21 Uses for Epsom Salt

Uses for Epsom Salt 21 Uses for Epsom Salt

We use epsom salt a lot at our house. It is a good source of magnesium (here’s why we love magnesium) and has dozens of household uses. Here are my favorites:

  1. As a relaxing Magnesium Bath Soak – Add at least 1 cup of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Splinter Removal- Soak in concentrated epsom salt water to pull out a splinter.
  3. Magnesium Foot Scrub- Make a homemade magnesium scrub (recipe here) for a boost of magnesium and super soft skin.
  4. Better Vegetables- Add a tablespoon of epsom salt to the soil below a tomato plant to boost growth.
  5. Facial Wash- Add a pinch of epsom salt to your usual face cleaner (or to your oil cleansing routine) for a skin exfoliating magnesium boost.
  6. Tile/Grout Cleaner- Mix equal parts of liquid dish soap and epsom salts and use to scrub tile and grout. Rinse well for a streak free shine.
  7. Body Aches- Add 2 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes to help relieve muscle sprains and for a transdermal magnesium boost.
  8. Homemade Sea Salt Spray- Make your own sea salt spray to add texture and volume to hair- recipe here.
  9. Water House Plants- Help house plants grow by adding a couple tablespoons of epsom salt to the water when you water them.
  10. Volumeizing Hair Mask- Combine equal parts of conditioner and epsom salt and leave on hair for 20 minutes. Rinse well and let air dry for thicker hair.
  11. Foot Soak- For a concentrated magnesium boost, add 1 cup of epsom salt to a hot foot soak and soak for 20 minutes.
  12. Get rid of slugs- Have slugs in your garden or on your patio? Sprinkle epsom salt to deter them.
  13. Making Magnesium Lotion- Using magnesium flakes is a better option, but in a pinch, you can use epsom salt to make homemade magnesium oil (recipe here).
  14. Laxative- For occasional constipation, a teaspoon of epsom salt dissolved in water can help. Check with a doctor first.
  15. Beautiful Roses- Add a tablespoon a week to the soil around rose bushes before watering for faster growth.
  16. Soil Prep- Before planting, we add a few bags of epsom salt to the soil in the garden and water in to help replenish soil magnesium levels.
  17. Headache relief- There is evidence that soaking in a soothing epsom salt bath may help relieve headache.
  18. Smooth skin- Mix 1/2 cup epsom salt with 1/4 cup olive oil and scrub skin in the shower for healthy and smooth skin.
  19. Itchy Skin or Bug Bites- Dissolve a tablespoon of epsom salt in to 1/2 cup of water and cool. Spritz on itchy skin or apply a wet compress to help relieve itching.
  20. Minor Sunburn Relief- Use the same ratio in the itchy skin relief above and spritz on to minor sunburns to help soothe them.
  21. Help Kids Sleep Better- Add a cup to kids’ bath water before bed to help them sleep peacefully..

How do you use epsom salt? Share your tips below!

Reader Comments

  1. Amy Nabors says

    One scoop per laundry load as fabric softener…can add a few drops of essential oils for a soft scent.

    • Arlene Boyle says

      I use 1-2 Tablespoons of Epsom Salt in the softener dispenser (or directly to the rinse water) depending on the load size. If you want fragrance, add 10-20 drops of essential oil (lavender or lavender/lemon- get creative) to 4 cups of salts and mix well to disperse oils. Store in an airtight container.

      • Jenny says

        From painful experience, lavender and natural lavender oils and products are well-documented skin and bronchial irritants. May cause moderate to severe contact dermatitis and should be avoided for babies, children, and those with sensitive skin and asthmatic conditions.

  2. Jennifer L. says

    Is all epsom salt created equally? Like, is the kind from the drug store (cheap) the same stuff as the health food store variety (more expensive), as long as it says that the only ingredient is epsom salt?

