The Ionic Foot Bath Trend: Does It Work?

Ionic foot baths have been around for years and have recently re-gained popularity for those seeking body detoxification. Normally offered at a Wellness or Holistic Spa, many have sought out this unique experience as a way to flush their systems and live a healthier, toxin-free life.

Key takeaways:
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    Learn what an Ionic Foot Bath is and what chemicals they claim to decodify from the body.
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    Find out if Ionic Foot Baths work or not.
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    Find out what you can do at home to naturally detoxify the body from chemicals instead.
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    There are very few side effects to using an Ionic Foot Bath but be sure to read the guidelines.

The question is, do ionic foot baths even work?

What is an ionic foot bath

An ionic foot bath is said to be a therapeutic foot-soaking process that uses negative ions in a bath of distilled water and salt to rid the body of toxins through the feet.

The foot bath is connected to electricity to produce a vibration in the water and causes a chemical reaction between the water and the salt. Toxins in the body are said to attach themselves to the negative ions in the water and be pulled out through the soles of the feet.

The water in the bath usually changes to a yellow or brown color and sometimes has the appearance of sludge around the top of the bath. Although some suggest the discoloration in the water is caused by the toxins being released from the body, this has been proven untrue.

The color change in the water is due to a reaction between the electricity fed in the bath and the salt. This causes a chemical change in the water and is said to change the color and appearance of the water itself.

What toxins are claimed to be released?

One distributor website did an internal study on two participants and states the levels of aluminum, arsenic, creatine, lead, mercury, nickel, sulfur, and tin, all were substantially lower after an ionic foot bath. This study was conducted by the company itself and was only performed on two participants.

There is a total list of 22 different metals and toxins that were said to be released through the soles of the feet during this particular study and most websites’ claims are similar.

In a more accurate study, performed by the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, the 22 chemicals, as well as many others were all tested before and after the ionic foot soak and proven to have no significant change after the process of the Ionic Foot Bath process.

Do ionic foot baths work?

The short answer is no, ionic foot baths do not live up to their claims to provide the user with a detoxification cleanse even when used weekly as advised by the manufacturer.

The chemicals said to be released during the ionic foot bath process have been tested through a simple urine sample after the second and fourth-foot bath sessions and were shown to have no clinically relevant changes after elimination.

Hair samples were also assessed, as the chemical release is also known to be excreted through the hair follicles. Normal hair growth happens at a rate of one centimeter per month. Hair samples were taken after one month of Ionic Foot Baths and again, were proven to have no significant change in the participants.

Unfortunately, Ionic Foot Soaks did not prove to be a beneficial component in detoxification, and participant results proved no difference in chemical secretion over the testing period.

What to do instead

So, what can you do at home to help to detoxify your body? Listed below are great ways to help detoxify your body, naturally.

Limit alcohol

When you eliminate or reduce your alcohol intake, your liver naturally starts to restore itself and can function more efficiently. Instead of your liver working overtime to process the alcohol you consume, you can help by reducing alcohol and stimulating the liver to better filter the chemicals and toxins in your body.

Drink more water

Drinking enough water is essential to helping your liver function effectively and help flush the toxins from your body naturally. Drinking enough water also helps to flush the kidneys more effectively and therefore, allows the liver to focus on metabolizing the waste, as it’s meant to do.


Getting enough exercise is essential to helping your body effectively flush toxins and stay healthy. When you exercise, your breathing quickens and promotes increased blood circulation throughout the body and lymph nodes. This process helps to stimulate and flush the muscles, therefore, promoting a detoxifying effect for the whole body.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Leafy greens, asparagus, kale, and avocados are all known to be packed full of detoxifying antioxidants that help to promote the liver to function more efficiently. Eating a balanced diet will also aid in the overall increased production of energy and stimulate the digestive system to function more effectively.

Prioritize a good night’s sleep

During sleep, your brain undergoes rapid cell changes that promote the detoxification of waste. A study on sleep deprivation also found that a lack of sleep can increase the chances of Alzheimer’s disease. Getting good sleep is pertinent to a well-balanced lifestyle and is essential to help keep the body moving.

Side effects

Although Ionic foot soaks have very limited data in their favor, they do not appear to have any adverse side effects or damage. An ionic foot bath can help relieve tension, relax the feet and soften the skin, just as any other foot bath/soak would do. Since there are no known, or harmful side effects, it’s perfectly safe to perform ionic foot baths on almost anyone.

Those with open wounds or damaged skin should refrain from using any type of foot-soaking method until healed completely.

Ionic foot baths have been proven to be ineffective to release toxins from the body as the manufacturers' state. Instead, try one of the above methods to help naturally detoxify your body to help you feel detoxified and energized.

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Yvonne van Leeuwen
prefix 1 month ago
Your article dismisses the foot spas effectiveness but then your resources include link to an article that says they work?! Whoever wrote this is obviously confused.
prefix 7 months ago
About five years ago I was introduced to ionic foot bath and I saw this machine in action.
Yes, the water does change colors and it was always different color depending on the individual. I seen water change to the color green and on another individual the water turned black and foamy. On another individual I had also witnessed live parasites in the shape of tiny worms moving in the tub of water.
Seeing is believing and I believe in the ionic foot bath.
Thank you