You've had that bag of Epsom salts in your pantry forever. Make good use of it with these surprising ways to use the soothing salt!
Homemade super-smoothing exfoliant
Mix a handful of Epsom salts with a tablespoon of olive oil and rub over wet skin to cleanse, exfoliate, and soften the rough spots. Rinse off well for a polished finish. This tip also works great when applied to calluses and corns. You can also combine with sugar or coffee grounds.
Frost a window
Need some bathroom privacy, or want to have a little creative fun with the kids? You can create a temporary “frost” for a window by mixing a solution of 1 cup beer and 4 tablespoons Epsom salts. Then paint the mixture onto the window. The frost will wash off easily with water and ammonia when you’re ready to go clear again.
Looking for more suprising ways to use leftover beer? Check out Who Knew's article 20 Ways to Harness the Power of Beer (Besides Drinking It)
Get summer-ready soles
Slough the dry, rough patches off your feet with this great, basic foot scrub using two common household ingredients. Simply mix ½ cup Epsom salts with 1 tablespoon petroleum jelly. If you like, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a little fragrance. Use to scrub the soles of your feet, and soon they’ll be sandal-worthy!
DIY detergent pods
Pods help anyone in your household use just the right amount of detergent to get the job done, which saves money, your clothes, and oversudsing your machine. How to make your own: Grate a bar of pure soap (such as Ivory) until you have 1/2 cup grated soap. (Or you can purchase soap flakes.) In a glass mixing bowl, combine the grated soap, 1½ cups washing soda, and 2 tablespoons Epsom salts. Mix in 3 tablespoons 3% hydrogen peroxide and ¼ cup vinegar. Scoop the mixture by heaping tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. You should have enough for 24. Give the piles-to-become-pods a little spritz of water to set, and allow to dry (about 12 hours). Once dry, store the pods in an airtight container.
Like your laundry to smell fresh? You can add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix when you add the peroxide and vinegar.
Get amazing grass
Did you know Epsom salts are one of the best natural lawn fertilizers around? They’re composed of magnesium and sulfur, both of which are highly beneficial to grass. Magnesium kick-starts seed germination and is also a player in manufacturing chlorophyll, the substance that plants create from sunlight in order to feed themselves. Sulfur, meanwhile, also helps with chlorophyll, while simultaneously enhancing the effects of other fertilizer ingredients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It also deters certain pests such as ground worms. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that savvy lawn care specialists have been using Epsom salts for years. You can either sprinkle the salts on your lawn using a spreader or make a liquid solution out of them by adding some water and putting the mixture in a spray bottle.
Check out Who Knew's article 10 All-Natural DIY Fertilizers for Your Garden and Yard for more ways to fertilize your plants.
A salty boost
Give fine or thinning hair a volume boost with Epsom salts. In a microwave-safe bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons Epsom salts and 3 tablespoons conditioner. Microwave on 50 percent power until warm. Apply the mixture to clean, damp hair, and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse and style as usual.
Cure everyday aches and pains
If you regularly suffer from sore muscles, cramps, headaches, and other pains, a magnesium deficiency could be to blame. (Be sure to check with your doctor first.) Fortunately, it’s easy to boost your body’s stores of magnesium by a third, just by soaking in Epsom salts a few times a week. The mineral is easily absorbed by the skin, and is great for fighting aches and pains, particularly after strenuous exercise. Just add ¼ to ½ cup to your bathwater before getting in the bath.
Don’t spend a bundle on bath salts. Instead, make your own by combining 2 cups Epsom salts and 2 drops essential oil. Epsom salts are made from the mineral magnesium sulfate, which draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, and relaxes tired muscles.