There is no need to be embarrassed by foot and shoe odor when the answer is as close as your kitchen. Common household items can easily be mixed into effective homemade versions of expensive store-bought deodorizing powders.
Foot and shoe odors are caused when bacteria on the skin feeds on trapped perspiration. Eliminate that moisture with a soothing powder and odors will disappear, leaving your feet and shoes feeling and smelling fresh.
Homemade moisture-absorbing foot powder can start with such kitchen staples as cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder.
Ingredients can also include alum powder, boric acid powder, talcum powder, arrowroot powder and kaolin clay powder. (White kaolin clay is a very fine powder used as a base in body powders and make-up. Light on the skin, it is highly absorbent and is available in bulk stores.)
Oils are essential
A few drops of essential oils can be added for a fresh fragrance. Certain oils are thought to be effective against bacteria and fungus. Tea tree oil is fungicidal, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and antiviral, and is thought to be particularly effective against athlete’s foot.
Lavender oil, besides being prized for its scent, may have fungicidal, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Sandalwood offers a more rustic scent and an antiseptic component.
Store and use
A batch of homemade foot powder can be stored in any container with a good seal. A zippered plastic bag is fine. Recycle a spice dispenser or repurpose a grated cheese or sugar shaker from the dollar store. Be sure to label your product and keep it out of reach of pets and children.
To use, dust the inside of shoes with a tablespoon of powder and let sit overnight. In the morning, pour out excess powder. Or sprinkle a pinch or two of powder in shoes and tap them to evenly spread the powder before putting them on to start your day.
Formulas for success
Crafting a batch of homemade foot powder is as simple as pouring the ingredients in a bowl, whisking them together and transferring the finished product to a dispenser or storage container. If lumps form, sift the product and return it to a clean, dry container.
Now, let’s look at some foot powder formulas:
Formula No. 1
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup baking powder
5 drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance
Formula No. 2
3 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. baking soda
15 drops tea tree essential oil
15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
Formula No. 3
Equal parts baking soda and cornstarch
Essential oil of choice to desired scent
Formula No. 4
4 tbsp. boric acid powder
1/3 c. unscented talcum
1 tbsp. powdered alum
Formula No. 5
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. baking soda
12-14 drops peppermint oil
Formula No. 6
1/2 c. orris root powder or baking soda
16 drops tea tree oil
16 drops lavender oil
Formula No. 7
6 tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
3 tbsp. baking soda
5-10 drops tea tree oil
5 -10 drops eucalyptus oil
10-15 drops peppermint oil
While you’re at it, consider homemade shoe deodorizer balls. All you need is a plain charcoal briquette and a sock. Simply place crushed charcoal into the sock, tie it off and store it in the shoe when it’s not being worn.