Many people have heard about the newest salt, the wildly famous Epsom salt. In the last few years, it has become the talk of the town due to various purposes.
Some people use Epsom Salt for treating muscle soreness, constipation, stress, and reducing pain. On the other hand, some consume Epsom Salt by mixing it in the water and drinking it.
This wide variety of features have made people curious about Epsom salt. You may have a lot of questions in your mind regarding its usage, especially its expiry date.
Keep in mind that it is necessary to know the answers to these questions to use the Epsom Salt without any risk.
So, does Epsom salt expire or go bad? Epsom salt packets do have an expiry date or best before date. However, it does not expire. The Epsom salt might get hard or clumpy if not stored correctly, but you can still use it. However, it does turn bad in the sense that it loses its effectiveness and saltiness over time.
In this blog, we will help you understand Epsom Salt and its usage. We also answer other important questions that you might have. So, stick till the end with us and clear all your questions!
What Is Epsom Salt?
In simple words, Epsom Salt is a chemical compound magnesium sulfate. The name “Epsom” has an amusing story behind it.
Back in the 1600s, a cow herder Henry Wicker reached the town Epsom which was 15 miles southwest of England.
His cattle refused to drink the water. He then decided to inspect the water himself. He bent down to drink water from a pool but was surprised by its taste. The water tasted bitter to him.
He saw some white residue in the pool after the water evaporated and realized it had a laxative effect on him. Then, he noted that animals who took baths in the water healed from wounds faster than the others.
This coincidental instance led to the discovery of Epsom Salt. Later it was named Epsom after the town!
Since then, Epsom Salt has been used to treat constipation, bruises, swelling, muscle pain, and other ailments. People often drink water after dissolving Epsom Salt in it as well. It is also used as a brewing salt in making beer.
Epsom salt is generally affordable, easy to use, and easy to find. It is available in grocery stores, food stores, and online.
Epsom Salt comes in different grades. It is advisable to buy the Epsom Salt approved by the FDA for human use for your consumption purposes.
What Does Epsom Salt Do?
Epsom Salt is generally taken orally by dissolving in water. When you dissolve the salt in water, it releases magnesium and sulfate ions.
They are then absorbed in water and enter your body. Usually, this salt is used as a laxative for constipation.
Most of the Epsom salt packets mention the adequate dosage for adults and children.
However, it is always advisable to consult the doctor before taking Epsom Salt more than the recommended dosage as everybody’s magnesium requirements are different.
Additionally, you may need more or less than the advised dosage depending on your body type.
Some people do use Epsom Salt for intake as well. In this case, we suggest using the unscented and uncolored Epsom Salt available in the market!
Does Epsom Salt Expire Or Go Bad?
Coming back to the main question, Epsom salt does not expire even though most Epsom salt containers have an expiration date mentioned on the pack.
You can still use it even after the expiration date has passed. Did you know that some of the canned food uses Epsom Salt as a preservative so that the product lasts longer?
Moreover, you may see some lumps in the salt over time, but do not worry. It is basically due to the presence of moisture in the salt. You can easily break these hard lumps by dissolving them in the water and then use the salt as you wish.
How Long Does Epsom Salt Last?
In most countries, the law demands that all food products have expiry dates mentioned on the packaging. So, Epsom salt also has an expiry date or “best before” date mentioned on the pack.
Usually, this expiry date is 2-3 years from the manufacturing date. However, most of the time you can use the salt for more than seven years.
You must be wondering how it is possible that you can use it even after the expiry date has passed. There are two reasons for this.
First off, the chemical composition of the Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate compound that does not break easily and thus can last longer than usual.
Secondly, if you store the salt in a dry place, you can use it without losing its efficacy.
How To Know If Epsom Salt Has Gone Bad
Even though Epsom salt is good to use even after expiry, it is relevant to prevent it from turning bad. To check this, you should look at one of the most noticeable signs – the appearance of salt.
If you notice the salt turning hard and clumpy, it is a visible indication of moisture exposure. It is because moisture is the enemy of Epsom salt. As long as you can avoid contamination via exposure, your salt is good to go!
But how can you prevent the Epsom Salt from moisture? The answer to this question is by storing it right.
What Is Food Grade Epsom Salt?
Food grade Epsom salt is what meets the standards of the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC). It is 100% natural with no artificial chemical ingredients at all. They come from special deposits from different parts of the world straight to you.
Moreover, they do not go through chemical processing or modification, which makes them cleaner and safer to consume.
On the other hand, some Epsom Salt goes through food processing where they add sulfur and magnesium compounds to them. This makes them prone to contamination either by humans or machinery.
Food grade Epsom Salt needs very high skills in order to be extracted while retaining its purity and high quality.
It is not an easy task to meet the food-grade standards and specifications. So, here, the quality of the salt is the last thing you should worry about!
Hence, when it comes to choosing between manufactured or naturally derived Epsom Salt, we highly recommend picking the latter.
It is healthier and safer to consume according to the FCC. Natural minerals that are extracted with extra care are always the best option for your precious health.
How To Store Epsom Salt
It is crucial to store Epsom Salt properly to use it even after the expiration date and to maintain its efficacy. So, there are a few tips you need to keep in mind for storing Epsom salt.
Keep Away From Moisture
As mentioned earlier, Epsom salt and moisture are a recipe for disaster. When you mix these two, you’ll notice how Epsom salt loses all its efficiency.
