Epsom Salt Gems – Bath Salts with a Twist!

Epsom Salt Gems – Bath Salts with a Twist!

What are Epsom Salt Gems?

I’ve come up with this cute little twist on the traditional bath salts recipe – bath salt gems.

Take a basic bath salts recipe, add water, mold into shapes, and allow to dry – ridiculously simple! When they are completely dry they become rock hard.  Use different shapes, colors and essential oils to make a beautiful selection, perfect for gift-giving.


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epsom salt gems

Epsom Salt Gems Make & Take

Why not use this recipe to do an essential oil make & take workshop?  It’s a great opportunity to share the benefits of essential oils as well as to demonstrate fun ways for people to use them.

bath salt gems essential oil make and take idea

Class talking points include the benefits of the essential oils you are using, as well as the benefits of Epsom salt baths .  Give your class attendees some examples of useful essential oil blends to make their bath salt gems for relaxing baths, supporting recovery baths, or baths for kids.

Make sure you problem solve how your guests can get their Epsom salt gems home while they are still wet.  A grease-proof paper lined disposable plate for each attendee will work perfectly.

Don’t forget you can PRINT my recipe below so each class attendee can have their own copy.

Epsom Salt Gems Ingredients

The following ingredients and supplies are needed to make Epsom Salt Gems.

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts lie at the heart of every good bath salts recipe due to the many uses and benefits they have for our well-being.

If you have the time, I recommend using Colored Epsom Salts as the base for this recipe. These are Epsom salts that have been pre-colored and allowed to dry which definitely helps you control the moisture content of this recipe. It also helps create a more even and consistent coloring of your salt gems.

Baking Soda

Baking soda (or bi-carb soda) is the glue that’s gonna hold these cute little gems together. When testing this recipe I made it both with and without the baking soda and twelve months later those gems without baking soda have crumbled back into salt while the ones with baking soda are still holding together perfectly.

If your baking soda is lumpy, sift it as you add it to your mixture.

Essential Oils and a Carrier Oil

As this recipe uses essential oils, I have included a carrier oil for dilution purposes. Essential oils should always be diluted, especially in the bath (where they have access to all sorts of nooks and crannies they might not ordinarily have).

Common carrier oils include liquid (MCT) coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil (beware of nut allergies if you are giving these bath salt gems as a gift), grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and the list goes on.


How do you remember all of your favorite essential oil blends?
I record mine in this beautiful blend recipe book. Want one?

my little book of blends birdie design with orange and purple ombre roller bottles and white and pink hydrangeas
My Little Book of Blends essential oil blend recipe books are available from my online store.

Water

To increase the storage longevity of your essential oil project, do not use water from the tap in the recipe.  Instead I recommend distilled, demineralized, or water that has been boiled and then cooled.  Alternatively rose water (also available from the supermarket) is a great idea (and will add to the beautiful scent of your bath salt gems).

Mixing Bowl & Spoon

You will require a mixing bowl and spoon to make this recipe. To be on the safe side, I recommend you use a non-plastic bowl and spoon for this activity as essential oils can quickly corrode some plastics. A glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl and a metal spoon is the way to go.

Silicone Ice Tray

A silicone mold is a must for this recipe as you are required to turn your salt gems out before they are dry (rather than leave them to dry in the mold). A light tap on the silicone with your finger should easily dislodge your gem.

Turning them out helps them to dry much faster and allows any excess oil and water to drain away. Leaving your salt gems to dry in the mold requires a much longer dry time (like a week!) and you run the risk of breaking them when trying to turn them out.

Your selected silicone mold should have small cavities (about an inch across) and should be less than an inch deep (just like these). This will give you the best results.

Grease-Proof Paper Lined Tray

These Epsom salt gems need to stand for 48 hours to dry. You cannot touch them during this time as they are fragile when wet. Also some of the water and oil may leak out during the drying process. A baking tray is the perfect solution as you can then pick them up and move them to a safe place to dry. The grease-proof paper allows for easy clean-up once your project is finished.

pastel pink, yellow, orange and purple heart and star-shaped gems made from epsom salt

Epsom Salt Gems Recipe

Want your Epsom Salt Gems to look like mine?

I made four batches of bath salt gems in four different colors. I used a heart-shaped silicone ice tray and a star-shaped silicone ice tray to make half the batch hearts and half the batch stars. Then I mixed all the different colors and shapes together.

heart and star shaped epsom salt gems
Print Recipe
3.5 from 2 votes

Epsom Salt Gems

Take a basic bath salts recipe, add water, mold into shapes, and allow to dry – ridiculously simple! When they are completely dry they become rock hard.  Use different shapes, colors and essential oils to make a beautiful selection, perfect for gift-giving.
Prep Time20 mins
Drying Time2 d
Total Time2 d 20 mins
Course: Beginner
Cuisine: Bath and Shower
Keyword: Bath Salts, essential oil DIY

Equipment

  • Glass, Ceramic or Metal Mixing Bowl and Spoon
  • Silicone Ice Tray
  • Tray lined with Grease-Proof Paper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1 tbsp Baking (Bi-Carb) Soda (Sifted)
  • 1 tsp Carrier Oil
  • 20 drops Essential Oil
  • 1-4 drops Liquid Food Coloring
  • 1-2 tsp Water (Only add second teaspoon if necessary)

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl. Your mixture should be wet, but not so wet that the salt starts to dissolve.
  • Spoon mixture into one mold cavity of your silicone mold and press down with the back of a spoon. Turn out molded mixture immediately onto grease proof paper-lined baking tray (start in the top left corner because once they are out you can't move them until they are dry).
  • Repeat process until all the mixture has been used. Allow gems to dry for 48 hours, turning after 24 hours (try to avoid handling them before then as they are fragile when wet).
  • Store them in a plastic zip lock bag or glass jar for color and scent longevity or, if giving them as a gift, place them in a cellophane bag finished off with a pretty ribbon.
  • To use, drop a whole handful of bath salt gems into a bucket of water for a relaxing foot soak, or dissolve the entire batch in a warm bath.

