Think It’s Just for Toenails – Think Again!
What are Epsom salts? Magnesium Sulfate, aka Epsom Salt, is one of the world’s hidden wonders! It gets its name from the place it was discovered, Epsom England, a small borough in Surrey, where the salt was produced from the springs that bubble up and meet non-porous London clay.
Epsom salts have many unexpected uses for the garden, cleaning house, pets, and personal care. You can use it to deter slugs, clean bathroom tiles, reduce swelling on bruises, and more! Don’t let your Epsom salts go to waste in the cupboard.
What Are Epsom Salts Made Of?
“Epsom salt is made of magnesium and sulfate, which can help improve health in numerous ways. A lack of magnesium—which helps regulate the activity of more than 300 enzymes in the body—can contribute to high blood pressure, hyperactivity, heart problems and other health issues, doctors warn.
Sulfate is essential for many biological processes, helping to flush toxins and helping form proteins in joints, brain tissue, and mucin proteins.” Epsom Salt Council.
People consume Epsom salt by dissolving it in water, creating an Epsom salt solution, then drinking it.
It is a different compound than table salt, which is sodium chloride. Kosher and sea salt are also made from sodium chloride, but sea salt also contains magnesium.
It is because of magnesium sulfate that Epsom salt is used in many at-home spa remedies. Magnesium and sulfate make the Epsom salt a natural skin exfoliant and anti-inflammatory. It helps treat dry skin, muscle, soreness, small wounds and even to fight illness – especially stress-related illnesses.
How Does Epsom Salt Work in the Body?
When it is dissolved in water, Epsom salt releases sulfate and magnesium ions. The magnesium sulfate particles are then absorbed by the skin and/or muscles. These minerals work their magic by treating inflammation and sore muscles, getting rid of toxins, and more.
Think it’s just for bath salts and in-grown toenails – think again! This little sprinkle of natural goodness is as versatile as MacGyver.
Epsom Salt can be found at your local grocery store, pharmacy, and even your garden supply store.
It has a wide array of uses, and although each may be manufactured differently, they are all the same chemically. Usually, a two and a half pound container will run you $3, more or less.
Epsom Salt Uses and Benefits
There are numerous uses and benefits of Epsom salt. It has been used for many years now, and these uses are continually evolving through generations with the help of technology.
Epsom Salt for the Garden
Epsom salt not only gives health benefits to humans, but to plants as well:
- Get Rid of Raccoons and Foxes – If the masked marauders or foxes are poking around your trash can take a few tablespoons of Epsom salt and spread it around the cans. It will deter those pesky vermin; they don’t like the smell of the stuff. Remember to reapply after it rains.
- Deter Slugs – Getting rid of garden slugs is made easier because one of Epsom salt. Sprinkle it where they glide and say goodbye!
- Make your grass greener – Epsom salt, which adds needed magnesium and iron to your soil, may be the answer to your green lawn. Add two tablespoons to 1 gallon of water. Spread on your lawn with a garden sprayer and make sure it soaks into the grass.
- Bigger, better, and more produce – Studies have shown Epsom salt increases production of peppers, tomatoes, and blooms. One teaspoon per a gallon of water sprayed on your plants every 1-2 weeks can create show stoppers.
- Soil prep – 1 cup per 100 feet will help create the perfect gardening mix for this summer’s bounty. Use a fertilizer spreader and mix into soil. Find more information at Gardening Know How.
Epsom Salt For the Home
6. Clean bathroom tiles – Epsom salt will get rid of that grungy look. Mix it in equal parts with liquid dish soap, then dab it onto the offending areas and start scrubbing. Epsom salts work with the suds to clean and dissolve the grime.
7. Remove burnt food from pots and pans – Scrub pan with about 1/4 tablespoon of Epsom salt and some warm water and rinse. Voila!
8. Regenerate a car battery – Give your battery a little more life with this potion – Dissolve an ounce of Epsom salt in warm water to make a paste and add it to each battery cell.
9. Frost your windows for Christmas – Mix 1 – 1/2 cups boiling water with 1 cup 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 an arc at the bottom corners. When the mixture dries, the windows will look frosted.
10. Do some awesome winter crafting thanks to Epsom salt and modge podge.
11. Replace the chemical-laden fabric softener. Add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to a load of laundry. If you want laundry to smell nice, you can add your favorite essential oil (25-50 drops) to the Epsom salt and keep everything in an air tight container; or just buy ready made scented Epsom salt.
Epsom Salt for Your Pets
12. Give your fish a healing bath. Fish with bladder disorder, constipation, dropsy, and magnesium deficiency will benefit the most from an Epsom salt soak. Add one tablespoon of Epsom salt to one gallon of aquarium water in a bucket or other similar container. Stir to dissolve the salt and add the fish to the solution. Let them stay there 30 minutes, but if they show signs of distress move them back to the fish tank.
13. An Epsom salt bath for your dog. Fido will benefit from Epsom salt especially if it has dry, allergy-prone itchy skin or strained, sore muscles. A warm Epsom salt bath can also help with swelling and speed up wound healing. Add one cup of Espom salt to one gallon of warm water. Dissolve and pour or soak the affected area in the solution for around 10 minutes. Rinse off with tap water.
