Home and Garden Uses for Epsom Salt | Reader's Digest

Home and Garden Uses for Epsom Salt

This everyday item is more useful than you thought! Here are 8 ways to put Epsom salt to use.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Get rid of raccoons
Are the masked night marauders poking around your trash can, creating a mess and raising a din? A few tablespoons of Epsom salt spread around your garbage cans will deter the raccoons, who don’t like the taste of the stuff. Don’t forget to reapply after it rains.

Deter slugs
Are you tired of visiting your yard at night only to find the place crawling with slimy slugs? Sprinkle Epsom salt where they glide and say good-bye to the slugs.

Fertilize tomatoes and other plants
Want those Big Boys to be big? Add Epsom salt as a foolproof fertilizer. Every week, for every foot of height of your tomato plant, add one tablespoon. Your tomatoes will be the envy of the neighbor-hood. Epsom salt is also a good fertilizer for houseplants, roses and other flowers, and trees.

Make your grass greener
How green is your valley? Not green enough, you say? Epsom salt, which adds needed magnesium and iron to your soil, may be the answer. Add 2 tablespoons to 1 gallon (3.7 liters) of water. Spread on your lawn and then water it with plain water to make sure it soaks into the grass.

Clean bathroom tiles
Is the tile in your bathroom getting that grungy look? Time to bring in the Epsom salt. Mix it in equal parts with liquid dish detergent, then dab it onto the offending area and start scrubbing. The Epsom salt works with the detergent to scrub and dissolve the grime.

Regenerate a car battery
Is your car battery starting to sound as if it won’t turn over? Worried that you’ll be stuck the next time you try to start your car? Give your battery a little more life with this potion. Dissolve about an ounce of Epsom salt in warm water and add it to each battery cell.

Get rid of blackheads
Here’s a surefire way to dislodge blackheads: Mix 1 teaspoon Epsom salt and 3 drops iodine in 1/2 cup boiling water. When the mixture cools enough to stick your finger in it, apply it to the blackhead with a cotton ball. Repeat this three or four times, reheating the solution if necessary. Gently remove the blackhead and then dab the area with an alcohol-based astringent.

Frost your windows for Christmas
If you are dreaming of a white Christmas, but the weather won’t cooperate, at least you can make your windows look frosty. Mix Epsom salt with stale beer until the salt stops dissolving. Apply the mixture to your windows with a sponge — for a realistic look, sweep the sponge in an arc at the bottom corners. When the mixture dries, the windows will look frosted.