Notes

To increase the storage longevity of your essential oil project, do not use water from the tap in the recipe.  Instead I recommend distilled, demineralized, or water that has been boiled and then cooled.
If your salt cake does not remove easily from your mold, your salt mixture is too dry. Add some more oil and try again.
If your salt cake starts to sag or lose its shape after being removed from the mold, your salt mixture is too wet. Add some more salt and try again.
bath salt gems made from epsom salt

Epsom Salt Gems Troubleshooting Tips

If your salt cake does not remove easily from your mould, your salt mixture is too dry. Add (a tiny bit) more oil and try again.

If your salt cake starts to sag or lose its shape after being removed from the mould, your salt mixture is too wet. Add some more salt and try again.

How to Use Epsom Salt Gems

Store your Epsom salt gems in a plastic zip lock bag or glass jar for color and scent longevity or, if giving them as a gift, place them in a cellophane bag finished off with a pretty ribbon.

To use, drop a whole handful of bath salt gems into a bucket of water for a relaxing foot soak, or dissolve the entire batch in a warm bath.

Enjoy!

colored epsom salt gems in heart-shaped bowls

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Hanna

    Tried them, first attemp wasnt succesful, i guess 2 tsp of water was way to little for my gems. I have noticed its important to pack them very tight and leave them to dry a bit before taking out. Havent tried a bath with them, but tried few gems in a bowl of water shortly after i made them, they needed a bit of stir to dissolve. I cant wait to have them ready for the test in the tub 😍

    1. Ruby

      Do I need preservative as there is water involved

      1. Samantha

        Hi Ruby, thanks for your question. As per the ‘Gather Your Supplies’ section of the post, the water you use in this recipe should be distilled or demineralised, not tap water. If you follow this direction and store your gems in a cool, dry place then you won’t need to add a preservative. I have several batches of gems over 12 months old and they have not gone moldy or turned foul.

  2. Jen

    I’m making care packages for my local hospital. I came across these and they look fun. I made a batch last night and it seemed that 2 tsp. of water wasn’t enough. How can I make a big batch without doing one at a time?

    1. Samantha

      Hi Jen,
      Good on you for thinking of others at this time and making care packages for your local hospital! Epsom salts will have a varying amount of moisture in them to begin with depending on where they are stored and current weather conditions. That is why the amount of water required for this recipe can vary. Feel free to add more water if you live in a particularly dry environment but be aware that too much moisture in the recipe may cause the gems to stick to the mold when you are trying to turn them out. I recommend giving it a real good stir first and try turning out a few before adding more water.
      If you want a recipe that’s a little less time consuming, try making bath salt cakes with a cookie cutter instead as I have done here http://samanthamccracken.com/rosie-pink-himalayan-bath-salt-cakes/

  3. Jen

    3 stars
    I made these last night and I had a hard time getting them out of the mold. They were wet enough. I wanted to make a big batch of them for gifts. How I do that without filling every single cavity once?

    1. Samantha

      Hi Jen,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a go. I just happened to be making some of these yesterday too and found that too much moisture in the recipe was also making them stick to the mold. Thanks for pointing this out, I might have to adjust my trouble shooting tips.
      If you are finding that turning out gems one at a time is too time consuming for you, consider using a cookie cutter to make bath salt cakes instead as I’ve done here http://samanthamccracken.com/easter-epsom-salt-cakes/. While these ones have an Easter theme, you can use any shape cookie cutter with this recipe.

  4. Becca M

    Ah e you place them in the bath, mine don’t break apart. Unsure as to what I am doing wrong here.

    1. Samantha

      Hey Becca,
      It will take a while for them to dissolve in a hot bath, just like if you added a cup of Epsom salts. Try adding them under the water stream as the bath is running.

      Also if you added coloring, depending on the ingredients, sometimes it can react with the baking soda making it more ‘cement’ like 😆

  5. Angelia

    4 stars
    I decided to give these a try this week. My first attempt did not work well. I tried to release them from the mold while wet but they crumbled and such too easily. Also, I did have to add a little more water to the mixture. What I did end up doing was to just leave them in the mold overnight and let them harden in the mold before releasing them and this worked great! I found some cute fillable Christmas ornaments from our local dollar store and am making really cute Christmas ornament gifts with them! Thank you for this idea/recipe!

  6. Caroline

    Thank you for sharing. I am going to try your recipe, but in my case I am going to make 8 ounce bath bombs. I have been wondering whether lightly spritzing them with melted coconut oil or covering them with gelatin would help to keep them intact. Have you heard of anyone doing this?

    1. Samantha

      Hi Caroline,

      No I have never heard of anyone doing this. In my experience, the key to holding home-made bath bombs together is making sure you compact the mixture as tightly as you can and use a strong, firm mold that will hold its shape and keep the mixture tightly compacted as it sets.

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