How To Make Relaxation In A Jar (Bath Salts Recipe)

Heather Dessinger

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homemade bath salts

Inside: The benefits of homemade bath salts for stress, growing pains and more, plus how to make them for yourself or to share as a beautiful, handcrafted gift.

Relaxation in a jar <– That’s how I’m labeling some of the homemade bath salts I’ll be giving away this year.

Not only are they an invitation to take a moment for yourself, they contain magnesium – the “Magic Mineral” that combats stress, supports detoxification and helps maintain healthy energy levels. Over the last hundred years our soil and water supply has undergone a rapid depletion of this vital mineral, leaving many of us deficient. Fortunately, because magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin, bath salts are an easy way to help replenish the body’s stores.

Magnesium baths help to relax achy muscles and also calm the mind by supporting the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is why they’re often recommended for soothing tired muscles, frazzled nerves, restless legs and growing pains. You can read all about the benefits of magnesium here.

bath salts recipe

Do magnesium baths really help with relaxation?

In my experience, absolutely. However, just like you can’t out-supplement a nutrient-poor diet, a one-time magnesium bath can’t replace consistent magnesium supplementation, either through regular baths or oral magnesium supplements. (More on supplementing with magnesium below!)

What kind of magnesium should I use?

Great question. There are two forms of magnesium used in bath salts – magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) and magnesium chloride. You can read all about the differences in this post on choosing the best magnesium supplements, but here’s the gist:

Magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) is cheaper than magnesium chloride, but is not absorbed quite as well and can cause problems for individuals with CBS gene mutation due to the sulphur molecule that is attached to the magnesium. I have the CBS mutation and experienced severe nausea after trying out a float tank that was filled with magnesium sulfate. However, I can handle small amounts just fine.

Magnesium chloride is more expensive but according to the NIH it has a higher percentage of magnesium and is therefore preferable to magnesium sulfate for quickly raising magnesium levels. (source)

Want to give some as a gift?

Bath salts can be a super simple blend of magnesium and essential oils, or they can incorporate dried flowers such as calendula, rose petals and/or lavender blossoms to add beauty and additional therapeutic benefits. I’ve included some tips for packaging baths salts as a gift at the bottom of this post.

homemade bath salts recipe

Homemade Bath Salts Recipe


* It used to be thought that epsom salts alone would disperse essential oils throughout the water, but more recently it has been observed that they sometimes clump together on the surface where they can encounter skin undiluted. For that reason, it’s now recommended to add a dispersant to the recipe in order to ensure that they are well diluted throughout the water. Solubol, which is made in France from natural ingredients, works best.

However if you don’t want to buy it, you can add the essential oils to 1.5 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and pour it directly into the bath while the water is running. Adding essential oils to castile soap and then mixing with magnesium is not recommended because – depending on your water type – it may react with the magnesium and water in a way that prevents all of the magnesium from dissolving in the bath.

Optional Add-Ins: 

To Make

Add the essential oils to the Solubol and mix thoroughly, then blend with the epsom salt/magnesium chloride. Add in flowers if using, spoon into an airtight container, and store out of direct sunlight.

To Use

Fill bath with water, add 1 – 1.5 cups bath salt, and swish with your hand until dissolved. Soak for 20-30 minutes.

Suggested Expiration Date

Epsom salts will stay good indefinitely. However the fragrance and potency of the essential oils may fade after about 6 months.

how to make bath salts essential oils

Want to package your bath salts as a gift?

The wide mouth mason jar in the photo above holds 12 ounces, which means this recipe in this post will make two full jars. I used these kraft paper labels.

FREE Ebook: DIY Body Care Gifts Made Simple

Do you want to give gorgeous, handcrafted gifts for family and friends, without spending a bunch of time on them?

Then I’d love to give you a free copy of DIY Body Care Gifts Made Simple – my step-by-step guide to making gorgeous handcrafted gifts without stressing yourself out – as a gift for signing up for my newsletter. I’ll show you how to make vintage labels, luxurious lotion bars, lip balms, sugar scrubs, body sprays and more like a pro. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be redirected to the download page immediately!

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

Leave a Comment

33 thoughts on “How To Make Relaxation In A Jar (Bath Salts Recipe)”

  1. The bath salts look wonderful. Do you have a suggestion on how best to prevent the tub/drain from getting clogged up, when emptying the tub? (realize I could put something over the drain but a bit tough as my tub has an attached plug)

    • You could put whatever amount the scoop is into a muslim bag or other similar tie close bag. Salts will dissolve in water and other remnants will be left in bag to toss when through.

