Try this Natural Bath Salts recipe for a soothing, refreshing bath experience.
Bath salts are some of my easiest and most popular recipes to make. They are wonderful presents for just about everyone, and you can tailor their scents and colors for each recipient. Besides soothing tired bodies and softening skin, these salts are also easier on the bathtub than many other products. They actually keep your tub clean, and they do not clog the pipes as other bath products can. Bath salts also soften hard water and help keep your water temperature warmer longer. Natural salts are found easily at the grocery store.
Following are a few of my favorite methods for making bath salts.
• Start with a basic salt mix of one cup Epsom salts and one cup rock salt (you can use kosher salt, sea salt or rock table salt).
1. Colored salts: You can color salts successfully with regular food coloring or natural vegetable dyes, such as beet juice. Place salts in a large glass bowl or resealable plastic bag. Add a few drops of color and stir well. Adjust color or salts to reach desired shade. Be careful with making very dark salts; until diluted in your bathwater they may stain light-colored towels and clothing. Once added to your bath they will not stain your skin or tub. My daughters like to make rainbow salts by creating salts in several colors and then layering them like a rainbow inside a pretty jar.
2. Scented salts: Fragrance easily can be added to your salts, as well. Simply stir or massage scented oils into your salt mixture. Choose pure essential oils. You only need a few drops to scent a batch of salts. You also may combine scented oils to create your own special blends. For example, create bathtime tranquility with a blend of sweet orange oil, vanilla oil and carnation oil.
3. Foaming salts: Any bath salt recipe can be made to foam in the tub by adding liquid soap to your mixture. To do this, mix your color and/or scent into the liquid soap before stirring it into the salt mixture. I use 1/4 cup liquid soap for every 2 cups of salt. Mix the soap with your salt and then spread the mixture on a clean cookie sheet and allow it to air-dry completely. You also may place the salts in a low temperature oven or food dehydrator. When your salts are completely dry, pour them into an airtight container.
4. Herbal salts: Adding dried herbs and flower petals to your basic mix gives your salts a different look as well as a wonderfully natural feel. You also will receive many of the benefits that adding herbs to your bath can provide. I like to use 1 or 2 tablespoons of dried herb to every 2 cups of the basic salt mixture. It is important that you use dried ingredients in making these salts. Fresh leaves and petals wilt when they come in contact with salt, releasing unwanted moisture into your mixture.
5. To use any of these bath salts: Add about 1/2 cup of bath salts to your tub under running water. Store your salts in dry, airtight containers. Yield: 16 ounces, enough for four baths.
Adapted with permission from Natural Beauty from the Garden: More than 200 Do-It-Yourself Beauty Recipes and Garden Ideas by Janice Cox.
Janice Cox is a longtime gardener and Herb Companion contributor.
Read more about bath recipes using natural ingredients: Herb and Botanical Bath Recipes.
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