Uses for Epsom Salt

by Merissa on January 23, 2014

in Frugal Living Tips, Stretch It!

Uses for Epsom Salt - Little House Living

Uses for Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is a natural pure mineral compound that contains magnesium, sulfate and oxygen.  Magnesium is a critical mineral that our bodies need, and it has a ton of healthful benefits.  Epsom salt naturally draws toxins from the body, it helps reduce inflammation and swelling, and reduces muscle pains and body aches.  In addition to being great for your body, it also has some effective household uses.  Below is a great list of uses for Epsom Salt for your body and home!

Relaxing Bath for Achy Muscles

Draw a bath of warm water, add 2 cups of epsom salt and soak for at least 20 minutes to alleviate sore, tired muscles.    You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil for additional relaxation benefits.  Why it works: stress depletes magnesium levels in your body. When you soak in an epsom salt bath, your body absorbs magnesium through the skin, which promotes the production of serotonin (and causes you to relax and feel good!). The magnesium also aids in a better night's sleep and helps restore proper muscle and nerve function.  Soak in epsom salt bath 3 times a week for optimal benefits.

Constipation Relief

For mild cases of constipation, one of the uses for epsom salt is that it can be taken internally as a laxative.  Dissolve 1 tsp of epsom salt in 8 oz of water and drink. It may be wise to consult your doctor before trying this method.

Remove a Splinter

If you have a splinter that you're having a hard time removing, you can soak in an epsom salt bath to increase osmotic pressure of the skin, which will draw the splinter to the surface.  If it is just a finger or toe, simply dissolve 2 tbsp of epsom salt in a cup of water and soak the affected area.

Treat your House Plants

Epsom salt isn't just for people: your house plants can benefit from it, too! Dissolve 2 tbsp of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and water your plants for an extra dose of minerals that they'll love.

Grow Better Tomato and Pepper Plants

If your soil is low in magnesium, pour a tablespoon of epsom salt in the hole before planting tomatoes or peppers to give them enough magnesium to flourish and thrive.
*Get more Frugal Gardening Tips here.

Exfoliate your Face 

For a natural exfoliant, add a little pinch of epsom salt to your normal face wash, and gently rub your face with circular motions, and rinse.  It will help bring out impurities and rid your face of dead skin.

Uses for Epsom Salt

Detoxing Foot Soak

Combine 1/8 cup epsom salt, 1/8 cup sea salt an 1/4 cup baking soda to a foot bath or sturdy container large enough for your feet.  Pour in hot water and soak feet for 30 minutes to alleviate tired feet and draw toxins out of your body. The pores on the bottom of the feet are the largest pores in the body, which is why they are a great place to draw out toxins.  For optimal benefits, soak feet once a week.

Add More Volume to Hair

Excessive oil in the hair is a main cause for flat hair.  To naturally reduce the oil in your hair, add 1/2 cup epsom salt to a bottle of shampoo.  While hair is still dry, gently massage 1 tbsp of mixture into hair and rinse with cold water.  Then pour apple cider vinegar onto hair and leave for 5 minutes, and rinse.
*Learn to Make Your Own Shampoo here.

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Sunburn Relief

To relieve sunburn pains and reduce healing time, soak in a warm bath with 2 cups of epsom salt for at least 20 minutes. It will ease the pain and reduce the skin's inflammation.
*Find more Natural Sunburn Relief here.

Bee Stings and Other Bug Bites

Similar to a splinter, an epsom salt water soak will help draw out a bee stinger if it is stuck in the skin.  Epsom salt also helps with itchiness and inflammation associated with other bug bites.  Soak affected skin in an epsom salt solution for 20 minutes.

Clean Tile

The abrasiveness of epsom salt combined with liquid dish detergent can help your tile shine.   Mix equal parts epsom salt and liquid dish detergent and scrub tile or grout until clean.  Rinse with clean water.
*Find more Homemade Cleaners recipes here.

Soft Skin Salt Scrub

Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup epsom salt for a soft skin salt scrub.  Rub into skin while in the shower, rinse, and you will be left with soft, exfoliated skin.
*Get the recipe for a Sugar Scrub here.

What are your favorite uses for Epsom Salt? Have you ever tried any of the above uses for Epsom Salt before?


