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listerine foot soak.. does it really work?


Here’s the viral post:

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!

Sounds convincing…but is there any TRUTH to the claim? Dermatologist Dr. Jo Herzog gives her medical opinion, and I weigh in after trying the soak for myself. First, let’s hear from Dr. Jo….

Dr. Jo Herzog

Dr. Jo Herzog, dermatologistI 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,

Dr. Jo

Jamie Tarence, Family Savvy

Now I’ll share my take on the listerine vinegar foot soak after trying it firsthand. I modified the recipe as follows:

1 cup of listerine
1 cup of vinegar
2 cups of warm water

Method: I put all the ingredients in a shallow aluminum pan that held just enough liquid to cover my feet completely. I soaked my feet for 20 minutes, adding hot water twice to keep the water warm.

The results? The soak was cool and refreshing, and my feet felt fresh and tingly afterward.  Although my feet were slightly softer after the soak, there was no noticeable removal or peeling of dry skin. So, for me, the Facebook ad didn’t live up to its claims. ......  

May 21, 2015 @ 11:33 pm

8 Replies



i was so excited to try this foot soak .. but really wanted it for the dry skin removal . so i will keep the Listerine for dental use!!!!
May 21, 2015 @ 11:36 pm

foot soak

Hi blubie, great post! I've never heard of these 3 ingredients together for that. I like to do an Epsom Salt foot soak. I mix quite a lot of epsom salts to hot water in a shallow pan. I don't let all the salts melt in the water. I soak my feet til the water turns cool. In the meantime, I like to rub my feet on the bottom of the pan, with the salts still in solid form. After I take my feet out of the water, I take an old towel and start rubbing my heels really good, while they're still wet. The crusties come off good for me. After I've finished both feet, I rub them with coconut oil and really massage it on the entire foot. Lastly, I put my cotton socks on overnight and wake up to baby soft heels and feet! Have fun!! Ginger
May 21, 2015 @ 11:45 pm


thank you for the great info. my heels are in bad shape and i need something that works . i have epsom salts and lots of coconut oil on hand!! i will give this a try this weekend!!
May 21, 2015 @ 11:51 pm


You're very welcome, anytime. Please call me Ginger. Don't forget to wear socks to bed to help seal in the moisture. Take care, Ginger.
May 22, 2015 @ 12:01 am


This does not work, aside from getting minty smelling feet and maybe a green tint to your skin - this won't help you to get rid of the dead skin

Try socks with a nice thick moisturiser at night, will help soften and help with the removal of the dead skin with something like a pumice stone
May 22, 2015 @ 01:51 pm
Sandra Ribeiro

Fook Soak

I soak my feet in warm water and Epsom salts. You can also add a few drops of any essential oil.

Once my feet are dried, I rub a good foot cream. Don't forget you socks!

May 22, 2015 @ 04:58 pm


I actually bought the Dr. scholls night cream for your feet and it works really really well! My feet used to be so dry and callused and it has helped them feel so smooth and soft. You put it on before you go to bed and then you put socks on to keep the moisture on your feet. It's quite uncomfortable wearing socks in bed but it's worth the results for sure!

I have honestly never tried the listerine foot bath it sounds interesting to say the least. :) did you end up trying it?

This is a wonderful post!
May 22, 2015 @ 05:59 pm

Foot Fungus

I've never heard of this being used for dead skin/rough feet, but my boyfriend's dad apparently has a history of run-ins with fungus on his feet/nails and he absolutely swears by Listerine. I don't think he uses all of these ingredients -- just the Listerine and supposedly it works.

I sort of want to try this recipe but I'm afraid of the smell.. lol.
May 23, 2015 @ 08:28 am

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