Autumn Bouquets

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I am such a jar and bottle-saver! I save glass jars and bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I was starting to get quite a collection and running out of space to put them, so I thought I’d make some autumn bouquets to give to my flower-loving friends.

I love the variety of sizes and colors of these bottles! Each one of them had some sort of food item in them–after the contents were used up, I removed the labels on each bottle so I could reuse them as vases and tied autumn-colored ribbons around them before filling with flowers.

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These three glass bottles were all once containers for vanilla, almond, and orange extract.

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These two jars originally had jam in them.

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Another unique-looking bottle and jar: the small clear bottle in the foreground was from Cracker Barrel (it was a miniature maple syrup bottle–the kind they give you when you order pancakes). The larger brown glass jar in the background is actually a vitamin jar. Who would’ve thought it would make such a great vase?

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This vintage-looking soda bottle was from Cracker Barrel, too–they sell a variety of vintage sodas in their country store, and some of them have such great designs, you hate to toss them out!

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This bottle is one of my favorites–it has a long neck and a rounded base, so no worries about this tipping over! This originally had some white wine vinegar in it.

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And this large bottle had some apple juice in it–I love the detail of the leaves at the top of the bottle–much too pretty to get rid of!

Most of my labels came off pretty easily just by soaking the bottle in hot soapy water–I left the bottles in the water overnight. But sometimes I come across really stubborn labels, and on those, I sometimes use nail polish remover. I’ve also heard that Goo Gone works too, although I haven’t tried that yet. If you use products like these, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area.

Are you a glass jar and bottle-saver too? Using them as vases is one way to upcycle them. Do you have other ways of reusing pretty jars and bottles?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy and Show and Share at Coastal Charm.

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7 Anti-Aging Foods

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I saw an article at Sharecare.com about seven foods they refer to as “anti-aging powerhouses.” These foods may also help cut your risk of heart disease and cancer when incorporated into a healthy diet. So if you’re interested, here’s a condensed list of the seven foods–you can … Continue reading

Exercise Your Face: Tips from The 5-Minute Facial Workout

lrbkcoverWe all hear a lot about how important it is to get enough exercise, right? But I hadn’t heard much about the idea of exercising your face, which is also referred to as Facial Gymnastics. Now I know much more, thanks to the review copy I received of  The 5-Minute Facial Workout by Catherine Pez. The book explains that there are more than 50 muscles that make up the structure of your face and you can tone these muscles just as you tone other muscles in your body. Facial exercises can benefit both women and men, and this book says you can see improvements just by doing them 5 minutes a day. Another nice thing is that no special equipment is needed and you can do these exercises anywhere and anytime (although you probably won’t want to do them in public!) :D

Here’s some interesting info about Facial Gymnastics:

  • Working the muscles in your lower face helps lift your features, refine your skin, sculpt your cheeks, plump up your lips, and firm the skin around your neck.
  • Exercising muscles in the middle of your face improves facial structure, pulls up the cheekbones, rounds out the cheeks, and prevents the formation of crow’s feet and nasolabial folds (also called “laugh lines”).
  • Working on the upper face helps to relax your eyelids, prevent frown lines, and support the skin of your forehead and temples, which is essential to maintaining muscle tone in all of your features.

There are 30 facial exercises in The 5-Minute Facial Workout, each with clear instructions and color photographs demonstrating the movement, so it’s very easy to follow. I received permission from the publisher to share two exercises from the book, one for lips and one for the forehead, so here they are!

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Images courtesy of The 5-Minute Facial Workout: 30 Exercises for a Naturally Beautiful Face by Catherine Pez, 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

 

It certainly makes sense that if you tone your facial muscles it will help improve those wrinkles! Have you ever tried doing facial exercises? Is it something you may start doing?

 

Love Bulk Foods and Celebrate Earth Month!

