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Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Keep Feet Clean

How can you keep your feet fresh and lovely? Cut down on odour and other unpleasantries by following these steps.

  1. Be clean. Bathe your feet every day. Just letting the shower water splash on them isn't good enough. Lather them thoroughly with soap and scrub them with a loofah. Make sure to clean the entire part of your foot, not just your toes.
  2. Be sure to dry your feet completely when you're done. Don't forget to dry between the toes, and be sure to get the yellow/black toe jam. Leftover moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, which causes odour.
  3. Wear the right socks. Cotton, bamboo, some wools, and special knits made for athletes will absorb sweat and allow your feet to breathe. Put on a fresh pair if they get damp.
  4. Make sure your shoes aren't too tight. If they are, your feet might sweat more than normal. Find a comfortable size, and ask a shop assistant for help if you're unsure.
  5. Switch shoes. Wearing the same shoes every day can make them smellier. Let them dry out for a couple of days before wearing them again. There are many sprays and anti-odor tools around to use on your shoes, so try and pick up one of those if you want your shoes smelling clean.
  6. Kill those germs. Consider using a disinfectant spray to kill bacteria in your shoes. Wash your feet with antibacterial soap. Setting shoes out in the sun also may help. Before bed, soak a white washcloth in undiluted Hydrogen Peroxide and wrap each foot with it, including between the toes and around and under the toe nails. Do not rinse. Air dry and sleep barefoot.
  7. Wash shoes or insoles. Some insoles or shoes, especially sneakers, may be washable. Be sure to dry them completely before wearing them.
  8. Stay in bare feet at home. Let your feet air out by letting them spend some time in the open air, especially at night.
  9. Keep your toenails trimmed and clean. Use a nail brush. Toenails are hiding places for bacteria.
  • Bacteria are to blame. In the right conditions, bacteria will feast on your feet. These bacteria eat dead skin cells and oils from your skin. Their colonies will grow and start getting rid of waste in the form of organic acids. It's those organic acids that smell bad. And for 10% to 15% of people, the smell is really bad. Why? Because their feet are extra sweaty and become home to bacteria called Micrococcus sedentarius (say: my-kroh-kah-kus seh-den-tair-ee-us). These bacteria produce more than just stinky organic acids - they also produce stuff called volatile sulfur compounds. Sulfur compounds usually are powerful and awful smelling. If you've ever smelled a rotten egg (Hydrogen sulfide), you know what volatile sulfur compounds smell like.
  • For most people, foot odor can be controlled. The worst part about having stinky feet is that it's embarrassing. If you're worried about this, just keep your shoes on when you're in social situations, like when you're at school or riding in a car. At home, keep your feet clean and go barefoot so they get some air. If your feet are clean and dry, those bacteria will have to find their lunch somewhere else!
  • If all else fails, see a doctor, your foot odor may be a more serious problem.
  • Wash your feet every day, they are the most dirty part of your body and the least you can do to stop the odor is to wash them with soap and water. Also, make sure you scrub them either with a loofah or washcloth to get rid of dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells.
Avoid shoes and socks made of plastic or petroleum-based materials (like Lycra). Plastic and some human-made materials don't let your feet breathe, and can cause relatively healthy feet to smell unhealthy.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Keep Feet Clean. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


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