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20 Surprising Uses For Epsom Salt

20 Surprising Uses For Epsom Salt

Epsom salt, chemically known as magnesium sulfate, has a variety of surprising uses throughout your home. Grab that carton from under the sink and put it to use in these clever ways.

What Is Epsom Salt?

Epsom salt (or “salts”) was first found in the waters of a town named Epsom, in England. As early as the 17th century there are records of people taking advantage of its natural properties. It was once the most popular medicinal remedy in England.

20 Uses For Epsom Salt

The incredible health benefits and versatility of Epsom salt—not to mention that it’s inexpensive—make it a must-have for every home medicine cabinet.  Try some of these remedies:

1 Body Aches

One of the most common uses for Epsom salt is to treat body aches. The magnesium and other compounds are absorbed into your skin and work to relieve aches and pains caused from tension and inflammation. Epsom salt draws toxins from your body to relieve swelling, sprains and bruises. To use, add 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath and submerge yourself for at least 20 minutes.

2. Stress Relief and Sleep Aid

When your body is deficient in magnesium it can lower your serotonin levels, making you sad, while also affecting your appetite and sleep. When you soak in a bath of Epsom salts, it aids your body in the production of serotonin. Magnesium in the Epsom salt not only helps to reduce stress and improve your mood, but it also helps you sleep. Plus studies show that those suffering from Lyme disease can greatly benefit from Epsom salt soaks. Just be sure the water is not too hot (keep it at 98 F). Ask your LLD for more information.

3. Healthy Feet

Not only can Epsom salt be used to help relax tired feet, it can also be used to treat athlete’s feet and toenail fungus. Add 1/2 cup to warm water and soak those feet.

4. Constipation Relief

For mild cases of constipation, Epsom salt can be used internally as a gentle laxative. Dissolve 1 teaspoon plain (no fragrances) in 8 oz. of water and drink. It is always wise to consult a physician before taking anything internally.

5. Anti-Inflammatory

Epsom salt is a great anti-inflammatory and has been shown to decrease inflammation while also increasing the elasticity of your arteries. Soak yourself in an Epsom salt bath a few times a week to lower inflammation that can lead to joint aches.

6. Sunburn Relief

Following a long day at the beach, we often find ourselves grabbing a bottle of the more commonly used aloe vera to soothe sun-baked skin. Epsom salt’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great alternative for relief from too much sun exposure. In an empty spray bottle, mix in 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 1 cup of water. Spray affected area.

7. Splinter Removal

Stubborn splinters often lead us to painstakingly digging at our skin with a pair of tweezers. Instead, try soaking in a bath of Epsom salts first. This increases the osmotic pressure of the skin, which will help draw the splinter to the surface. The magnesium will also help reduce inflammation around the splinter, making it easier to remove. If it’s just a toe or finger, dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a cup of warm water and soak.

8. Exfoliate

No need to break the bank on expensive exfoliants or spa treatments. Epsom salt is a great natural exfoliant. To help get rid of dead skin and to remove impurities, add a pinch to your normal face wash, gently rub in a circular motion, and rinse.

9. Acne Treatment

Epsom salt is also an effective natural face cleanser, containing antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties, making it a fantastic choice to treat acne. Before bed, mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt with your normal facial cleanser and wash as normal.

10. Banish Blackheads

In addition to removing dead skin and clearing blemishes, Epsom salt works well at extracting blackheads. Mix one tsp of Epsom salt with four drops of iodine in a half-cup of hot water. Stir until dissolved. Once slightly cooled, massage the mixture into the affected skin, dry completely, wash with warm water and pat dry.

11. Healthy Hair

Not only will your body thank you for adding Epsom salt into your daily routine, your hair will also benefit. To remove build up of styling products, including hairspray, mix 1 cup each of Epsom salt and lemon juice into a gallon of water. Cover and let the mixture sit for 24 hours before use. Simply pour over hair and let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes. Wash and condition as usual. To add volume to your hair, combine equal parts conditioner and Epsom salt. Apply to hair and let sit for 20 minutes. The Epsom salt helps remove excess oil that weighs hair down.

