24 Beautiful Reasons To Have Epsom Salt in Your Home

Recently I've discovered Epsom salt.  I had heard that bathing in it was really healthy and promoted relaxation.  They had me at "relaxation" and I started taking Epsom salt baths weekly. What I didn't know is how incredibly versatile Epsom salt is, why it's so good for you and how many uses it has, not just for your skin and body, but around your home and garden. I was so excited about it that it prompted me to write this piece to share this with you.  


What is Epsom Salt? 

Epsom salt is named after a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England.  It is actually not salt, but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium sulfate.  Long known as a natural remedy for a number of ailments, Epsom salt has numerous health benefits as well as many beauty, household and gardening-related uses (Source).  

Studies have shown that magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin, making an Epsom salt baths an easy and ideal way to enjoy the amazing health benefits.  Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function and helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches.

Epsom Salt can be used topically or taken internally and is a must-have for every home.  You can buy my favorite brand here, and make sure you buy a big one, because it has so many great applications, such as for: 

  1. Beauty
  2. Hair
  3. Medicinal Use
  4. Home
  5. Garden   



1. Relaxes Your Body

Epsom salts dissolved in warm filtered water (if you don't have a home filtering system for your water, use a good bathtub chlorine filter) are easily absorbed through the skin where they immediately go to work inside our bodies. The magnesium ions break apart from Epsom salt molecules and begin to relieve stress by promoting the production of serotonin and reducing the effects of adrenaline. Magnesium also plays a critical role in the production of energy in cells, helping us to feel invigorated without causing feelings of restlessness or anxiety.  Just add at least 1 cup of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.


2. Exfoliates Your Skin

Rub a handful of Epsom salts over damp skin and remove dead cells, which will boost your magnesium and help your skin to look healthier and feel softer.  You can use this treatment on hands, feet, and everything in between.  Alternatively, mix 1/2 cup Epsom salt with 1/4 cup olive oil and scrub skin in the shower for healthy, smooth, glowing skin.


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3. Naturally Cleanses Your Face

At night before bed, add a pinch of epsom salt to your usual face cleanser for a skin exfoliating magnesium boost.  


4. Dislodges Blackheads

Use Epsom salts to remove dead skin and oil from your pores.  First, exfoliate to remove any dead skin from around the outsides of the blemishes. Then mix one teaspoon of Epsom salt and 3-4 drops of liquid iodine into a half cup of boiling water.  Stir until the salt is completely dissolved and let it cool enough to stick your finger in it.  Massage the mixture into the area affected with blackheads using a cotton ball or a Q-Tip.  Let it dry completely, then wash your face with warm water and pat dry with a clean cloth.  Repeat this 3-4 times, if necessary, reheating the solution if it has gotten cold.  Gently remove the blackhead when it's ready to come out and dab the area with an alcohol-based astringent to disinfect.



5.  Volumizes Your Hair


To add body to your hair, mix in equal parts Epsom salt and a sulfate-free deep conditioner.  Warm the mixture to slightly above body temperature and work thoroughly through your hair. Leave it in for about 15-20 minutes, rinse well, and air dry for thicker, coarser hair.  You can also make your own homemade sea salt spray to add texture and volume to your hair, just like when you're at the beach in the summer.  

6. Removes Styling Product Build-up

To remove build-up of hairspray and any other styling products from your hair, mix one cup of Epsom salt and one cup of lemon juice with a gallon of water.  Cover and let it rest for 24 hours before using.  When ready, pour over your hair and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes.  Afterwards, wash and condition your hair per your usual routine. 

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7.  Removes excess oil from hair

To allow Epsom salt to soak up excess oil from your hair, add 9 tablespoons of Epsom salt to 1/2 cup of oily hair shampoo.  Apply one tablespoon of the liquid to your hair when dry and rinse with cold water.  Then pour lemon juice or organic apple cider vinegar through the hair, leave on for 5-10 minutes, and rinse. Use this handy trick whenever your hair is feeling greasy.  Another idea is to add 3-5 drops of patchouli oil to your Epsom-salt-and-shampoo mixture. According to Sandi Brenner, author of the book "Beauty and the Budget," the oil helps minimize your scalp's oil production.

8. Moisturizes dry hair

Mix equal amounts of Epsom salt and your favorite conditioner in a small bowl. For example, if you use 3 tablespoons of conditioner, add 3 tablespoons of salt.  Warm the mixture in the microwave for until it's warm enough to touch but not too hot (about 30 seconds).  Shampoo your hair as you normally do, then massage the warm conditioner into your hair and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.  Rinse well.  

Medicinal Use

9. Soothes Itchy Skin, Bug Bites and Minor Sunburn

Dissolve a tablespoon of Epsom salts into 1/2 cup of hot water and cool.  Spritz on the affected area or or apply a wet compress for relief.


10. Removes Splinters

To dislodge a stubborn splinter, soak the affected body part in warm concentrated epsom salt water for a few minutes. Magnesium sulfate will reduce the inflammation around the wound and soften up the splinter, making it much easier to remove.

