How to Make Bath Salts

  • 01 of 08

    How to Make Homemade Bath Salts

    Bath salts
    Kristin Duvall/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

    Making your own bath salts is SO easy. Although we've become a culture of quick showers rather than long luxurious baths, the times when we do want to take a long soak, adding some scented and/or therapeutic salts to the water really make the bath wonderful.

    There are also many therapeutic benefits to soaking in a bit of salt.

    Click here for a collection of all of my bath salts recipes - but the setup and procedure are pretty similar (and simple) for all of them. For this basic bath salts...MORE recipe you'll need:

    • Some salt - I prefer a mixture of sea salt and Epsom salt, but there are many different types of salt both rare and common from all over the world. While there are trace minerals and such in the exotic salts, with the exception of dead sea salt (which has lots of extra stuff in it) it's all pretty much just salt.
    • Some scent - you can use skin-safe fragrance oils or for an aromatherapy bath, essential oils
    • Some glass or metal bowls to mix it in
    • Some whisks and/or spoons to mix it
    • A container to put it in - preferably air tight like a mason or other jar. (Plastic is better than glass around the bath tub if you can get it, though some fragrance or essential oils will warp and discolor plastic.)

    Optional ingredients include:

    • Dendritic salt or Natrasorb Bath to absorb/hold the fragrance
    • Color - either liquid soap colors or mics work well
    • Baking Soda - acts as a skin softener and water conditioner
    • Corn starch - gives the water a silky feel
    • Epsom salt - actually magnesium sulfate - has very different therapeutic qualities
    • Botanicals - although they can be messy in the tub, botanicals like rose petals, chamomile flowers or crushed eucalyptus leaves can be a marvelous effect
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  • 02 of 08

    Measure Out the Salts

    Measuring the Salts
    Measuring the Salts. David Fisher

    You can experiment with exactly what combination of salts you have on hand or prefer...but I prefer a 3:2 ratio of Epsom salt and sea salt. So a basic bath salts recipe would be:

    • 3 cups Epsom Salt
    • 2 cups sea salt
    • 1/2 ounce of fragrance or essential oil

    Measure out the salts and mix them together well, making sure to break up any clumps. Here is where you would add in your baking soda. To this recipe, I would add 1 cup of baking soda...for a 3:2:1 ratio of salts to the baking soda.

    • 3 cups Epsom Salt
    • 2...MORE cups sea salt
    • 1 cup baking soda
    • 1/2 ounce of fragrance or essential oil

    I like about 1-2% fragrance or essential oil in my salts. That amounts to about 1/2 ounce of fragrance for this recipe. (If you put too much fragrance, your salts will tend to clump.)

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  • 03 of 08

    Dendritic or Natrasorb in Your Bath Salts Recipe

    Adding the Fragrance to the Salt
    Adding the Fragrance. David Fisher

    There are two secret weapons when it comes to making bath salts - Dendritic Salt and Natrasorb Bath. Though one is a salt and the other is a modified tapioca starch, they both accomplish the same thing - they hold the fragrance longer and better, and help the final salts to flow better and clump less.

    Dendritic salt (Buy Direct) is a very fine grain salt which has been crystallized to provide greater surface area. The increased surface area helps to retain fragrance, requires fewer pigments and...MORE reduces clumping. By adding approximately 5% dendritic salt to your bath salts, your bath salts will retain their fragrance longer than without the inclusion of dendritic salt.

    Natrasorb Bath (Buy Direct) is an oil absorbing, hydrophilic tapioca starch which has a unique function in bath powders, salts, bath bombs and other products. It allows you to load your product with fragrance, essential and/or nutritive oils without making the product greasy or "wet". The starch absorbs the oils into pockets and releases them into the bath water. Natrasorb Bath dissolves completely in water, giving it a silky feel and leaving no film or residue. This product is useful as a fragrance fixative in bath salts and powders as it absorbs a high load of fragrance oil and also keeps bath powders/salts free flowing. Note with the Natrasorb - a little (in weight) goes a LONG way. 1 cup of the stuff weighs just a couple tenths of an ounce.

    The trick here is to add the fragrance directly to the dendritic or mantra sort, and then add that mixture to the rest of the salt. For this recipe, I would use about 1/2 cup of antra sorb or 1 cup of dendritic. Slowly add the fragrance to it and stir well.

    Note: If you don't have dendritic salt or antra sorb, that's o.k. - your salt will still be great. The additives just allow it to hold the fragrance better/longer.

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  • 04 of 08

    Mix all of the salts and ingredients together

    Uncolored Bath Salts
    Uncolored Bath Salts. David Fisher

    Mix the fragrance loaded mantra sort or dendritic salt to the rest of the bath salts and you're ready to go.

    For a natural look, just scoop it into a clear or colored jar and put the lid on. Done!

    Note, I'm just using a simple mason jar here to hold the salts. I've seen bath salts packaged in everything from small plastic bags, to paper sacks, to test tubes, to lovely plastic bottles, to seasonal coffee cups and more. Anything that will hold the salt, keep it sealed from the air, and...MORE not react to the fragrance or essential oil is great.

    Try out some different bath salts recipes and/or create your own!

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  • 05 of 08

    Coloring Your Bath Salts

    Coloring the Salt
    Coloring the Salt. David Fisher

    You can add color to your salts if you like.

    Add a few drops of liquid soap-safe colorant to the salt and stir. Just add a couple drops at a time. You can also use colored micas. Add a tiny speck at a time and mix very well.

    Here, I've separated out a couple cups of salt and am coloring them red.

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  • 06 of 08

    Layered Colored Bath Salts

    Layered Bath Salt
    Layered Bath Salt. David Fisher

    Here's an easy color variation...layer in a bit of colored salt with the white salt.

    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Making Swirled Bath Salts

    Swirled Bath Salts
    Swirled Bath Salts. David Fisher

    Tilt the jar back and forth as you're scooping the salts in for a more swirled look.

    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Three Color Homemade Bath Salts

    Three Color Salts
    Three Color Salts. David Fisher

    Or add in a third color for a Christmas appropriate (or Italian reminiscent) color combination!

    The key here is to use your own imagination and creativity. Any combination of layers, swirls, mixes, and colors are great.