12. Moisturizing Hand Wash

Want to keep your hands soft? Mix equal parts Epsom salt and baby or olive oil. Store the moisturizing hand cleanser in bottles and keep by your sink.

13. Cold and Flu Relief

woman soaking in a bath

Soaking in an Epsom bath my boost your immune system, increasing white blood cells to help fight off infection. Epsom salt soaks also relax muscles and aches which aid in restorative sleep to help fight off infection. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the bath for easy breathing.

14. Poison Ivy Relief

A cold Epsom salt compress may help bring some relief to poison ivy sufferers by relieving irritation and swelling. Soak a cotton washcloth in an Epsom salt and water solution (2 tablespoons Epsom salt and 1 cup cold water), wring it out, and apply to the affected area.

15. Bug Bite Relief


To relieve the annoying itch of bug bites, mix 1/2 a cup of hot water and 1/2 a cup of Epsom salt in a spray bottle. Spray onto the affected skin. This spray also works well for other causes of itchy skin. Or try this remedy!

16. Washing Pots and Pans

The abrasive textures of the salt crystals help to remove stuck-on food, without hurting your cookware. Simply pour a small amount of salt onto your pots or pans before you scrub them.

17. Grout Cleaner

Mix equal parts Epsom salts and liquid dish detergent to create an effective tile and grout cleaner. Apply this mixture to stains in your bathroom or kitchen. Let it soak for a few minutes, scrub away grime, and rinse clean.

18. Washing Machine Cleaner

Your washing machine can get surprisingly grungy. With use, laundry detergent and other contaminants build up inside machines. Epsom salt helps keep your washer running efficiently by removing unwanted gunk. Let the washing tub fill with hot water. Add 1 quart of white vinegar and 1 cup of Epsom salt. Let the machine agitate for a minute and then stop the cycle to let the solution sit in the machine for about an hour before continuing to finish the cycle. Run a rinse cycle before adding clothes.

19. In the Yard and Garden

The benefits of Epsom salt do not stop in the house. Head out to the garden, where magnesium sulfate is great for greening up your yard and fertilizing your plants. It will also remove unwanted pests and slugs—just sprinkle a line around your garden to keep them out.

According to the EpsomSaltCouncil.org, Studies show that magnesium and sulfur, two naturally occurring minerals that are major components of Epsom salt, may help plants grow greener with higher yields and more blooms. Magnesium creates an environment conducive to growth by helping seeds to germinate, increasing chlorophyll production and improving phosphorus and nitrogen uptake. Sulfur is also a key element in plant growth, helping produce vitamins.

Adding Epsom salt to your soil before planting vegetables gives it a boost of magnesium (test soil for deficiency first). You can also sprinkle Epsom salt around your plants for healthier foliage. About 1 tablespoon per 12 inches of height (once a month). Tomato plants also benefit from Epsom salt treatments—just water your vines with 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt dissolved in a gallon of water every two weeks. Acid-loving plants, like hydrangea, azaleas, roses, rhododendrons, blueberry, and hibiscus will also appreciate the treatment. 

20. Healthier Plants

If your houseplants are turning yellow, they may have a magnesium deficiency. Epsom salt to the rescue! Try adding a teaspoon of Epsom salt per gallon of water and water as usual, and occasionally spray the leaves with the solution, to help them grow more lush and green.

Note: Epsom salt is not an all-purpose fertilizer. It will create healthier, greener, bushier houseplants only if your houseplants are deficient in magnesium or sulfate.

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  • Sam Kivaa says:

    Epsom salt is marvelous

  • Amber says:

    Thank you for this nice article! I was just about to get some for baths, and now I have even more reasons : )

  • Jubril Ellams says:

    Good to know you.

  • Irma says:

    Great information it really works had try a few before

  • JASON FILES says:

    These are a lot of wild claims. There is zero evidence magnesium is even absorbed through the skin never mind increasing serotonin.

    • D. Smith says:

      Jason, obviously you know nothing about the ways of the human body, absorption, and or how magnesium really and truly works. Find another place to air your gripes. Not happy unless you’re raining on someone’s parade, huh?

