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Homemade Antifungal Powder for Stinky Feet + Toenail Fungus

Antifungal powder - Dr. Axe

Fungus on your feet, between the toes and in the toenails isn’t fun to deal with, plus it makes for stinky feet! Usually the first response to grab some cheap over-the-counter treatment but these are full of chemicals and are often ineffective. Fortunately, this homemade antifungal powder can work as a stinky feet, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus treatment.

Also, if you often have cold feet or your feet get uncomfortable from dampness when out on a hike or doing anything outdoors, this antifungal powder may do the trick. Making this antifungal powder only take a few minutes. I will walk through the steps to make it right at home. 

First, let’s get together the ingredients for a small batch which will provide several applications for you. If you like it, just double the recipe the next time.

You will need:

In a small bowl, let’s combine the bentonite clay and cayenne powder. You may be wondering what bentonite clay is and why we are using it in this recipe. Clay is great at absorbing the toxins and microorganisms in and on your body. In this case, if your feet have been exposed to any type of bad bacteria, the clay helps pull out those toxins.

Cayenne powder is beneficial due to its warming properties providing the sensation of heat. It is important to note that the cayenne pepper is a very hot vegetable pepper, and cayenne powder is made from ground, dried cayenne peppers. You want cayenne powder for this recipe because it is a bit milder than cayenne pepper; however, it is useful because of an active component called capsaicin that helps eliminate and prevent fungus.

Now it is time to add the essential oils. Once all the oils have been added, blend well. To understand a little bit about the oils, cinnamon oil is known for helping with infections, in particular candida yeast infections that is known as one the biggest causes of toenail fungus.

I chose clove oil because of its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to help kill mold and fungus. Frankincense oil adds to the healing benefits by providing antiseptic properties. And all of these will keep your feet smelling fresh!

Now that you have blended the ingredients, let’s apply it. First, place it into your container. I always recommend glass when possible to prevent chemical leaching or a BPA-free powder bottle. You can also just use a glass jar and a spoon or clean makeup brush. You can simply sprinkle the powder onto your feet. (Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes, especially since there is cayenne in the blend.)

Another great way to apply it is by putting it in the toe of your sock, then slip your socks onto your feet. That should help it get between the toes. Apply twice daily for one to two weeks. You can even sleep with it on, but make sure you wear your socks to prevent it from soiling your bed sheets. And always keep  in mind that if you have any further irritation, discontinue use immediately.

You are all set to have bacteria-free, fresh-smelling feet. I hope this provides some much needed relief for you.

Homemade Antifungal Powder for Stinky Feet + Toenail Fungus

Total Time: 10 mimutes
Serves: 8–10 applications


  • 1–1/2 tbsp Bentonite Clay
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 drops of cinnamon essential oil
  • 2 drops of clove essential oil
  • 2 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • a shaker bottle, glass if possible, or glass jar


  1. In a small bowl, combine the bentonite clay and cayenne powder.
  2. Add the essential oils and blend well.
  3. Place the concoction into your container. I always recommend glass when possible to prevent chemical leaching or a BPA-free powder bottle. You can also just use a glass jar and a spoon or clean makeup brush.
  4. Sprinkle the powder onto your feet. (Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes, especially since there is cayenne in the blend.)
  5. Another great way to apply it? Put in the toe of your sock, then slip your socks onto your feet. That should help it get between the toes.
  6. Apply twice daily for one to two weeks. You can even sleep with it on, but make sure you wear your socks to prevent it from soiling your bed sheets.

Josh Axe

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  1. Gail on

    I cured my toenail fungus by soaking my feet in white vinegar. Put the vinegar in a plastic shoe box and soaked for 2 hours each day for 4 days. Used the same vinegar each day. The fungus is gone and nails are growing out nicely. Used no other treatment. This nontoxic treatment is almost free!

  2. Jan Benson-Lidholm on

    I’m not sure if I had a fungal problem but recently I had extremely itchy toes that were driving me insane and when I googled it the treatment said it would take 2 months to clear up. I sprayed the toes and between the toes with Melaleuca Oil (Tea tree oil) on the area 2 or three times a day and after 4 days it was completely healed.

