wind turbine kit,
blood type test,
Not just the scents are at work here to make your bath more relaxing. Try
this project and learn what salts can do. (Adult supervision recommended.)
- Plastic mixing bowl
- 1 cup sea salt
- Fragrance or essential oils (craft or health store)
- Colorant (craft store)
- Liquid soap
Note: the salts and glycerin can also be found at drug stores.
What to do:
- Mix together the Epsom salt and sea salt in the mixing bowl.
- Add glycerin to the salt mixture and mix through. The
glycerin is not necessary, but it helps the colorant and oil get dispersed
evenly through the salt.
- Add a few drops of fragrance or essential oils. Fragrance oils will
smell nice, but essential oils have therapeutic properties. Try using a
couple of the following:
Rosemary: stimulating, invigorating, deoderizing
Lavender: deoderizing and antibacterial
Note: Essential oils have different grades and must never be taken internally
or applied directly on the skin. Use as directed.
- Add a few drops of colorant. We
recommend getting oil-based skin-safe colorant from a craft store or else leaving out
- Wet your hands with tap water, add a drop of soap
to your hands, then rub together to form a lather. Observe how much lather
forms, then rinse off your hands.
- Fill a sink with water and add about 1/8 cup of salt mixture to it. Use your
hands to stir the water to help the salt dissolve. With your hands still wet
from the salt water, add a drop of soap to your hands and rub them together to
form a lather. How much lather formed this time?
- Store the rest of your salts in a jar, keeping the lid on tight to keep moisture out. Use
about 1/4 cup of the salts in your bath.
Most likely you found it easier to form lather (and more of it!) when using the water with salt rather than the water with
no salt. This is because of the difference between hard water and soft water.
Most households in America have hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content, usually
with calcium and magnesium,
whereas soft water contains less of these minerals. Calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water react with the soap, forming
insoluble gray flakes called soap scum rather than a lather. This means you
need more soap to get clean and the bathtub gets a grimy ring around it
from the leftover soap scum. One way to soften hard bath water is to add bath
salts. The calcium
and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium and potassium ions
from the salt, allowing the
soap to lather much more easily. (If your home has soft water, you may not
notice too much of a difference in how well the soap lathers in the water with
your bath salts and the water without the bath salts. However, the salt and
essential oils will still have a beneficial effect on your skin.)
Another benefit of adding bath salts to your bath has to do with osmosis.
Osmosis is the movement of water through a membrane (such as your skin) to
achieve equilibrium. Your body contains water and salt, whereas an ordinary bath
contains mainly water and very little salt. Therefore, water passes through
your skin in an effort to balance the concentration of water and salt in you and
in your bath. This excess water causes "pruning" (your fingers and toes
wrinkle). Adding bath salts to the water
causes a more equal balance of salt and water in both you and in the bath, so
less water enters your skin and less wrinkling occurs. Salt is also thought to
draw impurities and toxins out of your skin and soothes sore muscles!