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.