  3. travelingj says

    i’ve used epsom salt to heal a staph infection on my foot following a mud run. it works great for clearing up skin infections so quickly! i also had to soak in epsom salt baths following a surgical draining of a cyst. so far i seem to find the most use for epsom salt in avoiding major infections. :)

  4. says

    Just a question, on # 13, what is better about magnesium flakes for making magnesium oil? I have wondered this for a while. Is magnesium chloride a more available form to the body than mag sulfate? I made mag oil with epsom salt a while back and it seems to work well. Was just wondering if one might get more benefit from the mag oil made from mag chloride flakes?

      • TheBigNice says

        It’s one of the only natural substances to help me when I have gut pain due to a gallbladder issue. For those who know this agony, epsom salts bring sweet (bitter!) relief.

        • erica says

          Have you tried beets for your gallbladder? Look up gallbladder diet and you will see recipes for beet ‘treatments’ for gall symptoms. Removed my pain immediately and then healed my gallbladder. Best wishes!

        • Lita says

          I’ve had gallstones for over 50 years. Thanks for the info. You might also try tablespoon of fresh coffee grounds in approximately 1/3 cup lemon juice daily for 3 to 5 days. I add tsp of sugar just to get it down. I had them for almost 10 years, they had shown up 3 different times in x-rays. The first doctor to find them recommended a low fat diet, almost like a low or no carbohydrate diet, to control them.
          This was in the early 1960′s before Atkins etc. Worked pretty well, I’d have a pang or two, go low fat for a couple of weeks, it would go away. They were acting up one day, a friend noticed and told me to try the coffee/lemon juice. Took it 3 maybe five days in a row, I think twice a day that first time. It was over 40 years ago, LOL. Anyway, over the next couple of years, I’d get that little pain in my side now and then, take another dose or two of LJ/coffee, it would go away. Finely got a decent insurance plan again, and thought I’d just go ahead and have the surgery, told the Dr. about the past history (not about my little cure), they did an x-ray and looked at me like I was crazy. They were gone. Now, I had gone through 2 more pregnancies, and a surgery for another problem, like I said they had showed up three times, a whole layer of those little puppies in there.
          After that first year, there would be that little sharp pain in my side maybe once or twice a year usually after having ham. Gradually they have gotten further apart. Go low fat for a day or two, drink a cup of cure, past 15 or 20 years I have had very few of those little pains. Maybe every 2 or 3 years. At 73, I just don’t worry about them any more.
          You’re right about the pain. Worse than child birth if you ask me. Have a great day.

      • tim maybery says

        Hi wellness Mama your reply is not correct . If you really want to know how and why Epson salts work on the human body and why doctors dont understand the implications I will be happy to share with you then you can rewrite and share on your site. Send email address to timmaybery@gmail.com 0833896619 south africa. Thanks for the read regards Tim.

  5. bernard says

    Be careful when buying epsom salt. Alot of epsom salt out there are synthetic, they are manufactured in factory from neutralized Sulfuric Acid, which is very high in heavy metals and arsenic. The REAL epsom salt is naturally occurring mineral deposit in spring.

    Apparently alot of these Epsom Salt you buy from “Health” food store are synthetic factory manufactured one.

    Not all epsom salts are the same. There is synthetic one and there is the natural one. Alot of people working in these “Health” store don’t know the bloody difference!

      • bernard says

        Once I bought epsom salt from ebay seller. The package says “Made in China”. So I got suspicious, then I emailed the seller if the salt is naturally mined or manufactured from factory. He didn’t even know what I was talking about. But he checked with his supplier. He then came back the next day and confirmed that it is manufactured one from factory. Go figure… is there anything “natural” coming out of China!?

        The scary part is… this Epsom salt manufacturer in China is one of the MAJOR world supplier of Epsom salt. Their epsom salt made their ways into “Health” stores around the world!

        I then found another seller in eBay that promised that her epsom salt is natural and free from heavy metals. So I bought from her ever since.

        So always ask your seller, chances are they’ll look at you with if you have two heads, but insist that they check with their supplier.

        Another good method is to buy “Food Grade” epsom salt. But your best bet is, NEVER buy anything you put into your body that coming out of CHINA. PERIOD!

        • WestIndianAngel says

          Xenophobic much?

