What is a foot detox and how does it work? Ionic foot bath benefits.

ionic foot bath benefits

I thought about detox foot baths while searching for a foot bath on amazon and decided to write an instructional article on it. In this article, I’ll write about how ionic foot baths became a thing, ionic foot bath health benefits (if any), and how it supposedly works for detoxification – if it actually does.

A brief history of ionic foot baths

In the early 2000s, ionic foot baths were very popular. Many companies produced and sold gimmicky devices that consisted of a foot bath, some electrodes (a metal object) that were put inside the bath, some scented bath salts, and a lot of wires. Basically, you had to pour in some water into the foot bath, plug it into a power source and dip the electrodes inside it, before putting your feet in the bath for anywhere between 20 – 45 minutes.

ionic foot bath benefits

The machine was usually impressive because it colored the water brown or black with some foamy or sludgy substance floating at the top. So marketers used this change in the water’ color to convince people that those ionic foot baths were indeed working.

Do ionic foot baths work? Skeptics and Research

Ionic foot baths are devices that claim to use a combination of electrical charge and water to give the user a wide range of ailments and pains. Proponents say that ionic foot baths affect the body in many different ways. Some say this treatment works for pain relief, circulation, stress relief, energizing muscles, inflammation, relaxation and detoxification.

There is not any scientific evidence from studies or research studies that clearly state ionic foot baths will work for any of the above-mentioned benefits. Those who oppose this type of treatment say it does not relieve pain or provide a significant improvement on overall health or wellness.

A peer-reviewed study in 2012 to determine if ionic foot baths worked and what toxins were exactly removed from the body concluded that “we found no evidence to suggest that ionic footbaths help promote the elimination of toxic elements from the body through the feet, urine, or hair.” (Source)

An electrical engineer, Steve Fowler, at his lab, examined an IonCleanse device and concluded that “Everything you see here is just rust, this is nothing more than two pieces of metal rusting, it has nothing to do with toxins. It is just a simple chemistry experiment.” (Source)

Apparently, you would see the same exact change in water color whether or not your leg were in the machine. This is because what you were seeing was just rust, formed by a simple reaction between saltwater and the metals in the bath. Although the sweat on a persons leg was likely to make this process of rust a bit faster.

Ionic Foot Bath Benefits

As with all things science, you can’t completely say that ionic foot bath health benefits does not exist. For one, consider that it has a placebo effect in some people. This basically means that people who believed that it was treating one or two problems in their body were actually getting results.
Beyond having a placebo effect though, ionic foot baths have no other health benefits.

Ionic Foot bath is a scam

If ionic foot baths which cost hundreds of dollars were sold as what they were – gimmicks, then at least people would be aware that they were buying a simple chemistry experiment bucket. But because of the many health benefits that manufacturers of these devices claim about their products, it is best to avoid it all together.

But Foot baths are really good for you.

Almost everyone should have a foot bath or foot detox regularly, just not the ionic ones that don’t do anything. A good foot bath can help to fight off fungal infections of the foot and toenails, treat smelly feet, relieve foot pain and tight muscles, as well as help you to relax after a long day on your feet.

Here’s how to do a really good foot detox at home:

1. Get a foot bath/spa machine

A foot bath spa machine is a cheap device that you can buy off Amazon. It is usually a plastic bath with massage rollers at the bottom which can move in shiatsu kneading and rolling patterns to provide relief to your feet. Most of them require connection to a power source and some of the best ones can also heat up the water to your desired temperature.

These are the best foot bath spa machines you can buy on Amazon right now:

RENPHO Foot Spa Bath Massager, Motorized Massage, Fast Heating,...
  • Relieve your pain and stress: The electric foot spa massager uses water, massage rollers, and heat to provide warmth and improve circulation. The deep foot bath helps relieve pain, stress, tension, and anxiety. The foot massager machine spa is suitable for elderly people, insomniacs, athletes, people with cold feet, and more
Foot Spa Misiki Foot Bath Massager with Heat & 3 Automatic Modes...
  • Professional Automatic Massage; This foot spa with the motorized rolling massage, the heated water, and the bubbles can effectively relax your soles to help promote blood circulation and metabolism. The combination of 3 automatic massage modes - Shiatsu, Pressing and kneading - adds more comfort for your foot bath massage. Just enjoy the relaxing and warming care without moving your feet back and forth
LiveFine Foot Spa w/Adjustable Speed Aqua Air Jets - Home Heated...
  • POWERFUL AQUA JET ACTION | The Only Foot Spa with Real Jets on the Market. Easy Adjustable Knob Lets You Set the Perfect Airflow/Vibration from High to Low | Relaxing Bubbles Relieve Pressure, Encourage Healthy Blood Flow & Help Ease Achy, Sore, Tired Feet & Ankles After a Long Day

2. Buy some Epsom salt

Epsom salt, unlike your regular table or sea salt is a magnesium sulfate compound that has been used for centuries as a pain reliever and healing agent. It is one of the most underrated tools in a professional spa where it is often added to hot baths and foot soaks to reduce stress.

Epsom salt is readily available and very affordable. So instead of having an ionic foot bath which evidence clearly suggests to be a farce, buy some epsom salt that you can add to your foot spa machine.

3. Relax with your foot bath spa

With your foot spa and feet soaked in water, you can now relax and binge on your favorite movie or TV channel for the specified amount of time. Remember to read the instruction manual on your foot spa machine and know exactly how it works.


Ionic foot baths used to be a popular fad in the 2000s, but we now know for sure that they do not work. Despite what the evidence says, many people continue to search for perceived ionic foot bath benefits because of one or more nagging ailments.

As always, you should try to see your doctor as soon as possible, if you have a serious health concern. However, if you really just want a relaxing foot spa, massage, or just to soak your feet in water after a long day, consider getting a foot bath spa machine, or a foot massager to relieve neuropathic pain.

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