A Household Staple: Epsom Salt and Baking Soda

In our cabinets and on our shelves we possess a multitude of packaging, bottles, and containers that only benefit us in one way, such as a specific gardening, household, beauty, or health use.  The need for convenience has erased our memory of the familiar and useful Epsom salt and baking soda.  If you don’t have a ten-pound bag of each on hand, you may be missing out on ways to not only save money, but to stock your shelves with these two safe and natural products.

Epsom Salt

Unlike table salt, which is sodium-based, Epsom salt is a magnesium-based sulfate that can aid our body through a transdermal absorption. The name alone brings to mind relaxing body (add two cups) or foot baths (3/4 cup) to ease aching and sore muscles and help the body to sleep.  But the relief does not stop there.

  • Body and Health
    • Body, Face, Foot, and Hand Scrub: Combining Epsom salt and coconut oil, this inexpensive homemade scrub will exfoliate and soften the skin. (A multitude of recipes are available.)
    • Bug Bites and Stings: Epsom salt dissolved into a cup of water can be spritzed onto the skin to relieve itching from bug bites and neutralize the pain from bee stings.
    • Hair: Adding Epsom salt to “normal hair” shampoo can help eliminate the excess oil, repair and strengthen damaged hair.  Combine equal parts of Epsom salt and conditioner, warm, massage down into the roots, and rinse after 20 minutes. The texture will change from flat to volumized.
    • Splinters: Eases the pain of having a splinter removed.
  • Garden and Outdoors
    • Roses, Vegetable and House Plants: Adding a tablespoon of Epsom salt around vegetable or household plants acts as a natural fertilizer to boost vitality.
    • Eliminate Slugs: While improving the health of a plant, Epsom salt forming a ring around the water line will also deter slugs from destroying your crops.
  • Household
    • Tile Cleaner: Eliminate the toxicity of household cleaners and combine Epsom salt with dishwashing liquid to clean the tile and grout.  Rinse thoroughly; soap will make the floor slippery.

Baking Soda

In addition to the name sodium bicarbonate, baking soda can do much more than absorb the odors in the refrigerator and encouraging the batter to rise.

  • Health
    • Dental Hygiene: How often do you choose a baking soda toothpaste?  While having an abrasive quality to remove plaque, it can also be applied as a paste directly to your teeth to whiten the enamel.
    • Deodorant: Creating a paste of baking soda and water makes an adequate deodorant, without the aluminum found in antiperspirants.
    • Eases Digestion: If acid reflux or heartburn is a problem, slowly drinking a glass of water with a sprinkle of baking soda, on occasion, will neutralize the acid level.
    • Face Scrub: Baking soda and water creates a paste which, if applied to the face, can exfoliate the skin.
    • Nail Infection: A destroyer of bacteria and fungus and mold, baking soda made into a paste can ease nail infections.
    • Shoe Odors: Sprinkling baking soda in shoes can eliminate strong odors.
  • Household
    • Natural Cleaner: You can safely use baking soda to remove odors from your refrigerator, and cat’s litter box. In addition, it can clean kitchen counters, drains and sinks, pots and pans, silverware, carpets, ovens, grills and microwaves, and be used as a fabric softener substitute in the laundry.
    • Fire Extinguisher: If a grease fire occurs in your kitchen, baking soda will smother the flames.
  • Garden and Outdoors
    • Pots: After the pot has been cleaned and dried, sprinkle potting soil around the edges to boost the vitality of the plant.

Saving money is difficult, but there is a diverse and expansive list of benefits why magnesium-based sulfate and sodium bicarbonate can ease your financial burden, improve your life, and save time in searching for the right container for the purpose.  Take time to remind your family and friends, too.  These familiar products may be forgotten, but they have remained a household staple for generations!



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