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In a little over a week, April will be here already and April is Earth Month (Earth Day is April 22). It’s a great reminder for us to do what we can to care for our environment…we can all do something, whether it’s recycling, composting, reducing waste, using environmental-friendly cleaning products…things that a lot of you probably do already! I’ve been much more conscious myself about recycling and trying to cut down on unnecessary waste these past few years. And a really simple way that anyone can help reduce paper and packaging waste is by buying natural and organic foods from bulk food bins available at various grocery stores, health food stores, and natural food co-ops. I usually buy things like peanut butter, almond butter, and different granolas from the bulk bins, but I’m realizing now that there are many other things I could be buying!

lovebulkbuttonThere’s a non-profit organization, the Bulk is Green Council (BIG), that is dedicated to promoting the environmental and economical benefits of using natural and organic bulk foods. To help celebrate Earth Month this year, the Bulk is Green Council (BIG) is challenging consumers to “Love Bulk Foods.” And they are offering you the chance to win a prize pack filled with some great products to help you start creating your own pantry of eco-friendly bulk foods. The photo above shows what’s included in the prize pack–a starter kit of popular natural and organic bulk foods that can be found in most bulk bins at natural food co-ops and grocery stores from these brands: SunRidge Farms, Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Lundberg Family Farms, and several other bulk brands…organic and natural foods like granola, whole grains, spices, trail mix…lots of yummy and healthy things! You’ll also get two really nice 100% recycled glass storage jars to keep some of your bulk foods in and a handy canvas “Love Bulk” tote to use on your shopping trips!

To enter the drawings for the prize packs: The Bulk is Green Council (BIG) will have a drawing each week in the month of April–you just need to take the pledge to Love Bulk Foods at the BIG website, agreeing to purchase natural and organic bulk foods once a week during Earth Month–and you’ll automatically be entered for the drawings! You can read more about this and take the pledge by clicking here at the Bulk is Green website.

Here’s some helpful information about the benefits of buying natural and organic bulk foods and some shopping tips:

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I had no idea so much landfill waste could be prevented by purchasing bulk foods! I know I’m going to make an extra effort to buy what I can in bulk. Earth month in April will be a great reminder for me to do that!

Do you like the idea of buying bulk foods and what kinds of foods do you buy? Do you plan on taking the pledge to “Love Bulk” in April?

I received a complimentary bulk foods prize pack to sample and write about, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

33 Different Uses for Mason Jars

I’ve become a mason jar-saver, and I have a small but growing collection of different shapes and sizes that have held jams, jellies, pickles, sauces, and other homemade foods that friends have given me. So I was glad to find a helpful guide at MidwestLiving.com on 15 Ways to Use Mason Jars. Then I found more ideas at a few other sites. These are all great ideas because they’re so simple!

Here are a few from Midwest Living that I plan on using…

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Silverware holders–use each jar to hold a napkin and “silverware setting for one”–the jar can also be used by your guest as a drinking glass. Or organize spoons, forks, and knives in three different jars for a buffet-style arrangement.

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Or you may just want to use the jars for serving your beverages in–they’re great for outdoor parties or picnics because they’re so sturdy!

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Use as containers for forcing bulbs. I love this idea!

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Make an easy centerpiece–just float a pretty blossom in a jar filled with water.

Other Midwest Living ideas include:

Using jars to store dry foods like oatmeal and other grains, rice, lentils, dried fruit, sugar, flour, salt, dried beans, pasta, etc. They come in handy if you buy bulk foods. Add your own homemade labels.

Keep your desk organized–use jars for holding pens, pencils, markers, paint brushes, and scissors.

I found more uses at a site called Care2. They list 50 uses for mason jars! These are the ideas from their list that I use or will use most:

  1. Storing cookies
  2. Storing homemade mixes
  3. Use for “recipe in a jar” gifts
  4. Storing saved seeds
  5. Use as containers for homemade soy candles
  6. Holding sour dough starters
  7. Storing homemade cleaners for the home (make sure they’re clearly labeled!)
  8. Storing cotton balls on the bathroom counter
  9. Storing bulk or homemade shampoo
  10. Storing bath salts
  11. Storing small office supplies
  12. Making sun tea
  13. Use as vases for fresh flowers
  14. Use as containers for homemade candy gifts
  15. Storing sewing notions-buttons and other small items
  16. Use as containers for loose change

These uses are from a site called Keeper of the Home. Here are some ideas I like from her list of 31 uses:

