Introduction: Bath Salt Bars

Picture of Bath Salt Bars

Yesterday, my wonderful wife was having back pain. So being the caring husband that I am... I ran her a hot bath and homemade bath salts. Anyway the bath salts really seemed to help and I noticed that I could form the salts into nifty little bars.

Step 1: Get It Together

Picture of Get It Together

So let's see here... what are we gonna need for this one:

Epson Salt - Pharmacy, Wal-Mart...
Glycerin - Pharmacy (I got mine at Wal-Mart)
Baking Soda - Almost anywhere
Cheese Clothe - Grocery Store or craft section at Wal-Mart
Water - Plain old tap water will work great!
Essential Oil(s) - Craft and Hobby stores, also check Wal-Mart (for Scent)

Measuring cup
Mixing bowl
Large Sauce Pan
Mold or Form of some shape...

Step 2: Make With Tha' Mixin'

Picture of Make With Tha' Mixin'

So this "recipe" is vague... You can adjust it as you see fit, as long as you get the mixture moist enough to bind together.

Dry work

Step 1: Measure out 2 Cups of Epson Salt.

Step 2: Add 2 heaping spoonfuls of Baking Soda

Step 3: Mix dry ingredients

Wet Work

Step 1: Measure out 4 to 5 teaspoons of Glycerin

Step 2: Add 4 to 5 teaspoons of water

Step 3: Add Essential Oil... The amount of oil you use is entirely up to you. Just don't make it too strong.

Step 4: Stir all liquid ingredients until well blended.

Go Time

Step 1: Pour liquid mixture onto dry mix

Step 2: Stir until well blended. The mix will be like wet sand or icy snow.

Step 3: Bringin' the Heat!

Picture of Bringin' the Heat!

Transfer the wet snowy mixture to a large sauce pan. You can also use a glass baking dish. The baking dish is a great way to prevent dirtying so many dishes, however it will take MUCH longer to cool.

Heat the mixture on a medium low setting (electric stove), low (gas stove), or bake @ 250 degrees. The mixture will begin to melt and get glossy. It will also begin to expand... Keep this in mind for later.

[Edit / Revision] The mixture can be heated in the microwave in a microwave safe dish for roughly 1 minute. Micro wave heating melts the mix but it seems to cool quite a bit faster if "nuked."

Be patient while heating. Stir constantly and don't heat the mix too fast.

Once the mix starts to look like cream of wheat or warm tapioca pudding you're ready for the next step.

Step 4: Taking Shape

Picture of Taking Shape

Line the bottom of your form or mold with wax paper or cheese clothe (if you can reasonably do so.)

Carefully pour the heated mixture into the mold. Be careful the mixture is quite warm... Also the mixture will continue to expand for a while so only fill the form 1/2 to 3/4 full.

You're done just about all you can for now... set things aside and let them cool.

After the top of the mixture is cool to the touch, flip the mold over on to a cookie sheet or other hard surface. Gently tap the form to release the bath salt chunk. Slowly and carefully peel the wax paper or cheese clothe from the chunk.

Allow the chunk to cool for another 5 to 10 minutes.

You're now ready to cut the bath salt into bars.
Using a sharp knife carefully cut the block into the desired size bars, then leave them to cool some more.

Step 5: Wrap It Up!

Picture of Wrap It Up!

After the bars have cooled to room temp. they are ready to be packaged. We wrapped ours in Cheese Clothe and ribbon which I think makes a very attractive package. You could also used a decorative wash cloth or small box.

If you use clothe cut a cardboard box to serve as a base as the salt is VERY fragile...

Well that's about it for this project, so enjoy your bath!


Althea MaeH (author)2015-11-27


boxen (author)2009-12-08

I tried that and now I have a bald spot and no skin on my shin.

Gh0stT0wnC0wb0y (author)boxen2009-12-08

Yeah I assumed everyone knew bath salt is for soaking... it should dissolve in the tub. Not to be used for scrubbing...

