My favorite thing to do when I get home from work is relax. As in really relax.
Dim the lights, put on some music, light a few candles, and take a soak in the tub.
The relaxing feeling and smell of a few cups of Epsom salt in the water just makes everything a little bit nicer.
But I was surprised to learn there are lots of uses for this product outside of the tub.
One of its main ingredients, magnesium sulfate, has a lot of handy properties that make Epsom salt useful in nearly every room of your house.
Here are 13 of my favorite ways to use it:
1. Cure Constipation
Its usefulness as a laxative is actually one of the original reasons for mining Epsom salt. Ingesting the salt draws water into your colon, which then pushes out any blockages.
Be sure to check with a doctor first: taking the salt might not be safe for patients with kidney or heart conditions.
Simply mix a teaspoon of the salt in a glass of water and drink. If you'd prefer, a few drops of lemon juice or vanilla will improve the flavor.
2. Relieve Aching Muscles
If you're feeling the burn from a little exercise, or dealing with a chronic condition, Epsom salt can soothe your muscles.
Mix equal parts salt and hot water, then store it in the fridge until it's cool. Rub the mixture directly onto your sore muscles for pain relief.
3. Treat Dry Lips
Cold weather brings dry, chapped lips for many people, and it can seem like nothing can give you relief.
Try this: mix a small amount of Vaseline with a few spoonfuls of the salt. Rub the mixture over your lips like a balm and it will remove dead or dry skin.
Enjoy your healthy lips!
4. Treat your hair
This is an old trick, but a good one. You can add volume to your hair with a mix made from equal parts Epsom salt and conditioner. Combine them, then spread the mixture in your hair, and rinse after 20 minutes.
The combination removes the oil in your hair, making it look healthy and full.
5. Heal Bruises and Sprains
You can speed up your recovery from simple bumps and scrapes with an Epsom salt soak. The minerals in the salt reduce inflammation, helping your body recover faster.
Plus, it's a good excuse to soak a sore ankle or shoulder in the tub.
6. Clean The Grime Between Your Kitchen Tiles
I always find this is one of the most annoying and time-consuming chores, but an Epsom salt treatment cuts the job in half.
Start by making a paste that's equal parts salt and dish soap. The mixture will lift away grime very easily.
7. Keep Your Garden Green
Epsom salt is rich in two things: magnesium and sulfur. This makes it an effective fertilizer if your garden needs an extra shot of magnesium.
This cheap product works remarkably well to help grass seed and stay green, so sprinkle it into any yellow spots on your lawn.
Certain plants, including carrots, beets, and apple trees, will also benefit from Epsom salt mixed into their soil.
8. Draw Out A Splinter
Epsom salt actually pulls double duty when it comes to these annoying injuries:
- If you "soak" your finger in Epsom salt, it will usually draw the wood out to the surface of your skin.
- Afterwards, soak a rag in a mix of Epsom and water, then use it as a compress. This will soothe the irritated area.
9. Keep Raccoons Away
The smell of certain household products just seem to drive pests crazy.
Bugs can't stand peppermint oil, and deer will shy away from bars of soap.
It turns out raccoons are just as afraid of Epsom salt. Sprinkling a layer at the bottom of your garbage cans should keep them away from your trash.
10. Relieve A Sunburn
Like other painful, inflamed skin conditions, you can quickly soothe a sunburn with a soak in water and Epsom salt.
For a more direct treatment, mix a few tablespoons of the salt in a spray bottle full of water.
11. Relieves Bug Bites Too
Keep that spray handy, because it's good for treating all kinds of itchy injuries that you get outdoors.
It will soothe mosquito bites, bee stings, and even the rash caused by poison ivy or oak.
12. Get Burnt Residue Off Dishes
One bad accident in your kitchen can send an expensive pan to the trash can. But you can usually save it with an emergency dose of salt.
Fill the pan with hot water, and mix in a few spoonfuls of Epsom salt. Let it soak, and when you return the residue should scrape off easily.
13. Clean Off Dead Skin
You don't need to fill the bathtub to see the benefits of Epsom salt. Soak your rough hands or feet in a tub of water and the salt, and you'll notice your callouses fading.
Have you already tried any of these uses for Epsom salt?