I often underestimate the power of a bath. Whenever I wasn’t feeling well as a kid, the answer was always to have a warm bath. I did, in fact, feel much better afterward. But I tend to forget about that feeling these days until I finally settle into the warm water, and the reassuring memories return.
Baths are great for all sorts of ailments from cold and flu to achy, sore muscles, and everything in between. And DIY bath salts are super simple and inexpensive to make at home.
How to make bath salts with essential oils
A great all-purpose bath salt is made with 2 parts Epsom salt, 2 parts kosher salt, and 1 part baking soda. The salts contain minerals that are absorbed through the skin to help ease muscle soreness and relieve tension, while the baking soda soothes the skin surface.
Kosher salt is my bath salt of choice because it contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals that are great for skin. Plus, it has a very fine grain, so it dissolves quickly under running water. But feel free to use any natural salt you like.
This not-really-a-salt salt is a great source of magnesium, a mineral that has many benefits. Magnesium helps your body produce energy, and when you’re deficient, you might feel more anxious, experience more painful PMS symptoms, and have muscle aches [source].
An Epsom salt soak is a simple way to boost magnesium levels because it can be absorbed into the skin while you bathe. Just make sure you do not use magnesium internally because it can be toxic [source].
Baking soda helps prevent the bath from being too irritating to the skin. As soon as you add baking soda to water, you can feel the difference—the water feels a little silkier, without being outright slippery on your skin. Taking a baking soda bath can reduce skin irritation, scaly skin, and itching, too [source].
Ready to add essential oils to your bath? Infusing bath salts adds aromatherapy benefits. And, depending on the blend you decide to use, they can help with relaxation [source], better sleep, clearing the mind, rejuvenation, and even relief for stuffy noses.
It just so happens that these are a few of my favorite blends. Don’t feel like you have to stick to these particular ones, though. Feel free to make up your own blends using any combination of essential oils you already have on hand.
1. Clear breathing: Combine eucalyptus and peppermint
2. Romantic: Use a blend of rose absolute, cardamom, and vanilla
3. Relax: Mix up clary sage, bergamot, lavender, and Roman chamomile
4. Clear your mind: Nix anxious thoughts with lemon and rosemary
5. Balancing: Invite calm with sage, mint, and tea tree
6. Calming: Make a peaceful blend with Egyptian geranium, lavender, and rose absolute
7. Sore muscles: Combine juniper berry, lavender, and ylang ylang
8. Energizing: Try lemon, sweet orange, and rosemary
9. Stress relief: Blend lemon, clove bud, cedarwood, and orange essence
Important note: The time to add your bath salts is after the bath is full, and you’re in it. If you add them while the water is running, then the aromatherapy scents will evaporate before you get into the tub.
Homemade Bath Salt FAQs
Can I use fresh herbs instead of essential oils?
If you plan to use your bath salts right away (say, within the next couple of days), then go for it. Otherwise, you run the risk of the herbs going bad and ruining your bath salts before you have a chance to use them. When you have them cut and ready for the bath, put them in a small mesh or net bag to keep them in place while they diffuse into the water, so they won’t scatter while you bathe.
Can I use sea salt instead of kosher salt? Or Himalayan salt?
Sure. Natural sea salt contains a plethora of minerals, just like kosher salt, so it makes a great substitute. Any kind of sea salt will do, so go ahead and pick a fine-ground favorite or use whatever you have on hand.
One note about Himalayan salt: the salt pieces tend to be larger than with sea salt or kosher salt, and sitting on them can be a little uncomfortable in the bath. You can pulse them in the food processor to make more finely ground pieces or just give them a few extra minutes to dissolve before getting into the tub. You can also choose this extra-fine grain Himalayan salt.
What’s the shelf life of homemade bath salts?
I recommend using your salts within 1–2 months simply because they’ll start to clump if left sitting for too long.
How can I keep my bath salts from clumping?
It’s the moisture in your bath salts that eventually makes them clumpy and unusable. To fix that, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, then spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Pop them in a 200°F oven, and bake for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally throughout. Let cool completely before transferring to a storage container.
Help! My glass jar exploded. What gives?
Although I have never had this happen with my bath salts, a few readers mentioned this in the comments. Something in the bath salts, whether it be the essentials oils or mixing baking soda with the salt, can cause pressure to build inside airtight glass containers.
I use this jar to store my own DIY bath salts and have never noticed a build-up of pressure, probably because it doesn’t create an airtight seal.
You can also use Weck jars without the rubber gasket, and you shouldn’t run into any issues. To be safe, pop the lid on your container every couple of days to release any pressure that may have built up, but make sure not to let any moisture from the bathroom get in.
More Aromatherapy Bath Salt Recipes
Which blend would you add to your next bath?
1. Gröber U, et al. Magnesium in prevention and therapy. Nutrients. 2015.
2. Philips CA, et al. Severe liver injury due to Epsom salt naturopathy. BMJ case Rep. 2017.
3. Milstone LM. Scaly skin and bath pH: rediscovering baking soda. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010.