  1. Storing leftovers in the refrigerator–soups, stews, cooked rice, veggies–pretty much any kind of food that will fit in the jar (if you need extra lids, you can purchase some like these).
  2. Store leftover smoothies so you can drink later in the day or take to work.
  3. Keep track of how much water you’re drinking–if you drink from a quart-size jar, you can easily keep track of how much water you’re drinking each day.
  4. Sprouting seeds or grains (you can buy these special lids if you want).
  5. Storing homemade juice or iced tea in the refrigerator.
  6. Keeping herbs fresh in the refrigerator (like green onions, cilantro, etc.) by filling a jar 3/4 full of water, then placing your bunch of fresh herbs in it-the herbs stay fresh longer than if put in the produce drawer.
  7. Storing homemade spice mixes–use the 1/2 pint or smaller jars for this.
  8. Mixing and storing homemade salad dressings, marinades, and other sauces.
  9. Mixing and storing homemade syrups.

And then I found a few more ideas at Yahoo Voices:

  1. Start plant cuttings in jars filled with water (I do this a lot!)
  2. To be more eco-friendly, use mason jars instead of plastic containers for your lunch–they’re a great container for soups and salads.

So all together, that’s 33 different ways to use mason jars–plus all the other ideas at those sites that I didn’t mention!

Do you have a collection of mason jars? What different ways do you like to use them?

Three Green Tea Toners

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We’ve all heard how healthy green tea is, with all those antioxidants! So I’ve been drinking it more. But I didn’t realize until lately that it’s also good for your skin, since it has vitamins C and E in it, and makes a great skin toner. I’ve tried making it several different ways, and they’ve all worked well for me. My skin tends to be on dry side, so if you have very oily skin, I’m not sure how well these recipes would work for you. But it’s worth a try–the cost is so minimal to make these, you really don’t have anything to lose! And I like the idea of making my own natural, chemical-free, preservative-free skin care products when I can.

You do have to keep the toner refrigerated, and you can use it for up to 7 days before you need to toss any that’s leftover and make a new batch. That may sound like some extra work, but green tea toner is so easy to make, it’s really no trouble at all! These recipes call for 1/4 cup water, which may not seem like much, but it’s always been more than enough toner for me for one week. You can always double the recipe if you think you’ll need a little more toner. Also, the toner will look cloudy once it’s refrigerated, but that’s just what the tea does–it’s fine to use!

I keep the toner I make in a small (4-oz.) brown glass bottle that used to have Vanilla Extract in it–I saved the bottle and removed the label, and it’s the perfect size for my toner! Even a 2-oz. bottle would probably be big enough. My 4-oz. bottle takes up very little room in the refrigerator and it’s a very handy size to hold as I’m applying the toner.

Here are the three green tea toner recipes…

BASIC GREEN TEA TONER by NancyCreative, adapted from howstuffworks.com 

  • 1/4 cup water (use filtered if you have it)
  • 1 green tea bag, preferably organic (or 1 teaspoon organic green tea leaves)

Bring water to a boil (I just boil it in the microwave in a microwave-safe measuring cup–that makes it easier to pour the toner into the bottle I store it in). Remove from heat.

Place the tea bag or tea leaves in the boiling water, and steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove tea bag (or leaves) and let tea cool.

Pour the tea into a small bottle with a tight-fitting cap or lid, or pour into a small spray bottle (if you want to use it as a spritzer). Refrigerate until ready to use.

To use, wash your face with your favorite cleanser and pat dry. Apply green tea toner generously on your face with a cotton ball, or spritz it on. Let the toner dry on your face–don’t rinse off. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.

Use morning and night. Keep toner refrigerated and use for up to 7 days before making a new batch.

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GREEN TEA LEMON TONER by NancyCreative, adapted from justapinch.com

The lemon juice and witch hazel make this good for oily skin

  • 1 organic green tea bag (or 1 teaspoon organic green tea leaves)
  • 1/4 cup boiling water (you can use filtered water or mineral water if you have it)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons witch hazel (optional–this is good to add if you have oily skin)

Bring water to a boil, and remove from heat.

