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Foot Detox Baths: Worthy or Worthless?


I am receiving emails almost daily to ask my opinion regarding the Foot Bath Detox. As always, I will give you some facts spiced up with my strong opinions so you can decide for yourself whether or not a Foot Bath Detox is worthy or worthless.

For those of you who are not familiar with a foot bath detox, let me explain. The foot bath detox consists of a tub in which you place your feet. The tub is filled with water and then an electrical current is sent through the water. The claim from the makers and practitioners who use this product is that the electrical current causes the cells of your body to release toxins and that these toxins are then, somehow, drawn out of your body through your feet. The release of these toxins then supposedly turns the water different colors depending upon which toxins are being released. The pictures below illustrate the process.

Obviously, there is a reaction happening in the water since it changes colors drastically. Many of the people who have this done are quite convinced and impressed by this color change. People who use the foot bath detox will tell you that they have more energy and that they feel invigorated by the treatment. So, what is going on here? Is the color change really caused by toxins being released from your body? If not, what would account for the obvious change in water color?

To start with, let me not pull any punches. The foot bath detox is a colossal scam! Now, let me back up my contrary position by answering some of the questions I posed above.

Is the color change really caused by toxins being released from the body?

To answer this you have to understand that the body sequesters (hides) toxins in fat cells in order to keep them from doing harm to your cells. It uses fat cells because the substances that are so toxic are fat soluble in nature. In other words, they can only be housed in fat. Your body tries desperately to excrete the other, free-flowing toxins from your body. It does this through a process called detoxification. This process occurs in the majority of cells to a minor extent, but the lion’s share is done by the liver. Your body gets rid of most bound toxins either through your stool or urine. Not, your feet! When was the last time you woke up after a night’s sleep with your covers stained black/brown from all of the toxins being released from your feet? Exactly…never!

So, let’s presume that toxins are being released and excreted through your feet as is claimed by the foot bath detox people. As you can see from the pictures above, the color change is quite profound. It is time to put on your logical thinking cap. The amount of toxins that would need to be released in order to turn the water a dark brown would have to be substantial in quantity. This brings two very interesting observations to the forefront. First, the body hides these toxins in cells because they are indeed dangerous. In fact, exposure to too large a quantity of these toxins at one time could kill you. So, they want you to believe that the body released so many toxins that the water was turned black/brown and that the person actually felt good afterwards! If all of those toxins were released at one time, the MAJORITY of people would become extremely ill and some would die! That’s a fact, Jack. (Movie buffs; remember Stripes?)

Secondly, as all of these black/brown-colored toxins were being drawn through the feet; why would the person’s feet not turn black/brown? Think about that for a moment. They want you to believe that the electrical current is drawing the toxins to the feet in a concentration so high that it blackens the water. As those toxins accumulated in the tissues of the feet and the ankles, they should turn black/brown. Then, as the toxins slowly leached into the water the foot should turn back to a nice pinkish color. This does not occur. Additionally, the soles of the feet should stay black/brown for days in people with calloused feet. I have asked alternative health practitioners if the person has to worry about getting their feet stained and I have always been told that this doesn’t occur. Maybe if they knew why I was asking they would have given me a different answer?

What accounts for the change in the color of the water?

As you can see from my examples above, the change in the color of the water has nothing to do with toxins coming out of your body and especially not from your feet. What accounts for the change? The answer is simple chemistry. Some curious person asked the question of whether the water in the tub would change colors without the presence of a body part. The answer is, YES. Here is an excerpt from the manufacturer of one product:

“Of course, just how dirty the water becomes is related to how much sediment is in the actual water. When you test a bucket of water to see



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