Why Do My Feet Still Look Dirty After Washing?

When practicing body hygiene, it is important to do it in its totality. This means that, just as you wash your face and armpits, you have to wash your legs as well. No part should be left out.

Speaking of washing the legs, do you know that the legs are easily the part of the body that gets dirty the most? And sometimes, after you wash them, you still see that they look dirty? Let us discuss the causes.

Reasons why the feet still look dirty EVEN after washing?

Your feet may still look dirty after a wash because the dirt is not just dirt, rather it is ingrained dirt.

Ingrained dirt is specks of dirt that have nestled on your feet. They do not just lie on your feet, they have gone deep and merged with the skin.

Ingrained dirt happens when different kinds of dirt have accumulated on the skin of your feet for too long and they have almost become a part of your skin.

Most of the time, they would not clear away after one wash. You might need to wash your feet up to 3-4 times before you can completely get them off.

Another reason why your feet look dirty after washing is probably because it has picked up dirt again.

Like I wrote earlier, your feet are bound to get dirty faster than every other part of the body because they are closer to the ground (which contains dirt most of the time).

The only time your feet may not be dirty is probably when you are putting on shoes. Even at that, some shoes cause our feet to sweat, and that in itself is dirt. So, you see that our feet can not escape from being dirty.

It is absolutely impossible to avoid dirt, especially ones in the house, so your feet would automatically pick up dirt just immediately you are done washing.

Lastly, if you do not wash your feet well, they will still look dirty. It goes beyond just the washing of your feet, you need to make sure you are washing them the right way or they would be no different from when they were not washed.

In all of these, ingrained dirt remains the most possible reason for the dirt on your feet even after they have been washed.

How to get rid of ingrained dirt

Having ingrained dirt on your feet can be embarrassing because of how it makes your feet appear dirty and ugly. Not clearing ingrained dirt can also cause a medical condition called Dermatitis Neglecta.

There are two ways you can get rid of the ingrained dirt on your feet;

  1. Homemade remedies
  2. Surgical method

Homemade Remedies for Ingrained dirt

There are two homemade methods that guarantee you sparkling clean feet after you try them out. They are;

The Avocado Oil, Sugar, and Lemon juice Method

The combination of these three items creates a cleaning scrub that works to get rid of the ingrained dirt on your feet.

To do this method, here are the steps:

First, you need to fill up a container with one cup of regular, white table sugar. Then, you add in the avocado oil. Half a cup of avocado oil should be enough.

Although, you can add more depending on how thin or thick you want the scrub to be. You can substitute the avocado oil with dish soap.

After you have mixed the avocado oil and sugar together and have gotten the viscosity you want, add the lemon juice to the mixture.

One and a half tablespoons of lemon juice is perfect for the mixture. Lemon is required for this mixture because it is an effective cleaner, exfoliator, and deodorizer.

Mix all three elements in the container and you would have created a powerful body scrub.

Before applying on your feet, make sure there is water on your feet. Wetting your feet before application is necessary so that the scrub feels less abrasive and more comfortable on your skin.

Water on your feet and mixture in a container, what is next is the application. Be generous in the application of the scrub. Ensure that you rub the mixture, as much as you desire, on every area of your feet.

When you are done applying the mixture on your feet, use a scrub brush to scrub the dirt away from your feet.

Make sure you apply enough pressure when scrubbing. Also, scrub under your toenails and the small crevices in your feet to achieve a comprehensive result.

Lastly, wash the mixture away from your feet with water, and dry your feet. Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly in order to avoid fungal infections.

Then Soap or Body wash method

This is another homemade method that works wonders in getting rid of every ingrained dirt on your feet.

To do this method, here are the steps;

The first thing to do is wet your feet in the bathroom.  Wetting your feet prepares your feet by softening them and making them comfortable while cleaning.

Apply your favorite soap or body wash to your wet feet. You can use any brand of soap but make sure you apply a generous amount on all areas of your feet.

Use a scrub brush to scrub your lathered feet. Applying firm pressure, thoroughly scrub away all the stains on your feet. If you do not have access to a scrub brush, you can use your hands, washcloth, or a sponge.

After you have scrubbed your feet and are sure that you have gotten all the stains out, rinse your feet with water and wipe them dry with a towel. It is important for your feet to be completely dry before trying to walk so you do not slip and fall.

Apply moisturizer to your dry feet. Moisturizer helps to soothe and soften your feet so they can be smooth after scrubbing. Add a good amount of moisturizer to your feet but do not let it get between your toes.

Lastly, wear socks after moisturizer. This is to allow the moisturizer to get absorbed into your feet.

A surgical procedure to get rid of ingrained dirt

In normal cases, getting rid of ingrained dirt is simple and straightforward. Your feet can be totally free of ingrained dirt by regularly washing your feet with gentle soap and a sponge.

When you stick to the cleaning routine, you will notice immediate results such as dead skin cells, and other waste particles being scraped off the body.

As simple as ingrained dirt can be taken care of, there are cases of severe ingrained dirt that require much more than just washing regularly.

These cases may require a visit to the doctor’s office. The treatments for severe cases of ingrained dirt are typically salicylic acid or glycolic acid.

