Does the “listerine vinegar foot soak for soft smooth feet” REALLY work? I asked Dermatologist Dr. Jo Herzog to weigh in. Being an expert on all things skin, Dr. Jo can help us decide whether the claims are help or hype.
When I asked Dr. Jo to give her opinion on the validity of the foot soak claims, I sent her the viral Facebook post as it was shared all over Facebook:
Ideal to help with those crusty feet! Get it right ladies!! …the BEST way to get your feet ready for summer. Sounds crazy but it works! Mix 1/4c Listerine (any kind but I like the blue), 1/4c vinegar and 1/2c of warm water. Soak feet for 10 minutes–the dead skin will practically wipe off!
Then I simply asked, Dr. Jo…..what do YOU think about this? Her answer is below…..
Dr. Jo Herzog
I have been asked to comment on a widely circulating Facebook post about a new method to soften feet for the summer. It involves soaking the feet in a mixture of listerine, vinegar and water. So, is this truth or hype?
You can actually google this foot soak and find many old-time remedies for dry feet that include these ingredients. I guess you won’t know until you try it. It certainly couldn’t hurt, and it might even help. Your feet will surely be clean and tingly when you are done, especially if you use cool mint listerine. The two main ingredients are inexpensive and readily available in most homes, so the most you can lose is ten minutes and a few cents.
Listerine contains Thymol, an ingredient that does kill some bacteria and fungi. Although the concentration is lower in this than in some prescription products, it probably does “kill germs.” I am not sure, however, whether it would cause skin to exfoliate.
Vinegar is acetic acid. This also has some antibacterial properties and in a high enough concentration can cause irritation. Acetic acid contributes to cavity formation by eroding enamel from teeth. This might lead some to think that in low concentrations it can work to soften the skin and make it easier to exfoliate.
There have been several things written supporting the notion that vinegar and water soaks can be used to soften dry cracked heals. Some even recommend this for mild athlete’s foot. As I said earlier, it is worth a try if you have the time and the ingredients readily on hand.
There certainly is nothing wrong with or worrisome about soaking your feet in something safe enough to put in your mouth, so why not try this and see for yourself. Let’s hear what everyone thinks of this foot soak. Maybe I will try adding a touch of peppermint and eucalyptus to make my own foot spa.
Hope this helped,
Hi, it’s me, Jamie. Now I’ll share my take on the listerine vinegar foot soak. I modified the recipe slightly. Here is my version:
1 cup of listerine
1 cup of vinegar
2 cups of warm water
Method: I soaked my feet for 20 minutes, adding hot water as needed to keep the soak warm.
The results? The soak was tingly and refreshing, and my feet felt cool and fresh afterward. My feet were slightly softer from the soak, but there was no noticeable removal or peeling of dry skin. These claims did not hold true, at least for my feet.
The fact is, exfoliation requires much more than a foot bath. More extreme measures, such as chemicals, fruit acids, salts, and scrubs, are required to remove dead dry skin. For those who want to try some of the more effective treatments, here are a few that I have tried and which I use regularly to keep my feet their softest and smoothest.
- For removing dry, dead skin, the best product I’ve found is Baby Foot. I tried this on my husband and blogged about it (with photos) in Blown Away By Baby Foot. Baby Foot uses fruit acids to penetrate into the skin. Several days after applying Baby Foot, skin begins to peel, very similar to a moderate to deep facial chemical peel.
- For maintaing soft feet after a good peel from Baby Foot, I routinely practice my version of the Best Ever DIY Pedicure. The products that I use are inexpensive and really work if used consistently.
- Dr. Jo recommends two simple products that can be applied to feet several times a week after bathing or showering. Find her home remedy in Dr. Jo’s recipe for soft smooth feet.
- The listerine vinegar sugar scrub for feet is a listerine vinegar combo that works to keep feet smooth and soft. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and makes feet feel absolutely amazing! This scrub has gotten tremendously positive feedback from Family Savvy readers who have tried it and love it.
- For stubborn callouses, we pull out the big gun~the Emoji Micro-Pedi callous remover. To learn how to safely remove callouses, you can read Dr. Jo’s advice in Callouses: To Remove or Not To Remove? The post includes a photo of my daughter’s callous after using the callous remover.
So, here’s a breakdown of a doable routine that can be done at home to get feet soft & smooth and keep them that way.
- EVERY 3-4 Months–foot peel using Baby Foot.
- EVERY 1-2 Weeks–Best Ever DIY pedicure.
- 2-3 TIMES PER WEEK–Dr. Jo’s home remedy
- EVERY DAY or AS NEEDED–Listerine Vinegar Sugar Scrub for Feet
So….there you have it; my tried and true products and techniques for achieving and maintaining soft feet. I’d love to hear back from you if you try any or all of these. Reader feedback is helpful and much appreciated!
Note: Some links are referral links. My full disclosure policy is here.