Listerine Foot Soak Recipes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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A Listerine foot soak is a recent internet fad that claims to heal cracked, dry skin, along with various other foot ailments. It works by soaking one’s feet in a Listerine bath. Although the scientific evidence on its efficacy is lacking, it has created a sudden splash with many people swearing by this method. 

What Is A Listerine Foot Soak?

As the name suggests, a Listerine foot soak involves dipping one’s feet in a Listerine bath. Across the internet, people are proclaiming the incredible benefits of soaking their feet in Listerine, a popular brand of mouthwash. This home remedy is claimed to cure a number of ailments, including foot fungus, athlete’s foot, infections, and dry skin. Because Listerine is a natural disinfectant, it is thought to be able to prevent some infections that commonly occur on the feet. It is important to note that Listerine is not useful for treating pre-existing infections, and those suffering from painful rashes or wounds should not use this foot soak as a remedy. 

The bath itself is quite simple, as you will see in the recipe below. 

Woman soaking her feet in dish indoors with candles and white towels in the background

Listerine contains methyl salicylate, a compound similar to that found in Aspirin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Research and Benefits 

To date, there has been no scientific research done on the benefits or risks of a Listerine foot bath. Potential benefits are from anecdotal evidence only. 

In addition to being a disinfectant, Listerine contains methyl salicylate, a compound similar to that found in Aspirin, as discussed in this article from the Journal of Dentistry. Due to these ingredients present in the mouthwash, a Listerine foot soak is most effectively and reliably used to prevent athlete’s foot and toenail fungus, and to treat dry, cracked feet. Proponents of this home pedicure claim a number of additional health benefits. There is anecdotal evidence that this foot soak can prevent foot odor, remove calluses, prevent other infections on the feet, and serve as a pain reliever. 

Recipe for Listerine Foot Soak

There are a few variations of this soak. 

  1. One common recipe is composed of equal parts vinegar, Listerine and warm water.
  2. Many recipes use Epsom salts in place of vinegar. Epsom salt soaks are known to be beneficial with or without Listerine. Combine equal parts Listerine and warm water for this variety.
  3. A third recipe calls for a gallon of water, a cup of Listerine and a few drops of lemon.

Essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus or tea tree oil can also be added to any of these recipes for additional relaxation.

Soak your feet for 45 minutes to an hour. Alternatively, use a cotton ball and swab the feet with Listerine twice a day, if you want to be more conservative with how much mouthwash you are using!

Side Effects 

There have been no scientific studies done on the safety of a Listerine foot soak. But based on our knowledge of the substances involved and the anecdotal side effects, these are a few issues you must keep in mind:

  • Do not use if you have a history of allergic reactions to Aspirin. 
  • People with sensitive skin should be cautious when using Listerine, as it creates a burning or tingling sensation, which may be uncomfortable.
  • Do not use a Listerine foot soak if you have open wounds or painful rashes on your feet.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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