Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Homemade Peppermint Bath Salts

A while back we made bath salts at a MOPS meeting, which I thought were great! After getting the link to where the idea originated, I decided to make more of my own, some of which we are giving as gifts. I'm very happy with how this year's teacher gifts turned out. They look pretty, they smell wonderful, and most importantly, they have been test-driven and given two thumbs up by this mama.

To get started, I chose three different scents: peppermint, orange, and lavender, and I found the essential oils at a nearby health foods store. Why did I choose peppermint oil for the gifts? Well, it is currently vying as my favorite fragrance of the three types of bath salts that I made. Orange is on top at the moment, but peppermint seemed like the obvious choice for Christmas. Plus, it has lots of health benefits like alleviating muscle soreness as well as stress, improving circulation, helping ease congestion, and promoting energy and alertness. These are all the curative properties that I will personally attest to. Peppermint essential oil is also said to help curb appetite, just by inhaling the scent, so that may be an added bonus I have not noticed yet. At any rate, these bath salts are a perfect no-calorie indulgence during the crazy-busy holiday season.

{Easy Christmas gift idea!}

Ingredients: (Makes enough to fill 2 half-pint mason jars)

  • 3/4 cup Epsom salts 
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt 
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • food coloring (I used 10 drops of red.)
  • essential oil (The original recipe calls for 8 drops, but I found this to be much too faint once I got into the tub, so I have doubled it for the gift batches.)


  1. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. (If making gifts for teachers, kids can help pour the ingredients.)
  2. Add essential oil and food coloring*. (Kids may be able to help with this step. I helped Logan count out the food coloring, but I added the essential oils myself.)
  3. Use a spoon or whisk to mix it all together. (Kids may help with this step, too as long as they don't stir to roughly.)
  4. Store in an air-tight container. (It will clump together somewhat after time. This happens to store-bought bath salts as well, so I don't see this as a problem.)
  5. Enjoy your bath salts or package them up and give as gifts. 

*Notes about food coloring:

  • Food coloring is optional, and mainly just for presentation. 
  • Once diluted in the bath, you don't need to worry about it staining your skin.
  • When I made orange scented bath salts I used a combination of 3 drops red and 5 drops yellow to make orange. 
  • For the lavender bath salts, I used 8 drops of neon purple food coloring. 
Notes on Where to Purchase:
  • The best deal I have found for Epsom salts is at Sam's Club, but they are very reasonably priced and can be found near the first aid section of any grocery store.
  • Coarse sea salt is found in the baking aisle. I have also used natural sea salt, which has smaller grains that don't look as much like the bath salts you might purchase, but it's a bit cheaper and it works the same.
  • My essential oils came from a natural foods store, but you can also find them online.
  • Lavender essential oil was the most expensive at $8.79 for a 0.5 ounce bottle, followed by peppermint oil at $8.29 for a 0.5 ounce bottle, and the least expensive was the orange essential oil, which was only $3.99 by comparison. (That may sound pricey, but since you will only use a few drops at a time, a bottle of essential oils will last a long time, so I look at this as a good investment.)
How I packaged my gifts:
  1. First, I filled each half-pint mason jar with bath salts.
  2. To make tags that read "Peppermint Bath Salts," I downloaded this free font. I put it in 24 pt. font, switched the color to red, and printed it so that I got 8 per page (in portrait layout). Then, I used plastic templates to cut them out, and then layered them on top of oval cut-outs of red card stock (which I made with another template.) I adhered the layers and then added a gold eyelet.
  3. I used a glue dot to affix the bamboo spoon to the jar.
  4. I cut a 21" length of red and white bakers twine, which I wrapped around the jar twice before tying on the tag.
  5. Then, I added a red card stock circle to the top of the jar and topped it off with a cute peppermint button, which I bought a few years back from Oriental Trading, attached with another glue dot. 

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