DIY Foot Scrubs: Ode to Your Feet

For an all natural DIY foot scrub, try the following recipe...

Credits: Priscilla Westra at
Amy Branum

Despite all that they do for us, our feet tend to be highly neglected when it comes to self care.  Sure, you can hide them in your shoes so others don’t know it, but let’s admit it, our feet do a lot for us. That said, we should give them a little extra TLC, as we are likely going to depend on them for many years to come. 

Our feet are heavily utilized, so they build up the most calluses and dry, dead skin. Some of us also have to deal with issues like foot fungus or bacteria. 

Using foot scrubs is a great way to treat your feet, remove dead skin, and reduce bacteria or fungus. Foot scrubs are also wonderful for increasing circulation in our feet and ankles, and easing tired, achy feet. 

So, how are foot scrubs different from body scrubs? While you can use body scrubs on your feet, by making a scrub specifically for your feet you can both choose essential oils that target your specific foot problems and use stronger essential oils that you would not be as likely to use on other parts of your body. 

For an all natural do-it-yourself foot scrub, try the following recipe and one of the two implementation methods listed below.


DIY Foot Scrub

The base foot scrub

To make a 4oz jar, you will need: 

  • 4oz jar: A mason jar or recycled cosmetic or condiment jar is perfect.
  • ½ cup sugar or salt: Not sure whether to use sugar or salt? Read on!
  • 2-3 oz almond oil: Other oils may be substituted.
  • 1 tbsp shea butter: This may be omitted, but provides extra moisture and healing for cracked skin.
  • Essential oils of your choice: See recipe suggestions below.

Making the scrub:

  1. Fill your jar with the sugar or salt until it is 1 inch from the top.
  2. Place the almond oil in a small pan on low heat. Add shea butter and stir constantly. As soon as the shea butter begins to noticeably melt, remove from heat and continue to stir until it has thoroughly melted.  
  3. Slowly pour this oil mixture over the sugar or salt. When it fills close to the top, carefully stir the mixture in, then add more oil until the sugar or salt is fully saturated. When you dip your finger into the mixture, it should feel oily and grainy.
  4. Add the essential oils of your choice. (See suggestions below).

Sugar or Salt? 

There can be a few factors to determine why you would want to choose either of these. Sugar is often preferred by people who shave, as salt can sting if it gets into tiny nicks and cuts. However, salt also has the added benefits of increasing detoxification through your feet and providing additional minerals to your skin. If you’re making your foot scrub for sore, achy feet, opting for salt and soaking your feet in a foot bath is more beneficial. 

Note: Any excess oil can be used as a moisturizer for the skin or hair, or saved for the next foot soak batch. 

Essential oil blends to add

Relaxing and Soothing Blend

Use this blend to relax, soothe your nerves, and care for sore, achy feet. The lavender is relaxing and the peppermint is cooling, but also penetrates deeply into sore muscles. This is a great blend for those who are on their feet all day and need to relax and decompress.

  • Peppermint: 25 drops
  • Lavender: 40 drops

Antibacterial/Antifungal Blend

Use this blend with tea tree oilneem, and grapefruit when you have a bacterial over-growth, stinky feet, or a fungal over-growth.

  • Tea tree oil: 30 drops
  • Grapefruit: 30 drops
  • Neem: 20 drops

Invigorating Blend

This blend is for those who want a little pick-me-up. It’s great to use in the morning to get things moving or to stimulate circulation for conditions like stiff joints.

  • Peppermint: 30 drops
  • Rosemary: 25 drops

Grounding & Relaxing Blend

This blend is wonderful for those who have a difficult time relaxing, experience anxiety, or need to settle down before bed.

  • Jatamamsi: 16 drops
  • Cedar: 24 drops
  • Vetiver: 8 drops
  • Lavender: 24 drops

Foot scrub methods

The daily, quick and easy method

Daily foot scrubs are best after a shower or bath, once your skin has had time to soften. Follow these steps for a daily scrub:

  1. After a shower or bath, sit with your feet over a drain to catch the excess scrub. A shower stool is perfect for this, as the excess scrub can be washed down the drain.
  2. Scoop about ½ tbsp of the foot scrub into your dry hands. You want to avoid getting water into your scrub as this can lead to molding.
  3. Rub the mixture into the bottom of your feet using a small, circular motion. Take your time, giving yourself a nice reflexology massage, and spending extra time on the more callused areas. Do one foot at a time.
  4. Move to the tops and sides of your feet, and if you wish, up to your ankles and calves. Massaging this area will help to increase circulation to the feet and will feel amazing - you won’t regret it!
  5. Once you finish the massage, take a warm wet wash cloth and remove all of the excess salt, sugar, and oil from the skin. If there’s excess oil, you can add a small amount of soap to the wash cloth. However, try not to wash off all of the oil as you want to allow it to sink into your skin and continue moisturizing.
  6. Dry your feet completely before standing again. 

The foot soak/foot spa method

This method takes more time, but is seen as more therapeutic. It’s great for those with sore, swollen, and achy feet or ankles at the end of the day, or for those who want to indulge in an additional 20 minutes of self care. For this method, you’ll need a container (a bucket or tub) that will allow you to soak your feet and legs up to your mid-calf. You should also have a dry towel nearby and your foot scrub.

  1. Fill the container with warm to hot water. Use the warmest temperature you are comfortable with, but scorching hot water is not recommended. You should be able to stick your feet right in without any discomfort. I also highly recommend adding some Epsom salts or dead sea salts to the water for deeper muscle relaxation.  
  2. Allow the feet to soak for at least 5 minutes, then, one at a time, pull each foot out of the water and massage as directed above.
  3. After massaging the scrub into your feet, place them back in the water and soak for another 10-15 minutes (or as long as you like!)
  4. Once your soak is completed, remove from the bath and dry your feet and legs completely.  

Please Note: Some oil may remain on your feet after this process. Take precautions (wear socks or thoroughly wipe feet) to prevent slipping when standing or walking after the scrub.

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