and deodorant existed, many felt that they had no need for it. The Odorono advertisement in Ladies Home Journal changed this by telling readers that sweat and body odor were a major social faux pas, and if you had it, you could almost guarantee that people were gossiping about it behind your back.

Soon, women were rushing to the store to purchase antiperspirant and deodorant. Eventually, they started buying it for their husbands too.

Today, the antiperspirant and deodorant industry is worth $18 billion.

But while we’ve come a long way from soaking ourselves in perfume (or just being OK with our stench), many of us are still confused about the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant is.

The answer is simple: deodorant masks body odor, while antiperspirants prevent sweat.

Potent-smelling food sticks with you. If you suffer from excessive sweat, that cheddar-and-onion-burger-on-a-garlic-and-jalapeno-bun will rise again, in the form of dangerously potent body odor. While you might not smell exactly like the pungent food you enjoyed a few hours ago, the powerful aroma molecules which made your meal so smelly in the first place will happily do the same for you.

Avoid These Stinky Foods to Avoid Smelly Sweat:

stinky garlic

GARLIC

A bundle of garlic may wart of vampires… Unfortunately, it won’t do your breath or sweaty pits any favors. Avoid garlic to lesson the stink of your body odor. If you can’t keep yourself from the garlic, substitute dry garlic for fresh to lessen the impact.

stinky onions

ONIONS

Raw onions, though tasty, pack quite the punch. Go for the cooked variety when possible and choose white onions over yellow and purple onions when shopping. The darker the onion, the stronger the scent.

stinky fried food

FATTY & FRIED FOODS

Odors bind to fats and oils. When these are expelled through your apocrine glands, the odors bind to you. So, unless you want to smell like the local burger barn, keep away from the fried and fatty.

stinky cheese

STRONG (STINKY) CHEESES

Brevibacterium linens, a bacteria found on human skin which produces foot odor, is used to ferment Limburger and Munster cheese. The odor it lends to the cheese isn’t one you want more of on your body.

stinky cabbage

CABBAGE

We all love stinky cabbage soup… no, wait… no one really likes eating cabbage. Avoiding this stinky food should be quite simple.

cured meat

CURED MEAT

Whether or not science will ever prove the existence of the legendary “meat sweats”, all the salt and nitrates in bacon, salami, and jerky will certainly prove themselves strong via your sweat glands.

stinky curry

CURRY

A double threat! Not only will spicier curries induce thermoregulatory sweating, they’ll stink it up too.

You don’t have to give up everything on the list–some of the foods listed may not even affect you! Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so it’s important to be mindful of any correlation between what you’re eating and how you’re smelling.