12 Helpful 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 health 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 having good natural remedies for your body, there are also some effective household uses for Epsom salt.

Epsom salt not only has many helpful uses for your body and beauty but it can also be an incredibly useful product around your household. Here are some helpful and effective uses for epsom salt! #epsomsalt #usesforepsomsalt #epsomsaltfortomatoes

Uses for Epsom Salt

Below is a great list of Epsom Salt uses for your body and home! If you’ve tried any of these yet, be sure and leave a comment to let us know how it worked for you. If you know of any other uses, be sure and comment with those as well. This list will be continually updated so if you are a lover of Epsom salt and its many practical uses, be sure and check back.

I’ve heard that Epsom salt can also be great when removing blackheads but I haven’t personally tried that one so it’s not on my list. If you have, please let us know in the comments!

Household Uses for Epsom Salt

Treat your House Plants

Epsom salt, otherwise known as magnesium sulfate isn’t just for people: your houseplants 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. You can also mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salt per gallon of water for a foliar spray. Spray after the first blooms appear. Want to know how often to use Epsom Salt on tomatoes? Just keep an eye on your plants to see when they need a little pick me up, or spray on them about twice a month for a boost.
*Get more Frugal Gardening Tips here.

Clean Tile with Epsom Salt

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.

Uses for Epsom Salt

Personal Uses and Benefits of Epsom Salt

Relaxing Bath for Muscle Soreness and Joints and Sprains

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 added 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.

Splinter Removal

If you have a splinter that you’re having a hard time removing, you can soak in an Epsom salt bath to increase the 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.

Exfoliate your Face with Epsom Salt 

For a natural exfoliant, add a half-teaspoon 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 on Feet

Detoxing with Epsom Salt for Feet 

Combine 1/8 cup of 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 flush toxins. For optimal benefits, soak feet once a week.

Add More Volume to Hair

Excessive oil in the hair is the 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 or lemon juice onto hair and leave for 5 minutes, and rinse.
*Learn to Make Your Own Shampoo here.

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.

Treating Bee Stings and Other Bug Bites with Epsom Salt

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.

epsom salt body scrub

Soft Skin Epsom Salt Scrub

Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup Epsom salt for a soft skin salt scrub. Rub into wet skin with a washcloth 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?

This article on Uses for Epsom Salt was originally posted on Little House Living in September 2013. It has been updated as of July 2022.

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53 Comments

  1. 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. 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.]

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!!

  7. 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)

  8. 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!

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  10. 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 water..it 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 nowadays..lol
    sara

  11. 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 !

    1. 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

  12. 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!

    -Marissa

  13. 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. 🙂

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.
    Blessings.

  17. 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. 🙂

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    1. A few years late, here is my two cents. Yes, it works great. Make sure area you are spraying will not get wet for around 24 hours after you apply. Make sure you saturate the weed or whatever else you want to get rid off. It may take a bit longer than Roundup. However, it’s best for you and the environment. Make sure you stir it well, all will dissolve. Be careful using on natural stones. I have a Travertine deck and the stones started to whiten in the areas that I sprayed.

      1. I use agricultural vinegar (Amazon) and I think it works better than Roundup. It is a stronger/more concentrated version of what you buy at the grocery store. I do not add anything to the ag vinegar when I spray. This works great for broadleaf weeds. For more grassy/slender weeds, add the dish soap to help the vinegar cling to the greenery.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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. 🙂

  23. Hello, Merissa! Amazing site. Glad I was able to stumble upon yours while searching for the benefits of epsom salt. Badly needed to figure out if they are a great help for my feet–fortunately, they are! This is such an amazing article and thank you for sharing. Regards! 🙂

  24. Love the ideas for splinter removal and also for the hair! Hadn’t thought of those. For our garden patches, I take mineral salt that I get from the feed store. It’s cheaper there. And I sprinkle it over my whole garden in the late fall. Helps remineralize the soil. Also, it’s the best to put on driveways for ice. Lasts longer than sidewalk salt, is good for the land, and cheaper. Only negative, it’s pink. So, it makes a pink dusting on concrete. But, it washes off with the rain. We also use charcoal on stings and bites. Keep it in my cupboard for upset tummies and insect bites. Ps… I have bookmarked your chocolate chip bread recipe. Haven’t had a chance to make it, but am so excited to try it out. Every time I see the pic of it, I can just imagine how it would taste with a cup of hot coffee sitting by the wood stove… I’m going to make it as a special treat. But, I think I will have to make a few loaves. I doubt they will last long! 🙂

  25. Thank you for all these Epsom Salt ideas. I have only used Epsom Salt for one thing. On Christmas Eve, I fill glass jars that I have saved all year, fill with Epsom Salt and a white votive candle, and place them outside, running along both sides of the driveaway. They look so pretty!
    I love your ideas, especially the exfoliating idea! Thanks so much for sharing at Celebrate It!

  26. I have used it as a foot soak and as a plant food. I live in Florida and they recommend putting it around the palm trees. I enjoyed reading all of the other uses.

  27. Since I started using essential oils 3 years ago, I always have a jar of epsom salts, olive oil or coconut oil mixed with a little essential oil in my shower. It’s great for exfoliating plus it leaves my skin soft.

  28. I’ve used it for a foot soak and as a soil additive for plants. Didn’t know about the other uses. Saving & pinning.

  29. I always have a bag of epsom salts near our bath tub. We put some in our bath water. I had no idea that you could use it in so many other ways. I love the idea of mixing it with olive oil to make an soft skin scrub and the plant ideas are interesting too. I have some tile I’d like to try too.. Pinning thanks.

  30. Thank you for these helpful hints! Being a person living with Fibromyalgia and connective tissue disease, as well as one with an indoor garden (it’s AMAZING what you can grow using DIY hydroponics with water and soda bottles!), you’ve provided with so many helpful ideas to try. Had I read this sooner, my bean plants would, probably, still be thriving…

    Trial and error, I guess. I’m going to try to put a pinch of ES into the water of each hydroponics and see what happens!

    Disabled, but NOT unable… That’s my motto!

  31. *** I apologize for any misspelled, of left out, words. My hands aren’t working very well today. I should soak them in warm water and ES.