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Hot tubs are famous for relaxation and relieving sore muscles and joints, while Epsom salts are thought to provide healing properties.
Most people submerge their bodies in hot tubs or soak various parts in Epsom salts to find relief.
Thus, some may wonder and ask, “Can you put Epsom salt in hot tubs?“, hoping to combine their effects.
That is especially since Epsom salts can easily dissolve in water and are safe, affordable, and easy to use.
What Is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt was first refined in the rushing waters of a saline spring in Surrey County, England, near a town with the same name.
Although it looks almost similar to regular table salt, its chemical composition differs.
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, while the latter is sodium chloride.
Health Benefits of Epsom Salt
The high magnesium content in Epsom salt can pass through the skin, relaxing irritated nervous systems and sore muscles while oxygenating the body.
It can also alleviate skin problems, treat cold and congestion, and draw toxins out of the body.
An Epsom salt rub in gel form can heal minor cuts and scrapes.
What’s more, magnesium ion helps reduce irritability by relaxing the mind and regulating the adrenaline effects on your nervous system.
Epsom salt can also balance the electrolytes so the enzymes, muscles, and nerves can function correctly.
It’s for this reason that Epsom salt is widely used for the following conditions:
- Skin irritation and inflammation
- Sore muscles
- Stiff joints
- Itching because of poison ivy
- Sore feet
Some people even use it as an oral treatment for constipation and magnesium deficiency in the blood.
However, there is also a risk of taking too much oral magnesium. Hence, it is still highly recommended to consult your doctor.
Can You Put Epsom Salt in Hot Tubs?
The answer is it depends. You can put it in a wood-fired hot tub but not an electrically-operated one.
As mentioned, the salt has magnesium sulfate, an alkaline compound, which can disturb the hot tub water’s pH level and total alkalinity.
These changes can cause other problems. It may corrode electric hot tub parts.
The unbalanced water may also cause poor sanitizer performance.
Also, the salt increases the water’s TDS or total dissolved solids that you can’t easily drain from the hot tub.
Most manufacturers require hot tub owners to drain and clean the tub before refilling once it reaches 1500 ppm and higher of total dissolved solids.
Failure to follow this maintenance step will void your warranty.
A high TDS level also results in cloudy water and possible scale build-up.
The spa heaters suffer the most when there is scale build-up. Other parts also risk getting damaged if you cannot maintain the correct water balance.
Not only that, but Epsom salt can also corrode the plumbing, leading to flash burns for the users while soaking.
With that in mind, you can always put Epsom salts in your regular bathtub.
Precautions to Keep in Mind Before Having an Epsom Salt Bath
Generally, many consider it safe to soak in an Epsom salt bath. However, if it is your first time to try, do a test patch on your skin using water and magnesium sulfate solution.
As a precautionary measure, never submerge in an Epsom salt bath if you have broken skin.
Stop using the solution if you experience allergic reactions, like rash or hive, skin infection, or itchy skin.
It is also best to check with your doctor because hot water can lower your blood pressure.
How to Use Epsom Salt for Bathing
Note that you need to use warm water instead of hot water to relieve body aches and pains.
That’s because hot water will only worsen the swelling.
Doctors recommend adding the right amount of Epsom salt because using more than the suggested can dry your skin.
A regular bathtub can hold 80 gallons of water, and to feel its therapeutic benefits, you must add at least two cups of Epsom salt into the tub.
On the contrary, a standard hot tub has a water capacity of 400 to 500 gallons.
If you want to get the same healing benefits, you would need 10 to 12 cups of Epsom salt in your spa.
That said, you can follow the formula below if you want a lower salt bath concentration:
- 300 grams to a gallon of water
- One cup to a gallon of water
- 1.5 cups to a bathtub full of water
To use Epsom salts for bathing, simply dissolve the salt in the water completely.
Then go ahead and soak in for a maximum of 15 minutes.
After your Epsom salt bath, drain your bathtub since you should only use saltwater once.
You also need to clean your bathtub before refilling it with fresh water.
What Are the Best Alternatives to Epsom Salt?
Since the answer to “Can you put Epsom salt in hot tubs?” is a no if you have an electric unit, what can you use instead?
Try using the following alternative products that offer similar benefits as Epsom salts:
Plenty of hot tub aromatherapy products use magnesium sulfate as their primary ingredient.
However, these aromatherapy crystals are specifically formulated for hot tubs and spas.
You only need a small amount of these products to achieve the same Epsom salt benefits.
What’s more impressive is they will not change the water chemistry or cause damage to the hot tub equipment.
These spa crystals contain botanicals, minerals, moisturizing nutrients, natural herbs, and vitamins.
You can experience the unique aromatherapy benefits and achieve your desired mental state.
With aromatherapy, you can boost energy levels, breathe easier, detoxify, de-stress, reduce inflammation and pain, rejuvenate, or promote excellent sleep.
Another alternative besides spa crystals with the same healing benefits is spa elixir. It allows you to relax while moisturizing your skin and softening the water.
Lastly, innovative spa bombs have the same benefits as bath bombs but will not alter water balance, clog up the filter, or damage the equipment.
Don’t Put Epsom Salt in Hot Tub, Just in Bathtubs
We hope we have explained why putting Epsom salt in a spa is not advisable.
It will not only damage the components in your hot tub but may also cause skin irritations when mixed with water sanitizers.
Epsom salts are best used in bathtubs where you can drain them after soaking.