If you’ve actually heard of Epsom salts, there’s a good chance you did so from an elderly relative. This is because they just aren’t used all that much anymore. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in cleaning and medicine cupboards.
But as you’re about to find out, having some Epsom salts around at all times can prove very beneficial in certain situations.
What are Epsom salts?
Epsom salt is the common name given to the naturally-occurring chemical magnesium sulphate. The substance was first discovered in a spring in the Surrey town of Epsom — hence the name.
Human skin absorbs magnesium sulphate easily. Among the health benefits are reduced inflammation, pain-relief and the expulsion of toxins. As a result, a lot of people still use Epsom salts in their bath.
The various health-related uses for Epsom salts
1. Relieves pain and muscular stiffness
Whether you work at a desk or a construction site, coming home with aches and pains after a hard day isn’t pleasant. But by having a long, hot bath with Epsom salts, you can take advantage of the substance’s anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium sulphate relieves muscle tension, headaches and sore feet.
2. Relieves constipation
The Epsom Salt Council says Epsom salts work as a laxative when drunk with water. Around a teaspoon of salt along with a small glass of water should be drank twice a day until the symptoms subside. A lot of people are now drinking this solution in order to detox. However, you should consult your doctor before doing so. People with allergies or kidney problems should not consume Epsom salts.
3. Similar to aloe vera
Epsom salts deliver many of the same benefits provided by aloe vera. Whether you’re treating a wound or a bee sting, a cloth soaked in a solution of water and Epsom salts will provide soothing relief — almost instantly.
The various household uses for Epsom salts
4. Clean tiles
Bathroom and kitchen tiles have a tendency to attract a range of unwanted substances over time. Whether you’re tackling mould, soapscum or grease, Epsom salts could make this tricky cleaning job a lot easier.
By scrubbing tiles with the salt, you’re using abrasion to shift the more stubborn accumulations that can gather on household tiles. Mix the salts with dishwashing detergent in equal amounts to create your own scrub. Apply it with a scourer, and use an old toothbrush for grouting. Think of this as an exfoliation for your tiles.
5. Pest repellant
A lot of people have a slug problem in their home, particularly in kitchens where it’s warm and damp. In many cases, the slugs enter the home through the foundations, so they can be hard to remove.
Try to establish where the slugs are entering. Liberally sprinkle some Epsom salts around the entire area, which should stop slugs from coming in. This can also deter other garden-based pests, as well as ants.
6. Clean dirty pans
The next time you leave a pan on the hob for too long, don’t panic — Epsom salts have you covered. Rather than spend the best part of an hour scraping and chipping away at burnt-on food, sprinkle some salts in the pan, and add a cup of warm water. After about 10 minutes, start scrubbing with a stiff-bristle brush. You should see almost instant results.
7. Rejuvenate your lawn
If your lawn is looking a little brown and lacking in energy, you can give it the kiss of life with some Epsom salts. This is because magnesium is a major component of chlorophyll — the substance in plants that gives them their green colour. Fill a watering can, and pour in a cup of Epsom salts. Wait 10 minutes for them to dissolve, and water your lawn as normal. Do this every day for a week or so, and you should start to see the colour returning to your grass.
Keep some Epsom salts in your home at all times — and you’ll be ready for a wide range of household problems.