Use the microwave method because the salts react with the metal in the pan for the same reason you cannot store them in a metal tin. You can also use Shea or Cocoa butter instead of the glycerin. The butters will re harden and help the bar hold together while adding moisture to the skin. Be careful though, the tub may become slippery.

TunaFishTuna (author)2012-04-03


Mauigerbil (author)2012-01-22

Any way to omit the glycerin?

insomniaSAH (author)2009-06-25

what exactly to you use these for...? Scrubbing? Or do they fall apart in the bath like a bath bomb?

Batness (author)insomniaSAH2011-10-09

They eventually fall apart. Epsom salt is used to soothe muscles and such.

Browncoat (author)2009-04-23

Do these fizz like bath bombs? What size would you suggest per bar/bath?

Batness (author)Browncoat2011-10-09

These do not fizz; this is just epsom salt.

cowboyclint (author)2011-08-09

after you use the measuring cup, bowl, pan, mold, etc, it's not food safe, anymore, correct?

kfernandez2 (author)2011-07-31

is epsom salt needed in this experiment can i try iodized salt.,?

No you can't use iodized salt... Epsom salt isn't actually salt.... It is in fact Magnesium sulfate. If you use Iodized you'll get out of the bath looking like a dried piece of jerky.

Lunarius (author)2011-05-03

This is an awesome concept! I plan on giving it a try today. A few things to be aware of, though: don't use anything you'll use again for food preparation; some essential and fragrance oils can linger and be pretty nasty.
Also, most fragrance oils found in hobby stores for making soap should do great for this, but it's prudent to be wary when you find oils for home fragrance, candles or incense -- some of those aren't meant for use on the skin at all. The same goes for essential oils themselves; some, like bergamot, aren't meant to be used directly on the skin and too high a concentration of oil in your bath salts could lead to unpleasant skin reactions the next time you're in the sun.

Kittyisgood (author)2011-03-24

I think for the essential oils you could start with 8 drops and see how scented you want it from there.

JosiePosie76 (author)2010-05-13

I have done the same...  Only I put the salts in soap (not as much).  It works like a pumice...  Feels great....

JackiePeters (author)2010-05-08

Great instructable, when i went out i couldn't find any essantial oils, so i just bought a bag of scented Epsom Salt... it works well too.

Gh0stT0wnC0wb0y (author)2010-05-05

Hmm, Maybe try adding more salt, and reheating? I'm not sure...

beans8604 (author)2010-05-05

 Mine never dried, I followed the instructions word for word, and even left them for a half an hour but it never dried. Any suggestions? It wasnt ewt it was just kinda mushy.

Ascii King (author)2009-05-08

When you say "the amount of oil you use is up to you", you are assuming we know how much is a good amount to try. Could you recommend an amount or tell us the amount you use?

kizzy87 (author)Ascii King2010-02-21

I guess it's like scenting anything, add a couple of drops of your favourite scent. Sniff, if it isn't strong enough ad a few more, repeat until you're happy with the smell. If you accidentally make it too strong you could always add some more of everything else and just make more bars.

Great instructable though, and much better than pots of salts that always seem to get knocked over right when someone forgets to put the lid back on properly.

mfuchs88w (author)2009-05-08

can i use a substitute for glycerin?

uberchoob (author)mfuchs88w2009-05-09

glycerine is basically there to preserve it and make it last longer on the shelf (maybe some shape holding quality?). So really, you should be able to leave it out and put a little extra water in, though why would you want to since you can get an excess of it at wal-mart for three dollars? (I got mine tonight :-P)

kikkoman7347 (author)2009-05-07

Nice instructable. Just in time for Mothers' Day.

aje127 (author)2009-01-20

Interesting. Do you use this like a bar of soap or just plop the whole thing in the tub?

Gh0stT0wnC0wb0y (author)aje1272009-01-20

We just drop them in the tub while it's filling up, however I suppose you could try to use it as a pumice stone...

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