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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 A Pleasant House September 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

I just found you thru Sue at Housekaboodle. Your site is fabulous!!! I am a homesteader at heart, but have to garden in the city of New Orleans in an itty-bitty courtyard. I’m going to follow and share the epsom salts out of you. Hahahaaa. ~Cheryl


2 Merissa September 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Welcome Cheryl!


3 LB September 18, 2013 at 11:13 am

If pregnant, it can help reduce swelling in feet (and that is also what they give you to help stop labor), but be cautious about taking it orally. [Note for pregnancy: it can also be found in some bottled water… so be aware.]


4 Merissa September 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Great tip, thanks for sharing!


5 Latrecia September 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Oh yes! We always keep epsom salt around! One of my favorite uses for it is for a laxative. It’s very gentle on the stomach.


6 Andrea September 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm

The foot soak is sooo relaxing. Whenever I get stressed out, overwhelmed or run-down, it always helps me feel better and have a better night’s sleep!


7 Margaret September 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I love a foot soak in epsom salts. My mom told me about it years ago and I have never stopped using it. Never thought about using it as a facial scrub; I will have to try that next.


8 Merissa September 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I love using it as a foot soak. Add a little baking soda and it’s an excellent detox!


9 Brittany October 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I love using Epsom salts to clean my tile and grout. We used it to clean our grout before painting it instead of the chemical cleaner that came with the kit. It did such a fantastic job without all the dangers of using a cleaner that required you to wear gloves to even handle closed!!


10 Amy M. October 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I’ve used epsom salts for my plants for quite some time. They love it! It makes them greener and healthier even in the hottest months. I just add a bit too my watering can (I never measure lol)


11 Glenda S. October 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I love Epson salt, but if you are a diabetic, you need to be careful with it or any salt product. I am not sure why, but always ask your healthcare provider about such things!


12 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Thanks for the warning!


13 Lin Vollmer January 30, 2015 at 9:26 pm

Epsom salts are not any kind of sodium. And, in fact, they can lower blood pressure, but care should be taken not to soak too long, causing blood pressure to go too low. The Epsom salts do contain magnesium, which gets absorbed into the skin, possibly causing diabetics’ blood sugar to go too low when soaking in a tub. Because diabetics typically have poor circulation in their feet, foot soaks with ES could cause dryness and irritation, leading to cracking and infection. I’m wondering if diabetics could be affected by eating tomatoes and peppers that have had ES added to the water they’re watered with. I wouldn’t think so, since we do need magnesium for many vital functions in our bodies. But, being a diabetic, I would like to know for sure before using it in watering my tomato plants and pepper plants.


14 Regina January 23, 2014 at 8:31 am

I use Epsom Salts in my fabric softener dispenser instead of fabric softener. I fill a clear glass canister jar about 1/3 with the salts, add a few drops of essential oil, then stir. I repeat until jar is full. I use a metal coffee scoop to get the salts from jar to washer. It will remove any soap residue in your laundry (which keeps your clothes softer and towels more absorbent) and allows you to scent your laundry with the fragrance of your choice.


15 Anna Buitendorp May 8, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I also use this method to make them into fabric softeners, or homemade unstoppables.


16 pam July 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm

is that ok to do that. will it do anything bad to your washer because its not liquid?


17 sara January 23, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Hi..the uses you have put up are really good..thank you..
I had to have some epsom salts once…i got mastitis after giving birth to my eldest daughter..ooh i was in agony..this midwife disappeared and came back with a glass of what i thought was water…no it was epsom salts in the was disgusting..almost threw it back up..she stood there arms folded..foot tapping until i drank it all…vile..and it didn’t work..i would rather use it for cleaning


18 Helen October 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Perhaps it would have worked better had you soaked the area affected. lol 😉


19 sara November 1, 2014 at 6:01 am

HAHA..yes maybe..the midwife told me to drink sure she was some kind of sadist..


20 Sherry Snow January 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I drill holes in stumps and pour epsom salt in holes add water and in a year the stump is rotted and easier to clean up, works great with bushes you want gone, trying it now on a apple tree stump, so far it’s looking pretty good !


21 Brenda Matthews October 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I have been trying to get rid of my overgrown Yucca plants, I keep digging them up but they keep coming back so I’m going to try this


22 Marissa January 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Merissa, hi! I just found your site today! I love Epsom salt! Sometimes I indulge and buy the bag that is infused with lavender for bathing and foot soaks. 🙂
Thanks for sharing all the info! Very useful!