          You have as much (and perhaps more) to fear from beautifully packaged products made in or given the seal of approval from a Western nation as you do from anything made in China. Corporations value making a quick buck over consumer health and are willing to lie, cheat, bribe and litigate to protect their bottom line.

          And don’t forget the primary reason most tainted and inferior products in general make it into American markets so easily is because we constantly demand unreasonably low prices on everything (refusing to think about consequences until a crisis is too big to ignore) and the FDA and other regulatory bodies refuse to do their jobs properly.

          • bernard says

            Xenophobic? I am Chinese! I’ve lived in China long enough to know the kind of pollution and business practice chinese businesses engaged in. Chinese businesses would do ANYTHING to make a buck even poisoning baby formula for extra profits.

            The kind of poisons they put food products, even in baby foods! is truly scary. In western media you’ll be lucky to hear just 10% of the shenanigans happening in there. Chinese government kept a tight control of the media to make sure that international media don’t hear this.

            Do you know? that even Chinese people don’t buy baby formula in China, they travelled all the way to hong Kong and back JUST to buy baby formulas and other food items.

            Yes, all corporations cut corners for the sake of profits. But the difference is, in the west most of shenanigans are being done by the BIG corporations, small businesses are still quite decent! In China, companies big or small practice shady dealings. EVEN the small moms & pops businesses there, wouldn’t think twice to put poison in food if it means extra profits!

            You gotta leave your angelic western life and live in China to really understand.

        • LuAnn Eberly Crim says

          I buy Made in America products whenever possible. My Epsom Salts with Lavender come from Rite Aid stores. And I am NOT xenophobic…it’s just good business sense to keep our money here at home.

    • Melissa says

      Who told you Sulfuric acid is very high in heavy metals and arsenic? Source? From what I know about sulfuric acid it’s simply just H2SO4…no heavy metals…no arsenic. There is also no need to use either in the process of neutralization. Magnesium hydroxide is a cheap compound that would perfectly neutralize sulfuric acid to form epsom salt. I can see no reason that a company would use more expensive metals and arsenic when such an action would result in financial loss for them and potential harm to their customers.

  6. Carol Deml says

    Make your own Bath Salts. Just mix together the following

    3/4 cup Epsom salts

    1/2 cup coarse sea salt

    1/4 cup baking soda

    8 drops essential oil

    food coloring

  7. Alma Charlotte Engelbrecht says

    I use Epsom salt to help for inflammation and irritation of broken skin… if you got a wound it cleans nicely… soak in hot water 20min and a cup of Epsom… ladies even for that slight irritation after intimacy. just sit in a bucket or bath with hot water, and a cup Epsom salt, 30min everyday till irritation clears. in the tub when you have pms cramps, it works wonders

  8. Carolyn says

    Caution using as a bath additive for more than 2 days in a row, can cause muscle weakness. I tried it as an experiment just to see if it was true and it was. Did it for 3 nights and could barely walk the next day without shaking. It causes electrolyte imbalance.

    • NANCY says

      I’m confused by this, as magnesium IS an electrolyte. Could this be due to the water being too hot? I’ve read that with magnesium flakes, your bath water shouldn’t be hotter than 101-103 degrees, as only at lower temps can absorption happen; and warmer water actually causes skin to eliminate (sweating/detox effects) instead of absorbing the magnesium.

  9. Charla says

    I’ve used Epsom salts in dilute citrus juice to clear gallstone congestion in several clients. This was verified before and after by ultrasound.

  10. Heather Fischer Freeman says

    What a great discussion! I have been making my own bath salts with Epsom salts and essential oils. Now, I am wondering how great my epsom salts are. Need to do some checking!

  11. Dakota says

    My husband gets a very sore lower back sometimes. I used to have him soak in an Epsom salts bath for this but now we live in a house with only a shower stall (no tub). Is there a way to get the same effect without being able to soak?

