March 23, 2013

Herbed Bath Salts

Spiced bath salts
     Hello again! I'm going to share another project I worked on during my crafter's break. The last few months for me (as well as for a lot of you, I'm sure) have been somewhat chaotic in my life. I am in the middle of switching jobs and wanted to give a token of my thanks to the lovely ladies I have been working with since I got to Texas.

     Since I work at a spice store (and I love a good bath soak), I got interested in making bath salts for my coworkers. I had all the spices I needed for this project on hand already, but I did need to pick up a few extra things at the store- unscented Epsom salts and powdered milk aren't things I normally keep on hand in my pantry/house. However, they were fairly inexpensive and added a little bit of extra spa-luxury to the bath tea's I made. Spring break might be over, but you can still relax and enjoy!
  • Epsom salts (1/2 c.)
  • salt (1/2 c.)
  • powdered milk (1.5 c)
  • baking soda (1/8 c)
  • corn starch (2 tbs)
  • spices (cracked rosemary and lavender (1/8 c. each); cinnamon (1 Tbl.) and vanilla bean)
  • muslin/silk draw string bags 
  • glass or plastic containers (optional)
How To:

1. First, gather all the ingredients, including a bowl, a spoon, and a funnel (if you have one.) I made two different kinds of bath salts, using a standard base recipe, based on the one shown here. I divided my base into two equal parts, then added spices.
Spices; glass jars; muslin bags; Epsom salts; baking soda; powdered milk; cornstarch; salt
2. I made a large portion (4x regular amount), but starting smaller isn't a bad idea: the website I used as a reference suggests 1 1/2 cup powdered milk 1/2 cup Epsom salt 1/8 cup baking soda, and 2 TBS cornstarch. I only added 1 c. powdered milk to mine, but also added 1/2 cup of regular salt since I had more of that on hand.

3. Mix all of the base first, combining powdered milk, Epsom, salt, cornstarch, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir with a spoon until thoroughly mixed.

4. Next, add spices (either lavender (1/8 c.) and rosemary (1/8 c.) OR cinnamon (1 Tbl.) and vanilla (1 bean) ). You can also try to come up with your own spice mix; this page has a ton of different combinations to try.

5. Most of my spices were chunky, so if you don't want them clogging up the drain, make sure you use a "tea bag" (muslin drawstring bag) and "steep" your tea bag by hanging it off the down spout as you draw your bath. Plus, these little bags up the cute factor 1,000 fold.

6. Once I had everything together, it was just a matter of using the funnel and spooning the mix into my containers to give away. I also added a bit of washi tape to the lid to hold the bags in place on the jars.
On the left: Rosemary and Lavender                                        On the Right: Cinnamon and Vanilla beans
7. If you give these as gifts, don't forget to include the instructions for how to use the bath salts! (Hang salts filled bag on the tap while you draw your bath, making sure the water is running through salts.) Enjoy!

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