10 Smart and Frugal Uses for Epsom Salt


The next time you're at the store, pick up a bag of epsom salt. These inexpensive crystals won't only ease your aches and pains in a warm bath — there's a host of other awesome things you can do with them! From feeding your lawn to cleaning pots and pans, here are 10 smart and frugal uses for epsom salt.

1. Clean Cast Iron

We had an old cast iron skillet in need of some love, so I searched around and found this simple method to restore it using epsom salt. Rinse off any excess rust and then scrub with epsom salt followed by baking soda or table salt. Rinse again, dry, and coat the inside with a little olive oil. Heat pan on low for 30 minutes to let the oil soak in to finish.

2. Feed Your Lawn

The folks at Bob Vila's site explain that one good way to rescue your dying lawn is to feed it with epsom salt. It sure beats using chemicals on price and safety. You can either fill your lawn spreader with the salt, or mix it with water and apply to your lawn with a garden sprayer. The idea is to get your soil to a neutral pH of seven.

3. Kill Nasty Weeds

While you're at it, stir together this effective weed killer for those trouble spots in and around the grass. You'll need a gallon of white vinegar, two cups of epsom salt, and a quarter of a cup of blue Dawn soap. You can scale this recipe down if you like so it will fit into a convenient spray bottle. Kills weeds in just a few, sunny, hours.

4. Boost Your Magnesium

Whether you take a bath or soak your feet in epsom salt, you will add some vital magnesium to your body. It may help you relax and have better sleep, among other benefits. Take your routine a step beyond by mixing together your own magnesium oil spray. Heat one cup of distilled water to boiling, turn off heat, and then mix in a half cup of epsom salt until fully dissolved. Pour cooled mixture into a spritz bottle.

Similar oils cost around $8 to $20. This batch? Less than $1!

5. Scour With a DIY Scrub

Add some epsom salt to your cleaning routine for an effective scour scrub that's tough on stains but gentle on the environment. My mom showed me this hard water remover, and I can't believe how effective it is. Combine one cup epsom salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap. Use this scrub on shower doors, stubborn sinks, and even stained glass.

6. Decorate Your Space

Whether you're hosting a Frozen-themed birthday party or planning a winter wedding, these epsom salt luminaries would make a great decor item. Start by picking up some crystal epsom salt (think Dr. Teal's, not the Dollar Store) and glass jars. Pour epsom salt onto a paper plate, slip your hand inside a jar, paint where you want to stick the crystals with Mod Podge, and roll into the epsom salt. Let dry and then coat with some clear sealer a few times.

Note: You shouldn't make these far in advance — less than a week before your event — for the best results.

7. Entertain Your Kids

And if you're lost on what to do on a rainy day, try making this overnight crystal garden with your kids. Just measure out a 1:1 ratio of epsom salt to warm water in a glass jar. Add food coloring and stir this mixture well. Next, place the jar in the back of your fridge or freezer. Then wait overnight to discover your magic crystal garden.

8. Add Aroma to Laundry

Are you skeptical about all those scented chemicals you add to your wash cycle with store-bought detergent? Me, too. Add some aroma the natural way using epsom salt and essential oils. You need just three ingredients for this project: Epsom salt, baking soda, and 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oils. Mix everything together and store in an air-tight container. Add a few tablespoons to each load.

9. Make Great Gifts

Need a last-minute gift that's easy on the wallet? Mix together your own DIY bath salts. This stuff may even help you kick your own Lush habit. Combine three cups of epsom salt with two cups sea salt, one cup baking soda, and peppermint or other essential oil. You can also add food coloring as a fun option. Once everything is mixed, place it in a decorative, air-tight container for storage.

10. Ward Off Mosquitoes

Keep mosquitoes out of your lawn by spraying this unique epsom salt solution that's safe on grass, flowers, and more. Combine three cups of epsom salt with a large bottle of cheap blue mouthwash and 12 oz of inexpensive beer. The author of this recipe explains that he's used it for the last 15 years with success of keeping mosquitoes away for up to 80 days. I am looking forward to testing this one out for myself!

What are some other clever uses for epsom salt? Share with us!

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Guest's picture

I did the glass jar thing with PVA (instead of mod podge) for Christmas and it turned out to be really nice! After a while the little crystals started falling down so I kept the jars on a tray.

Guest's picture
Canvas & Table

Thank you for featuring us in #8! Great list!