A hot shower used to be my definition of me-time. Then I wised up and realized that soaking in a long hot bath would exponentially increase my self-care time allotment. Soaking eases tension, not only in your muscles but also internally, as your mind has a chance to slow down and be quiet for a bit.
I find the best time for a leisurely bath is after the kids go to bed; I can relax without rushing and afterward sleep like a baby.
A detox bath can do more than just relieve stress; it can also soothe sore muscles, help stop colds and infections, and open congested sinuses. As your pores open and blood is drawn to the skin, detox ingredients like Epsom salt can draw out toxins and deliver minerals like magnesium.
As we enter cold and flu season, here are 5 soothing, detoxing baths to draw and get the most out of your me-time.
5 Ways To Take A Detox Bath
1. Epsom Salt + Coconut Oil
Want to take the easiest no-fail detox bath? Dump in a bunch of Epsom salt and soak for 60 minutes. Epsom salt delivers a dose of magnesium that has a number of benefits, including eliminating toxins, stimulating blood flow, and soothing sore muscles.
That was my go-to bath until I read how a few celebs (Phoebe Tonkin, Liv Tyler) added a few extras to their bath regimen. Now when my skin is dry (which is pretty much all the time), I add a big scoop of coconut oil with about two cups of Epsom salt.
It’s like using a moisturizing body wash—the oil coats and hydrates your skin. This nicely counteracts the drying effect of soaking in hot water. You can apply more oil when you get out, and go to bed all warm and oily.
2. Mustard + Baking Soda
This bath is an anti-inflammatory treat for sore muscles and achy joints. While baking soda soothes dry, itchy skin, the mustard bath creates a warming “icy hot” effect with cooling essential oils like eucalyptus and thyme that help relax tight muscles and promote internal healing.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
This antibacterial bath helps relieve skin or vaginal infections. The ACV has antibacterial effects [source] and cleans out pores–even in sensitive regions. But if the vinegar ruins your bath’s sensory experience, add lavender oil to lend its antimicrobial properties [source] while counteracting the vinegar smell.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide + Ginger
- 1 bottle hydrogen peroxide
- 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger (or 2 teaspoons powdered ginger)
A great bath to try at the first sign of a cold! Hydrogen peroxide aids in detoxification, while the ginger helps bring on a good ‘sweat’ to help cleanse the body and draw out toxins. If you’re already feeling puny and congested, a hot bath can speed healing as the steam works to open the sinuses.
5. Sea Salt + Eucalyptus
Combine all ingredients in hot water and soak for as long as you can. The salts and baking soda draw out impurities and excess water while delivering a dose of natural minerals. The essential oil is stimulating, rejuvenating, and great for congestion.
How To Take A Detox Bath
There aren’t really any hard and fast rules when it comes to taking a detox bath. But here are few tips to make sure you reap the benefits of your bath:
Fill the tub with hot water. It’s recommended that you use the hottest water you can comfortably stand because the warmer the water, the more you’ll sweat. And the more you sweat, the more you detox.
Add your bath soak. While the tub fills, add your bath soak ingredients and use your hands to help everything dissolve.
Purify the water. If your water is unfiltered, add a cup of baking soda or 2–3 tablespoons of bentonite clay to help absorb impurities such as chlorine and fluoride in your water.
Relax for up to 40 minutes. Climb in and soak for anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes. If the water starts to get cold, drain the tub slightly, and add more hot water. If you begin to feel lightheaded, splash your face with cool water or hop out of the tub so you can cool off.
Seal in moisture with body oil. When you’re done soaking, climb out (very carefully if you used oil in your bath), and pat skin dry. Slather on a natural moisturizer or body oil to soothe skin and lock in moisture.
Relax for the rest of the day. It’s best to do a detox bath on a Friday or Saturday night to allow yourself plenty of time to relax and recover post-soak.
Detox Bath FAQs
Should I shower after a detox bath?
That’s really a personal preference. Since all of the ingredients in these bath soaks are gentle and chemical-free, you don’t have to. But if you feel grimy or greasy (or just plain sweaty), go ahead and take a quick shower to rinse off.
Baths make me feel lightheaded or nauseous; should I be worried?
If at any point you start to feel sick during a bath (this can be common during an intensely hot soak), just drain the tub a bit and add more fresh cool water to bring the temperature down or soak in the tub for a shorter amount of time. You can always hop out of the tub and cool off before deciding if you want to get back in again.
What can I expect after a detox bath?
I usually feel great after a detox bath! But everyone’s different.
You might feel tired, lightheaded, or dehydrated after your bath. Since you probably sweat a lot, I recommend drinking fluids before your bath and at least 16 ounces of water right after your bath to replenish whatever you lost. Then put on your comfiest PJs or loungewear, and go lie down for a bit. Give your body plenty of time to recalibrate before doing anything mentally or physically strenuous.
How often can I take a detox bath?
Start with just once a week. Because detox baths can make you feel tired or woozy afterward, especially when you’re not used to them, it’s best to start slowly and work your way up.
If you don’t notice any side effects, try introducing a second weekly bath to your routine.
How can I get the bath soak residue off the bottom of the tub?
You might notice a bit of residue following your bath, especially if you used oils or ingredients that don’t dissolve (I’m looking at you, ginger). Simply sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the tub, and give it a good scrub. Then turn on the shower, and rinse everything down the drain.
I recommend doing this every time you use oils in the bath so that you or your partner don’t get a slippery surprise next time you climb in the tub.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.238