Moreover, Epsom salt also becomes lumpy and difficult to use when it comes in contact with moisture.
So, you need to make sure that you don’t keep it in an area with high moisture content.
Moreover, if you keep it in the kitchen, make sure you use airtight containers. These containers will prevent the air and moisture from entering into the Epsom salt.
Store In Dark Place
We recommend storing your Epsom salt in a dry as well as a dark place. This will ensure that the salt’s efficiency lasts for long and there is no formation of lumps.
Contamination is when your Epsom salt comes in contact with moisture and becomes hard and extremely clumpy. You need to make sure that this doesn’t happen as it may affect its efficiency.
So, what you need to do is:
- Close the container’s lid as soon as possible to avoid the air and moisture from getting inside.
- Use uncooked rice grains and keep them inside the same container as well. This can help as the rice absorbs moisture and keeps your Epsom salt as fresh and dry as new!
In this way, you can prevent your Epsom salt from contamination.
Now that we’ve gone over how to tell when Epsom salt has gone bad and how to properly store it, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
What are the uses of Epsom salts?
Apart from being used as a laxative and food product, Epsom salt has other healthcare and beauty-related uses.
We list here some of the most common uses of Epsom salt:
Epsom Salt In Beer
Epsom Salt is used to add sulfate and magnesium ions to the brewing water. This leads to an increase in the bitterness level of hops of the beer.
Epsom Salt As A Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium is considered the fourth most abundant mineral in our body. Despite that, people do not consume magnesium in the required amounts. So, it is believed that intake of Epsom Salt increases the body’s magnesium levels.
Epsom Salt As A Stress Reliever
Adequate magnesium level in the body is essential to produce neurotransmitters that cause stress reduction and improved sleep.
Because of this, some people claim that bathing in Epsom saltwater has improved their sleep as they feel more relaxed now.
Epsom salt also plays a prominent role in the formulation of energy in body cells. This helps in rejuvenating you after a long tiring day!
Epsom Salt As A Pain Reliever
Another claim regarding Epsom salt is that it reduces pain and swelling. Inflammation is the natural response of the body to any injury.
Magnesium present in the Epsom Salt treats the inflammation and promotes speedy recovery.
Moreover, it can increase serotonin in the brain. Thus, the usage of Epsom Salt stabilizes mood and reduces anxiety and depression!
Epsom Salt As A Beauty Product
Epsom Salt is believed to have numerous beauty effects like:
- It exfoliates dead skin cells
- It cleanses pores
- It fights blackheads
- It repairs skin patches
- It repairs cracked heels
- It provides voluminous and frizz-free hair
- It helps to get rid of body odor and fungal infections.
Epsom Salt For Gardening
Epsom salt is used for gardening purposes as well. Interesting isn’t it? Well, there are claims that Epsom salt can be used as insecticides and fertilizers to keep your garden green and away from pests.
Moreover, Epsom salt promotes the growth of fruits and flowers. With continuous and proper use, you will surely see the difference in your plant growth.
Is Epsom salt dangerous?
Although Epsom Salt is generally safe for external use, there are a few concerns if you take it orally. First of all, it has a laxative effect.
Other uncommon side effects include:
- Extreme Fatigue
- Blurry Vision
Which is better for cooking: Epsom salt or table salt?
Though you see the word salt attached to both Epsom Salt and Table Salt and they look similar in appearance, they are different.
While Table salt is Sodium Chloride made up of elements Sodium and Chlorine, Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate containing magnesium, oxygen, and sulfur. Hence, the two have distinct chemical properties.
Therefore, Epsom Salt is bitter and acidic that makes it inedible. For this reason, it is highly unsuited for use in cooking. Table Salt is more suitable when it comes to cooking due to its taste.
What should I consider when buying Epsom salt?
Keep in mind the below-mentioned points before you buy Epsom salts:
- Make sure to buy the Epsom Salt from reputable and trustworthy brands. Do not go after exceptional deals and compromise on the salt you’re buying.
- Make sure that you get 100% Magnesium Sulfate as this is a major requirement.
- Keep in mind what you’re using the salt for. If you’re taking Epsom salt for bathing, go for scented options. For oral intake, avoid such Epsom salts.
Are all Epsom salts the same?
Epsom Salts contain naturally occurring minerals, therefore all Epsom salts are chemically the same. However, there are different grades of the Epsom salt depending upon the application.
Broadly, there are two grades of Epsom salt:
The word USP here stands for United States Pharmaceutical Grade, also called the Food Grade. It is the most quality-controlled salt used in food. Thus, the quality of this salt is guaranteed.
When you are buying the Epsom salt, make sure to check the label for the USP designation. Such Epsom salt is manufactured under stringent guidelines by the FDA and is deemed suitable for human use.
Also called the Industrial Grade or Agricultural Grade, this grade of Epsom salt is used for industrial purposes. Thus, it is not as pure as the Food Grade and might contain some impurities.
So you can say that it is unsuitable for human use.
Epsom Salt is one of its kind, used all over the world for its different benefits. Its properties are not only astonishing but also helpful. However, research on its efficacy is still going on as there are very few solid scientific claims for it.
We hope this blog helps you to understand whether Epsom Salt expires or goes bad after a particular time mentioned on its packs, its usefulness, and other crucial questions.