Epsom Salt is known for its numerous health benefits and creating a relaxing and soothing bath time experience. However, it can also be used as a secret cleaning weapon. Epsom salt is natural, affordable and extremely versatile. It can be purchased at most grocery stores, drug stores and health stores. Try using Epsom salt to clean both your body and home.
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It's a chemical compound made up of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It gets its name from the town of Epsom in Surrey, England, where it was originally discovered in natural springs. It can be dissolved in warm water to make a liquid solution.
Wash Pots and Pans
Epsom salt can be great for cleaning stuck-on food on pots and pans. The Country Chic Cottage recommends sprinkling some Epsom salt on dirty pots and pans and scrubbing with a sponge. The abrasive texture will help release caked-on food and grease. Rinse off the Epsom salt and wash with your regular dish soap.
Clean Grout and Tiles
The texture of Epsom salt can get out stubborn stains and mildew when cleaning kitchen tiles, bathroom tiles and grout. The Farmer's Almanac has a recipe for a DIY bathroom cleaning solution. Create the cleaner by mixing equal parts Epsom salt and a liquid dish detergent of your choice in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on kitchen and bathroom surfaces and allow it to soak in for several minutes. Use a sponge to scrub away dirt, mildew or stains and rinse with clean water. This is a great alternative to harsh chemicals and store-bought bathroom and kitchen cleaning products.
Epsom Salt Toilet Cleaner
DIY Natural offers a simple toilet cleaning solution that can remove stubborn hard water stains. Mix 1 cup of Epsom salt, 2 tablespoons of a natural liquid dish soap of your choice and 3 cups of distilled white vinegar. If desired, add antibacterial essential oils for a fresh scent.
Blend the ingredients thoroughly. The Epsom salt may not completely dissolve, but the grainy texture will help with scrubbing away stubborn hard water stains. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into the toilet bowl and allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes to let it work its magic. Scrub stains away with a toilet brush. This is a great alternative to store-bought cleaners.
Use Epsom Salt in a Washing Machine
Even washing machines can get a little stinky. Laundry detergent and other substances can get trapped in the washing machine and cause an unpleasant odor over time. Using Epsom salt in a washing machine is a natural way to freshen the appliance and get rid of any lingering odors.
The Farmer's Almanac suggests filling the tub of the washer with hot water. Mix in 1 cup of Epsom salt and 1 quart of white vinegar. Let the wash cycle run for a minute or so to get the solution moving in the washing machine. Then, pause the cycle to let the cleaning solution soak in the machine for an hour. Next, allow the cycle to finish and drain.
Before running a wash with clothes, run a rinse cycle to make sure the solution has gotten flushed out of the washing machine. This cleaning hack will get your washing machine cleaned out and smelling fresh again.
Use as a Fabric Softener
Epsom salt can be used as a natural and homemade alternative to store-bought fabric softener. The Country Chic Cottage recommends creating your own fabric softener crystals by mixing one cup of Epsom salt with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Use ¼ cup per load when beginning the wash. Lavender essential oil provides soothing and relaxing benefits and is great for use with blankets, sheets and tiles. Experiment with other essential oils of your choice for clean and fragrant laundry.
DIY Hand Wash
You can make a DIY liquid hand wash with the health benefits of Epsom salt. SaltWorks recommends a simple recipe of mixing equal amounts of Epsom salt with baby oil. Put the solution in a liquid soap dispenser for a hand soap alternative. This will clean, exfoliate and moisturize your hands.
Remove Hair Spray
Hair spray can build up and leave a residue in your hair that may be stubborn to rinse out with shampoo and conditioner alone. SaltWorks suggests a homemade hair cleansing solution. Mix 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of Epsom salt and 1 cup of lemon juice. Allow the solution to sit, covered, for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, pour the mixture into your dry hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes to fully soak in. Shampoo your hair to rinse it out. This allows your hair to release the chemical residue and deep clean your locks naturally.
Exfoliating Facial Cleanser
Due to the texture of Epsom salt, it can be a great exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and unblock clogged pores. The Farmer's Almanac suggests mixing a pinch of Epsom salt in with your usual facial cleanser. Gently rub in a circular motion and rinse off. As with all exfoliants, be very gentle as to not irritate your skin and avoid sensitive areas like under your eyes.
Epsom salt can be a great natural way to gently remove blackheads. SaltWorks recommends creating a DIY blackhead treatment solution. Mix 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt and 3 drops of iodine into a 1/2 cup of boiling water. Stir the mixture until the salt fully dissolves and allow it to cool.
Gently apply this mixture to the blackheads with a cotton ball or swab. When done, wash off the solution with your normal face wash. This is a cheaper alternative to face masks.
Is Epsom Salt Antibacterial?
While there are many claims about the beneficial properties of Epsom salt, according to Healthline, more research needs to be done to prove that it's an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent. A doctor can best answer any questions you may have about using Epsom salt for health issues, especially if you're pregnant or have diabetes.
There are so many surprising uses for Epsom salt cleaning. Try incorporating this affordable and natural solution into your cleaning routine.
Meg Scanlon earned a Masters from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing can be found on Hunker, Cuteness, Funny or Die, BarkPost, Taste of Home, LoveTV and ALittleBitFunny.com.