Friday, February 26, 2010

Making Simple Bath Salts

In lieu of my new Eucalyptus & Peppermint Stress Relieving Bath Salt that will be in my Etsy shop today, I thought I would discuss the making of bath salts.  These can be very simple to make and they are a wonderful treat at the end of a long day.

 What you will need:

- desired salt (sea salt, Epson salt, dead sea salt)
- scent (essential oil, fragrance oil)
- colour (must be suitable for making cosmetic products, optional)
- wax paper (for drying)
- cookie sheet (for drying)

First, the main ingredient in a bath salt recipe is... how did you guess? Salt! You may have seen many popular bath salts that use Dead Sea salt to make their products, however there are many other salts that you can use for your craft. For instance, you can use just plain old sea salt that you can find at either your local grocery store or bulk food store. You can also use Epson salts, but in most recipes Epson salts are not used alone, but are blended with sea salt. If you desire Dead sea salts, they are not that difficult to find: Try your local healthy living store. I know in the U.S., GMC carries Dead Sea salt. Salts usually come in fine and coarse grain. Most people look for a medium to coarse grain when making bath salts.

Next, decide what scent you would like your bath salt to be. I suggest something that makes you think of the sea, such as lavender or sandalwood, but be creative! Some scents, for example vanilla, still smell very nice (don't get me wrong) it's just that when one thinks about the combination of vanilla and salt... Well, they don't seem to be a fair match! This is a great tip to keep in mind if you plan to sell your bath salt. For your personal crafting projects, if salt and vanilla doesn't make you crinkle your nose, go right ahead! The scent will still blend well with the salt.

Now, when I talk about scent, you can either use a fragrance oil or an essential oil. The difference being that the scent of a fragrance oil will generally last longer than an essential oil, but essential oils are more natural for your skin and are derived from plants and botanicals.

You can also add colour to your bath salt, but it is optional. One of the repetitive questions I've been asked about making bath salts is, "Can I use food colouring?". Well, Yes. You can use food colouring, but do you want to use food colouring? Food colouring is great... until it stains your tub and your skin! If you use a small amount, it's not such a big problem. If you desire a deep, dark colour, food colouring is not your best bet. You should head over to a crafting supply store and find colouring that is suitable for making soap and other bath products. This type of colour is meant for this purpose and will not stain your skin in the least.

So, you have your salt, your scent and your colour. So, how do you make this stuff? Simple: Get a zip-loc style plastic bag and place your salt inside. Then, add your colouring and scent. Do up the bag and knead it with your hands until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. For a one cup recipe, I recommend using about 6 drops of colour and around 12-14 of your desired scent.

Lastly, break out the old cookie sheet an cover it in wax paper. Take your bath salt out of the bag and spread it in thin layer all over the wax paper. Because you have moist ingredients in the salt, you need to give them a few hours to absorb. When I make a one cup recipe, I will spread the mixture over two cookie sheets covered in wax paper to achieve a very thin layer for it to dry. I use wax paper because when it come time to package your  bath salt, you can just lift the wax paper up on each side and tip it into the container without missing one grain. Drying times will vary depending on what oil and how much of it you use. I leave my salts out for about twelve hours. This long absorption time is because if you do not let the moist ingredients soak into the salt, when you package your product and open it for use some time later, you might notice that the salt granules have stuck together and your bath salt is unusable. Here is my salt drying on wax paper:

Once your salt has dried, make sure you package it in an airtight container. Use about 1-2 tablespoons per bath. You're finished! Yes, it is simple a that! Just a few ingredients and you have your own luxurious bath salt. I hope you enjoy this recipe, and I invite you to share your bath salt crafting experiences in the 'comments' section. Happy bath salt making!


sean said...

Nice blog interesting

sandandstarfish said...

thank you for this post! I've actually been wanting to make my own bath salts so this was perfect! thank you!

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