Place the tea bag or tea leaves in the boiling water, and steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove tea bag (or leaves) and let tea cool.

After tea has cooled, add the lemon juice (and witch hazel, if using), and mix ingredients together.

Pour the tea mixture into a small bottle with a tight-fitting cap or lid, or pour into a small spray bottle (if you want to use it as a spritzer). Refrigerate until ready to use.

To use, wash your face with your favorite cleanser and pat dry. Apply green tea toner generously on your face with a cotton ball, or spritz it on. Let the toner dry on your face–don’t rinse off. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.

Use morning and night. Keep toner refrigerated and use for up to 7 days before making a new batch.

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TEA TREE AND VITAMIN E GREEN TEA TONER by NancyCreative, adapted from glowingskintips.com

The tea tree and vitamin E oils make this good for dry skin. You’ll need an eyedropper for adding the oils to the toner.

  • 1 organic green tea bag (or 1 teaspoon organic green tea leaves)
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 drop vitamin E oil

Bring water to a boil, and remove from heat.

Place the tea bag or tea leaves in the boiling water, and steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove tea bag (or leaves) and let tea cool.

After tea has cooled, add the tea tree and vitamin E oils. Mix ingredients together well.

Pour the tea mixture into a small bottle with a tight-fitting cap or lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To use, wash your face with your favorite cleanser and pat dry. Apply green tea toner generously on your face with a cotton ball (shake bottle slightly before using). Let the toner dry on your face–don’t rinse off. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.

Use morning and night. Keep toner refrigerated and use for up to 7 days before making a new batch.

Have you made your own toner before? Do you have a favorite recipe for it?

Orange Vanilla Coconut Scrub

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I love orangey-scented things, so I thought I’d try making a scrub with epsom salt. Not long ago, I did a post on Peppermint Tea Tree Bath Salts and mentioned some of the health benefits of epsom salt. I thought they would be great to use in a body scrub, too. This scrub is thick, like a paste, and is scented with orange essential oil and pure vanilla extract. It smells so good and makes your skin really nice and soft!

ORANGE VANILLA COCONUT SCRUB by NancyCreative

  • 1 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 8 to 10 drops Orange essential oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small or medium-size bowl or other clean container, combine Epsom Salts with coconut oil using a spoon or spatula (Note: If the coconut oil gets much above 76˚ it can turn into liquid form–so if yours is liquidy, refrigerate your coconut oil until it solidifies). Add orange essential oil a few drops at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the vanilla extract last and blend everything well. Store in a shallow jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. You don’t need to refrigerate this scrub unless the temperature in your home gets much higher than 76˚ (or when you notice the coconut oil turning to liquid form), because then the mixture will be more runny. You can use this scrub 1 to 2  times a week to keep extra dry or rough skin areas smooth and soft.

When using, wet your skin all over in the shower and massage the scrub into your skin. You don’t need to use a lot–just pinch up about 1/2 teaspoon at a time from your jar or container–a little goes a long way! This is great for rough skin areas like knees and elbows. Don’t use on face or other sensitive areas. Also, be careful when using, because the oil from the scrub can make your shower or tub a little slippery. If you want to use this on your feet as a foot scrub, it would probably be safest to give your feet a separate foot scrub/bath while you’re sitting down using a small plastic tub; that way, you don’t have to worry about slipping in your bathroom tub or shower.

It’s fun making your own bath and skin care products, and so much cheaper, too! I think they work just as well as any you can buy. Have you tried making any for yourself?

Upcycling: Clever DIY Decor

I saw some very clever DIY decor projects at Country Living recently. They look pretty easy, too. There are lots of ideas, and I’m sharing a few of my favorites! Visit CountryLiving.com for complete directions.

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If you like quilts, here’s a framed quilt design made out of paper! It’s a great way to use your paper scraps from other craft projects. This design was made from four different patterned papers, and they’re just glued onto an illustration board with a glue stick. Add a frame and you have a great quilt wall hanging with no sewing involved!

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I thought these Lampshade Tables were a great way to upcycle old lampshades–maybe you have some in your attic you can upcycle! Or maybe you’ll find a really unique shade to use from a flea market. All you need is a little spray paint for the metal lampshade wire, the right type of glue, and a round-cut piece of glass for the top!

