Top 5 tips for keeping footbaths clean
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Top 5 tips for keeping footbaths clean

October 30, 2014
POSTED BY: Jessica Light | DVM | MA | Senior Veterinarian | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

If you look at your footbath right now, what are you likely to find? Is it a clean pool of active footbath solution or is it looking a little brown? One of the biggest challenges with footbaths is keeping them clean. In order to make the most of your footbath investment, follow these five tips for improving footbath cleanliness:

  1. Check the color of footbath water

Clean copper-based footbath solution should be blue-green in color, not brown! Dirty footbath water may indicate the need for more frequent footbath changes. It might also indicate a cow flow issue.

  1. Watch out for footbath gridlock

Promote better cow flow through footbaths by positioning footbaths in exit lanes where they won’t disrupt the cow flow in barns and parlor areas. Placing footbaths on level, nonslip surfaces, in well-lit and ventilated areas will also encourage better cow flow.

  1. Monitor leg and hoof hygiene

Cows entering footbaths with noticeable amounts of manure and dirt on their feet and legs will quickly dirty footbath water. Provide clean, dry bedding for your cows to help keep hooves clean.

  1. Check the pH of your footbath

A clean footbath should have a pH between 1.5 and 4.5. If pH is above 4.5, the footbath is no longer effective and should be changed. You can safely lower footbath pH by incorporating pH adjusters. Lowering the pH in footbath water better ionizes the copper, allowing for more available copper in your footbath, which reduces the amount of copper you need to add to each footbath.

  1. Monitor the number of cow passes

Depending on organic load and environmental conditions, efficiently run footbaths can increase the number of cow passes. The current industry rule of thumb is about 300 cow passes per footbath. You can calculate the average number of cow passes per bath by multiplying the volume of your bath by 7.5**

Cleaner, more efficient footbaths help improve Dairy Wellness from the ground up. Consult your veterinarian about hoof health management. Learn more about footbath set-up and maintenance at

** Based on the Setup for HOOF-TEC Complete® poster.



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