4. Hongratanaworakit T. Aroma-therapeutic effects of massage blended essential oils on humans. Nat Prod Commun. 2011.
Scented Wellness Bath Salts
- Mixing bowls
- Jar with lid
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 2 tablespoon carrier oil, like grapeseed
- 20 drops essential oil (see Notes for detailed blends)
- Combine salts and baking soda in a small bowl.
- Separately, combine the essential oils and carrier oil.
- Add oil mixture to the salts and stir until fully incorporated, breaking up any clumps.
- Store in a lidded container in a cool, dark place. Use about 1/2–1 cup per bath.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Holly Smith, a board-certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine with a background in nutrition. 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.900
Sara Robinson says
Hi I have found your site really helpful but alittle confusing , one of your posts states oils not to use in the bath and peppermint is one of the oils it’s says not to use but then you have a recipe for bath salts using peppermint oil.
Emma @ Ava's Garden says
What a wonderful blog!
We absolutely love the list you have with each target and what essential oils to use. We have a couple of dried orange slice bath salt blends but we are inspired to try the lemon too after reading this.
Thank you for the beautiful blog
Oven Fresh Cake says
Your work seems to be informative. Thanks!!
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Nell Benkert says
I have a 1500 gallon storage tank and would like some input on filtration as the water in the storage tank water will sit there longer before it’s cycled through to the house. We have a well and only recently added the storage tank and booster pump to keep the well pump from working so hard as it’s 360ft down.
John Stephen says
Such a fantastic concept! A couple of months following the birth associated with my very first little girl among my friend, similarly with a baby child, exposed to me exactly how Epsom sodium bath every day was the primary way the girl could navigate her whole days of mothering. It’s excellent !!
Kristen Groom says
Hi, just want to share a cautionary tale. I made these with 10 drops bergamot and 10 drops lavender. I then filled up a bunch of cute glass bottles with those wire Mason jar style stoppers. WOW! BIG MISTAKE! Apparently the acid in the bergamot reacted with the base in the baking soda and created little bombs. On of the jars spontaneously exploded and sprayed glass shards and bath salts EVERYWHERE. Like out of the bathroom into the dog crate, everywhere. So, lesson learned. I defused the rest of the bottles under water covered in a towel and they still exploded, but there was no collateral damage this time. Anyway, the salts feel great, just don’t store them under pressure. ?
Stephanie Gerber says
oh my goodness, I have never heard of that happening, I’m so glad you weren’t hurt! Thanks so much for that heads up!
Yes, same thing almost happened to me! I made 4 different salt and oil combos in baby food jars yesterday, sealed them, and went to smell them 30 minutes later out of curiosity. The first jar with lavender went POP, releasing pressure. I immediately opened the other 3, but no POP for whatever scientific reason… they’re still sitting open, but I’ll try sealing them again and see how that goes.
Stephanie, I like this DIY bath salts idea. I make it last week and bath with that salt yesterday. I felt refresh, stress-free after my shower.
Great idea about the empty bottles and salts! Will save my fingernails trying to pry up the stopper! I like to save empty bottles to use for storing blends. Works nice.
Are you aware that there is no such thing as “Therapeutic” grade oils? And there is no such thing as grading oils. You pay a lot more to a company the claims this because those are trademarks. The say they are the only company that can claim ctheraputic or grade A oils because they have a trademark on that wording. The cost of trademarking goes back into the oils and that is why they are more expensive. Check with an aroma therapist or research it. Kind of shocking when you do.
Trademarking is not what contributes to the cost of these therapeutic grade oils. You are correct there is no such thing legally as therapeutic grade oils because they are not governed properly. The difference in price you see with some oils comes down to how the are harvested and distilled. Every company claims to have therapeutic grade oils but only few actually practise the methods to create oils that are in fact therapeutic.
That’s right! You can buy oils that are cheaper but please believe you are only getting about 5% of the actual oil! I love Young Living because of their seedtoseal.com guarantee and I will NEVER turn to another! I’ve had friends visit the farms that THEY OWN and walked through the distillery so nothing else for me! cultivatethewell.com if you want to check them out.
I always taking baths for various reasons. Despite the fact that a beautiful hot bath can be precisely what you have to fill your heart with joy better, there are a couple additional fixings that can make your soak in the tub much more precious.
You Provide The Great list About Aromatherapy Blends for DIY Bath Salts. Most of People Should Follow Your list
akash sagar says
Loved the unique idea about this. This recipe looks really interesting and soothing.
Will try it today with family. Let’s see how it goes :)
Looking forward to more recipes like this.
joe carrow says
Great post..! here are some great tips for bathroom solution. people should follow this amazing tips and plan about aromatherapy blends for diy bath salts.
A couple of months after the birth of my first little girl one of my friend, likewise with a newborn child, revealed to me how epsom salt bath on a daily basis was the main way she could traverse her entire days of mothering. It’s really great!!
