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DIY Bath Salts Tutorial

June 26, 2020

Even Thought About Making Your Own Bath Salts?

Bath salts are on the “easy” end of the spectrum of DIY bath products, but I’d like to share a couple of tips with you and give you a good recipe you can use as a template to make your own!

Making your own bath salts allows you the creativity to choose your own type of salts, decided whether to color them, what fragrance they should be? All natural, or synthetic fragrance oil? 

And once you have an idea of what you’d like to make, there are so many cute containers in which to package them for yourself, or as gifts!  I chose a cool (giant) test tube for my packaging, but largely because I felt like it matched the theme of my shop bath salts a little better than a cute mason jar with a wooden scoop or similar.

massive a salt gift box set

And look how beautiful the combination is?  This is a decent close up of A Salt and Battery, which is the one I will be showing you how to make today.  I love the variety of salt colors and sizes, and a touch of mica powder to give it that slight shimmery look!

Close up of a salt and battery in tube

Don't You Love Bath Salts?

Don’t you just love bath salts?  It’s one of those bathtime luxuries that is easy to forget about…right up until the moment you have another salt bath!  Sometimes the mix of salts and fragrance is just right, for that very day, or those particular aching muscles, and then nothing in the world is better!

Do you prefer an epsom salt bath? A simple salt bath? A salt bath with a soothing milk powder or maybe one that bubbles and fizzes too?  So many bath salts to try, so little time…

Do Bath Salts Do Anything For Me?

There is a lot of debate (at least online, which is where most things get debated these days anyway) about whether there are curative properties related to salt baths, and in particular salts like epsom salt and black lava salt.  

I think it’s a matter of opinion since it doesn’t appear to be a matter of science where we can point in one direction or the other with any degree of clarity.

So, here’s how I feel about the issue.  Baths are relaxing by nature.  When I add an essential oil to a bath salt, the aromatherapy experience alone is next level relaxing for me.  So there are plenty of people who say that bath salts don’t do anything for you and you only feel more relaxed than before because you took a bath.  

Maybe… but the experience matters.  The aroma matters.  The softness of your bath water matters.  I personally find epsom salts very relaxing and soothing for the muscles.  I believe that black lava salt (made from activated charcoal derived from coconut shells) has some detoxifying properties, and I believe that peppermint oil makes me feel more invigorated and ready to face the next challenge in life, the same way that lavender oil puts me to sleep.

Bath Salt Infused with Peppermint Essential Oil - Recipe and Tutorial

I’m going to share the recipe I like to use for my peppermint oil infused bath salts, which in my shop are called A Salt and Battery (since Peppermint is kind of an energizing fragrance!).  

You can use this recipe and mix it up with a different essential oil, add different dried flowers (or emit them altogether), etc.  So consider this a template.  I’ve included links to smaller sizes of some of these products I used (almost of them from Amazon and easily attainable), and you can easily make all 18 tubes with the products listed.  I capped it at 18 only because that’s the quantity of 4 oz test tubes that I linked below. 🙂  This particular recipe yielded 6 4oz tubes with a tiny left over for me. 🙂

 

 

Start with 20 oz of Course Dead Sea Salt

Dead Sea salt isn’t sea salt that has died, it’s salt that is mined from the Dead Sea.  There are a lot of people who sell products they call Dead Sea salt, as if it were just a kind of salt or a size of salt, but it’s specific to the actual Dead Sea.  Kinda like calling all bubbly wines champagne…

I bought Dead Sea salt that is actually Dead Sea salt.

And when I said start with 20 oz of course Dead Sea salt, you could also read that as “of course, Dead Sea salt”.  But seriously, the coarse crystal size is what you want….the fine grain end up feeling like table salt, which is not the experience you are going for.

Minera Dead Sea Salt

Weigh out your ingredients with a kitchen scale, and start with 20 ounces of Dead Sea salt.

Next, Add 4 oz. Himalayan Pink Salt

This particular brand I used is from The Spice Lab has such a beautiful assortment of sizes and shades.

Close up of pink himalayan salt
The Spice Lab pink himalayan salt bag

The pinkness of this salt is naturally occuring based on the minerals to which it has been exposed in the Himalayas.  SO PRETTY.    I am also looking forward to using some of these as decoration on top of a bar of soap next time I make a batch!

Follow Up With 2 oz of Coarse Black Lava Hawaiian Sea Salt

Black Lava Hawaiian Sea Salt

I like this one from the San Francisco Salt Co.  Like the Himalayan pink salt, this salt also doesn’t have any colorant.  All of the black color in this salt comes from activated coconut shell charcoal.  Very cool.

I only use 2 oz of this salt, and honestly, in this recipe, mostly because I like the speckle of the black mixed in!  This is likely the most expensive of the ingredients (and what I use in much larger quantities in one of my other bath salts, Tactical A Salt) so using is sparingly for this recipe is helpful.

When all 3 salts have been added to the bowl, it’ll look something like this:

All 3 Salts combined in mixing bowl

Add Your Essential Oil

Once you have your salts in the bowl, I like to add the fragrance here.  I almost always use essential oils in my bath salts (unless I’m doing something fizzy or bubble or fun), because that’s the right vibe for me in this application.  