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I love this pillow made from an old sweater–another great upcycling idea! It sounds pretty easy to make this–just cut two square pieces from an old sweater and sew together–you’ll need a pillow form, too. The flower is a bit more involved, but it’s a really cute touch!

Hope these ideas give you some upcycling inspiration! Are you working on any fun DIY projects of your own?

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

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I’ve seen lots of recipes for homemade laundry detergent, especially on Pinterest. And then a friend of mine told me she had made some herself and really liked it. Making your own is supposed to be much cheaper than buying it, and I’m always looking for ways to save money…so I told myself that as soon as I used up the laundry detergent I had on hand, I would try making my own. I decided I would do powdered detergent because it seemed a little easier and less messy to make. I looked at quite a few “recipes” and many were very similar. Most of them had these ingredients–Borax, Super Washing Soda, and Fels-Naptha. I decided to add some baking soda to mine because that’s such a good cleaner. I also decided to use a bar of Ivory Soap along with the Fels-Naptha–I’ve read that you could use either, so I thought I’d try one bar of each (I forgot to add the Ivory soap to the photo below!).

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You start out by grating the soap bars, which you can either do by hand or in your food processor. I grated mine by hand–I bought a separate grater just to use for soap, and the Ivory soap grated easily…the Fels-Naptha takes a little longer if you’re grating it by hand. One of my readers, Barbara, mentioned in a comment that she found it much easier to use her long Microplane grater that she normally uses for Parmesan cheese–so that’s another option, too. Here’s what the soaps look like when they’re grated–I used the smaller grating side of my hand  grater:

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Then you just mix the grated soap with the other powdered ingredients, and you have your very own homemade laundry detergent! You don’t even need to scent this with anything because it has such a wonderful fresh-smelling scent of its’ own! This is a low-sudsing detergent, so don’t expect a lot of suds! But I thought it did a good job of cleaning.

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You can store your detergent in a container with a tight-fitting lid–I used this glass jar I bought at Wal-Mart and made a tag for it, which I attached with a ribbon at the neck of the jar. You can also use a plastic container, which may be a safer option.

Here’s the “recipe” for my homemade detergent…

HOMEMADE POWDERED LAUNDRY DETERGENT by NancyCreative

  • 1 (5.5-oz.) Fels-Naptha soap bar (or you can substitute similar sizes of Kirk’s Hardwater Castile or Zote bars*)
  • 1 (4.5-oz.) Ivory soap bar
  • 2 cups Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 1/2 cups Borax
  • 1 cup Baking Soda

Grate soap with a hand-held grater or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered (if you grate by hand, your soap will be coarser, but that’s okay–the soap can be either finely or coarsely grated; I grated mine by hand using the smaller grating side).

Put grated soap in a large bowl or small bucket (you can line the bucket with a plastic bag if you like) and add the washing soda, borax, and baking soda, mixing everything together well. Store in an airtight container.

This makes about 7 1/2 cups of powdered detergent (this detergent is low-sudsing, but it still works great). For a light load, use 1 1/2 Tablespoons of detergent; for a heavy load or heavily soiled load, use 2 or 2 1/2 Tablespoons of detergent. Depending on what size loads you have, this makes enough for about 60-80 loads. I’m estimating that the cost for making this comes to about $4.20 per batch, which is pretty good for that many loads!

Some of you have asked if this detergent can be used with HE washers, and I don’t know the answer to that–it’s best if you check directly with the manufacturer of your washer.

*Note on soap bars: It’s best to stick with the brands listed; do not use heavily perfumed or moisturizing soaps–the oils in these kinds of soaps can create spots on your clothes.

For a lemon scent to your laundry, add 1/2 to 1 cup of lemon juice to each load. The lemon juice will not only give your laundry a light lemony scent, it also adds extra whitening power!

Have you tried making homemade laundry detergent yet? What did you think of it?

Peppermint Tea Tree Bath Salts and 25 Other Uses for Epsom Salt

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There’s nothing like a relaxing soak in the tub with bath salts to make you feel revived and refreshed! The challenge is finding the time to do it! I decided a few months ago to start making time, at least once every few weeks, and it is something I really look forward to. It really feels wonderful to take time out and pamper yourself this way.

