Stale Foot Acid, 1939

It feels like there’s always something new to be body-conscious about. A new zone that hair should be entirely removed from or else some hidden part of the body that now, apparently, should be bleached. Of course, there’s always the accompanying new products marketed to solve our problems before we even knew they were problems.

Well, it was always this way. Just like Skin Constipation tried to become a “thing” in 1937, “Stale Foot Acid” was the new thing to worry about in 1939. It was basically the same thing – clogged pores which could be cured by, well, having a good wash.

Daily Herald, 1st March 1939

Daily Herald, 1st March 1939


Here’s the (not-so) science bit – the sweat from your feet, left to become “stale”, turns to acid, blocks up all the pores in your feet and then starts piling up in the muscles, resulting in corns, callouses, stabbing pains, burning and tingling.

“You’ve got to shift that acid or go on suffering!”

So, what can be done to alleviate this dreadful condition? The “modern treatment” is to bathe your foot daily in water with Radox bath salts added. Radox is the best bath salt to use because it “liberates about five times as much oxygen as other bath salts.” Somehow, this “supercharges” the bath water and lets the acid escape through the now unblocked pores. Hooray!

And as a bonus, you now also don’t have people fainting at the vinegary stench when you take your shoes off.


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