Home Remedies for Athletes Feet & Toenail Fungus

Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus can be embarrassing. These conditions often leave toes and nails discolored, blistered and inflamed. Sometimes an offensive odor accompanies these symptoms. Fungal infections like these occur when the foot remains moist, damp and warm for extensive periods of time. Showers, bathrooms and swimming pools provide excellent environments for fungal growth. The fungus can easily transfer to your feet and cause an infection. However, many materials readily found around the home can effectively treat foot fungus quickly and inexpensively.

Foot Soaks

The antiseptic ingredients in Listerine—eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate and thymol—are effective against foot fungus. Twice daily, during the morning and at night, place your feet in a flat dish or pan and pour Listerine over them. It will tingle, but rinse it off immediately if it burns or stings more than it would if you used it as a mouth rinse. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing and drying your feet thoroughly. Continue doing this each day until the fungus disappears.

Try the same procedure using baking soda. Twice a day, apply dry baking soda over your feet. You can do this after using Listerine, or do it separately. This will dry out your toes and help to balance the pH of your toes, which will make the environment less hospitable to the fungus. Baking soda has the same antiseptic properties as Listerine, but several other advantages. You can sprinkle it in your shoes to reduce any fungus growing there. You can also clean your shower, bath tub or bathroom floor using baking soda to eliminate colonies. Try washing your floor rugs using baking soda as a detergent.


Maintaining good hygiene will reduce and eliminate fungal infections faster. Keep your toes dry and aired out as much as you can. This may mean taking off your shoes whenever possible. If your feet sweat, try antiperspirants. Aim for powders rather than creams when choosing foot care products and wear natural fiber socks. Also consider investing in shoes that breathe well.

Diet & Herbal Remedies

Avoid excessive baked products that contain yeast, or food with sugar or processed ingredients as the fungus thrives on this. Also stay away from alcohol, soda and greasy foods. Instead, eat plenty of garlic, yogurt and kefir, which can help boost your body’s immune system and ability to fight the infection.

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic that can be effective against fungus when applied topically. Lavender oil is also recommended for its antifungal properties.

Athlete's foot and toenail fungus can be embarrassing. These conditions often leave toes and nails discolored