Use TikTok's Genius Baby Powder Hack To Clean Your Sandy Beach Feet

After a day at the beach, you might wish you could take the seaside home with you, and in a way, you already do. Sand is notorious for clinging to your legs and the area in between your toes, getting tracked into your car and stuck in your shoes for days as a result. And besides being messy, it can also feel scratchy and painful on the skin, especially for children. One mom on TikTok, who goes by the username @daniellehouston_, has a genius hack to remove stubborn wet sand from dirty feet and other parts of the body — you just need to add a couple of basic household items to your essential beach packing checklist.

In the clip, the mom of three explains that she always brings a sock and a bottle of baby powder with her on family beach days. When it's time to head home, she pours some of the powder into the sock, ties a knot at the top, and uses it first to dab at the sand and soak up any moisture. Then, she removes the partially dry sand with just a few easy swipes. According to the TikToker, the baby powder hack is a pain-free way to remove rough sand from kids' sensitive skin — though you might find it works just as well for tired adults too.

Be mindful when using baby powder on children

The TikTok baby powder hack has garnered a lot of attention on the social media platform, racking up over 43,000 likes to date. However, it's not the first time the trick has gone viral — blogs and message board users have been touting the sand-wicking properties of the humble beauty product for years. As Medical News Today explains, talcum powder — the main ingredient in many types of baby powder — is known to absorb moisture and minimize skin irritation from friction. Its softness makes baby powder the perfect match for coarse and grainy sand.

However, some commenters on the TikTok video disagreed with the hack, pointing out that the substance could be dangerous. The American Cancer Society confirms there's some evidence to support these concerns. Specifically, baby powder containing asbestos-contaminated talc is thought to cause cancer when inhaled. The link between asbestos-free talc and cancer is less clear. One easy way to minimize risk is by keeping the powder away from your little one's face. 

"People who are using these large amounts of baby powder, particularly around the baby's face, run the risk of the child inhaling this very fine particulate matter into the lungs," Dr. Joel Kahan, director of pediatrics at Syosset Hospital in New York, warned Parents. To be safe, limit the hack to the feet and lower legs, and make sure the wind blows the powder away from your child's face.

Other hacks to help keep feet sand-free

The DIY baby powder hack is super simple to copy, but if you're worried about exposure to talcum powder, there's an alternative that's just as easy: corn starch. In another viral TikTok, fashion stylist Christie Moeller notes that corn starch (yep, the same kind you cook with) dries pesky wet sand, making it less likely to stick to the body. Just like the baby powder hack, Moeller suggests putting the cornstarch in a tied sock and wiping it over the sand-covered areas of your skin.

Once the feet and toes are clear, you won't want to slip them into sand-covered shoes. Consider stocking up on hydrophobic shoe spray and applying it to shoes before you head to the beach. These sprays repel water and prevent your shoes from soaking up moisture. In turn, they may also keep wet sand from having a chance to stick — meaning you won't be tracking sand home with you once you wrap up your time at the beach.

Even with these hacks, you might notice a few persistent grains of sand on your skin, or your family's. Remove what you can, and consider the rest to be mementos from your fun day in the sun.