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What Is An Ionic Foot Bath?

An ionic foot bath, also referred to as an ionic foot detox, is a way to detoxify and reenergize the body. Some believe that in addition to detoxing the body, certain medical problems can be treated with an ionic foot bath. Those same people even see noticeable improvements in their health immediately following a detox.

An ionic foot bath is a treatment offered in many spas and salons, and one that people pay good money for. It works quickly without exhibiting any significant side effects.

That being said, there are people who believe an ionic foot bath actually does nothing to improve a person’s health. They believe it’s a simple chemistry experiment invented to fool the end user. That people would be better off utilizing a home foot spa with some salts and essential oils instead.

So, who should we believe? Let’s dig deeper.

What Does an Ionic Foot Bath Do?

An ionic foot bath attacks toxins — significant threats that can disrupt the body’s natural functions and cause health issues. Waste in the body that isn’t naturally eliminated stays in the system and can become toxic, building up over the years to unhealthy levels.

Many people are looking to rid their bodies of things like mercury and other heavy metals with a foot detox. It is believed that these heavy metals prevent the body from absorbing vitamins and nutrients. These essential vitamins and nutrients are in turn being flushed out of the system as soon as they come in. What a waste of eating your fruits and veggies and taking your vitamins!

In addition to removing toxins, it is believed that ionic foot baths can help you balance your acid levels. Acidosis is the term for having too much acidity in your body, which weakens your entire system. The ionic foot bath attempts to balance the acidity to bring you back to a healthy level. The bath can also encourage circulation and increase metabolism, which is a natural detoxifier.

How the Ionic Foot Bath Works

The ionic foot bath is filled with salt water and is connected to a light electrical current. Then, a device called an array is inserted into the water. There are two electrodes on the array, one of which is creating positive electrons, the other, negative. The user or recipient of the foot bath then puts their feet into the water. While it may seem scary that your feet are in an electrically stimulated water bath, you barely feel anything because the current is so light. If anything, you’ll feel a gentle and relaxing tingling feeling. A session usually lasts about 30 minutes.

Now here’s what’s interesting. During your session, you’ll start to notice the water turn colors. It may be a yellow or orangish color to start, and by the end, a dark brown. This is normal but can be quite startling to a patient new to the treatment, thinking their body was full of this toxic waste that is coloring the water brown. The water colors may vary from person to person and from session to session. Some clients report that while their first few sessions had very dark water, after they had a number of treatments the discoloration became less and less.

Side Effects from Ionic Foot Baths

Occasionally, side effects are reported during or after an ionic foot bath treatment. Clients have reported exhaustion, headaches, dizziness or nausea. This may be because the person was dehydrated prior to the treatment, or because their body was overrun by chemicals and toxins that were pulled from the body quickly, leaving the patient feeling off balance.

A positive side effect after a treatment is that your body will continue to detox for up to 48 hours through your natural sweat and urinating. It is important not to eat food that is high in acid right after your treatment to help your body continue with the detoxification process.

What the Skeptics Say

It is important to point out that there are many people out there who do not believe in ionic foot baths and their potential health benefits. The naysayers tend to think that the water changing colors in the bath is only from electrolysis — from the electrodes combining with the salt water to produce rust. They believe that the water color will change whether you put your feet into the tub or not. A theory that has been proven to be true.

However, there are tons of happy clients who say that they are proof that this process works. Their health problems disappeared after they began using the ionic foot baths and they believe it has truly had a positive effect on their health. Is it a placebo effect? Maybe. Going in to do a foot detox and seeing the water turn brown can make you think that toxins really are being pulled from your feet and creating a “healthier you” in the process.


Personally, we fall on the side of science in this debate. An ionic foot bath appears to be a service that provides no traceable value to the end user. It is simply a foot bath in a tub filled with salt water, that will ultimately be accompanied by rust.

That being said, who are we to deter you from trying it out?

If it takes an ionic foot bath to get you feeling right, then by all means go for it. Every person is unique and there are no perfect foot care solutions for everyone. If you think a foot bath may be for you, you can find treatments at clinics, gyms, and health spas. You can even pick up a relatively inexpensive ionic foot bath from Amazon. You can also learn more about proper foot care at FeetFeat.com.

If you have thoughts on the matter, one way or another, please share them with us below!

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