    • Bika says

      Mix equal parts of your epsom salts with hot water in a jam jar or other watertight container, and shake until dissolved. This is now magnesium “oil” that you can put on his lower back, or even the soles of the feet – I don’t think it matters where you put it, it’s the mag getting into your body that helps, I think. You can decant it into a spray bottle if you like. xx

    • Kim Kasenberg says

      I just bought some Epsom Salt Lotion by Morton, I also have just a shower, I massaged it into my calves and it really did have the benefits. It says w/ all natural Epsom Salt, so one can hope. I got it at Wal-Mart. I really hope this helps. I know you can MAKE the lotion, but for a quick fix for now, here you go!

  12. Chantellee Brown says

    It is really good for toothaches, especially the kind of toothache that you feel your heartbeat in. I had a painful toothache one time and I placed some Epsom salt and warm water on my tooth and by the next day, the pain was gone and I found a bubble of puss sitting on the surface of my gum where the toothache took place. The Epsom salt pulled the inflammation and infection from my tooth. I eventually popped the bubble and then went and got the tooth extracted.

    • Layla says

      I know this is kind of late, but cloves work really well for tooth pain. My stepfather has awful teeth from a past addiction to crystal meth. When his teeth start hurting, I boil a whole clove for a few minutes, just until it starts to soften. Then you just take it out and bite it with whatever tooth is hurting. It relieves pain quickly, plus clove is known to be antibacterial and antiviral so it will help with infection as well.

  13. andy says

    Have not tried this myself, but I’ve read that you can make your own non-freezing windshield washer fluid if you mix Epsom salt into water in your windshield washer bucket. I’ve also read that some people pour in methanol (Heet gas-line antifreeze in the red bottle) to the mixture. Again, I don’t know if it actually works or what it might do to your rubber window seals, hoses or paint. I would think the salt might coat the windshield, but since I’ve not tried it myself, I don’t know…
    Mixture is:
    1/2 cup Methanol (Heet gas line antifreeze, red bottle, not the yellow bottle)
    1/2 teaspoon powdered dish detergent, for cleaning
    1 cup Epsom salts
    1 gallon water (distilled is better but not mandatory)
    Mix well and then pour into your fluid reservoir. Old “summer” fluid will dilute this mixture, so you might want to remove it first before pouring your mixture in.
    With the steep rise in store bought washer fluid, this appears to be much much cheaper.

  14. Elizabeth Mitchell says

    I taught my children how to take a cup of salts, a few drops of food coloring, drops of fragrant oils (such as lavender or eucalyptus) and mix together in a Ziploc bag. they would make several colors, layer in a clear jar (with lid) and call it “Rainbow Bath Salts” and have an inexpensive gift for grandmothers. (Later the boys made it for gifts to girlfriends.)

  15. Lisa Flood says

    An Oriental Medicine Doctor once told me that in hospitals around the world patients use a magnesium drip to lower high blood pressure. And on that note he had recommended magnesium mineral supplements to a family member.

  16. Gayla Smith says

    I have a dog who has a skin condition where he loses his fur and it creates a scrape looking wound that does not scab. It is also very itchy and his vet says that it is a skin allergy. Would epson salt work for this?

  17. Jane Cooke says

    My Boxer has trouble with anal glands in warm weather. We sit her in tub with Epsom Salts and very warm water to soak and really seems to help.

  18. Lois Pimentel McGeoghegan says

    Thanks for this, it reminded me how good Epsom salt is. I used it in warm water foot baths for the elderly I cared for. They all loved it and I’m sure it was beneficial to them.

    • Pedro Serrano says

      Folks, can anybody say with certainty whether it is safe to apply as a nasal spray? I dont want to keep using it until I know for sure, but when I did it helped me get rid of mucus and inflamation.

  19. Sheila Orr says

    I use it to make bath salts for gifts. A little essential oil about four drops and a little food coloring. Makes lovely gifts. Also use it for grass fertilizer.

    • Cathy Martin says

      You should be adding Bioclean or similar to you septic system. Soaps and oils run into it will get the “action” of the system off. Just add with warm water monthly. We’ve lived here 22 years. No problems.

