Feet easily become sore and tired by the end of it. A relaxing foot soak can revitalize your feet, leaving them clean-smelling and soft. Homemade soaks are easy to concoct and endlessly customizable to your specific needs and preferences.
Begin With Water
The base ingredient of any foot soak is water--preferably as hot as you can stand to put your feet into. Pour the hot water over any ingredients that need to be dissolved or steeped, such as Epsom salts, baking soda, tea bags or fresh herbs. Add oils and other liquid additions after you've poured the water.
Elevate Your Soak With Epsom Salt
Two cups of epsom salt per gallon of water makes an effective foot soak. Epsom salt contains a large amount of magnesium, which acts as an anti-inflammatory, soothing overworked muscles and joints.
Sprinkle In a Natural Deodorizer
Baking soda deodorizes your feet by killing the bacteria that cause foot odor. It also prevents the excessive perspiration that provides that bacteria with a breeding ground in the first place. Use about 3 tbsp. of baking soda per gallon.
Pamper Your Feet With Essential Oils
A few drops of your favorite essential oil in your foot soaking basin adds a nice perfume to the water. Certain oils may also add aromatherapeutic benefits. Lavender is a good choice for general relaxation purposes. Rosemary will revive tired feet and ease muscle aches.
Tea Bag Therapy
Commercial herbal tea bags are a convenient way of adding the therapeutic benefits of herbs to your foot soak. You need use only three to five bags of tea per gallon of water--the resulting infusion is intended to be much weaker than regular tea. Try chamomile for its relaxing aroma and anti-inflammatory properties. Peppermint and spearmint have a cooling effect that also relieves muscle pain. Green tea is astringent and helps heal abrasions on your feet; it also has a mild antiseptic effect.
Adorn Your Feet With Flower Petals
Flower petals don't add much of practical value to your foot soak, but they do add aesthetic beauty. The scents of some flowers such as rose may also help you to relax while you're soaking your feet. Otherwise, just add what you think looks good floating in your soaking water--daisies, violets or peonies, marigold and fresh lavender are some possible choices.
You can use a bed of marbles or small round stones at the bottom of your basin as a foot massager to help relieve tension and stress. Roll the soles of your feet gently back and forth across the marbles as you soak.
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Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate, Decider.com, The SF Weekly, EthicalFoods.com and GoMag.com.