Can You Put Soap and Bath Salts in a Foot Spa?

Can You Put Soap and Bath Salts in a Foot Spa

Most foot spa machines involve an easy, three-step process: fill a provided container with water, immerse your feet into the machine and then, set the device to the operation of your choice. But what if you want to go the extra mile and have a full-on spa day with it? What if you want to take it to the next level and add soaps or bath salts to your foot spa? 

Can you put soaps and bath salts in a foot spa machine? Yes, you can add bath salts or soaps and even essential oils to a foot spa machine, but it is not recommended for machines that come with water jets or air vents since soap or bath salt could clog the ventilation holes and reduce the foot spa’s functionality.

If the foot spa machine you are about to use does not come with these features (i.e., ventilation holes), adding either bath soaps or bath salt would not likely not reduce the functionality of the machine. In this case, though, you will have to rinse out the foot spa machine after using it with these additions in order to keep it in good condition. 

Can You Put Soap and Bath Salts in a Foot Spa?

add bath salt to foot spa

You can add bath salts or soaps and even essential oils to a foot spa machine. But not all foot spa equipment is designed to handle the addition of products. It is not recommended for some machines that come with air vents since soap or bath salt could clog the ventilation holes through which streams of warm air and water enter the machine, reducing its functionality. 

If a foot spa device is not compatible with products, it will be stated explicitly in the owner’s manual. So, it is always advisable to check out the owner’s manual of your device upon purchase to be sure.

Many machines, however, work well with added products; machines that do not come with certain added features, for example, ventilation holes. Adding either bath soaps or bath salts would not potentially reduce the functionality of these machines. In this case, though, you will have to rinse out the foot spa machine after using it with these additions in order to keep it in good condition. 

How to Use Soap and Bath Salts in Your Foot Spa

How to Use Soap and Bath Salts in Your Foot Spa

Adding products and making different product mixes to add to a foot spa is something that is common practice. So, let’s look at ways we can do this without affecting the device in the long run. 

It is advisable, first, to make sure that your machine is compatible with the use of products. We can do this by checking the owner’s manual to see if a provision has been made for this. Once you have ensured that this is not an issue, you can proceed to try out different combinations of products in your foot spa device.

Not all foot spa devices are electrically powered, and not all of them produce warm water on their own. Maintenance of these kinds of devices is a bit more straightforward. A foot spa of this type (one that is not electrically powered) has no self-cleaning properties; it needs thorough cleaning after each use. Then, it should also be subsequently disinfected. 

Use warm or hot water when adding products (bath soaps and others) to your foot spa. If the device cannot heat up the water itself, heat up your water before using it so that soap residue is not given room to stick to the inside of the device’s basin after you have finished soaking your feet. 

Try to use chemicals that are not of a sticky nature; stay away from creamy bar soaps that are made primarily for lathering unto the skin. Bar soaps contain paraffin, an ingredient in soaps that creates difficult to remove soap residues on the inside of the basin. Gel, synthetic, and liquid soaps are a good alternative to bar soaps.

Salt and any type of vinegar in a foot spa device will not cause any residue to be left behind and so will not clog any area of the device. In fact, when mixed with moderately hot water, vinegar can replace cleaning agents both for the device and for your feet. So, vinegar can actually be a great natural alternative to using soaps in your foot spa device as a treatment for your feet. Rinse out the basin of the foot spa device and wipe it clean when you are finished using it even if you use just salt or vinegar. 

What Can You Add to Your Foot Spa?

adding ingredient to your foot spa
  • For cracked heels, you could put a combination of an alcohol-based mouthwash, Epsom salt, vinegar, and warm water in your foot spa. Soak your feet for at least 16 minutes to allow the mixture to hydrate your heels and then gently scrub your heels with a pumice stone to remove the dead skin cells.
  • To reduce inflammation or to help treat a bacterial infection or a cut, tea tree oil or peppermint oil are great options to add to your foot spa. These have antibacterial properties and can also ease the pain from a sore.
  • If your goal is to wind down, go for a product with lavender oil or chamomile tea in it. You can also add actual lavender oil or chamomile tea to your foot spa.
  • Rosemary and citrus are good choices if you wish to increase blood flow. Some people add the rosemary herb or cut up lemon slices to add to their foot spas. A potentially better alternative to this is to use rosemary essential oil or orange/lemon essential oils since these are liquid and lightweight.

Some other foot soak recipes can be found here.

Keeping Your Foot Spa in Good Condition

Keeping Your Foot Spa in Good Condition

Your foot spa device will also need some regular maintenance so that it can last a long period of time. 

As mentioned earlier, it is advisable to rinse out the machine after use, especially if any additional things were added to the water such as bath soap, essential oils, Epsom salt (or any type of bath salt) so that the residues of these products do not stick to the device and cause problems in the long run. 

Whether you put products in your foot spa other than water or not, routinely, you will also need to clean your device. Not cleaning your device on a regular basis may lead to a painful and avoidable bacterial infection. Usually, any device’s owner’s manual will include instructions on how to go about cleaning the device, but you can also follow the subsequent generic procedure.

Wipe off any visible debris on the basin and soak the basin in warm water with a mild liquid detergent if permitted by the user’s manual. You can also soak the basin in hot water and white vinegar or hot water and apple cider vinegar (depending on availability) and giving it a light scrub with a foam washing pad. 

After cleaning, rinse out the soapy water from the basin and then add a water solution with a disinfectant in it. (Only disinfect if it is safe for the unit you own according to your owner’s manual.) Disinfectants usually have use instructions on their labels as to how long they should be soaking in order to be effective. After this, rinse out the foot spa once again and leave it to dry before your next use. Some machines also have filters that will need to be cleaned out. 

Which Foot Spa to Use With Bath Salt

If you plan to use salts and oils, get a spa with no bubbles. This will ensure the spa operates correctly when you add all the things you need to help you have a relaxing experience.  

Conair Pedicure Foot Spa

This massaging foot spa is great for those with achy feet.

It has heat to keep your water warm. 

Collapsible Foot Bath Tub

This is an easy foot bath to use for travel.

This bath easily collapses for easy storage. 

Large Foot Soaking Tub

This spa has a  large basin to soak your feet.

Collapses flat for easy storage.


Have you had a chance to pamper yourself a bit with a foot spa at home yet? If you already own one, maximize the use of your foot spa device by using it daily and keeping it in top condition with the above-mentioned tips. That way, you can continue to enjoy your spa at home without a deterrent.   

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