Bath salts are very relaxing. When you buy them in the store they are usually full of chemicals and often times they are a little pricey (especially if you want really good ones). They are full of artificial colors and artificial fragrances. They claim to have aromatherapy properties, but without the plant materials in them they merely smell good. The easy solution is to make your own. You can make huge batches with the ingredients that you want and you can have luxury salts without spending a ton of money. Additionally, bath salts can make great gifts!

You don't need a lot of fancy equipment in order to make your bath salts. For the project you will want a large bowl. The more salts you want to mix together the bigger the bowl you will need. You will need a measuring cup, a measuring spoon, and a large spoon to stir with. In addition to you mixing equipment you will want a foil lined baking sheet or baking dish for drying your salts out. The last thing you need are jars, bags, or other containers to put your salts in once they are done. It is best if you use containers that are air tight so that the salts last longer.

You can make really simple bath salts that are enjoyable or you can make exotic and exciting salts. The choice is really yours.

  • Salt- It should be fairly obvious that bath salts need salt. But knowing what kind can be hard. You actually have a lot of choices. Most bath salts contain a large portion of Epsom salts. These salts have a lot of healing and relaxing properties and should be about 1/3 to 1/2 of your salt recipe. The rest should be made up of other types of salt. For your least expensive option simply buy a standard sea salt. Other, more exotic salts can provide additional relaxation and health benefits from the various minerals that they contain. Choose one or two other salts (other then the Epsom salts) for a good mix.
  • Oil- The second ingredient in bath salts is oil. This one isn't as important, but will leave your skin soft, smooth, and healthy. The cheapest (healthy) option is to simply use olive oil. However, you can also choose exotic oils which will have additional properties that can meet your skin type and needs. For example hemp oil, avocado oil, or walnut oils are all richer then olive oil, provide more nutrients, and are great options for those who have dry or sensitive skin. However, they have to be ordered online and are often more expensive then olive oil.
  • Extras (optional)- Many of us like additional things added to our bath salts. Usually these include some vitamin E oil and or Aloe Vera gel (sometimes called juice or extract). These things are great for your skin and both have anti-aging properties. A little also goes a long way.
  • Color (optional)- Color can be achieved in one of two ways. The first is a natural color that is achieved by choosing a salt that already has color. Salts can come in shades of red or pink, gray or black, brown, and sometimes even in pale greens or blues. Choosing a colored salt and mixing it in with your Epsom salts can make for a very beautiful salt mixture. The other option is to dye it. You can do this with a little powdered or liquid soap coloring or with a little food coloring. Remember a little goes a long way.
  • Fragrance (optional)- While your bath salts don't have to have a good smell, most of us like them to. It is a good idea to choose essential oils rather then fragrance oils. The difference is that essential oils are all natural and fragrance oils are synthetic (and lack the healing or aromatherapy benefits of the natural oils). Choose one or two of your favorite essential oils to add to your salts.
  • Baking Soda (optional)- The final ingredient that is optional, but often a great addition is baking soda. Baking soda is good for relaxing and helping with sore muscles. It is also inexpensive, will help your salts have a good balance of moisture to dry parts, and is also a good way to help increase the amount of bath salts you have inexpensively while still producing a luxury salt.

Making Your Salts.
  1. Measure out your salt and oil. You will want to measure out a couple of cups of the salts of your choice. Remember you want two or three salts with Epsom salts making up 1/3 to 1/2 of your mixture. You will also want to measure out your oil. You want about 1/4th of a cup of oil per cup of salt. You can use a single oil or several oils to meet your oil needs. Often having more then one oil produces a better quality bath salt. Adjust the amount of each to produce the amount of salts you want at the end. Mix the two together really well.

  2. Add any extras. Next you will want to add your extras. This should be done with care. You will want about 1/2 tablespoon of any extra you choose to add. Drizzle it over the mixture and stir it in well.

  3. Add color and fragrance. For color and fragrance you will want to add a few drops of each or a small pinch if you are using powdered dye. Stir it in and add more as desired. It is a good idea to start out really small because you don't want the color or the fragrance to become over whelming.

  4. Finish with baking soda. Add a 1/2 cup of baking soda and dust your mixture with it. Mix well. If your mixture still looks wet then add another 1/2 cup. Continue to add till it looks moist rather then wet.

  5. Bake. Spread the mixture out on your baking sheet or pan and bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. Check. You want it to be dry. If it isn't then continue baking checking on it every five to ten minutes.

  6. Let cool. Let your product cool for several hours.

  7. Package. Put it in the container that you will store it in. This could be a plastic resealable bag, a jar, or a container.

To use your salts scoop up about 2-3 tablespoons and add it to warm (to hot) bath water. You can use a little more if you wish, but that is the least amount you want to use. If you used a soap dye or food coloring it shouldn't dye the tub, but it is a good idea to rinse the tub when you are done just in case.

Bath salts really do make a great gift. To give them away put them in a cute container or jar. Add a ribbon, bow, or lace. Spend a dollar or two for a wooden scoop that can be attached to your ribbon, bow, or lace. Attach the wooden scoop (which is 1 tablespoon) and simple directions for use. Wrap and give to all your friends, family, loved ones, and even co-workers!

Bath salts are easy to make and well worth the effort. You can experiment with the ingredients so that you can get the ideal mixture for your needs and desires. You can also have fun creating a great gift for everyone on your list!