Listerine & Vinegar Soak For Softer, Smoother Feet!

listerine soak

I have been hearing about this unlikely combination as a cure for dry, cracked heels and feet for a long time but thought it sounded utterly ridiculous. I battle with dry, cracked heels in the wintertime and have tried just about every remedy known to man or womankind, but Listerine and Vinegar? Come on.

Up until now I have had the most success with the cream I talk about in this post: “The Cure For Dry, Cracked Heels & Feet.” While this really works, it isn’t very easy to find and also fairly expensive. Since I had recently run out of my tube of Atrac-tain cream I decided I would give this wacky idea a try….because I’m a big believer in the notion that some of the wackiest ideas end up being the best! :-)

Since I’m actually doing a blog post about this….I bet you can guess how it turned out. Yep, you guessed it. It actually works! I was completely skeptical about this, but I’m tellin’ ya, after just 15 minutes my feet (and most importantly my heels) were much softer and smoother!

Here are a couple of terrible BEFORE and AFTER pictures as proof. (It’s hard to take pictures of your own heels! Try it!) For those of you grossed out by feet, my sincerest apologies.

listerine soak

listerine foot soak

While they’re not PERFECT….after just one 15 minute soak, they were markedly improved! I will definitely be doing this again.

Listerine & Vinegar Foot Soak

  • 1 cup Listerine (or any antiseptic mouthwash)
  • 1 cup Vinegar (I used white, but you could use apple cider too)
  • 2 cups warm water

You can double, triple, quadruple the recipe as needed for your feet and container size.

Soak feet for 10-15 minutes then take a foot file or pumice stone to help slough off the softened dead skin. I was able to easily file off a good amount of the dry skin. I have a bit more to go, but I have no doubt another couple of soaks and it should be all gone.

If you are one of the unfortunate ones with dry, cracked winter feet… me….I would strongly suggest you give this a try! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…like me.

listerine soak


What is your favorite remedy for dry, cracked heels and feet?



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  1. Gwen in L.A. says

    Just wondering…have you tried just soaking your feet for the same amount of time in plain water? Soapy water? Water with Vinegar only?


    • Judi says

      I agree with this writer. I’ve heard of this treatment but have not tried it. But I wonder because you mentioned you used a foot file after. And I would think that would be the reason for the reduced dead skin not necessarily the products used. I myself regularly use a sugar scrub. The sugar helps slough off the dead skin and the oil helps retain moisture. I then apply body lotion to my feet for added moisture protection.

      • Andrea Rayna says

        I also make my own sugar scrub. As a diabetic I strive to take excellent care of my feet and not let them get dry enough to crack, since this invites infections that I may not be able to fight off.

        I make sugar scrub as needed with a handful of sugar, a squirt of Olay infused dish soap and a wallop of skin oil — rub this in without water…I hang my feet over the tub and massage into every inch for a few minutes, then rinse off, and dry very well, especially between toes. Lotion is applied to the tops of toes only and a callous relief stick is rubbed all over the heel and socks are immediately put on.

        If I consistently do this once a week my feet fair much better.

        If they get extra dry a concoction of whipped vegitable shortening with a few drops of tea tree oil massaged in at night with socks does the trick

      • Andrea Rayna says

        I should have said, the idea of vegetable shortening is one from a dermatologist friend that said in hospitals it used to be called “C-Cream” and given to patients with ash when they were treated in his emergency room.

        I’m sure the hospital marked up the cost a few hundred times LOL

      • Jason says

        I swear by this, but I think some of you might not be seeing all the benefit because your cause are different. I have had a recurring case of athletes foot and an encroaching nail fungus. I’ve tried OTC topical ointments but nothing seemed to work.

        My symptoms were caused, (I think) by bacteria and fungus. The acidity of vinegar and antibacterial nature of Listerine worked wonders for me.

      • Rheeva says

        Thanks for the helpful feedback. I was already interested and this comment convinced me to definitely try this over the weekend.

      • Jay says

        I agree with this post 100%…No more foot issues after using this mixture. I work in a plant and despite wearing plain white socks with My work boots, I had issues because of sweating…NOW, I’M ALL SMILES, and My feet look NICE TOO!

