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Epsom Salt Regular and out of ordinary uses

Updated on November 13, 2011

Epsom Salt What is it?

First a little quick chemistry lesson and then on to the applications of Epsom Salt.

 It is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in water, especially oceans. Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate.  It was discovered in Epsom, England around the 1500's, from distilled water.  The chemical formula is MgSO4-7H2O, and has a white crystalline appearance.  

Epsom Salts can easily be bought at drug stores or supermarkets.  It also may be available at some hardware stores.  Inexpensive and has a wide range of applications.  

Medical and Health Applications.

Starting with the most popular application:

Epsom Salt Baths. Two cups in a tub of hot water brings a stress relief, especially after a hard day. Through this it eases the stress, increase energy levels, and gives a relaxed feeling. In other words an escape from the stress we are in. It should be noted that your skin is your biggest organ, and that some of the magnesium in Epsom will get absorbed into your body. That is good, for the Magnesium helps some 325 enzymes, as well as a key role in muscles control, elimination of harmful toxins, muscle control, and so on.

Also as a bath salt, it leaves no residue like regular salt would, and doesn't dry out your skin. Fact is it softens it. Which leads to:

Face Cleaner: Suggestion is to mix a 1/2 teaspoon Epsom with your regular cleansing cream. Massage into your skin and rinse with cold water. It will then serve to soften and exfoliate old skin cells.

Blackheads: 1 teaspoon Epsom and 3 drops of Iodine in 1/2 Cup of boiling water. Let the the mixture cool, to where you can insert your finger in it. Now apply with a cotton ball (or swab) to the blackhead. Repeat 3-4 times, reheating the solution if necessary. Gently remove the blackhead and then dab the area with an alcohol based astringent.

Note: It is safe to ingest Epsom Salt, and is an FDA approved laxative. But as with anything medical consult your Doctor before doing it yourself. Remember your skin will absorb the Magnesium and Sulfates.

Exfoliate: 2 cups of Epsom Salt with 1/4 cup petroleum jelly, and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Gently scrub the dry skin patches, with the mixture.

Soaking Feet: Same benefits as bathing, it reduces the stress. But it is also used to eliminate fungi that cause athletes foot. Once to twice a day soak your feet in warm water with a handful of Epsom Salt. Combine this with keeping your feet dry, and changing your socks, plus applying an anti fungus cream. (what has worked for me, in prevention is just regular changing of socks).

Nail Fungus: Same application as the feet but also filing the nail down before soaking so as the Epsom Salt can reach the fungus.

First Aid Treatments

Sprains and Bruises:  An Epsom salt bath to the area of the sprain or bruise will provide relief, by reducing swelling and minimize the soreness.  Twenty to thirty minutes will get the relief plus a refreshment to your mind as well.  Also great for relieving muscle pain.

Splinter remover, Bug bites, and sore muscles:  Yes, it works there too.  By softening the area and drawing out the splinter.   Recommended 2 cups Epsom Salt per gallon of water for the compress.


Now lfor our plants the benefits of Epsom Salt.

A greener Lawn: Mix 2 Tablespoons to 1 Gallon water.  Spread on your lawn.  Then water with plain water to soak it in.  Epsom salt provides the needed magnesium.  From the Epsom Salt Industries Council they recommend 3 lbs per 1250 sq. ft. then water.

Tomatoes and other plants: Every second week for every foot of height of your tomato plant add one tablespoon.  It is good for your houseplants, roses and other flowers, and trees.   For houseplants (2 tablespoons per gallon of water)  Don't treat Sage with it.  

Slugs:  Sprinkle Epsom salt where they glide.  It will desiccate them. (suck the moisture out of them).

Raccoons: Need to control them around your trash can. Try a few tablespoons of Epsom salt, spread around the area.  If it rains reapply, Rocky raccoon doesn't like the taste. 

For the General Garden:  1 cup per 100 sq ft. mixed into the soil before planting.  This will help the germination of your plants, aids in the absorption of phosphorus and nitrogen (two very important fertilizer minerals).

Some other not so Common usages

 Bathroom tiles: The grungy look, equal parts Epsom salt with liquid dish detergent.  Dab it onto the area needing to be cleaned, and scrub.  The salt works with the detergent to scrub and dissolve the grime.

 Frost your Windows:  For the those wanting a white Christmas on their windows look.  Mix Epsom salt with stale beer until the slat stops dissolving.  Apply to the windows with a sponge.  Get creative, sweeping the sponge in an arc at the bottom corners.   When it dries, viola you have a frosty look.

 Regenerate a Car Battery:  If your battery is reaching it's last legs.  Try this: Dissolve about an ounce of Epsom salt in warm water and add it to each battery cell.

Also of note, for the most part all Epsom salts are much the same, unless something is added or not taken out. 


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    • eaglegordon profile image

      eaglegordon 5 years ago

      Angusstorm --- Good point. How much salt? I don't know, that might be a good experiment, and how much it revives it is another question. I will have to try it, being a scientific type.

      Welder --- Quantities? Depending on supplier. Sounds like you have a good basis to experiment with what concentration and how much and how good it is at reviving them. As to connecting them in serial if all 127 are 12 volts = 1524 volts of DC power. Better exercise caution, and a lot of safety.

    • profile image

      welder 5 years ago

      I have 127 old car batteries with no power, If I buy epson salt, can they deliver this stuff in large quantity?

      how many volts can i reach if connected serial ?

      have no bulbs in my house but a bright lincoln welder from ww2.

    • profile image

      Angusstorm 5 years ago

      Your tip about the battery did not say how much water you dissolve the ounce of epsom salts into. I've heard you add salt till it is at maximum concentration but have not been able to find a published ratio/formula.

    • eaglegordon profile image

      eaglegordon 6 years ago

      car battery -- Thanks for dropping by.

    • profile image

      car battery 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your ideas i really appreciate it! Excellent article, I will keep this in mind. More information from Leoch International

    • eaglegordon profile image

      eaglegordon 6 years ago

      Francine Skare: Thank you for dropping by. Yes it is surprising on the number of uses for Epsom Salts.

    • profile image

      Francine Skare 6 years ago

      I always knew there was more to epsom salts than I knew.

    • eaglegordon profile image

      eaglegordon 6 years ago

      Canklefish: Thank you for your comment and hope your research brings some good fruit (rather cures).

      Gaurang: Interesting on Black Salt, for my own usage here I prefer varieties like Real Salt. Haven't heard of Black Salt, would give it a go.

    • profile image

      Gaurang 6 years ago

      High quality Black Salt. Black salt is also known as kala namak. It is a special type of Indian mineral salt with a distinctive / sulfurous flavor. It is not interchangeable with sea salt or table salt because of it’s distinct flavor. It is rich in iron.

      For more details visit our website.

      Black salt, Indian Kala Namak, Himalayan Black Salt manufacturer, exporter, india

      Different types of salts

      Sundaram Overseas Operation, India

    • Canklefish profile image

      Bizz 6 years ago from East Coast

      I'm researching natural cures for athletes foot, and exploring the possibility of using epsom salt as part of the regimen.

      Very helpful Hub...

    • profile image

      MotherReece 8 years ago

      Great article EG, very informative. I use a magnesium supplement for holistic cleansing which my local health food store recommended as opposed to the raw epson salts over the counter. It works great. Readers of your artilce should really be aware of your warning about Epson Salt ingesting and should consult a doctor first as there have been cases of Epson Salt poisoning. If you can ingest this or soak in this, it is a great natural supplement.