Andrea Dickey says
instead of EO, could i use fresh rosemary leaves? Or other ingredients like full cloves? Or do they rot?
Mary Ann says
Can sea salt be substituted? Any health benefits with kosher versus seal salt? Thank you.
We hosted a workshop on DIY Stress Busters and used your recipes to make the rosemary and lavender salts for the participants. The ladies loved it!!! Thank you.
Rachell Montgomery says
trying to determine how far in advance you can make this to give as Christmas gifts…. how long will they store/last. If i started now would they still be good to give in December.
thanks for any advice you can give.
I’m hoping someone will respond… I just entered the world of EOs and am loving them!I’ve been making natural body and cleaning products. My projects this weekend are making soap, bath salts and body butters for the first time!
I’d love to give them away for Christmas as well!
If you are using essentioal oils they may harden after a couple of weeks.
Teresa Therrien says
Hi there, I followed the recipe and it exploded a glass jar! I just wanted to suggest that you put a warning up when using citrus oils because someone could get really hurt.
I’ve had jars explode. It is the baking soda plus moisture. :(
Michael Watkins says
I’m quit sure that the numbers listed for the individual items represent the number of drops of essential oils-which I do not have. But to clear my mind tonight, I’m about to use what is on hand and marinate in a bath of saltwater, nearly a dozen bobbing lemons and about 10 feet worth of rosemary branches. Ether i’ll have a clear mind or be the soup course on a Hannibal Lecture menu.
Yes the numbers listed are surely the number of drops! I can’t imagine the recipe exploding in the comment above, thats insane. I personally used the “clear your mind blend” and it worked very well for me. Good luck everyone.
So do you add food coloring to the salt to add color?
Yes, citrus oils-baking soda and Epsom salt can cause air right glass containers to explode-it’s a chemical reaction and one I recently discovered! I’d hold off adding the citrus oils until I’m in the bath!
Tutu D Mahoney says
Hysterical! As I soak in store bought I am sad I did not try your suggestion. Ya know? Why not? I will try tomorrow & let ya know. I will run my cheap Epsom salt bath, cut about 6-8 lemons in half (squeeze them), add juice sans seeds & why not a rind or 4, cut some Rosemary up & put it into a cheesy cloth thing (any cotton fabric) & soak. Why not. Back tomorrow.
I have been blending my own bath salts for years. I have a huge bag each of epsom salts and dead sea salts. Have you ever had your blended salts or main bag of salts become moist? After blending with the essential oils and sitting in glass jars for awhile, they have become very moist and clump up in the jar and almost dough like. Any suggestions for preventing this from happening?
Try moisture absorbing crystals. You can get them real cheap on eBay
I have this happen! I just use my hands to break the clumps up. I would suggest keeping it somewhere cool and away from water. Also, you might want to try and airtight container and or jar.
Only scent a few handfuls and then spread out on a cookie sheet or pan for a few hours or so to dry out.
I’ve read that if you add dendritic salt to your sea salt formulations, it will keep them from clumping. 1 part dendritic to 10 parts sea salt. It will also help to retain the fragrance.
Add a small bag if rice to your bath salt jar. I use a thin material, like a lace (something breathable) and the rice absorbs the humidity which keeps your salts from clumping or hardening. Simply put a tablespoon of rice in the material and secure it thread or a twist tie.
Thanks for the tip!
Great suggestion! I will use your idea!
The oil amounts your list (10 eucalyptus and 10 peppermint for example), are those meant for the larger bath salt recipe? or is that amount intended for an individual bath, using only a 1/4-1/2 cup scoop? Thanks!
thats for the full recipe
What a fantastic idea! These are all gorgeous! I will be sure to try some. I have also been suffering from crippling anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia for about a year. Now, I’m going to run out and get some Epsom Salts for a bath later tonight. It sound amazing. Thank you for sharing this.
Debora Cadene says
Thank you for the recipies. I was wondering what the benefits of baking soda and the kosher salt have with the Epsom salts?
Lindsey Johnson says
Hi Debora, great question! As I understand it, the baking soda helps soothe skin, particularly if you have any skin irritation. You can certainly leave it out if you want to. The kosher salt adds more minerals to the bath. Hope that helps!
Greeta Ahart says
These are great recipes! From personal experience, the mixed salts/baking soda leaves my skin very soft & silky whereas when I just do plain Epsom, I feel a bit dry. I will be trying these very soon! Cheers :)
Ooooh, la la. These look absoolutely divine! I’ve heard that baking soda + salts = explosion of glass. Are you aware of this? Is it true?
Lindsey Johnson says
Hi Anel, I’ve never heard of that happening. I have had mine in closed jars for months and no explosions. I’ll have to do some looking around about that. :)
Can you email me your recipe for the bath salts with eucalyptus & peppermint with the Epson salt of sea salt I want to make it but afraid after all I’ve heard it might explode.
I use bath salts regularly. Thank you for sharing your recipe and scents.