Save Money Give Yourself a Salon Quality Pedicure at Home


Article Updated 10-2020I love to have pretty soft and smooth feet with a nice color of polish, and when I can I will go to the salon, but there are times that I don’t have the time it takes to go to the salon or the extra money..

There’s something special about having perfectly polished toes and smooth feet and a DIY pedicure can be done at home for mere pennies “saving you a lot of cash”,
and you will still have a perfect
salon-quality pedicure.
Check back as I update tips to the article. Save-Money-Get-A-Salon-Pedicure-At-Home.

You might not get your legs massaged like you would at the salon, by the technician, but you can remove the calluses, smooth the bottoms of your feet and heels, trim your toenails and repaint them saving you a bundle. All it takes are a few tools; a foot scrubber or pumice stone, nail polish remover and a file, cuticle nippers, straight edge clippers and a cuticle pusher or orange stick if you have one and *toe separators.

(See * below) Your favorite nail polish color and fast dry top coat.

I shop at the Dollar Store and have found the pumice stones along with remover, toe separators, files and Epsom salts. So if you did need to purchase items for a pedicure it could cost as little as $5.00 and save you a bunch on salon pedicures.Home-Pedicure-With-Long-Lasting-Polish

Saving Money Give Yourself a Salon Quality Pedicure at Home

A little known fact to my readers is that I owned my own Nail Salon as a manicurist and nail school instructor for 25 years and as many pedicures as I have done and recently been reading tips in magazines, I decided it was time to share how I you can perform a pedicure in less than an hour at home, you can do it anytime and your at home pedicure will last just as long as a salon service with a tip I learned when I was doing pedicures in my salon. The key to your polish lasting for weeks!!  


Shallow tub or bowl, towels, cotton balls, polish remover
Epsom, kosher or table salt or foot soak
Pumice stone, cuticle nippers, straight edge nail clippers, cuticle stick
Lotion or foot cream
Base coat, polish, top coat or quick dry
Isopropyl Alcohol

Toe separators or paper towels to weave between toes

Optional: Scrub
A pedicure can be performed at home easily by soaking your feet in a shallow bowl or pan of water with Epsom or mineral salts. You can add essential oils, Lavender, Thieves, Eucalyptus or Peppermint.

First Steps:
Removing the polish from your last pedicure is the first step (and because the remover is drying, apply cuticle oil or olive oil and rub into cuticles to soften, let sit will you prepare for the next step

rubbermaid-2951-dishpan-almond. Prepare for soak:
You want the tub/container to be large enough for both feet, I found one at the Dollar Store. Fill a tub with hot water, (make sure water is comfortable) enough to cover your feet, add a 1/2 cup Epsom, mineral salts or Pedi-soak. Dr. Teals has a liquid and regular salt soak. The Epsom salts will help soften calluses, remove dead skin while removing embedded dirt. I know that working outside in the summer any dry areas will attract the dirt. If you don’t have Epsom salts on hand you can use kosher or table salt as a substitute. If you like bubbles you could add some bubble bath or a few drops of dish soap.

Soak your feet 5-10 minutes before you start, I like to set up at the edge of the bathtub so I can add more hot water if I need. After soaking for a few minutes…….

Time to Trim File and Shape
Now is the time to trim toenails, be sure to cut nails straight across, so to prevent ingrown nails. I like to leave a short edge, you won’t want to cut too short. 

Avoid the use of a course or metal files as it can damage the free edge of the nail and cause your polish to chip. Instead, use a fine emery board or crystal file.

Calluses a Two-Step Process

Now that your feet are soft after soaking, use the pumice stone to remove calluses, add a small amount of *liquid soap, paying attention to the heals and balls of your feet. Be careful here, if you are too zealous, you can remove too much and cause your feet to be sore. I have had this happen at the salon. Return foot to bath and finish second.  *Note add a bit of liquid soap to pumice stone.

For around the cuticle, I prefer not to cut the cuticle to prevent infection. The Epsom salts will remove the dry skin around toenail during the soak.

For Exfoliating and finishing for smooth soft feet and legs
If using this next step, empty water and start with a freshwater: For a smooth finish to your feet and legs you can use a scrub from a Pampering Sugar Scrubb recipe I found that is really basic, you can make at home. Updating 3/4/2021 found a great Lemon Scrub over at DIY Pampering or another Lemon Scrub from Living Chic on The Cheap

My Secret Tip for a long-lasting pedicure (Here it is)

Using your soft file, file downward on the edges, (i.e., see diagram) then smooth the edge of the nail, if you have a buffing block, buff the top and edge of the nail, this will help your polish to adhere for a long-lasting polish job, salon-quality! (No Chipping) Rinse feet and dry thoroughly. 

Save Money Give Yourself a Salon Quality Pedicure at Home

Now you are ready to apply a foot cream or lotion of your choice.

Polishing Tip
*To separate toes use the toe separators or you can take strips of paper towels fold in a narrow strip and wind through toes to keep them from touching, while polishing and drying. (i.e., see the diagram below) A fan is good as long as it is not to close to help speed drying time and there are products you can buy for this as well.

Be sure there is no oil or lotion on toenails before polishing, you can use a cotton ball and use a small amount of 70% alcohol to remove residue before proceeding. If using color, use a base coat before polishing and a top coat when finished.

Use paper towels folded into a narrow strip to wind through toes

Between pedicures, I keep a pumice stone in the shower and a Foot FIle, I add a bit of soap and use on areas of the feet that would build calluses to keep them smooth. Be sure to moisturize with lotion or cream, and be sure to use sunscreen and touch up polish with a topcoat.

Soft Feet Tip: If you don’t mind wearing socks, at least part of the day, or at night when going to bed, what I like to do is apply a heavy coat of “Bag Balm”, a product that is actually sold in animal feed stores and you can find it at Walmart or Walgreens, sometimes you have to ask at pharmacy.

Just knowing that you can do a “pedicure at home” with just a few supplies and the right technique can save you a fraction of the cost of a salon pedicure. But of course, there’s nothing wrong in having a salon pedicure for special occasions.

And the best part: You could even have an all-girls night of pedicures or a mom and daughter Pedi-party, one on one time doing pedicures.

If you struggle with growing your nails you might find this article helpful: Guide To Natural Nail Care the proper way.

Hope you found this article useful, there’s a printable version at the bottom.


Written by Karren Haller Oh My Heartsie Girl © 2014

Print and save a copy:  Save Money Have a Salon Quality Pedicure At HomeDIY-Pedicure-in-a-Jar

Update: Need a gift for a special friend or family member, create a basket and include a “Pedicure in a Jar” products along with a copy of directions on how to give a great at home Pedicure. Suburban Simplicity-Pedicure In A Jar

You Can Download or Print My Tutorial Here

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