Vanilla-Orange Epsom Salt Soak

Dare I say it, but the days are getting a bit shorter. From mid-June to mid-August I was able to take shots for the new book all the way until 7:30–8pm, but this past week I can tell the light is diminishing… When walking to the post office this week, a summer breeze passed and I could almost smell crispy leaves, and I felt a smidge of Autumn coolness in it as it floated over me.

September and October are my favorite months but I’m pumping the brakes since I spent so much of my summer indoors working on the book. Probably why I couldn’t leave the beach last month. I digress…

I’m a big-time bath taker before bedtime. It helps me wind down and prepare for a nice, restorative sleep. In the Spring, Fall and Winter, I’m in there every night. During the summer though, I’ll opt for a relaxing nighttime shower if it’s sweltering outside. Anyway, these sneaky Autumn breezes have me thinking about a fun creation I can share for tub season.

I was house sitting for a pal of mine in Chicago this spring and while I was there, made an Earl Grey Ice Cream to share. I never want to throw out a used vanilla bean pod—the smell is too amazing and the pod is just too special. So, after I made the ice cream, I found some epsom salt in her bathroom and decided I’d make her a “welcome home” treat. A creamsicle-style bath soak.

Here’s what you need:
4 cups epsom salt
1–2 large pieces of orange peel, or long pieces of zest you can easily pluck out of the salt when ready to use
1 used vanilla bean pod

Here’s how to make it:
1. Grab an orange and cut off one to two 1″ x 2″ pieces of peel.


Fill a glass jar with epsom salt. Add the vanilla bean pod and then your peel. Seal, shake and allow to infuse on the counter for at least one week.


When ready to use, place one or two scoops of infused epsom salt into the tub and fill. Make sure you pluck out zest and vanilla bean before the salt goes in the tub—you can save it for multiple infusions. Just refill your glass jar with salt, seal and shake. Use your nose to detect when the vanilla pod and orange zest are spent.


Play with other combinations as well.

• 10 drops lavender essential oil

• Simply vanilla bean pod

• 5–10 drops rosewater

• 10 drops mint oil or 20 leaves of fresh mint + 5 drops arnica oil + 3-5 drops eucalyptus oil (great for sore muscles)

• 1 tablespoon tea: chamomile for skin and relaxation; calendula for skin; green tea for skin and mood

Which one will YU try? Tell me with a comment below—I’d love to hear from you.

Read the comments or add yours.

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  1. Kayla

    This is such a great idea Heather! I love Epsom salt baths but I have never made a DIY before. I really need to try this! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Ryan

    What to do if you don’t have a vanilla bean pod on hand?

    • Skip it, or add a few drops of vanilla extract or vanilla essential oil 🙂

  3. Kayla

    Love this! Looks so delightful and relaxing! I love Epsom salt soaks! They are so relaxing and refreshing! Thanks for sharing the reicpe Heather! 🙂

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