(Health Secrets) Turning bath time into spa time can be as easy as tossing a handful of salt and a handful of baking soda into a nice warm (hot) tub of water. For something a little more interesting, make bath salts at home for a perfect gift for the ones you love, or a perfect self-indulgence after a stressful day.
If you intend to use essential oils in your bath salts creation, be sure to review this article on essential oils.
How to make bath salts
- Start with a clutter free, clean work surface — a kitchen table covered with a plastic garbage bag works perfectly.
- Measure out sea salts or Epsom salts, and pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add essential or fragrance oil, colorant (optional), and mix the salts thoroughly with your hands. Use disposable gloves to protect your hands while blending. If your hands get too salted they may become dry and irritated.
- Dendritic salt is a man-made salt, which absorbs carrier oils, essential oil, and colorant easily, and can be added to natural sea salt. Mix Dendritic salt and sea salt completely. It takes some time for the scent and colorant to incorporate with the salts so be patient (see colorants below.)
- When the salts have been coated pour them out onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Spread the salts out in as thin a layer as possible for a quicker drying time. Dry bath salts at least six hours before placing them in a bottle, to lessen the chance of clumping in the jar.
- Place dried salts into a glass jar with a tight closure. Seal scented bath salts as tightly as possible to avoid excessive air exposure which may cause clumping and loss of scent.
- Let the sealed bath salts jar ‘age’ or ‘ripen’ for a few days. Stir, shake or mix, however a bath salt gift is likely sit a few days before it is used, which will allow the scent to blend well.
- Be sure to label the jars with a description of the salts, essential oils, and basic soaking instructions.
- Avoid using disposable plastic bags, which are made from a quickly deteriorating plastic and are easily broken down by the essential oils in the salt blend.
- Dendritic salt holds the scent longest and requires less essential oil.
- Herbs are popular additions to bath salt recipes but can be messy in the tub, so a good idea is to include an organza bag with your bath salts to contain dried herbs. The salts melt and the herbs seep into the hot bath water. After the bag dries empty out the herbs and re-use the bag.
Aromatherapy – The practice of careful use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Aromatherapy is a preventative approach as well as an active therapy for illness.
Essential Oils – are highly concentrated plant extracts distilled from plant material including leaves, flowers, needles, fruit peels, grasses, wood and roots. These oils should always be diluted in carrier oil before applying directly to the skin. However, lavender and tea tree oil can be used undiluted in a carrier oil.
Dried Herbs – tend to possess the same scent and therapeutic properties of their essential oil.
Carrier Oils – are natural oils that are used to dilute and “carry” essential oils so they can be used on the skin. Carrier oils do not evaporate like some essential oils. Moisturizing oils, such as almond or olive, are commonly used as “carrier” oils. Most essential oils should be diluted by the ratio of 12-30 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Carrier oils can also be combined with sea salts to create exfoliant salt scrubs.
Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) – combined with equal parts sea salt assists detoxification from exposure to heavy metals and radiation.
Citric Acid – is a colorless translucent crystalline acid derived by the fermentation of carbohydrates or from lemon, lime, and pineapple juices. Citric acid and baking soda create a fizzy effervescent blend that helps to release the aroma of the essential oils into the air.
Colorants – are available as water-based dyes, which can be added one drop at a time, or mixed to create unique shades of color. FD&C Liquid Dyes tend to retain much of their translucent appearance. These dyes can bleed into one another when layered, and can lose potency and brightness over time. (Avoid the oil dispersible and powder form dyes, which are not suitable for making bath salts).
Pearlescent Micas – are powdered, mineral based colorants that create a shimmering opaque color. Use micas sparingly to provide intense color. Micas coat bath salts most evenly when added directly after a wet ingredient, such as fragrance oil or essential oil, is added. Start with 1/8 teaspoon per 1-2 cups of salt, and add more if needed.
Ultramarines and oxides – are mineral based colorants that provide opaque, matte color but can be tricky to use. To coat salt evenly you’ll need to incorporate some kind of oil, however do not make bath salts too slick by adding too much oil. Mix the ultramarine or oxide in a small dish with a few drops of carrier oil to create a slurry. Then add fragrance oil or essential oil to the dish and stir again. Start out with 1/8 teaspoon per 1-2 cups of salt, and add more if needed. Be careful not to add too much oxide or ultramarine colorant as it can be rather messy.
Simple scented bath salt recipe
16 ounces all-natural bath salt
15-30 drops of essential oil
In a mixing bowl, add drops of the essential oil to the bath salt and mix well. Store in a glass jar. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the scented salts to a bath for a soothing, luxurious experience!
Salt/essential oil combinations
· 16 ounces Dead Sea salt
· 20 drops lavender oil (lavender essential oil has the ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation).
· 16 ounces Himalayan ink salt
· 10 drops spearmint oil (cooling, energizes body system, revitalizes brain functions.
· 5 drops rosemary oil (improves memory, stimulates the adrenal glands and lymphatic system, conditions your hair and even makes it grow)
Salt/Sweet Orange Oil/Grapefruit Oil
· 16 ounces pure Atlantic sea salt
· 20 drops sweet orange oil (mood lifter, boosts the immune system, lymphatic stimulant, sedative and relaxant)
· 10 drops grapefruit oil (mood lifter, anti-cellulite, antioxidant)
16 ounces Epsom salt
5 drops eucalyptus oil (anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating)
15 drops lavender oil
Caution: Do not take hot baths and salt baths (including Epsom salt baths) if you have heart trouble, high blood pressure, or are diabetic. Use caution if pregnant.
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Photo by Theme Park Mom