How to soak feet in warm water

Updated April 17, 2017

After standing on your feet all day, they may throb and ache. Soaking them in warm water is a soothing solution. If your feet are dry and callused, a soak brings softness back. You should wash your feet in warm soapy water every day for good hygiene. But to soak feet properly, the water temperature, equipment, and things you add to the water are all important.

Use the right soaking receptacle. There are foot baths that are specifically designed for soaking your feet. The advantage of these, is that they have a heating element to keep the water warm, massage features, and the right design. If you do not have a foot bath, you might use a deep and wide basin or bucket. The disadvantage with these choices is that water can cool off quickly. Finally, a bathtub can be filled with less water and used for a foot soak.

Get the right water temperature. Your feet have numerous nerve endings, especially on the soles. So they are sensitive. The water may not feel too warm on your hand, but it could be too hot for your feet. Sample the water temperature with a toe or foot rather than your hands. Keep in mind that it will cool off after a few minutes.

Soak for a sufficient period of time. If your goal is to sooth aching feet, you may need to soak for 20 minutes. To soften the feet in preparation for getting rid of tough calluses or dry skin, your soaking time could be longer. For hygiene purposes, soak for three to five minutes.

Add ingredients to the warm water. You can put lavender oil in the water for a relaxing foot bath. According to Safe Natural Cures, adding tea tree oil is good for burning or itching feet. Epsom salt in a foot bath eliminates tiredness and fatigue. Using olive oil can be an effective skin softener. Ingredients added can even invigorate the feet such as, peppermint oil.

Dry feet well. After a foot soak, properly dry your feet and get in between the toes, where bacteria and fungus can develop. You may want to add moisturiser while the feet are damp and the pores are open. This will be more effective than lotion on dry feet.


If soaking your feet in warm water feels god, then there is no real time limit. However, your skin might get wrinkly and adopt a white tinge after a long soak .


A foot soak will not cure toe or nail fungus and could worsen the condition. Go see a podiatrist if you suspect a medical condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Basin, foot bath or tub
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About the Author

Based in Colorado Springs, Vanessa Newman writes for "Women's Edition" magazine and has been published in "Rocky Mountain Sports," "IDEA" magazine and "The Teaching Professor." She has been writing professionally for over 10 years and holds a master's degree in sports medicine. She has written online courses for companies such as Anheuser-Busch and Chevron, but prefers creative writing.