How to Clean Your Feet and Nails

You can have your feet clean and fresh in no time by utilizing simple hygienic methods.
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You're cuddling a special someone on the couch when it happens -- he takes his shoes off. Easy for him, his feet don't smell like an undead swamp monster. Now you're faced with a serious dilemma: "Do I leave my shoes on and make him uncomfortable, or do I destroy the mood with my calloused, toxic-smelling feet?" You're between a rock and smelly place. Such embarrassing situations are not uncommon, but they are avoidable. You can prevent odor, callouses and corns by taking podiatrist-recommended steps when cleaning and maintaining your feet.

Fill a washbasin or small tub with lukewarm water. Place the tub on the floor of your bathroom.

Add to the water 2 to 3 tablespoons of mild antibacterial soap to treat odor or 1/8-cup salt to relieve ingrown nails. Stir the water with your hand or a stirring utensil until the solution is thoroughly mixed.

Place your feet in the water and soak them for five to ten minutes.

Wash your feet thoroughly with a clean sponge, cleaning the bottom, top and ankle to remove dirt and grime. Work the sponge between each of your toes. Scrub the surface of your toenails and along the cuticles with a toenail brush to remove all dirt.

Remove your feet from the bath and place them on a clean dry towel. Lightly dry your feet, particularly between your toes, leaving your skin and nails only slightly moist.

Trim your toenails with a toenail clipper straight across the edge of the nail then smooth the edges by rubbing firmly and rapidly with an emery board. Clean under your nails with an orange stick to remove residual dirt.

Vigorously rub softened corns, callouses and rough patches with a clean pumice stone. Stop if you feel any pain.

Rinse your feet in clean, lukewarm water to remove loose skin and dirt particles and dry thoroughly with a clean towel.

  • Consult your primary care physician if you have a fungal or other type of infection on your feet.
  • You can prevent corns by avoiding shoes that are narrow, tight or that have high heels.

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.