I thought it would be fun to make my own bath salts and came up with these Peppermint Tea Tree Bath Salts. They are very easy to make…you just need some Epsom Salt, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Tea Tree Essential Oil (you can find essential oils at your local health food store). I did not add any food coloring to the salts, but you can add a drop or two if you want–I prefer to just keep them the natural white. The peppermint scent is really refreshing, and the tea tree oil is good for your skin, so these two oils make a great combination!

I also discovered that soaking in Epsom Salt has health benefits because it’s rich in both magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium plays an important role in many bodily functions like muscle control, energy production, and the elimination of harmful toxins. Sulfate plays an important part in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins, and also helps detoxify the body of environmental toxins. So, soaking in an Epsom salt bath is an easy way to increase your body’s levels of magnesium and sulfate. No wonder it’s so refreshing! Your body and muscles will be relaxed, toxins will be flushed out, and the salts also help reduce the swelling of sprains.

Here’s how I make my bath salts…

PEPPERMINT TEA TREE BATH SALTS by NancyCreative

Makes enough for one bath (I multiply this recipe by 4 and keep it in a large jar)

  • 2 cups Epsom Salt
  • 5 to 7 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (depending on how strong of a scent you want)
  • 3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 1 gallon-size zip-loc freezer bag (I like using freezer bags because they’re thicker than regular storage bags)

Put Epsom Salt in zip-loc bag and add the drops of Peppermint and Tea Tree essential oils; mix oils into the Epsom Salt by squishing ingredients together in the closed bag for several minutes. You can use it right away or store salts in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. To use, add 2 cups of the bath salts under the running warm or hot water in your tub. To get the maximum benefit from this Epsom Salt bath, you should soak for at least 12 minutes. And you can do this 3 times weekly, if you have the time! :)

I like to make larger batches and keep it in a jar in my bathroom; that way I don’t have to make it so often. These bath salts make a great homemade gift, too–you can make a double batch and put it in a jar tied with a pretty ribbon.

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Here are some other uses I found for Epsom Salt, if you’re interested in trying some of these out. The first one I try will probably be the skin cleanser. If you try any of these out, let me know!