      • veejae says

        I had a septic man tell me that once a month I should cook up a pot of beans and let it set on the stove a day or so and then put it down the toilet. He said it gave my septic system the bacteria needed to keep working as it was supposed to.

  20. Bill says

    Restore a dead or weak car battery.

    Basically the acid in the battery cystalizes around the plates when the battery gets older slowing the acid flowing over the lead plates. The epsom salt breaks down these crystals allowing the acid to flow again.

    Just add one teaspoon per cell.

    Can even be done on maintenance free batteries.

    Just be careful and wear goggles in case you splash any acid.

  21. Ramona says

    I just love you, Wellness Mama! You are a true source of inspiration, I’m reading all kinds of new and helpful things on your website, I just don’t know how you have the time to manage it all, being a mother, growing a garden, developing recipes, etc.

  22. katie w. says

    I want to use epsomsalts in a gallbladder flush, but I didn’t know if the amount I would ingest would be safe for a nursing baby. By the end of two days you are supposed to take 4 tablespoons. what is your opinion?

    • Chuck Finley says

      I’ve used that amount twice now in a liver flush, I didn’t experience any problems, I’m not a doctor of course but no problems here and I got that info out of a book for doing a liver cleanse

  23. Tracy says

    I would like to know if an Epsom Salt bath (with baking soda for his eczema) is safe to add to a nightly bath for my 18 month old. I have been doing this for him for a couple of weeks, to relax him before bed, but want to be sure its safe. (I use about a 1/4 cup of each) in a big tub.
    I can’t seem to find much information on its effects on a toddler his age. Thanks in advance, BTW, I LOVE LOVE your site and reference it ALL THE TIME.

  24. jazmin says

    Thanks so much for all these tips!! I didn’t know there were so many. I use Epsom salts and baking soda as a detox bath for illnesses. It removes toxins safely and efficiently from the body. Also great for removing radiation from the body (from cell phone and other electronic devices).

  25. Bren says

    I dilute epsom salt in water and put it on my face with a cotton ball. I then follow up with extra virgin coconut oil (lightly) for moisture. It has healed my acne and smoothed the lines on my face. My skin has now become soft and supple.

  26. Jess says

    I recently used it to help clear up conjunctivitis, just using a couple tablespoons in warm water and cotton swabs to wipe eyes, new cotton swab each time, don’t double dip.

  27. Joanne Hamelin says

    Dear Wellness Mamma..
    This is the first time that I have seen your site and I am blown away !
    The information from you and your readers is so helpful for myself and my family!
    I am sending all my 6 married children and 15 grown grandchildren who have given
    Us 4 great-grandchildren with 3 on the way including a set of twins!
    We can all benefit from this Epson salt advice!!! Thank you so much ,I am so glad that
    I googled uses for Epson salts and found your site, I will be buying this Today for body
    Uses and fertilizer uses!!!

  28. janette taylor says

    I have heard that if drill holes in a tree stump that you want to kill, fill holes up with epsom salts ,is this true?

  29. Betty says

    I used it byuting a ring around my palm tree that was turning brown. Turned back to green and looks much better.

  30. Chris says

    My husband and I, my mother, and all my siblings, put a pinch of Epsom Salts in our cup of tea every morning, as does my 96 year old relative who has been doing it for 70 years. Back then, eveyone did this as a matter of course, but it lost popularity when vitamin tablets became trendy. If I miss using it for a few days, my aching joints soon remind me! It has no taste this way, and provides the steady supply of magnesium your body needs with no laxative side effects.

    • Lisa says

      Wow!! Loved this article and the responses equally!!!! Yours has inspired me maybe the most!! Thanks for sharing!! :)

      • Chris says

        Glad I could help, Lisa. Try it, you can’t go wrong. Most of us also have a deficiency of sulphate, so this helps on two fronts :)

  31. Vickie says

    My husband works for a company that installs septic tanks. He says that everyone should activate two tablespoons of yeast in warm water (about 110 F) once a month, then pour it down the drain. Keeps the bacteria working in the septic tank and prevents problems. I asked him about Epsom salts causing a problem and he said it doesn’t as long as the yeast is added monthly.

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