Why do my white socks smell and turn yellow?

Last updated on September 24, 2020


I noticed that ever since my feet started growing very fast and very big, they have a very strong smell. Can this be because of puberty? Also, I find yellow sweat on my white socks leaking out of my gym shoes after exercising, and the smell is unbearable. Is there a way to fix all that?


As a young man, you produce more sweat and oils. Sweat because your growth is generating heat and your body needs to stay cool. Oils because your growing skin needs to be kept lubricated. But the body has a strong tendency to go overboard in its production. By themselves, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but bacteria love warm, moist environments, and the oils and your dead skin cells make wonderful food for them. The odors you smell are the gasses the bacteria put off.

To combat this, the odors are acidic (which is what is causing the yellow stains). Dust your shoes with about a teaspoon of baking soda in each shoe. Baking soda is alkaline and neutralizes acids. It will kill the odors. And it happens to be a natural whitener at the same time. Reapply each time you notice an odor, which will be about once a week.

The second line of defense is to change your socks daily. Don’t wear the same pair of socks for exercising all week. Get a set of socks and wash them before reusing them.