  • Susan says:

    I almost always have a bag. It’s one of my first go to’s. Nice article, thanks

  • Gary Singletary says:

    I have been using it on plants for years now. It works great.

  • Kristin says:

    Can Epson salts help on cherry tomatoes? How much do you use & how?

  • Gary Koontz says:

    As a family hereditary problem, I would get massive blisters on my feet when walking, mostly in the summertime. These blisters were often 1 inch or more and sometimes layered one over the other. It was very painful. I would pop the blister to let excess fluid out then soak my feet in hot water with epsom salts in it, One or two nights of this and I was able to walk again. was not to long after, all was healed! Never got an infection from broken blisters! This was passed on to me from my dad and his dad who had the same problem. This really works !

  • Connie nelson says:

    Will Epsom salt soak relieve arthritic pain in hands?

  • Carol says:

    Have used epsom salt many times for sprains, works very well.

  • Pam Mullen says:

    I also use it on bee stings and bug bites… A pinch of Epsom salt with a few drops of water directly on the sting/bite… Lightly moisten as needed for about 7-10 mins … Works like a champ!

  • Patty says:

    im looking forward to trying Epsom for acne! THANK YOU!

  • Sandy says:

    I use 2 Tbsp epsom salts in my laundry as a fabric softener. Works as well as the smelly stuff loaded with chemicals(that makes me itch!) and if you miss that nice smell, add 20-40 drops of essential oil(like lemon or lavender) to a container of epsom salts and store in a glass jar.

  • Jan Harker says:

    I mix 1/2 Epsom Salt and 1/2 honey for my hand cleanser. The honey helps heal scratches, etc.

  • Debbie Scott says:

    This information is very interesting. I had no idea that epsom salt was good for that much stuff.

  • Very good info will try. says:

    I use it a lot and will try more. Thks

  • Debbie says:

    I have read to use in your fish tank to eliminate fungus. Dont kniw how much to use

  • craig van aken says:

    We use vast amounts in the organic garden that I am the garden manager. Plus after a ling hard day we soak in a detox bath ofcider vinegar baking soda episode salt sea salt to cleanse our joints

  • glorybell says:

    Will it exfoliate the whole body? How much should I use for this? Thanks for your help!!!

  • Phyllis says:

    Great info-thank you! Also use 1 gal water, 2 cups Epson salt, 2 T Dawn to kill weeds–works great.

  • Lois says:

    While I did know about a lot of these, there were quite a few I didn’t. Thanks! I’ve always used it on my roses and it made them seem to grow like crazy! I’ve also used it to soak in the tub but never thought of using it as a cleanser. My dad used to use it as a laxative but I couldn’t get past the taste. Yuck. Time to restock!

  • audrey tidwell says:

    a good product healthy for use in many ways.Didn`t know.

  • glorybell says:

    Thank you for your help . Can’t wait to try it out!!!

  • Bill FIKE says:

    Good stuff

  • Doris Sheeley says:

    Very helpul information !!

  • Tuinki says:

    Would I be able to use Epsom salt to soak my lower leg that had a blood clot in it?

  • Janice says:

    It’s about time that epsonsalt information is finally coming out!

  • Surf Dogg says:

    This was a very informative & well written article. TY☺

  • Shauna says:

    Thank you for all these health, beauty and cleaning tips! I had no idea that bag of Epsom under my sink was so versatile.

  • Kay says:

    Had forgotten the value of epsom salt, thank you for this reminder!!

  • Nancy Ford says:

    It also helps on your tomato and pepper plants. Great stuff.

  • Pat says:

    I love this stuff!! Use it all the time.

  • Theresa says:

    Just a little note. do not use if you have cancer in the lower extremities. I did and i believe it was shrinking the tumor. Pain Pain Pain

  • Diane says:

    Amazing; I never knew that epsom salt could be used for so many different conditions! Very Informative~!

  • John says:

    the past four generations have been using Epsom salt ,also use it on my animals works on them the same way.

  • Janet says:

    Great tips. I plan on passing it along to some friends. Especially, using it to clean grout.

  • Megan says:

    This is very helpful advice. Many of the remedies listed I never knew. Going out to buy some Epsom!

  • karen patterson says:

    sound like some good advise

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