Epsom Salt for Foot Bath: Benefits, MD’s How-to Guide, How Much

5 Min Read

For a foot bath, mix one cup Epsom salt with every 2-3 quarts warm water.

Use up to 400 grams for a longer bath (30-60 minutes). Use up to 600 grams for a short bath (15-20 minutes).

Hello; I’m Dr. Karim Maghraby. I’m a doctor and Physician Scientist, meaning I specialize in medical research.

Today’s topic is, “how much epsom salt for a foot bath?”. We’ll cover recommended amounts. I’ll tell you how much is too much.

Afterwards, we’ll talk about the general benefits of epsom salt treatments.

Disclaimer: This guide was created for educational purposes. It neither offers nor replaces medical advice. Learn more here.

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Table of Contents

How Much Epsom Salt for a Foot Bath?

For a foot bath, use one cup of Epsom salt and 2-3 quarts warm water.

For a bigger foot bath, use 200 grams of bath salt for every gallon of water.

For a short 15-20 minute bath, use up to a total 600 grams of salt. This is effective for constipation, sore muscles and ingrown toenails.

For a long 30-60 minute bath, use up a total 400 grams of bath salt. This is effective for anxiety and stress.

How to Take an Epsom Salt Foot Bath?

  • Fill a tub, basin or bucket with hot water that’s comfortable to the touch.
  • Add 200-400 grams of Epsom salt for every gallon of warm water.
  • Soak your feet and enjoy. You may do so for up to an hour, twice a week.
  • For foot and nail infections, consider soaking up to 20 minutes twice a day. Add tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar for a stronger antibacterial effect.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly after enjoying your foot bath. Pay attention to the skin between your toes.

6 Reasons to Take an Epsom Salt Bath


Reduce Swelling and Inflammation

Anecdotal evidence suggests Epsom salt baths can reduce swelling and inflammation.

This is why some doctors recommend Epsom salt for problems like arthritis, gout and venous insufficiency.

It’s also a good way to soothe sensitive joints and muscles after a long day.


Reduce Muscle Spasms and Tension

The magnesium in Epsom salt helps relax your muscles. Some researchers say this is because magnesium restores depleted electrolytes.

This is helpful if you need to relax after an intense workout. It’s also good if you have muscle spasms, cramped muscles in your feet or a tension headache.


Help Remove Ingrown Nails

Magnesium dries your skin a little. When used carefully, it makes removing ingrown nails easier by tightening the affected area.


Treating a Fungal Infection or Foot Odor

An Epsom salt foot bath can help with light fungal and bacterial infections. Just take a cup of salt, a half-gallon of warm water and soak your feet in the bath.

You can add a little apple cider vinegar for an even stronger effect. For nail fungus, make sure the water reaches the whole affected area.

Epsom salt can also reduce foot odor by helping keep your skin dry. When combined with ingredients like lemon juice and lavender essential oil, it’s a quick way to get rid of stinky feet.


Getting Rid of Splinters

By drying your skin, epsom salt exposes splinters – which makes them easy to remove. It’s a good way to get rid of wood splinters and glass shards.



You can rub Epsom salt into the skin to exfoliate it. You can also use it to dry the skin a little before using a pumice stone or foot file.

Epsom salt can be especially useful if you want to get rid of a callus.

When Not to Take an Epsom Foot Bath

Do not use bath salt if you have open wounds or deeply cracked skin. If the salt comes in contact with these areas, it’ll hurt and sting you. It could also affect the healing process.

Do not use bath salt if you’re allergic to it. If you’re not sure. apply a little to your skin before using it for the first time. If you see a rash or irritation in the next 10 minutes, you may be allergic.

What is Epsom Salt? How Does it Work?

Epsom salt is salt with magnesium sulfate in it. It was discovered by accident 400 years ago.

At the time, a local farmer – Henry Wicker – found the water he drank from a well tasted bitter. This bitter water soothed allergies and injuries. It left behind a white residue once evaporated.

Scientists hypothesize that Epsom salt works because magnesium gets into our bodies through the hair follicles.

Once the magnesium is in our bodies, they soothe sore muscle and promote recovery. They may also help drain excess fluids and with weight loss 3.

In Conclusion

As a rule, use a cup of bath salt for each 2-3 quarts of warm water.

For foot pain, ingrown nails and other problems, use up to 600 grams in total. Soak for up to 20 minutes.

For general health and relaxation, use up to 400 grams. Soak for up to 60 minutes.

If you’re looking for other ways to stop foot cramps, check out this link.


  1. Wilson, D. R. & Brusie, C. Epsom Salt Detox: What are the Benefits? Healthline (2018).
  2. Whitworth, G. & Whelan, C. The What, Why, and How of Epsom Salt Baths. Healthline (2020). Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/epsom-salt-bath.
  3. Connor, J. & Egan, B. Prevalence, Magnitude and Methods of Rapid Weight Loss Reported by Male Mixed Martial Arts Athletes in Ireland. Sports 7, (2019).
  4. Chandrasekaran, N. C. et al. Permeation of topically applied Magnesium ions through human skin is facilitated by hair follicles. Magnes. Res. 29, 35–42 (2016).
  5. Suresh, S. & Shetty, P. Naturopathic And Dietary Interventions In The Management Of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case Study Report. Int. J. Inn. Res. Adv. Stud. 5, 204–208 (2018).
  6. DerSarkissian, C. Why Take an Epsom Salt Bath. WebMD (2017). Available at: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/epsom-salt-bath.
  7. Sullivan, D. Epsom Salt Foot Soak. Healthline (2019). Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/epsom-salt-foot-soak.


Dr. Karim Maghreby

Last Updated:

July 6, 2022


Dr. Maghraby is a medical doctor and published physician scientist. He’s an avid runner and a user of sports compression gear.