Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is a common household item with a wide range of uses. Though it's not used for cooking, Epsom salt can still be used in the kitchen to get rid of oven grease, scrub grime off of pans and remove grout stains.
Despite its name, Epsom salt is not the same as table salt, which is the salt often used for cooking. Epsom salt was likely termed "salt" because of its chemical structure.
Unlike other salts, Epsom salt is bitter and unpalatable. But some people still consume this salt to relieve various ailments, including muscle soreness, stress and constipation. Health experts recommend taking food-grade Epsom salt, a pure, all-natural product that's ideal for consumption, if you plan to use it as a natural remedy.
Cleansing soap – Make an all-natural cleansing soap by mixing equal parts Epsom salt and coconut oil. Pour the mixture into a mold and let it sit for a few hours or until it hardens. Pop the soap out of the mold.
Teeth whitener – To make a natural and inexpensive teeth whitener, mix equal parts water and Epsom salt. Brush the mixture onto your teeth after you've finished brushing with your usual toothpaste.
Pest eliminator – Sprinkle Epsom salts around your doorways to ward off rodents, slugs, raccoons and other pests. You can also sprinkle the salt around your chicken coop if you have pest issues.
Grease remover – Dissolve three tablespoons of Epsom salt in three cups of hot soapy water to make a simple, inexpensive grease remover. Using an old toothbrush, scrub the mixture onto greasy surfaces like stovetops or the inside of your oven.
Bruise treatment – Epsom salt can help treat bruises and minimize swelling. Just pour two cups of Epsom salt into a hot bath and soak in it until the water goes lukewarm. Repeat if needed.
Cookware cleaner – Rubbing some Epsom salt onto the burnt bottoms of pans and pots will get rid of caked-on grime.
Tree stump remover – If you have trouble removing a stubborn tree stump on your lawn or in your backyard, drill a hole at least three inches deep into the stump and fill it with Epsom salt. Wait for one to two weeks. The salt helps weaken and disintegrate the wood inside, making it much easier to dig out the stump.
Washing machine cleaner – To maintain your washing machine, put half a cup of Epsom salt into your machine and run it through as a large load. This helps clean out residues in the machine.
Weed killer – Keep your garden weed-free with Epsom salt. Mix four tablespoons of Epsom salt with two tablespoons of liquid dish soap and one quart of distilled white vinegar. Stir to combine. Pour anywhere you want to prevent weed growth, but don't get it on your fruit and vegetable plants.
Splinter remover – Combine two tablespoons of Epsom salt and just enough water to make a paste or poultice. Soak the part of the body with a splinter in the mixture for half an hour to loosen the splinter.
Acne treatment – To prevent or treat acne, mix half a cup of hot water, a teaspoon of Epsom salt and three drops of iodine. Let the mixture cool before gently dabbing it onto problem areas.
Gout treatment – To relieve pain and swelling caused by gout, mix three tablespoons of Epsom salt with hot water in a basin. Soak the gout-stricken area in the mixture for 30 minutes.
Sunburn treatment – To relieve discomfort caused by sunburn, mix a tablespoon of Epsom salt and half a cup of lukewarm water. Gently dab the mixture onto the affected area.
Insect bite treatment – To relieve pain and swelling caused by insect bites, combine two tablespoons of Epsom salt with one cup of warm water. Gently dab the mixture onto the affected area.