      • Catherine's not naturally crafty says

        I gotta go with the majority on this one – I tried it and experienced no different results than just a warm water soak followed by a scrub. I too make my own sugar scrub, with almond oil, essential oils and a bit of glycerin to retain moisture. I don’t think there is much difference between pure cane and other sugars. But, I find the crystals in the generic pure cane are a bit larger and more “irregular” which give a bit more “scrubbieness” to the scrub. If that makes sense. They take longer to dissolve and are more abrasive so they are great for elbows, heels and knees. Imperial makes a better face scrub since it’s a finer gain of sugar. your mileage may vary.

        Oh, I don’t advise using sea salt I tried it. Ouch;salt and abrasives are two things that should not be mixed!

      • Catherine's not naturally crafty says

        Oh, Listerine will have anti-biotic properties that might help some kinds of foot scaling caused by fungi. but it also has sugars that contribute to fungal growth and alcohols which are very drying. So it’s definitely a double edged sword.

    • A.D. says

      I have some before & afters I’d also like to post..the remedy does work ☆☆

  2. says

    Try using Epsom salt in warm water, soak 15 to 20 minor longer if some one will warm it up with more hot water. Use a face towel and buff off the dead skin. Apply a good moisturizer/ lotion. Repeat if necessary.

    Wear socks on carpets. Carpet fibers can leave real fine cuts/openings in your bare feet! (Fm the Diabetic Dr.). This has made a reL big difference in my feet and heels.

  3. says

    I am DYING to know why this works as it makes no sense. There’s a high percentage of alcohol in mouthwash which should be drying. Hmm… I’d love to know if the place you found this info explained how it works.

  4. Jeanne says

    Hi Jillee,
    Glad this worked for you! I have also read on “The People’s Pharmacy” website, that many people have had success with soaking their feet just in Listerine and water to get rid of toenail fungus! I guess it’s the anti microbial properties of it. I just thought I would add this since it’s a bonus effect!

    Thanks for all your tips!

    • Colleen says

      I tried it tonight, after many many other items I have spent a lot of money on…and this was a gem!! My feet feel so soft, although I know I need to try it one or two more times to get it “all”… I had really bad cracks, and they are almost gone. Try it! Just try, it can’t hurt.

  5. Roxanne says

    Well, I tried it and it stung like crazy even after I stopped and dried my feet. The Listerine burns ! This tip didn’t work for me. Happy for those that it did!

  6. Tracy says

    I’ve seen this all over FB & although it may work to help soften feet I can’t for the life of me figure out why someone would want to soak their feet in all those chemicals. The feet are conduits to the whole body. They are porous & all those long-named chemicals just ooze right in. It’s one thing to do a quick mouth rinse but this? I’m sure it’s not too harmful if not done on a regular basis but I just wonder. For me, I think I’ll stick with the healthier Epsom salt soak, a good rub, slather on one of the “good oils” & cover with some cotton socks.

    • sally says

      When I told my dentist about the oil-pulling that I’ve been doing (thanks to Jillee) he said that he can see why it works since the reason for Listerine’s effectiveness is the essential oils that are in Listerine. It would make sense that it would help with softening since it does have oils – although as you said, the alcohol and other ingredients are questionable. Guess you have to choose your “devil”??

  7. says

    Have you tried Gold Bond Foot Cream? Works wonders!! I use it 2x a day especially after a soak and have little to no evidence of dry skin. Love the stuff !!!!

  8. says

    I totally agree with Tracy. The first thing I thought of when I saw the Title was, ‘I’d never want to soak my feet in all those chemicals.’ In tbose rare times that I rinse my mouth with an Antiseptic (or regular) mouthwash, I feel very uncomfortable doing so! I find that scrubbing with coffee grinds (or a homemade sugar scrub) works fine with me along with the occasional use of a pumice stone. We need to be careful wih what we allow to enter our bodies. Unfortunately, our Government allows a lot of chemicals, GMO’s in our food and the use of harmful dyes that most (if not all) of Europe bans. Since this is the case, we need to be extra savvy and not just go with the next trend without realizing what harm we may be doing to ourselves or our environment. Oh, BTW, I’m a Registered Dental Hygienist for over 30 years so I’m well aware of what’s in Listerine and similar products!

    • Edwina says

      Can you tell me if using Oregano essential oils diluted in water would strip the enamel from teeth?