Every few years, the leg discourse gets revived on social media. According to multiple users, the average Caucasian doesn’t wash their legs when they bathe. The reasoning is that shaving gets rid of dirt and that the soap from your hair and body will get your legs clean anyway.
There’s an even more deeply entrenched segment that doesn’t believe in bathing every day. And some have argued that this is a class thing or a cultural one. Some of these habits go back to pre-colonial England where bathing and/or clean drinking water were both rumors.
But even when the crowds were unwilling to dip their bodies in a tub, there were careful to wash their faces, feet, and hands. And even today, we often rinse our feet before stepping into the house. So let’s check out some ideas for DIY foot baths that pamper your tired toes.
The most effective foot bath involves a foot scrub or foot powder. You can rub these onto your damp feet for an invigorating massage. Then mix the product with warm water and soak your feet for 5 to 15 minutes. This is especially useful for cracked, sore, or painful feet.
1. Exfoliating Foot Bath
Your feet can get physical bruises and calluses from the pressure of carrying your weight all day. And even if they’re hidden inside socks and shoes, they can accumulate an ashy film of dead cells. A good exfoliating DIY foot bath can help make your feet soft and smooth again. Try salt, coconut oil, castile soap, and peppermint essential oil dissolved in warm water.
2. Floral Foot Bath Soak
A typical DIY foot bath needs an exfoliator to scrape off dead skin and a carrier oil to moisturize your feet. You could also add essential oil for aromatherapy and a cleanser for hygiene. Massage your feet during your foot soak for better results. This version uses baking soda to soften your skin, Epsom salts to soothe any aches and sores, and dried flower petals.
3. Anti-Odour Foot Bath Soak
Your feet can easily start to smell if you’re stuck in shoes and socks all day. Even with regular showers, the glands in your feet can cause unpleasant scents and fungal infections. Dust your feet with baby powder and wear thick, soft socks to reduce unwanted aromas. You can also try this DIY foot bath with strong black tea. Boil and cool it before soaking for 30 minutes.
4. Listerine + Vinegar DIY Foot Bath
You might know that Listerine has a background in medicine shows and patent medicine. Today, we use it for bad breath, but it was previously prescribed for dandruff, gonorrhea, surgical disinfection, and even cleaning floors. And if you mix it with ACV for a DIY foot bath, it can soothe painful cracks, peel off dead skin, soften your feet, and ease foot sores.
5. Epsom Salt Foot Bath Soak
You may be uneasy about spending excessively on fake foot soaks, so DIY foot baths are a safer and cheaper option. Salt is a natural exfoliator because it’s abrasive, gentle, and has disinfecting properties. And if you opt for Epsom salt instead of table salt, you get the added benefit of magnesium sulfate. It eases sore muscles, relieves pain, and soothes swollen feet.
6. Peppermint Foot Bombs
When you’re taking a DIY foot bath, you mix the ingredients into warm water to make a skin-softening solution. This releases the dead skin while helping cracks to heal. This peppermint foot bomb has baking soda and citric acid for that delicious foot-tickling fizz. It also has two essential oils – peppermint and eucalyptus – plus Epsom salt and corn starch to carry the oil.
7. Baking Soda Foot Bath Soak
You’ve probably heard that putting some uncovered baking soda in the fridge or pantry will help get rid of bad smells. So a DIY foot bath with baking soda is a treat. It’s also a mild exfoliator, peeling off the surface cells and exposing the softer skin beneath. Use two or three tablespoons + essential oils. Other binding ingredients include whole milk and vegetable oil.
8. Peppermint Foot Bath
You can add any essential oil to your DIY foot bath, but some oils offer added benefits. Cypress oil is good at eliminating smells while Wintergreen relieves pain and reduces swelling. Lavender is relaxing, and rosemary works well with Epsom to ease soreness. But if you’re unsure of what works best for your feet, you’re always safe with peppermint teabags.
9. Sweet Foot Bath Soak
We often default to salt when we’re making a scrub for a foot soak. And these scrubs can be mixed into the water or you can rub the mixture on damp or dry feet then rinse before soaking. But sugar is equally effective for DIY foot baths. Pour some in the soaking after or massage your feet with sugar after soaking them in plain water. You can add essential oils.
10. Summer Foot Bath
Yes, you may want a bikini body so you can be ready for summer. But you should always try to soften your feet since they’ll often be in open shoes and sandals. This DIY foot bath has tea tree oil for odor control and peppermint oil for tingling toe toning. You can layer the effect with mint leaves and peppermint teabags. Mix in some sea salt, Epsom, and baking soda too.
11. Basic Foot Bath
All sorts of things are added to DIY foot baths. These may include scented oils to mask your smelly feet, and vegetable-based ones for moisturizing your skin. But a basic recipe includes acid and an alkali whose fizzing reaction will cleanse and exfoliate your feet with a tickling tingle. This recipe has apple cider vinegar (ACV), baking soda, and eucalyptus Epsom salt.
12. Detox Foot Bath
In recent times, the word ‘detox’ is seen as a red flag. There’s no reliable way to know whether your chosen treatment is pulling out toxins. Or whether you can truly cleanse your liver through your feet. But if you’re detoxing for psychological satisfaction, a DIY foot bath can help you cut costs. This one has Epsom salt, baking soda, and iodized salt in warm water.
