As busy working women, full-time mothers and high-achieving professionals, we spend a lot of time on our feet. From ill-fitting shoes to hard flooring, our feet take the brunt of our daily activities. We accumulate blisters, sores, cuts and swollen feet and by the end of the day many of us will know the familiar feeling of aching feet that signify a day well spent.
Knowing how to look after your feet will help them stay soft and pain-free as you go about the world. Follow our guide and treat your feet today with our specially-selected natural foot soak recipes.
Why Soak My Feet?
The art of foot-soaking has been around for centuries. Long before we could buy electric foot spas and fancy bubble bath, people have been soaking their feet. Simply soaking your feet in shallow warm water helps improve blood flow and circulation and promotes deep relaxation. If you have just 10 minutes to spare each day, soaking your feet is one of the most beneficial things you can do to encourage good health and well-being.
Make Your Own Foot Soak
To soak your feet, you don’t need any special ingredients or tools; a simple shallow bucket or bowl and some warm water is all that is required. Your bowl will need to be deep enough to fully submerge both feet and the water should be warm but not scalding. The length of time you remain with your feet under water does not matter, but when the water begins to cool either top it up or replace it entirely with more hot water.
Recipes for DIY Natural Foot Soak
It is time to share our collection of some of the most effective recipes for homemade foot treat. All of the below works great, but if you want really targeted results choose something that is designed to address the specific needs of your feet.
Foot Soak with Listerine for Dry Skin and Cracked Heels
This works wonders on dry skin. Listerine is an antiseptic mouthwash but has proved to be effective for dry cracked feet and calluses as well. Simply mix one part of original Listerine with two parts of water and soak your feet for about 15 to 20 minutes. In addition, Listerine is effective against all kinds of bacteria and will kill all fungi and germs that could potentially lead to athlete’s foot.
Listerine and Vinegar
This is an interesting twist on simple Listerine foot bath, which is supposed to not only soften your skin but help eliminate dead skin without using any sharp tools. The dead skin should practically wipe off.
Combine 1 part of gold or amber Listerine with 1 part of vinegar and 2 parts of water and soak for at least 10 minutes. Use callus remover (foot scraper) to remove any bad skin.
Vinegar helps exfoliate skin easily so you won’t need more than just a minimal amount of scraping.
Note: using blue Listerine will get the job done just as well as gold, brown or amber but it might temporarily stain your skin so you will have nice blue feet for a while. Unless you don’t mind lovely blue feet, use gold, brown or amber kind. Always rinse your feet after you finish your bath.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Technically any type of vinegar is great for your foot bath, due to its antibacterial and exfoliating properties, but apple cider vinegar has a really special place in DIY beauty treatments world. Simply dilute a cup of ACV in hot water and enjoy your bath for at least 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a week. We wouldn’t expect much just from one session, but cumulative effect means better toenails and softer healthier feet.
Homemade Foot Detox
There are several recipes to help detoxify your body using foot bath. Most popular ingredients for detox soak are
- Epsom salts,
- freshly grated ginger,
- baking soda,
For Epsom salts: add one cup of Epsom salts to your hot foot bath and proceed as usual.
For ginger: slice two small ginger roots and pour four cups of hot boiling water over them. Let sit for about 15 minutes then add this ginger water in your foot bath. It is possible to replace freshly grated ginger with ginger powder although fresh ginger is more potent.
For baking soda: dissolve 3 Tbsp of baking soda in your basin and soak for as long as you like.
For clay: typically ½ cup dissolved in warm water, but you should follow the instructions of manufacturer.
Foot Bath for Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot can be relieved with apple cider vinegar soak mentioned above, however if your case is severe you will need to do that daily.
There are other natural remedies for athlete’s foot:
– Pau d’Arco tea soak (about 6 bags of Pau d’Arco in 8 cups of hot water)
– Tea tree oil (about 20-25 drops of tea tree oil in a small tub of water)
Both Pau d’Arco and tea tree oil should be used several times a day to be effective.
DIY Fungus Toenails Remedy
Above mentioned foot soak with vinegar and Listerine (separate or combined) are effective treatment for fungus. However if you want to get rid of your fungus problem completely you will need to soak your feet daily. Always rinse your feet after the bath.
For sore feet
Use Epsom salts to relieve sore aching feet. Simply add some to your basin and soak for as long as it feel comfortable.
If you want to add some variety and increased health benefits to your foot soak, then try creating your own natural foot soak recipe. Salt is excellent for the feet as it deodorizes, softens and makes you feel like you’ve been to a fancy spa. Oats are also wonderful for the skin so throwing a handful into your foot bath will make the water lovely and creamy, and your feet will come out soft and warm. Try adding some essential oils to your foot soak solution to create pleasant perfumes and provide extra benefits.
Before bed, a lavender and oat foot soak will relax you and start sending you to sleep. In the morning, try adding some natural basil oil or bergamot essential oil to your foot soak solution to invigorate your mind and psych you up for the day ahead. Your local pharmacy or supermarket will probably stock some natural bath salts; adding these to a foot bath can soothe your tired feet and relax your whole body.
If you have an open wound anywhere on your feet, be careful about what you place in your foot bath; make sure you only add natural ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals, even if they are branded as ‘natural’ on the box. Read labels carefully and ensure your feet are not exposed to any dangerous solutions.
Looking after our feet helps make days less stressful and a daily natural foot soak is something we all enjoy making the time for.
Finally, beautiful feet is much more than nice baby-soft skin. You might need to resolve other issues such as bunions and spider veins. This takes more time and effort to resolve and will often require a trip to your podiatrist. We talked about treating bunions and spider veins here. While there is no easy solution, the earlier you will address these problems the better.