A big part of the experience, for me, is aromatherapy, and I want to feel like I’m getting the spa experience!  

With essential oils, however, you must be careful with how much you use.  The same is true of synthetic fragrance oil, but I believe there is often a misbelief that since essential oil is “natural” that equates to “safe”, and that’s not the case. 

There is a maximum safe level for skin exposure to essential oil.  One of the best resources is a website called eocalc.com (essential oil calculator. com) by Modern Soapmaking.  It’s free to use, and there is a usage calculator that will give you a range of safe use dependent on the type of product you are making.

Peppermint essential oil

For this entire batch, we only need 2ml of peppermint essential oilI like this brand, but there are obviously many essential oils and essential oil blends online.  I got this one on Amazon, but also fell down the rabbit hole of essential oils and picked up 6 more (oops).

One of the reasons I like this particular oil is because unlike some peppermint essential oils that can get pungent and medicinal-smelling, this one is sweet and bright.

Mix Your Salts and Oil Together Thoroughly

I wear gloves when I do this because, #1, I’m going to be selling mine in addition to giving them as gifts, so I follow good manufacturing practice and wears gloves and a hairnet.  #2, even if I weren’t, there is a LOT of touching of the salts.  I don’t want to be gross. 🙂

BUT, if you are just making these for your self, and you don’t want to bother with gloves, please be prepared to lose any nail polish you might be wearing!  Salt is abrasive. 

Regardless of how you proceed here, THIS IS THE BEST STEP.  Mixing up the oil and salts gets that peppermint oil kicked up into the air and it’s magical.  I think I likely stirred it for way longer than necessary because I was enjoying it so much. 

Scoop from the bottom to combine

You can see the technique in the tutorial video linked at the bottom of this post, but basically I’m scooping from the bottom and mixing it to the top…over and over again.

I also take handfuls of it and rub it in between my palms.  This will help if you have any clumps of salts in your mixture.

Rub salt in between palms

Add Any Decorative Elements Now

For this recipe, I chose a sprinkle of mica powder, which I will also link to.  The mica powder I got is just a small sample of cosmetic grade mica, so it’s skin safe (not all mica is, so you always need to check!).

But it gave the salts such a nice sheen!

Sprinkle of mica powder
Close up of mica covered bath salts

I also added some crushed rose petals, mostly for visual interest again.

I didn’t want the bath salts to be rose salts, and they are so fragrant there’s no mistaking them for anything other than peppermint!  But I also really like the look of them in small quantities in this application.

I like these petals from Brambleberry.  You get mostly petals, and aren’t stuck with a bunch of stems…

Red rose petals from Bramblerry

BUT, I also crush them between my palms and get the pieces as small as possible (so they go down the drain easily) and that process does help identify any stray buds that may be in your mix.

Dried rose petals about to be crushed between palms
Take out stray buds

Obviously, you can just discard those. 🙂

Small beaker to fill tubes

Fill Your Containers!

You did it!  Time to fill your containers and hope for leftovers. 🙂

I filled my test tubes with a small plastic beaker with a pour spout.  The test tubes I picked have a nice wide mouth, and they come with a tiny little funnel, but it’s clearly meant for liquids because there’s no way our coarse grain bath salts are getting through there!

If you don’t have a small plastic container with a pour spout, you can take any flexible small container (maybe an empty clean yogurt container?) and just bend it to make a spout. 

Bend flexible container to make spout
Spout from flexible container
Filled to the top with bath salts

Once you think you have completely filled your container, gently tap it on your work service.  This will give you a little more room to fill it up to the top.

I like to get these as full as possible, which also keeps air from getting to your salts.  If you have any level of humidity in your area, a bowl of bath salts left out will be wet to the touch the next time you feel them!  So best to keep them away from the air.

I close mine up and then shrink band the lids so they are tamper proof and resistant to air.

I will link all of the supplies at the very bottom.

A Video Tutorial For You!

Whenever possible, I like to do a video tutorial for you.  I am personally a visual learner, so while I would READ this blog post, I would learn more from watching it be done.  In case that’s you, I gotchu.

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.


 

Dead Sea salt: https://amzn.to/2CIrYgQ  This is the bag I have, but a smaller bag of dead sea salt may be more appropriate if you are just doing a small project!  Make sure you get COARSE GRAIN, not fine grain.  This one appears to be an acceptable substitution in a 2lb size: https://amzn.to/3dG8lTy

Himalayan pink salt: https://amzn.to/2CI10pE

Hawaiian black lava salt: https://amzn.to/3ezkf2x

Peppermint essential oil: https://amzn.to/37ZbE70

Mica powder (optional): Sample set of cosmetic grade mica, I used the pearl shade https://amzn.to/31jtlNm

Test tubes for packaging: https://amzn.to/2CIxEaF

Shrink wrap tamper-proof bands:  https://amzn.to/3dxjx4M
 
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Love, Amanda

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I'm Amanda, and I put the AMANDA in A MANDAtory Activity (and I like a good bad pun). This blog is a focused on baking and crafting for gatherings and gifts! I LOVE making things a little extra special and I love sharing those ideas with you. Have a look around, or read more here.

Amanda

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