Ionic Foot Baths: Fact or Flush ’em?

I received the following e-mail today:

Dear Dr.  Kinsler:

I saw your website’s page and felt that you have a wonderful resource which can be of interest to users on my website who are looking for Foot Bath Detox. I have a site that provides…Water Ionizers and Ion Foot Bath Detox Units for Professional & Home Use. Our systems are a safe and effective treatment.
I hope you will find my website another good resource to be added into your website. Kindly revert back with your preferred linking code, hoping for a positive response from you.
Link Manager

Detox ionic foot baths, you say?  Sounds high-tech and healthy!  Actually, it sounds a lot like the detox foot pads I wrote about back in May and decided they were crap.(

The device is a foot bath connected to an electrical source.  The person’s feet are bathed for 30 minutes in salt water that is subjected to a low-voltage current transmitted through an electrode assembly.  Companies claim the device produces a frequency of positive and negative ions, which resonate through the body and stimulates all the cells within it, rebalance the cellular energy, facilities better organ flow and release any toxins that may have built up.  How do you know it’s working, you ask?  During the process, the water typically turns reddish brown indicating the successful “ionic cleansing.”  Different colors in the water are said to indicate toxins from different organs (yellow for kidneys, etc.)

Does it really work?  Sorry.  It looks like, once again, the detoxification apple doesn’t fall too far from the scam tree.  Multiple experiments with ionic foot baths of many brands and laboratory analysis of the water post treatment show no difference in the amount of “toxins” (like heavy metals) between samples that had feet in them and samples that had no feet in them! It seems that a chemical reaction between the salt water and corrosion from the electrodes produces a change in the water color.

Neat parlor trick, yes.  Cure for autism, liver disease and skin conditions, hardly.

It is, however one more interesting way for unethical healthcare practitioners to magically separate patients from their hard-earned money.

 Dear Scummy Internet Seller of Worthless Quasi-Medical Products:

Thanks for pretending to read my blog.  It is clear you didn’t, otherwise it is extremely unlikely you would have asked me to place a link to your silly, dishonest quackbath.  I will not be providing a link to you nor will I recommend your crappy electronic water box of lies.

Have a great day!


Brett L. Kinsler, DC is a skeptical chiropractor in Rochester, NY.  If you have an alternative medicine product you’d like an opinion about, let us know at blog [at]


  1. September 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    […] interesting post today on Foot Bath Detox […]

  2. dan edal said,

    September 21, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Are you sure you are using the right detox foot patch?

    You may be using a cheap and possibly dangerous pad made in KOREA or CHINA.

    For more info on the original patch made in JAPAN, please visit:

  3. September 21, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    I think the patches were made right here in the good old US of A. I’ll tell you what…if you think your patches from Japan are so much different than all the other patches out there, go ahead and send some to my office. We’ll repeat some of the clinical testing and report right here on this blog.

    In fact, I will publicly apologize to your company and edit the original blog piece to set your company apart if the results pass the testing.

    Contact information for our office can be found on the website

    I’ll hold my breath and run to the mailbox every day awaiting your sending product for testing.

  4. Tom said,

    November 23, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I bought into the ion foot bath. First, paid over 600 bucks to a holistic type doctor to put my feet in this. Then, though I can’t say I felt any results, bought a unit on e-bay for around 280. Much cheaper to treat myself than pay a doctor to do it. After my purchase on ebay, I sort of stumbled upon this youtube vide that debunks it. The video is boring, but informative. I was suckered. Please don’t allow yourselves to get suckered, too. Don’t buy one of these or pay for this until you have watched this video.

  5. November 24, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks for your comments and for the link to the YouTube video. I actually found that posters “part 6” video even more convincing. Check it out here:

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