  3. christina Darabi on

    I used coconut oil as a carrier oil with frankincense oil , tea tree oil and a few drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed in. rubbed it on nails maybe 4 times a week and when I went back to my dermatologist, she said keep doing whatever your doing because it worked better than the anti fungal she was about to prescribe. I have the clay so will try the above as a preventative so it doesn’t happen again! Thanks!!

    • Jamie Thomas on

      I know this question was asked over two years ago, but an answer based on my experience might help others:

      Yes, there are different types of fungus species. In addition, a yeast infection can appear similar. The best way to know how to treat your infection is to have a dermatologist take a clipping off your foot callous which is simple and painless (if you think you may have athlete’s foot) or a nail clipping (if you think you have a nail fungus) in order to examine for the exact type of organism you are dealing with.

  4. Kj on

    Dr. Axe, I have used therapeutic grade essential oils for about 12 years. In the last couple of years, I have been unable to apply hot essential oils like clove, peppermint and others, even diluted with olive oil, without my toes becoming irritated and itchy within about 24 hours. What is happening and how can I address this issue?

    • AEC on

      You’ve become sensitized to the oils. This happens most often with hot oils, but can also happen with others. The best way to prevent sensitizing is to ALWAYS dilute hot oils significantly. 5% EO to 95% carrier. Unfortunately once you’ve become sensitized there isn’t much you can do except stop using the oils completely for 6 months. Then re introduce slowly, starting at 0.5% dilution. Good luck

  5. Millie on

    I agree with the vinegar Treatment. However, I wipe my feet and toes with a cloth soaked in vinegar, then put castor oil on my feet. Castor oil is anti-fungal, anti viral and anti-bacterial and will heal planter’s warts [or any warts] too. A doctor told me to use castor oil on a very big planter’s wart on my daughter’s foot. I had asked him to cut it out, but he said, “just use castor oil every night before she goes to bed.” We did, and the wart went away – so did her stinky feet. Since then, I have seen castor oil get rid of warts on several people on their hands. So now, I clean my feet with either vinegar or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, whichever is handy, and apply castor oil. Ohla! no stinky feet ever, and the athlete’s foot problem went away too.

  6. Ayesha on

    DR. Axe,
    My son at age 2yrs went on regression on speech and now he 2.75 yrs old. I have eliminated dairy,gluten from his diet.He is having sore skin around nails from last three weeks and from last two days complaining about parasites.Please suggest me how can he be relief from parasites and nails problem.

    Waiting anxiously for response,

    • Florence on

      Dr what can be the reason for itching toes and fingers when using hot water in washing or bathing
      How can it be treated or can there be a specific diagnosis for such problems
      I await your reply to ched light to this problem or any specific things to be done to eradicate the problem
      Thanks very much for your response

    • Pam Daluga on

      I had toe nail fungus also for years. I put Tea Tree oil on everyday (a couple drops with the dropper) and to my surprise my nails are clear. This has taken time though. I trimmed my nails as much as possible to remove all the infected nail and then put on the tea tree oil. I would say at least 6 months. I have tried everything over the counter I even went to a foot doctor. The tea tree oil worked and now I am not embarrassed about my feet. Be patient it is worth the wait.

  7. larry Wilmarth on

    I bought and used Jublia on a thumb nail that had a little fungus starting on it. I probably used too much but it created a hole in my thumb nail then dissolved it almost completely. Skin on my thumb blistered and was sensitive . I pulled off the remaining corners of the nail . The nail grew back but still isn’t quite right. No sign of fungus that I can tell for sure. Be real wary of Jublia , and if you use it do it strictly by directions and take before ,during use, and after pictures as I did.

  8. Chris on

    Dr Axe,

    I am so gratefull havind found this great site and all these usefull informations and advices

  9. Merna Gill on

    For some time I having toenails fungus the doctor had prescribed terbinafine hydrochloride tablets. Thanks Dr Axe for the natural treatment.. I will try it out. Thanks

  10. Janelle on

    I recently got stinky feet. I had never had the problem before. After researching possible causes and cures, I realized the cause was the athletic shoes I was wearing. They don’t have ties and are lightweight and cost about $50 and their name begins with an “S”. I found a comments page for them and there were hundreds of complaints. I am still fighting the problem.


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