When both treatments fail to work, a doctor may prescribe stronger concentrations or different compounds that will help to break the scales and treat the condition.

How to prevent your feet from getting dirty all the time

Why Do My Feet Still Look Dirty After Washing

We have established early on that dirt is almost unavoidable because they are everywhere we go. However, there are certain tips that help to reduce the amount of dirt your feet will be picking up. With these tips, your feet stay cleaner for longer.

You can prevent your feet from getting dirty by doing the following;

Make sure to wash your feet using water and mild soap always

The best way to prevent your feet from being dirty is to wash them regularly. Washing your feet will erase all the accumulated dirt on your skin, and also keep your feet hydrated and nourished.

Medically, it is recommended that you make it a daily routine to clean your feet every night before bed. This practice does not only ensure that you have healthy feet, it also helps you get a good night’s sleep.

Use a non-medicated foot powder

Keeping your feet clean at all times can be done by simply applying non-medicated foot powder (like this one on Amazon) to your feet.

These foot powders are powerful in eliminating odor from shoes and feet. They also prevent the feet from sweating and smelling.

The foot powder can be used before you put on your shoes or just before you lie on your bed at night.

Wear breathable socks and shoes

Even if all your surroundings are very neat and sparkly clean, your feet can still get dirty from sweat.

That is why it is important for you to wear breathable socks and shoes. This will allow air to pass through the socks (like this one on Amazon) and shoes and evaporate every sweat and odor. This way, your feet do not get dirty.

Cut your nails

Toenails are the part of the feet that accommodates dirt the most. A lot of people do not pay attention to the dirt that is building up under their toes.

If you want to keep your feet clean, you need to make sure your toenails are not overgrown and do not trap dirt. It is best that you regularly cut your toenails.

Moisturize your feet

When your feet do not have enough moisture they tend to peel and crack, and this can be the perfect ground for dirt and germs to live.

Using moisturizers ensures that your feet never lack the required moisture to keep them smooth. While moisturizing, it is important that you pay attention to the rough areas of your feet like the heels and soles.

A good example of a feet moisturizer to use is the O’Keeffe’s Healthy feet Foot Cream. This is a concentrated foot cream that repairs feet that are dry and cracked.

It comes highly recommended because of how well it penetrates tough and rough skin. It takes only a few days before you start seeing results.

Carry Wet Wipes

Wet wipes (like this one on Amazon) are great for doing any household or personal cleaning. You do not have to do any scrubbing with wet wipes as it easily helps in the removal of dirt. Carry wet wipes with you so you can easily wipe off your feet in private when needed.

Using pumice stone

Almost like moisturizers, pumice stones also help to keep the skin on your feet very smooth.

Dirt can easily stick to rough, dry, and dead skin so it is important to use a pumice stone to get rid of the dead weight and keep your feet smooth. With this, there is less chance for your feet to get dirty.

An example of a good pumice stone to get is the Beauty By Earth Pumice Stone. This could well be described as the best pumice stone for your feet. It helps to exfoliate away calluses, stains, and cracked heels. It makes your feet soft and healthy.

With this product, you can go barefoot without any worries.

Wear high footwear

The closeness between your feet and the floor makes it very easy for it to get dirty. To therefore reduce the amount of dirt that will be getting to your feet from the floor, it will help if you wear sandals, shoes, or slippers that have a high sole.

This way, your feet are farther from the ground and that reduces the dirt that will get to your feet.

It is hard to reach a 100% clean environment so, of course, our feet will keep getting dirty. However, with the tips mentioned above, you are likely to have feet that are less dirty than the rest of us.

Why are my feet stained black?

Firstly, your feet may be stained black because you spilled a black content on them. But if you are sure you did not spill anything on your feet then we can consider the medical options.

There are many reasons that could cause discoloration in any part of the body. However, when the skin of your feet changes color to black or becomes darker than the other part of your body, then it may be caused by one of the following:

Reynaud’s Phenomenon

This condition is quite common and it mostly affects the hands and feet. This condition happens when the blood vessels constrict and supply to the hands and feet are cut off.

This will cause your fingers and toes to change color – can range from blue, red, and black. Reynaud’s phenomenon mostly occurs during extremely cold conditions.


Diabetes is a disease that damages the blood vessels and nerves in the foot area. People with diabetes are prone to foot problems that may include discoloration of their feet to black.

Blood flow

This is arguably the major cause of feet discoloration because just as the abundance of red blood cells can cause your feet to change color, the absence or inadequacy of blood flow can also affect the appearance of your feet.

How often should you clean your feet?

The washing or cleaning of your feet should not be debated. You should wash your feet every day with soap and water.

After washing, you should take extra care in drying between your toes in order to avoid developing a fungal infection.

To keep your feet clean and healthy then you should wash them at least once per day. The process of washing should include warm water, soap, and maybe a washcloth or a brush to scrub.

Washing your feet on a regular basis helps to prevent your feet from getting irritated.

Failure to wash your feet every day can make the skin become oily or dry, and this can later lead to a fungal, yeast, or bacterial infection.

The dirt on your skin, if not washed off, can cause warty growths.

To improve and maintain the health of your feet, medical experts recommend that you spend at least five (5) minutes every day cleaning your feet.


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