If poor foot hygiene has left you embarrassed on more than one occasion, then it’s time for you to learn how to maintain your feet properly. Poor foot hygiene is as a detriment to good health as it is a deterrent of good company.
Everybody’s bodily tendencies are different. Those who tend to sweat more will face more problems in maintaining foot hygiene.
But everybody needs to have a regular foot cleaning regime, at times the regular shower or bath will not cut it. With so many body parts that need you and your soap’s attention, feet can often shift out of focus.
What you can do is create a separate foot hygiene regime, where the sole focus is on your feet. You don’t need to go for all-out pedicures, but a thorough cleaning and moisturizing should be done regularly.
If you cannot squeeze it into your schedule daily, do it at least twice a week with toenail care thrown in weekly.
Your feet support your entire weight day in and day out, without much complaining. Return the favor and show your feet some TLC.
Steps to Clean Your Feet
Things you’ll need:
- Water in a tub/basin
- Body wash/shower gel
- Pumice stone
Step 1. Test the temperature of the water
Fill a tub or a basin with lukewarm water. Dip your hand in the water to test the temperature. The water should feel comfortably warm on your skin rather than scalding hot or extremely cold.
The tub should be big enough to easily accommodate both your feet comfortably with some room to spare.
Step 2. Add body wash to the water
Squirt some body wash into the water. Swirl it into the water to form bubbles. It will help to clean your feet thoroughly, removing dirt and other external impurities.
Step 3. Soak your feet for 5 to 10 minutes
Sit comfortably in a chair and place your feet inside the tub. Soak your feet for 5 to 10 minutes. Listen to music or relax in the meantime.
Soaking helps soften the tough skin on your feet, especially that of the soles and the heels.
It also prepares your feet so that they can withstand the subsequent scrubbing and exfoliation without any harm.
Step 4. Clean your feet
For cleaning your feet, you may use your hands and fingers, or even a loofah. Give the entire area of your feet a gentle cleaning.
Be sure to clean well between the toes, as that’s a common breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. With regular cleaning, you can easily fend off any infection.
Pay attention to the arch of your feet, and under and around the toenails as well. Keeping the area surrounding your toenails clean can easily deter any potential toenail infections.
Step 5. Exfoliate with a pumice stone
After cleaning, use a pumice stone to exfoliate your feet. If you don’t already own a pumice stone, you can easily get it at your nearest beauty store.
Gently scrub your heels, the arches and the balls of your feet with the pumice stone. This will remove layers of dead skin cells. Be sure not to be harsh on your skin.
Take a steady rather than a speedy approach. Applying too much force while exfoliating may result in the production of more dead cells in the area as a protective reaction by the body.
Step 6. Dry your feet
With a clean, dry towel, pat your feet dry instead of wiping. Dry the entire area of your feet completely as moisture accelerates bacterial growth.
Again, pay special attention to the area between the toes and dry it completely.
Step 7. Trim your toenails and moisturize your feet
Footbaths make your toenails soft, and much easier to deal with. Grab the opportunity to trim your toenails with a toenail clipper. Always cut the toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails. Take care not to cut too close to the nail bed.
Smooth any pointed edges with a nail file working in a single direction.
Nails should be trimmed weekly or so to maintain overall hygiene, as unkempt and long nails collect dirt and grime beneath them and harbor microbes that can lead to infections.
Moisturizing is an important step. Cleaning your feet with a footbath softens them, and moisturizing helps keep them that way. Massage your favorite moisturizer into the skin.
Cover the entire area of your feet, except the space between your toes you want to keep that area as dry as possible overall. This step is most beneficial for people with cracked heels.
Doing this daily or at least twice a week should significantly improve your foot hygiene and even contribute to your general good health.
- You can also scrub and exfoliate your feet when you take a shower or bath. About 5 to 10 minutes into the shower or bath, your feet should be fit for cleaning and exfoliation.
- You may also add Epsom salt or some drops of your favorite essential oil into the footbath.
- If the water gets dirty by the end of your footbath, discard it. Wash your feet with fresh water before drying.
- Mop up any water that splashes out of the tub. Be sure to keep the floor dry to avoid any accidents, wet feet, and wet floors do not mix.
- Always use clean socks after cleaning your feet.
- Wear clean socks daily to improve your foot hygiene.
- Colored socks often contain dyes that may contribute to undesirable foot odors.
- When choosing footwear consider their ventilation since trapped heat and moisture helps microbes reproduce, which result in odors and may encourage infection.
- Let your feet air out. Wearing flip-flops and sandals allows your feet to breathe and stay dry.
- Air out, disinfect and deodorize your shoes regularly to limit bacteria and fungi exposure to your feet.
Summary of How to Clean your Feet
Download this infographic.