Personal Uses for Epsom Salt[Tweet “Think it’s just for bath salts and in-grown toenails – think again! This little sprinkle of natural goodness is as versatile as MacGyver.”]
14. Face cleaner – Epsom salt bath uses include skin care! To clean your face at night, mix a half teaspoon of Epsom salt with your regular cleansing cream. Just massage into skin and rinse with cold water.
15. Homemade skin mask – Puree 1 Egg white, 1/2 Teaspoon Pantothenic acid powder (Vitamin B5), 1 Teaspoon Aloe Vera Gel, 1 Teaspoon Epsom salt, 1 Ripe Tomato, chopped, and 2 drops Thyme oil. Apply to face for 15 minutes then rinse off. This is especially good for acne problems.
16. Foot Soak – Soothe aches, remove odors and soften rough skin with a foot soak. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to a large pan of warm water. Soak feet for as long as the water is warm. Rinse and dry. Also helps with toenail fungus, like athlete’s foot. I like to add marbles to the bottom of my pan for an added foot massage.
17. Skin exfoliate – Massage handfuls of Epsom salt over your wet skin, starting with your feet and continuing up towards the face. Have a bath to rinse. This Epsom salt uses for feet up to the whole body can create a home luxury spa experience.
18. Remove excess oil from hair – Epsom salt soaks up excess oil from your hair. Add nine tablespoons of Epsom salt to 1/2 cup of oily hair shampoo. Apply one tablespoon of the liquid to your hair when dry; rinse with cold water. Pour lemon juice or organic apple cider vinegar through the hair, leave on for 5-10 minutes, then rinse.
19. Hair volumizer – Combine equal parts of deep conditioner and Epsom salt. Warm in a pan. Work the warm mixture through your hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse.
20. Soak sprains and bruises – Epsom salt will reduce the swelling of sprains and bruises. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak. Use this treatment after a couple of days after the incident. In the first two days, apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the sprain to help reduce inflammation. Getting in a warm or hot bath immediately after the accident may make the problem worse.
21. Splinter remover – Soak in Epsom salt, it will draw out the splinter.
22. Get rid of blackheads – Here’s a surefire way to dislodge blackheads – Mix 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt and three drops Lugol’s Solution liquid iodine in 1/2 cup boiling water. When the mixture cools enough to stick your finger in it, apply it to the blackhead with a cotton ball. Repeat this three to four times, reheating the solution if necessary. Gently remove the blackhead and then dab the area with an alcohol-based astringent.
23. General stress relief – Nothing draws out stress like bath salts in the tub. So, how does Epsom salt work when used in a bath water? As the magnesium soaks into your body, it reverses the effects of stress on your body, replenishing magnesium levels, decreasing adrenaline, and producing serotonin. Make your bath salts by mixing 16 ounces all-natural bath salt and 15-30 drops of essential oil (especially those that induce relaxation). Store in a glass jar and use three times a week for maximum results!
24. Relieve gout pain and inflammation – 2-3 teaspoons of Epsom salts into a basin of hot water (as hot as you can stand). Soak for about 30 minutes.
25. The new aloe vera – Use on mosquito bites, bee stings, mild sunburn, and poison ivy by soaking a cotton washcloth in a cold water Epsom salt solution (2 tablespoons per cup) for the affected area.
26. Eye health -Rinse your face with a solution of Epsom salt and warm water can help heal conjunctivitis and sties.
27. Detox (aka laxative) – Mix approximately two tsp. of Epsom salts in 1 cup of warm water until it dissolves, then drink. Do not repeat this cleanse more than once per day, and always drink extra water! It can be used for laxative effects to treat constipation, ease bowel movement and increase magnesium levels.
28. Grow more – Add 1/4 cup Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to 1/2 cup boiling water stir until it dissolves. Pour over sponge in shallow dish and place in a warm sunny spot. As the water evaporates, your crystals will grow. Just be sure to check crystals against the original before “harvesting.”
29. Take a detox bath with this herbal remedy.
30. Make your herbal bath salts using fresh herbs from the garden and Epsom salts.
Epsom Salt Side Effects
While Epsom salt has a lot of uses and benefits, it is also very important to take note of its few side effects on the body.
- Overload in magnesium supplements can cause nausea, headache, and lightheadedness. In worst cases, heart problems and death.
- Allergic reactions
- Wrong use as a laxative may cause or worsen digestive problems.
Final Thoughts on Epsom Salt Uses
Does it work? Why yes! This old time remedy does wonder for your garden, home, and body. Don’t miss out on its marvelous benefits. What is your favorite way to use Epsom salt? Please share your favorite Epsom Salt uses on our Facebook page.
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Hi, I’m Gabriela and I’m a prepping freak with a knack for frugal living – as if you could have one without the other. I’m also interested in all things DIY, green living, and homesteading. I’ve been dreaming of a self-sufficient, one-acre organic farm ever since I realized how fragile urban life really is. It takes one push of a button for millions to be left without running water. It takes no more than a four- to seven-day disruption in a city’s food supply for complete mayhem to break out. So, I’m now dutifully working toward keeping my loved ones safe when the brown matter (inevitably) hits the oscillating ceiling device, but I also like to share what I’m learning with fellow likeminded folks as I go.