Comfort Tired & Sore Feet With These Easy Hot Water Soaks

If you’re a shift worker walking, standing and dashing around all day, you know very well what aching feet is all about. One way to soothe and pamper these tired, aching tootsies is to soak them in a hot foot bath. This is such a simple remedy and the soaks are so easy to make, yet they are luxurious, soothing and oh so effective.

Here are a handful of recipes to try, each use only a few ingredients and the items are accessible to source locally or online.

They can be whipped up in large batches if preferred so you can keep a stock ready on hand (shake container occasionally) or package them nicely and give away as gifts (seal in glass jars, label and add some decorative ribbon too if you like).

Directions: Unless otherwise noted, combine all ingredients thoroughly then store in an airtight container.

  • Use 2 to 3 tablespoons (more if you like) of the mix per each gallon of water used.

Water temperature is at personal preference, but I find the hottest my feet will comfortably tolerate gives the most relief.

Basic Recipe:

1 part Epsom salts
1 part Baking soda
drops of choice EO (optional)

Chamomile Tea: #2

4 bags chamomile tea
1/8 cup dried parsley
4 drops EO of choice

  • Steep in 1 gallon of hot water for 10 minutes before using.


2 cups Kosher salt
1 cup Epsom salts
drops EO of choice (optional; suggestions for Essential Oils to try are noted below)


1 1/4 cups Epsom salts
1 1/4 cups Kosher salt
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch


1 cup lemon juice
3 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup milk


1/2 cup lavender buds (fresh or dried, both work well)
10 drops lavender EO (optional)
1 cup Epsom salt
1 cup Kosher salt (or use 2 cups Epsom)

  • Directions: Use 1/2 cup per gallon of water.


Single Ingredient Ideas: (add only one of the items below to a gallon of hot water)

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salts
  • 2 cups brewed coffee

Good to Know:

  • Marbles or smooth river rocks can be added to the bottom of the basin to rub feet over while they’re soaking, this feels so good and is so relaxing! These can be found at your local craft store or online (do a seach for “smooth glass stones” or “stone vase fillers” or “aquarium stones” or “river pebbles” or “large glass gems”. Just make sure they are smooth and not rough cut.
  • Soothing Essential Oils To Try: peppermint, lavender, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, mint.
  • The soaking vessel doesn’t need to be expensive or anything fancy, you can find plastic dish tubs for just a few bucks and they do the trick nicely. Also look at plastic storage tubs, they come in all sizes. After using, wash and dry then stash the packaged soaks inside and cover tub with lid. Handy way to keep everything you need together in one place.
  • If skin and heels are also dry and cracked, then use cool to lukewarm water instead of hot. Mix 4 cups of vinegar with 8 to 10 cups of water (approximately 1 part vinegar, 2 parts water). It’s fine to add a few drops of the above listed essential oils to combat the vinegar smell (which will dissipate once your feet are dry).

Helpful Tip For Floor Workers: If you have a job where you are standing on your feet all day, something I’ve recently discovered that is so helpful are compression socks. You can buy them knee high or ankle height and I tried both when traveling. I was on my feet from before dawn to early evening, walking most of the day for nearly two weeks straight. These are also especially helpful when dealing with Plantar fasciitis (when the bottoms of feet hurt). I never had a problem with swollen or sore feet when wearing them and after talking to a couple friends who are nurses (shift work) and in retail, they too find that these socks really help. You can find them online in various retail outlets. Hope this helps!

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What Readers Are Saying: 45 Comments
  1. Raley says:

    I am so happy with this website.I have wrote down recipes for 2 hours one time and thats why I say ROCK ON TIPNUT.COM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Chau says:

    Does recipe no.5 requires warm water?

  3. ed bruce says:

    use avon lip balm, best of all foot remedies that I have tried.

  4. Sarah says:

    Be careful with essential orange oil! It is potent stuff and can burn your skin. Be sure that it is properly diluted.