13. Coconut Foot Bath Soak
A few years ago, we all went mad over the endless uses of coconut oil. Our ardor has faded somewhat, but you can still use coconuts as part of your DIY foot bath routine. Pour a little into the water or massage the oil into your feet after you’ve dried them. Things you can add to the foot bath water include herbal tea leaves (just split the bag open) and orange peels.
14. Detox Pad Foot Bath Soak
You’re probably soaking your feet for physical, mental, emotional, and psychological reasons. So if you want to maximize the effect, you could combine your DIY foot bath with another foot product. EntreFeet detox is said to draw out toxins while you sleep. Soak your feet in salted water before and after using the pads, and wear thick warm socks over the foot pads.
15. Chamomile Foot Bath Soak
The easiest way to set up a DIY foot bath is to grab your favorite green tea and break a few bags into the water. You can heighten the effect with a few drops of essential oil – ideally in the same flavor as the teabags. This recipe is for a chamomile foot soak, so you can use a tea bag or dried chamomile flowers. The foot soak also has Epsom salt, lavender, and ginger.
16. Mint + Aloe Foot Bath
When you add carrier oils to your DIY foot bath, you end up with softer, sweeter-smelling feet. The oils hydrate and moisturize your feet, which heals cracks and prevents new ones from developing. This recipe contains Dead Sea salt, aloe vera gel to soothe pain and swelling, and peppermint essential oil. Toss a few mint leaves into the water for extra tingle.
17. Baking Soda + Rice Foot Soak
Sometimes, it seems you can fix anything by tossing it in rice. This is because (raw) rice is good at absorbing water. It soaks up its own weight in liquid, so when you want to make a DIY foot soak using rice, you can try two options. One, soak raw rice for a few hours then drain it. Or two, boil rice in excess water. As you drain the dish, you can sort your feet in the rest.
Check the Recipes
18. DIY Foot Bath + Peel Soak
A few thoughts may have crossed your mind before you decided to soak your feet. Maybe they’re rough and chapped so you figured soaking would loosen the skin so you could scrub it off with pumice. Here’s a better solution, pun intended. After submerging your feet in salted water, treat them with a mixed paste power peel of lemon juice and crushed aspirin.
19. Citrus Foot Bath Soak
Herbs from the mint family and fruits from the citrus space are all appreciated for their scintillating tingle. Add that to warm water and soothing salts and it’s the perfect end to a rough day. But you don’t need expensive foot spa basins to do it. This DIY foot bath recipe is sufficient. It combines orange essential oil, orange tea bags, baking soda, and Epsom salt.
20. Sea Salt Foot Bath
Sea salt is often finer than table salt, though you can get coarser varieties for DIY beauty products. The salt has extra elements drawn from sea creatures and coral, and it’s an effective exfoliant. Use sea salt or Himalayan salt combined with Epsom salt, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar. You can alternate this with a clay foot bath and a ginger oxide bath.
21. DIY Soak and Scrub
Soaking your feet is just the first step in your footsie fantasy. You can follow up with a foot scrub before rinsing your feet in running water. Or you can dampen your feet, apply the scrub, massage it in, then soak your feet in salted or sugared water to condition your skin. One scrub that works well with this DIY foot bath is a mixture of sugar and Epsom salt with oil.
22. Plain Epsom Foot Bath
The idea behind DIY foot baths is cost-effectiveness. The goal is to make it without buying any extra ingredients, simply using what you have in your pantry and bathroom cabinet. So if it’s a tight part of the week and you haven’t been paid yet, you can consider a one-ingredient bath. Epsom salt works on its own, and is more efficient than table salt, so always stock up!
23. Oatmeal Foot Bath Soak
The reason oats are used for porridge is the same reason they’re used in beauty products. When soaked, oatmeal releases a soothing gel that hydrates your skin and locks moisture in. Its mild exfoliating properties are also good for soothing itchy feet and washing off the caked, flaky bits off your feet. This DIY foot bath has whole oats with Epsom salt and lavender buds.
24. Milk + Honey Foot Bath
What are your thoughts on Dr. Oz? He’s a polarising figure, but his milk and honey DIY foot bath seems to be legit. It adds a few ingredients to the standard formula – baking soda, orange juice, vanilla extract, and cinnamon powder plus the usual honey and whole milk. The cinnamon ramps up your circulation while the milk softens, hydrates, and soothes you.
25. Coffee Foot Bath Soak
We’ve talked about a DIY foot bath with tea. It’s good at soaking up odors and uplifting low moods. But while tea is a relaxant, coffee is a stimulant. It’s also an exfoliator, so it’s great for eradicating flaky feet. Use brewed liquid coffee (French Press, drip, etc.) but not grounds, and not instant. Instant coffee is useless as a foot bath – its particles are too fine to exfoliate.
26. Honey + Lemon Foot Soak
DIY foot baths that contain honey can get sticky. So you’ll have to rinse off the sweet mess when you’re done. To make the mixture less fussy, you can add lemon slices to the foot bath and use them to ‘wipe’ your feet when you’re done. You can also add ACV, honey-flavored essential oils, and lemon or lime essential oil for a layered effect and aromatherapy benefits.
27. Coconut Milk + Honey + Cinnamon Soak
Our final DIY foot bath recipe combines elements from other recipes we’ve looked at. It has honey, which softens skin, reduces swelling, and heals open wounds. Cinnamon boosts circulation if your feet are sore and numb from running around all day. And coconut milk is soothing, moisturizing, and cleansing. You can follow up with coconut oil for extra cleaning.
What’s your favorite DIY foot bath? Share photos and tutorials in the comments section!