  2. This is not a safe recipe. Once the salts dissolve, the essential oils will remain neat on top of the water instead of becoming dispersed through the water. And I wouldn’t want to bath in neat peppermint! Add the essential oils to a bit of liquid soap before blending with the salts.

    • Hi Shannon, thanks for your comment! Safety is top priority for me so I’m glad you brought this up. Although I don’t typically mention this in posts, for the past few years I have regularly consulted with a clinical aromatherapist to make sure my essential oil recipes are safe. The above recipe is based on one that was approved as safe, however I’m checking with the clinical aromatherapist to see if her recommendations have changed since we last spoke. I’ll let you know what I find out!

  3. Great Recipe
    I used it as a craft for my daycare kids to make Christmas gifts for their moms.
    All the moms loved it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Please Help

      I just stared my business making Bath Salts and have gotten a few orders. I use Epsom Salts, Sea Salts, Himalayan salt , Baking Soda Citric Acid, 100% essential oils, carrier oils option – (vegan colorants)

      My concern is that the scents smell in the salts but in the tub in the water I do not smell the scents. Please Help. I do not want to loose business regarding this issue.

      Note: I put a lot of Essential oils in my salt.

  4. So glad I came across your blog..your soap/shampoo bar recipe on youtube I believe is how I got to it. Love your style all around and how pure and simple your homemade products are and the links to products you trust and like as well…I am starting a small business with homemade soaps and bath salts and a few like products and reviewing your blog reminds me that simple/safe and pure are the best ingredients!

  5. I just tried this and something in the recipe turned into a waxy white substance that floated in top of the water. It was also all over my mixing tools. Very hard to get off anything. Anyone else have this problem?

    • Yes – unfortunately the same thing happens in the bathtub when you use this bathsalt in the tub. The water becomes almost slimey and quite unpleasant to soak in! I wonder if it’s reaction between the essential oils and the Castile soap? ☹️

  6. Hello Heather,
    I teach nutritional classes and do misc demos at a small health food store in Lawrence, KS. I would like permission to use your recipe and some of the text from this link for an in-store demo. I have included the web link at the bottom of the sheet.

    • Based on updated guidelines in the essential oil community I’d recommend castile soap over oil because it serves as a dispersant for the essential oils. Olive or coconut oil will clump together and float in a glob or two with the essential oils partially mixed in.

  7. Hello Heather,

    Can I mix the Magnesium flakes with Epsom salt instead of sea salt or 1 cup Epsom salt and 2 cups Magnesium flakes?

    • Nellie I was wondering this same thing and I just found another recipe online that uses 1/2 cup magnesium flakes, 1/2 cup epsom salt, 1/2 cup sea salt so it appears that it would be fine. The recipes was recommended as a sleepy time bath for children. Hope this helps. 🙂

  8. Is there an alternative to castile soap? We have a tree nut/coconut allergic child who would be bathing. I think the magnesium, calendula and lavender might be good for her though. Also, is there a link for the sorbulol stuff? I want to check the ingredients due to allergies also. Thanks!

  9. I bought Lavender Scented Epsom Salt and used it in place of adding Lavender Essential Oil to the mix. i also mixed the scented epsom salts with magnesum flakes and sea salt,poured a little in to my jar then added chopped rose petals and lavender blossoms added more salt mixture and continued this way until jar was full! Works great in bath and smells lovely. (poured 1 1/2 cup into muslin bag tossed it into bath also used the liquid castile soap for bubbles)
    Will be making this for Christmas gifts!
    Thank you for this great recipe and all the others you share—keep up the great work!

  10. I have a scoop for my epsom salts and I put the essential oils on top of the salts and let them soak for a few minutes before tossing them in the bathtub. It seems to work fine without extra fuss or ingredients. Would your clinical aromatherapist think that is adequate?

  11. Hi there, Thank you so much for doing what you do I’ve learned so much following you and your work it’s awesome!

    Okay so I’m looking for a Solubol add in for the oils to blend with the kiddos bath and I cannot find one! Well to be honest I’m a little confused on finding it because when I look I find kosher grade oil? Could you point me in a direction that I could find what I’m needing please! Thanks again!

  12. Hi Heather! I love all the content that you share! (I can not name a favorite!)

    Where do you get your Solubol? (When I search Amazon, I get polysorbate 20.) Also, can vegetable glycerin be used in its place??

    Thanks for all your hard work, research and awesome content!!!