11. Relieves Pain and Soothes Sprains and Bruises

Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and is very effective at relieving muscle tension, pain, and joint inflammation.  One to two cups of Epsom salt in a bath relieves pain — specifically, muscle pain from over-exertion (DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness, which is the pain you experience after a great workout), conditions like myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia.  It also speeds healing from minor injuries, such as tendonitis, muscle strains, sprains and bruises.  Submerge yourself in a warm Epsom salt bath for at least 20 minutes to also alleviate tension headaches and soothe abdominal cramps. Tired and sore feet will also benefit from the therapeutic warmth of an Epsom salt soak.

12. Improves Muscle and Nerve Function

Aside from relieving tension, pain, and cramping, magnesium sulfate also aids in many enzymatic functions, helps to regulate fluid retention in cells, and facilitates the body’s use of calcium to transmit chemical signals throughout the nervous system.

13.  Generally Relieves Stress 

Nothing draws stress out like Epsom bath salts.  As the magnesium soaks into your body, it reverses the effects of stress on your body, replenishes magnesium levels, decreases adrenaline, and produces serotonin.  Make your own aromatic bath salts by mixing one cup of Epsom salt and 15-30 drops of lavender essential oil.  Store in a glass jar and use 3 times a week for maximum results.

14. Improves Arterial Health

Epsom salts may help improve circulation and prevent serious cardiovascular illness by decreasing inflammation and protecting the elasticity of arteries. Having healthier arteries reduces the risk of blood clots, plaque build-up, and damage to arterial walls.  Soaking in an Epsom salt bath 3-4 times per week may reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve your cardiovascular health.

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15. Regulates Blood Sugar

Both magnesium and sulfate help to improve the body’s ability to produce and use insulin. Regular intake of Epsom salts, whether orally or transdermally, may help to regulate blood sugar, lower the risk of diabetes, and improve your overall energy levels.

16. Relieves Constipation

One of Epsom salts' more popular uses is as a saline laxative. Simply dissolve one tablespoon of Epsom salts into a cup of warm water and drink. It helps to also drink extra water throughout the day.

Note:  This remedy should not be used more than once per day.  Also, make sure to check with your doctor if this is right for you.

17. Improves Sleep Quality

If you struggle to wind down at night, Epsom salts are an old-fashioned remedy. Releasing muscle tension is a key element in allowing the body to initiate the relaxation response (or the opposite of a stress response), which is the key for sleep.  Additionally, because the metabolism-supportive benefits of magnesium help to produce cellular energy, your blood sugar can be better stabilized, which is essential for maintaining balanced hormonal levels that help you sleep.  Mix 2-3 cups of Epsom Salts and 1 cup Baking Soda, which is another powerful sleep aid (it supplements the body with extra CO2, which supports healthy cellular energy production, which in turn promotes healthy sleep and keeps stress hormones at bay).  Oh, and it works for calming the kids down at night too, which is an extra bonus!

18. Treats Fungal Infections

Epsom salts can also help to treat athlete’s foot and toe nail fungal infections.  Simply add 1/2 cup of Epsom salts to warm water and soak your feet until the water gets cold to alleviate itching and burning, and to help the infection heal feet faster.

19. Eases Discomfort of Gout

Add a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salts to hot water and soak those body parts affected by gout. The magnesium sulfate quickly soaks through skin and into the swollen, aching joints to help alleviate pain and inflammation.


20. Washes Pots and Pans

Pour a small amount of Epsom salts into those extra dirty dishes before you scrub them. The abrasive texture of the salt crystals will help to remove any stuck-on food more easily without hurting your cookware.

21. Cleans Tile And Grout

Mix equal parts Epsom salts and liquid dish detergent to create an effective tile and grout cleaner.  Apply this mixture to dirty or stained surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen, or even outside and allow it to soak in for a minute or two. Then scrub away the loosened grime and rinse clean.

22. Removes Detergent Build-Up Inside Machines

Over time, laundry detergent and other contaminants may build up inside your washing machine. Epsom salts can remove this unwanted gunk and keep your washer running more efficiently.  Fill your empty washing machine with hot water, add a quart of clear vinegar and one cup of Epsom salts and let the machine agitate for about a minute.  Then stop the cycle and let the solution soak for about an hour. 

23. Frosts Windows for Christmas And Creates Beautiful Winter Crafts  

Mix 1 1/2 cups boiling water with one cup of Epsom salt and 3 Tablespoons of liquid dish soap.  Apply the mixture to your windows with a sponge.  For a realistic look, sweep the sponge in a arc at the bottom corners. When the mixture dries, the windows will look frosted.  For more winter crafting ideas, click here.



24. Fertilizes Plants, Greens Your Lawn and Removes Unwanted Pests

Use magnesium sulfate to fertilize your plants, green up your lawn, remove unwanted insect pests, and prevent slugs among other things.  For instance, add a tablespoon of epsom salt to the soil below a tomato plant to boost growth or add a tablespoon a week to the soil around rose bushes before watering for faster growth.  For another 10 incredible Epsom salt uses in the garden, click here.