  1. Skin Exfoliator–Add a drop of essential oil (or a Tablespoon of olive oil) to a handful of Epsom salt and massage over wet skin. Or just use the Epsom salt by itself. Rinse thoroughly. Makes your skin smooth and silky. Can be used on face as well as the whole body.
  2. Olive Oil Epsom Salt Scrub–Mix 1/2 cup Epsom salt with 1/4 cup olive oil; scrub skin in the shower and rinse thoroughly for soft, smooth skin.
  3. Skin Cleanser–Mix 1/2 teaspoon Epsom salt with your regular cleansing cream. Massage into skin and rinse with cold water.
  4. Bath Crystals–Mix 2 cups Epsom salt with a few drops of fragrance or 1/2 teaspoon glycerin. Store in airtight container until ready to use.
  5. Blackhead Remover–Add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt and 3 drops of iodine into 1/2 cup boiling water. Apply mixture to blackheads with a cotton ball.
  6. Hand Wash–Mix  equal parts of Epsom salt and baby oil; put in a dispenser by your sink to clean and soften hands.
  7. Hair Volumizer–Combine equal parts deep conditioner and Epsom salt and warm in a pan. Work the warm mixture through your hair and leave on 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
  8. Remove Hairspray Buildup–Combine 1 gallon of water, 1 cup lemon juice, and 1 cup Epsom salt. cover mixture and let set for 24 hours. The next day, pour mixture onto dry hair; leave on for 20 minutes, then shampoo.
  9. Itchy Skin Remedy I–Mix 1 Tablespoon Epsom salt into 1/2 cup of water until completely dissolved. Spritz on itchy skin or bug bites with a spray bottle, or dab on with a cotton ball to help relieve itching. Or use as a compress on the skin area. Can also use on minor sunburns.
  10. Itchy Skin Remedy II–For mosquito bites, bee stings, mild sunburn and poison ivy, make compresses by soaking a cotton washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (2 Tablespoons per cup). Then apply to skin.
  11. Foot Soak–Mix 1/2 cup  to 1 cup Epsom salt in a large pan or plastic tub of warm water and soak feet for 10 to 20 minutes–soothes achy feet, softens skin, smooths calluses and removes foot odor.
  12. Epsom Salt Pedicure–Mix 1/2 cup of Epsom salt with warm, soapy water; soak feet to soften skin; remove polish, cut and file nails and calluses; then soak feet in an Epsom salt bath for 5 minutes (use another 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in a large pan of water).
  13. Toenail Fungus Treatment–Soak affected toes in hot water mixed with a handful of Epsom salt three times a day.
  14. Splinter Remover–soak area in concentrated Epsom salt water to draw out splinter. Or, add enough water to 1/8 cup of Epsom salt to form a paste. Apply mixture to injured area and let sit for 10 minutes. The magnesium sulfate in this paste works to gently pull the splinter to the surface so you can pull it out easily.
  15. Bathroom Tile/Grout Cleaner–Mix equal parts Epsom salt and liquid dish soap; apply on dirty tiles and grout; scrub and rinse well.
  16. Slug Remover–Sprinkle Epsom salt on areas where you have a slug problem–on floors, patios, or garden beds–the salts will help deter slugs. It’s supposed to help keep raccoons away, too, if you have a problem with them!
  17. Fertilizer for House Plants–Add 2 Tablespoons Epsom salt per gallon of water and stir to dissolve. Fill a spray bottle with mixture and use this to feed plants once a month.
  18. Keep Lawn Green–Use same mixture as above, 2 Tablespoons Epsom salt per gallon of water, and sprinkle on your lawn to keep grass healthy and green. Or another tip says you can use 3 pounds of Epsom salt for every 1,250 square feet. Apply with a spreader or dilute the Epsom salt in water and use a sprayer.
  19. Natural Insecticide–Mix 2 Tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water and spray onto your plants to safely and naturally get rid of insects like cabbage worms and spider mites. For roses, just use 1 Tablespoon per gallon of water to help discourage pests.
  20. Prep Garden Soil–Sprinkle up to 1 cup Epsom salt per 100 square feet, then work it into the soil before seeding or planting. This helps seeds to germinate better and helps mature plants transition when replanted. Note: If you’re growing the herb Sage, do not do this–sage does not like Epsom salt!
  21. For Tomato Plants–Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Epsom salt per hole before planting your tomato seeds or small plants. As plants mature, work in 1 Tablespoon per foot of plant height around the base of the tomato plant every 2 weeks.
  22. For Fruit– Mix Epsom salt with water at a ratio of about a quarter-cup of Epsom salt per 500 square feet when you irrigate your plants. Epsom salt supposedly reduces the amount of fertilizers you need and makes the fertilizers you use more effective in growing fruit.
  23. For Rose Bushes–Soak unplanted rose bushes in a mixture of 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water before planting to help roots get stronger. When planting, add 1 Tablespoon of Epsom Salt per hole before planting each rose bush. After planting, you can spray the bushes each month with the same liquid mixture (1/2 cup per gallon of water), or work into the soil at the base of each plant 1 Tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot (in height) of each plant. Another tip says to add 1 Tablespoon Epsom salt diluted in a gallon of water per foot of plant height every 2 weeks.
  24. For Trees–Work in 2 Tablespoons per 9 square feet into the soil over the root zone (or dilute in water and apply) three or four times a year, at the beginning of each season–this helps prepare the trees for the change in weather.
  25. For Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron)–Work in 1 Tablespoon per 9 square feet into the soil over the root zone every 2 to 4 weeks (or dilute the same amount of Epsom salt in water and apply).

The name Epsom comes from a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. It’s not actually salt, but a natural pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.

I think I’ll be using Epsom Salt a lot more now that I know about the benefits it has…have you used Epsom salt for any of your beauty, household, or garden needs? Do you have any tips of your own for how to use it?

Sources: Epsom Salt Council and several other sites linked to within the post.

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