Skip to Content

Can You Use Regular Salt Instead of Epsom Salt? (Answered)

Are you running out of Epsom salt? Are you looking for an alternative to Epsom salt to add to your daily routine of mental & physical healing? Are you thinking of switching to regular salt in the place of Epsom salt? 

Can you use regular salt instead of epsom salt?

While Epsom salt has several substitutes, the suitable substitutes depend on the usage of its different properties for the users. However, you can not simply replace Epsom salt with regular salt since they are made up of completely different minerals.  

Epsom salt is a mineral salt which is a compound of Sulfate and Magnesium which is again completely different from regular table salt. There are several natural substitutes available for Epsom salt, however, it all depends on the salt’s properties that you want to use it for. 

To soak feet: 

Being a popular remedy for muscle stress and pains, people use Epsom salt to soak feet to soothe the pain and heal the muscle strain. 

Soaking the feet in magnesium allows the skin to absorb the elements which work wonders for foot problems and this is not feasible with regular salt. 

In addition, soaking your feet in regular salt diluted water also can not properly help to absorb the elements to go through the pores of the skin. 

Regular salt also can not help to loosen stiff joints and relax muscles which are only obtained by Epsom salt. 

For infection: 

Through the process known as osmosis, Epsom salt draws out bacteria by sucking water out of them. 

Its antibacterial properties help to fasten the process of healing for any infection both inside and outside the physical body which may not be attainable through the usage of regular salt at the same level as it is done by Epsom salt.

Regular salt will also not be very effective for reducing swollen wounds. If you have a swollen sprained ankle/wrist, rubbing Epsom salt not regular salt as a first-aid treatment will give you instant relief from the pain and will ease the swollenness of the wound. 

For a bath: 

While Epsom salt helps to release its magnesium and sulfate ions which work as great detoxifiers, regular salt, on the other hand, increases the iodine level of the water which does not properly exfoliate and cleanse the deceased skin cells and impurities from your body. 

Additionally, while the magnesium in the Epsom salt stabilizes mood and relieves anxiety and stress as well, it is actually the regular salt that causes some negative reactions of the skin for some people due to the high level of iodine. 

4 reasons why you can use regular salt instead of epsom salt

Depending on the usage, you may use regular salt instead of Epsom salt. However, for better results, it is recommended to use Epsom salt in most cases when it comes to fulfilling the magnesium needs in your body. 

For a better taste: 

Regular salt is definitely a go-to salt for cooking which adds taste to the food. Epsom salt, however, has a bitter taste to it for which using regular salt instead of Epsom salt will have a better chance to save your stomach. 

For relaxation: 

Limited use of regular salt can be used in the place of Epsom salt for having a relaxing bath in saltwater. 

The fine grains of regular salt also exfoliate and cleanse the skin to some extent. Like Epsom salt, it also helps to get rid of patchy skin caused by psoriasis. 

For Wounds: 

Sodium chloride from regular salt cleans and promotes the healing of infections or wounds through the process of osmosis. 

This element in the salt pushes the liquid to move out of the body during the time of close contact; thus, cleaning the infection or wound in a trivial manner. 

For Detox: 

Drinking saltwater occasionally may also help to detoxify the internal part of your body. This also helps to remove toxins from the system. 

However, consulting your doctor before regular consumption of saltwater is highly recommended. 

Is table salt as good as Epsom salt? Is Epsom salt and regular salt the same? 

Even though table salt and Epsom salt both are from specific chemical structures of the salt compound, they are not the same. 

Regular salt is of sodium chloride whereas Epsom salt consists of an entirely different element and that is magnesium sulfate. 

While both of the salt’s usages are completely different. Epsom salt is desirable when it comes to promoting self-care and maintaining a relaxing spa routine

In appearance, Epsom salt and regular salt may have similarities, but when it comes to health benefits, these two compounds of salt have their own unique ways to keep the body and mind healthy and glowing. 

Will regular salt work like Epsom salt? Can regular salt replace Epsom salt? 

Since at a molecular level, there is a stark difference between these two salt compounds, regular salt cannot absolutely replace Epsom salt

While regular salt is chemically made up of sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl), Epsom salt is naturally derived from a mineral called Epsomite which is filled with magnesium sulfate. 

As a result, regular salt is a bit drying on the skin while Epsom salt has in-built hydrating benefits because of the presence of Magnesium. 

Additionally, in gardening, plants need magnesium to absorb as food. Using Epsom salt as the source of magnesium for the plants is beneficial to their regular growth and osmosis.

However, in gardening, if you use regular salt instead of Epsom salt, it will result in reversing the osmosis process for plants which is not beneficial to plants’ healthy growth.

Additionally, the way Epsom salt provides healing benefits to both physical and mental health, regular salt is unable to provide exactly in the same way because of the difference of the basic elements between these two. 

What is the difference between Epsom salt and regular salt? 

Epsom salt and regular salt are not easily replaceable with each other as these are coming from two different minerals. 

There are several ways to measure out the differences between regular salt and Epsom salt, and being aware of these differences will help you to form conscious decisions. 


Since Sodium is the primary element in regular salt, this element makes regular salt prone to be a bit drying on the skin compared to Epsom salt.

Sometimes, Chlorine in regular salt can be a bit irritating on the skin as well which makes it less beneficial for your spa routine than magnesium sulfate. 

Powerful fighter: 

Sulfur found in Epsom salt works as a powerful bacteria-fighting agent which immediately reduces pain for infection. In spite of having cleaning benefits, the sodium in regular salt is less powerful. 

Internal boost: 

Epsom salt’s magnesium sulfate easily soaks into the skin and boosts your immune system without causing any irritation. 

On the other hand, consuming regular saltwater to detoxify the internal system may not be such a good idea since sodium can cause irritation. 

What to use instead of Epsom salt? 

Knowing the benefits, adding Epsom salt in your daily routine can be troublesome sometimes since it isn’t easily available to local markets. 

However, focusing on its particular healing properties, Epsom salt has several substitutes available. Henceforth, being knowledgeable about the substitutes will save the day for you. 

Sea Salt: 

Sea salt’s natural exfoliating and soothing properties make it an excellent substitute for Epsom salt. Like Epsom salt, Sea salt has great anti-inflammatory properties as well. 

Essential Oils: 

For a foot soak, essential oils are a good alternative to Epsom salt’s hydrating element called magnesium sulfate. 

Especially peppermint and tangerine oil are known for their soothing agents for tired feet muscles.

Baking Soda: 

A bath with baking soda can also detoxify the body like the way Epsom salt does. Baking soda is the easiest and highly available alternative to Epsom salt. 

Moreover, this alternative of Epsom salt is known for its usage in curing sunburns and in providing you with a soothing, relaxing bath. Moreover, the usage of baking soda is also therapeutic in some cases. 

Apple Cider Vinegar: 

Apple cider vinegar is another excellent substitute for Epsom salt for its cleansing properties. 

Like Epsom salt, washing your hair in Apple cider vinegar diluted water removes the product build-up from your hair. 

Oatmeal Paste:

Weird as it may seem, an oatmeal paste can also be used instead of Epsom salt. 

For making oatmeal usable, you need to add sufficient amounts of water into the oatmeal to make a paste that has a very thick consistency. 

Additionally, you also have to apply this alternative of Epsom salt gently onto your skin which thus has the potential to remove dirt and excess oils from the skin.

Final thoughts:

Substituting Epsom salt’s benefit with regular salt’s properties may not be that simple. Nonetheless, some of the healing benefits for both of these salt compounds do match, and for that reason, occasionally regular salt may be used in the place of Epsom salt depending on your targeted usages.