How to Create an Outdoor Foot Washing Station

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What You'll Need
Container wide enough to stand in
Drill and drill bits
Pea gravel
Smooth rocks
Hose or watering can
Outdoor mat (optional)

Summer is here and with it comes muddy and sandy feet, which is not so much fun when you have kids and adults running in and out of the house. Whether you have a pool or live by the beach or a lake, you’ll need and want a place to wash those dirty feet before they come into the house. Here you’ll learn how to create an outdoor foot washing station in three easy steps.

Step 1 – Find Your Container

First, you need a container that will serve as your actual foot washing station. Find a container that is large enough for an adult to stand in. 14 by 18 inches is a perfect starting point. However, you can go smaller if necessary. Just make sure that the container isn't too small. You want to be able to comfortably stand in it and wash your feet. Your container should also be six to eight inches deep/high. Any deeper than that and your foot washing station will be hard to step into.

Heavy-duty plastic containers are perfect for this project. Plastic is durable and comes in a variety of colors. However, you can also use a wood container. Just be aware that due to the constant wet conditions, most woods will rot over time. If you do choose wood, try and find a cedar box or tray—it will last longer.

Keep in mind that your container should be as solid and as durable as possible. Thin plastic may crack and allow for water, pea gravel, and sand to exit through the sides rather than through the bottom.

Step 2 – Prepare Your Container

Now that you have the perfect container, you’ll need to prepare it. Drill small holes in the bottom of your container to let water escape. These holes should be small enough so that pea gravel stays in the container, and large enough to allow the water and sand to flow out. Also, make sure that the drill holes are spaced apart so that you don’t split or crack the bottom of your container in the process.

If you want to get fancy, you can also paint or decorate your container. There are a wide range of spray paints available for plastic. Check your local craft or home improvement store for more information. If your container is wood, you can waterproof it by painting and sealing it with acrylic paint. Or, try using a deck paint or stain.

If you do decide to paint and decorate, make sure you allow time for your container to dry and cure before moving onto step three.

Step 3 – Fill Your Container

Now it’s time to fill your container. Pour a one or two-inch layer of pea gravel in the bottom of your tray. This will form a nice solid base. Top the pea gravel with decorative rocks. These rocks should be smooth but not slippery, as they are the rocks you will stand on. Do not fill your container to the top—make sure to leave one or two inches below the top edge.

Place your finished tray somewhere near the house where there's a hose or water supply. Use your outdoor water station by standing in the tray and using the hose or a watering can to pour water over your feet. The water, dirt, and sand will run through the rocks and out of your box onto the surrounding ground, leaving you with clean feet!

Additional Tips

  • A deck, stone patio, or a waterproof outdoor mat makes a perfect base for your foot washing station.
  • At the end of the season, dry out your food washing station and store it for next summer.