Summer worthy feet, the cheap way!

NOTE: Sorry for the late posting. I always post daily at 5 a.m. EST, but this time, Blogger is not posting on schedule at all. *frustrated*


Tomorrow (June 21st) is the official “First Day of Summer”. Did you know that?

Probably, which is why you are looking down at your hobbit feet in chagrin.

I know it can come as a shock when you are finally giving your feet a once-over, coming off a season where you cover your feet in woolly socks, heavy boots.

I don’t know about you, but I abuse my feet during the winter, but every Spring and Summer, I have to give my feet a rest, and a treat at home on the cheap.

Unless my sister drags me, I find manicures and pedicures tedious, boring and painful.

I call them torture salons because when they go at my feet with that brush to scrub off all the dead skin, I’m half laughing and whimpering from the pain and ticklishness.

But, nevertheless, to have sandal-worthy feet, I have to do a BIT of a clean up so they look presentable.

The Prep

You’re going to need the following for this deep clean regimen of mine:

  • Nail clippers/Filers
  • A deep tub
  • A clean side of the bathtub
  • 2 Towels
  • A scrub/paste (recipe to follow)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Chocolate Bar / Glass of Wine / Snack
  • Nailpolish (Clear and coloured)
  • Petroleum Jelly / Shea Butter / Cocoa Butter
  • Socks

The Clean Up

Take a look at your toenails. Cracked? Peeling? Yellow? Kind of grungy?

Grab your nail clippers and filers, and give them a good trim. Dig out all that black toe jam and gunk from underneath, snip off the thick pieces of nail, file out the sharp edges, and make them as toe presentable as possible.

This is the easiest, quickest way to cleaner feet. The toes say a lot!

Some say not to cut your nails while they’re wet, because they’ll crack, and I tend to believe that. So I like to trim before I soak.

The Scrub

Household Scrubby Paste Recipe

I like to mix together whatever I have in my kitchen. I used to buy foot scrubs and all that stuff, but I ended up feeling sick at spending $7 on things that I could find in my cupboard.

Here’s a quick recipe, and you can kind of mix and combine any of the following to your liking, and if you like, probably eat the remainder of the paste as a snack if you’re adventurous 😛

  • Granulated Sugar (Brown or White, your feet don’t care)
  • Baking Soda
  • Oatmeal (Oat Bran works great too since it’s a finer cut of oatmeal)
  • Olive Oil (Or any type of oil)

Depending on what I have in my cupboard, I mix together any of the above. Usually, it’s stuff that’s kind of scrubby. Oatmeal works great in this case because it has a bit of natural saponin or the stuff you’d find in soap, so you’re cleaning your feet as you go.. bonus!

My usual recipe is about a tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of brown thick cut sugar and a teaspoon of oatmeal.

Basically what you’re looking for is a thick, scrubby paste. The olive oil or oil that you use, will moisturize and the rest of the ingredients will help scrub the hell out of your feet with a little elbow grease.

Get a towel close to you, and put the other towel on the side of the tub so you can sit properly on the tub without sliding off it as you’re working on getting your feet ready. Be prepared for a slightly sore back, so keep your chocolate or wine within arm’s reach.

To begin, soak your feet. This is where the tub comes in. Fill the tub with warm, nearing hot water, whatever you can stand. You need to really soak your feet to get the skin soft and supple, soaking up the water so that it swells and the skin becomes softer.

This makes it easier to scrub and slough off the dead cells. Have you ever tried scrubbing really dry, tough feet? It’s a hell of a job. Like eating dried beans, soak ‘em first until they’re soft.

Now, you can use your hands and just grab the paste in your palm and start scrubbing hard, or if the scrub is too abrasive for your palm, get a loofah or a bathpouf and spread the paste on there, and start going at your feet.

Your heels should be the first section you tackle. Get rid of the deep cracks, the dirt caught in the dead layers of skin and scrub until they’re clean.

Then, move on to the rest of your feet, concentrating on the ball of your foot, and a little on and in between your toes. You might also want to consider rubbing some lemon juice or some of the paste on your toenails to get rid of the yellowiness of your nails, like a bit of a bleach.

After you’re satisfied, swish your feet in the tub to get rid of the flakes and grains and dump it out in the tub.

Admire your handiwork.

Dry off your feet and your hands with the extra towel close by and with clean hands, take a bite of chocolate or a swish of wine to celebrate your hard work.

Time to Paint!

This is totally optional.

I don’t like painting my toenails.

I just.. don’t.

I hate the smell of nailpolish, I hate cleaning off the old colour and it’s just work that I am not interested in undertaking. I’d rather be doing other things.

But, with that being said, my sister is a nailpolish fiend. She loves to paint her nails and has tons of tips.

The basic things to remember is to have clean, dry feet.

You also want to make sure your toenails aren’t damp either, or the nailpolish won’t adhere.

You should also consider using a nail file and a buffer to smooth out the ridges in your toenails so that the colour goes on evenly, smoothly.

This is because with ridges and bumps in your toenails, the nailpolish has a higher chance of cracking and flaking off because it isn’t on a smooth surface.

Start with a prep or a base coat (clear nailpolish), let that dry, and then start stroking on the colour with a brush that isn’t dripping with colour, nor devoid of it.

You want a slightly dipped brush so that when you start with one brush stroke, and you dip back into the bottle to put on another stroke, the two strokes can meld together for a smooth finish.

So now that your feet are clean, do a quick little moisturizing action with a TOUCH of olive oil or moisturizer and do a deep rub on the feet to contain the moisture and keep it soft and supple.

Of course, dry skin will not go away forever, so you’re going to need to do a little work each night until they become soft.

At night

This is where the petroleum jelly and socks come in.

I’m talking about using really old, OLD, chunky socks that you don’t care about if they get soaked in jelly and are unusable forever.

As for petroleum jelly, I know petroleum jelly and mineral oil especially, gets bad reps from everyone, but technically speaking, that stuff doesn’t clog your pores.

That’s not to say that those products will NEVER clog your pores or that some people will not react to it based on their skin type, but they aren’t certified pore-clogging machines.

I’ve used petroleum jelly many times under my eyes, and so has Tyra Banks, and my skin has never once broken out because of it. Just because it’s derived from crude oil (which is a natural ingredient if you think about it, as it comes from the Earth), it doesn’t mean it’s awful.

Anyway, this is for your feet, and I am fairly sure none of you will get pimples on your feet.

What you need to do is just before you get into bed, grab the petroleum jelly and with one hand free and the other covered in jelly, pull on the socks carefully, opening the sock as wide as possible so that you aren’t rubbing off the jelly.

This is tricky, believe me. But it can be done.

Do it with both feet (don’t forget the extra attention to the heels and in between the toes), and don’t walk around with the jelly on your feet and the socks on. You’re going to rub off the jelly and it won’t moisturize as well as it should.

In the morning, remove the socks, and your feet will be instantly smoother and softer. Trust me.

You may have to do this a couple more times, like once or twice a week, but it’ll be worth it to get super soft feet.

Prevention is Key

Now, to avoid getting your feet totally filthy, chapped and disgusting during the summer while you’re skipping around in sandals, I suggest alternating between shoes during the summer will help.

I’m talking about wearing closed toe shoes with socks, and washing your feet carefully each time you shower so that it doesn’t cake on and work its way into the layers of your feet again.

And that does it for me!

It only takes about 2-3 hours once you have everything set up to do the scrub, depending on how awful your feet are, and each night, it’s about 10 minutes to rub on the petroleum jelly and cover them in thick socks. Super easy. And CHEAP.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.