23 Merissa January 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Welcome Marissa!


24 Peggy Stenglein April 4, 2014 at 5:52 am

We use Epsom Salt in our house often!! My youngest daughter runs for her school’s track and field team and often has sore muscles from running, especially now since it’s the start of the season, and also gets muscle cramps, so he is having lots of Epsom Salt soaks lately, plus we use them in the garden too with our tomatoes. I haven’t tried them with peppers, but will do so. Also, I love the fabric scent refreshers for the washing machine (Purex Crystals) especially, and I think they are largely epsom salts with fragrance. I”m going to try adding some essential oils to a batch of epsom salts to see if it works. 🙂


25 Tina May 17, 2014 at 1:46 am

Earaches. Since I could remember when we had an earache my mom would go get a deep pan fill it with water and boil the water and add Epson salt and she would boil the water until the salt desolved. She would then go get a wash cloth and let it soak in the pan and a zip lock bag. My mom would get the kitchen tongs and take the wash cloth out very carefully and try to squeeze as much water out and fold the hot wash cloth and put it the zip lock bag and wrap it in a small hand towel and we would lay down with the hot pack on the side of the earache and believe it or not in just a couple of hours earache was gone


26 Shelley McQuade May 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Love all of the information on used with Epsom salts


27 Rhonda D. June 9, 2014 at 11:25 pm

For as long as I can remember, my family used Epsom salt and ointment (Watkins Petro-Carbo Salve) on bandages, to bring out the infection on cuts, sores, & injuries. It really works! Just take your bandage, put some ointment on it, then add a few bits of Epsom salts onto the ointment. Leave bandage on overnight, replace it when needed and it literally draws out the infection. It is a must-have in my medicine cabinet.


28 Joanne June 10, 2014 at 11:18 am

As a beauty therapist, there are many natural substances u can use as an exfoliant to help u remove dead skin cells. However, u really need to consider the size of the particles ur using, as u can do ur skin more damage than good.
The purpose of exfoliation is to reduce or remove the dry, flaky cells of the straum corneum, revealing the fresh, newer skin below. Large, sharp crystals should not be used on the face, as they simply gouge huge channels thru the stratum corneum & into these sensitive layers.
There is no reason that crystals can’t be ground down in a coffee grinder or with a mortar & pestle to make them safer to use on the face, but as they are, straight from the packet, I would only consider them safe to be used on hands & feet.


29 Aida F. July 5, 2014 at 6:23 am

Hi Merissa, I found your website through Plant Care Today and I LOVE it! I use epsom salts for soaking my achy muscles and it really does relax your body andmakes for a great night’s sleep, I’m always telling my family to try it. I’ve also been using it for my indoor plants and vgetable gardens. My plants thrive with this and grow greener and faster. You have a new follower, thank you for your great articles. 🙂


30 Annie July 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm

When I was a child I had a large open wound on my ankle that developed a staff infection (after sneaking off for a swim in a farmers pond). The Dr. wanted to do a surgical debridement, but my mother (a WWII RN) said, “Give me three days to clear it up myself.” Every 45 minutes I had a 15 minute Epson salts foot soak. In 72 hours the infection was all drawn out and I was back on my way to healing. Wouldn’t live without my Epson salts.


31 Elinor July 9, 2014 at 11:03 am

On Facebook I saw a recipe for weed control using 1gallon vinegar, 2 cups Epsom salt, and 1/4 cup blue Dawn dish soap. Has anyone tried this? We need to get rid of poison ivy. Would the salt dissolve so it would work in a sprayer? I do not want to use toxic chemicals. We are on a small lake, so we need to be especially careful. Thank you, El


32 Norma Ellis December 22, 2014 at 11:56 pm

I have enjoyed reading all the uses for Epsom Salts. I have been using it for my plants and garden for several years, and yes, my tomato and pepper crop was really something else, this year. Is still have lettuce in my garden, as well as celery (in December). It is such a great, cheap product to keep on hand, as it has so many uses. I live in North Florida.


33 Sandra Scoggins January 29, 2015 at 11:47 pm

Hi. I just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful information and DIY projects. As the mother of a 3 year old, I want simple, wholesome, natural things for my daughter but being the SINGLE mother of a 3 year old, cost is always a concern for me. I love the inexpensive, natural recipes you feature. What I can’t do with money I can make up for with a little time and effort and she is so worth it. Again, thanks.


34 Kristin July 23, 2015 at 3:32 am

I love to use a mixture of equal parts of Extra Virgin organic Coconut Oil & Organic Aloe Vera Gel (from Trader Joe’s). It makes a really nice refreshing, creamy, fluffy type consistency. I have also added a small amount of witch hazel (enough to just thin out the mixture so I could pour out of the bottle easier.) Its also good for sunburn. 🙂


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