    • concerned person says:

      I agree! I have found so many lemon oil foot bath recipes. I don’t think anyone has tried them before posting. I put a few drops of lemon oil in a full bath once and broke out in a rash. Very bad idea!

  5. alyssa and ashley says:

    Love the recipes!!!

  6. violet says:

    can you use any other salt rather than Kosher?

    • Amy says:

      Yes, you can substitute Epsom or Sea Salt to have a variety of benefits…I’d stay away from regular table salt since it is chlorinated

      • Beth says:

        ALL edible salt contains some form of ‘chlorine’. It’s a part of its molecular make-up and actually, what makes it edible. That doesn’t mean it’s “chlorinated” or dangerous in any way. When the sodium molecules bond with the chlorine molecules, their properties change making them both stable and safe. For that matter, sodium is much more dangerous than chlorine; it’s a metal that will spontaneously combust when exposed to air, but the chlorine stabilizes it. Table salt is not dangerous.

  7. Lisa says:

    Can you give some indication of what each ingredient accomplishes, whether individually or together?

  8. Lisa says:

    (further to previous question about what each ingredient does for the feet)
    What if I were to use the sea salt with the parsley, lemon, and olive oil, for example, like in a foot salad: is that still effective, or do the milk and lemon have to act together, as in recipe #5?

  9. Mya says:

    This really felt good it helps your tired feet

  10. Rebecca says:

    Recipe one says 1 part epsom salt 1 part baking soda about how much of each should I use?

    • Kimmie says:

      I was wondering the same thing as her.. How much is 1 part of epsom salt and 1 part of baking soda??

    • Joyce says:

      One recipe I read said use 1/2 cup pf mixture to a gallon of water. You can use 1/2 cup of Epsom salts, and 1/2 cup of baking soda for a one time use, or you can make more and store it in an airtight container, like a jar, for future use.

  11. Sharon says:

    What did you chose those ingredients?

  12. emma says:

    what about someone who has a lot of drying itching and cracking feet and they are diabetic what would be good to use to soak feet to get them better.

  13. sarah says:

    does one part mean one cup??

    • rylie says:

      one part just means equal amounts so if the recipe calls for one part epsom and one part salt you can add 1 cup of each or 2 cups of each, etc. Just depends on how much you want to make

      • cece says:

        I make bubble soap for the kids. One part good dish detergent to 6 parts water and one part table sugar. one tsp or one T or one cup to the corresponding 6 parts (tsp, T, cup) of water, as an example.

  14. kathy s. says:

    Thanks for the recipes. I forgot to buy some facial masks and foot soak for a special evening of fun with my daughter tonight and your web site really helped. I even have all the ingredients on hand.

  15. Reina says:

    In tips #5 what kind of milk it is powder milk or freshmilk

  16. Suzanna says:

    Love these recipes soo much!!
    Make sure 2 check out #5!!

  17. Barbara says:

    You mention the phrase EO of choice. What is EO?

  18. Doris Mason says:

    The advice that my podiatrist told me, was to keep the feet hydrated and ANY kind of lotion is OK, but keep doing it daily and the aching feet problem will disappear……it truly is true…

  19. victoria says:

    Help which soak will also remove dead skin of my feet

  20. meggafish says:

    I find adding two tablets of polident adds a cleaner that makes your nails look like they have a french polish

  21. jane says:

    polident as in false teeth tablets

  22. Guadalupe Murguia says:

    Is it ok to use apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar?

  23. paula jordan says:

    what is EO?

  24. JW says:


  25. Linda says:

    How long is the shelf life on these?

  26. Juanda says:

    I’ve used the apple cider vinegar and it really helps since I am Type-2 diabetic and can’t use Epsom salt.

  27. kate says:

    I love this website!! My heels are very cracked and dry so a nice foot soak with vinegar really helped. Thank you!

  28. John says:

    I am Retired Army and used to acronyms and abreviations. BUT, what is EO?

  29. Natalie says:

    For dry, cracked heels…are you suggesting white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar?

    I have both; use white for household cleaning and apple cider medicinally. Will either one work for the foot bah?

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