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Does Epsom Salt Expire? How to Store It?

Magnesium deficiency is a common problem caused by high levels of stress and processed foods. This deficiency can lead to sleeping disorders and muscle loss, especially in athletes. A good treatment is using loads of magnesium-rich sources like Epsom salt. But does Epsom salt expire? Can we store it for a long time? Let’s find out.

Does Epsom Salt Expire? How to Store It?
  • Epsom salt is made of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It’s mainly used in baths but can also be dissolved in water and consumed as a magnesium supplement.
  • Epsom salt can expire but can last several years if stored properly.
  • The best way to store Epsom salt is in a dark place, away from moisture and contamination.
  • Taking a bath with Epsom salt or taking it as a supplement can help you sleep better and reduce stress.

What Is Epsom Salt?

Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is made of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. Although it’s called salt, it’s different from table salt due to its chemical structure and usage.

Epsom salt looks like table salt but is often used in baths, where it dissolves in the water, earning it the name "bath salt." Unlike table salt, it tastes very bitter, so it’s not added to food.

Epsom salt has been used for centuries to treat conditions like electrolyte imbalances, constipation, and eclampsia [1].

Its main benefits - which we’ll go through later in this article - come from magnesium, a mineral many people lack these days [2].

You can find Epsom salt online and in most drug and grocery stores, usually in the pharmacy or cosmetic sections.

Epsom salt can also be applied to the skin as a cosmetic, even some people drink it dissolved in water as a magnesium supplement.

While there are no official guidelines, many brands suggest adults take 2-6 teaspoons (10-30 g) daily dissolved in water, and children take 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 g).

The problem is that many people store Epsom salt for a long time and forget that it has an expiration date.

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Does Epsom Salt Expire?

Yes, like table salt, Epsom salt has an expiration date, and most brands print both the manufacturing date and the expiration date on the package.

Before using Epsom salt, always check the label for the expiration date to make sure it's still good to use, especially if it's been stored for a long time. But for how long does it stay usable?

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How Long Does Epsom Salt Last?

Although Epsom salt expires, it has a long shelf life. When stored properly, you can use it safely for up to five years or more.

External factors, such as exposure to moisture, high temperatures, and contaminants, can also affect the quality and shelf life of Epsom salt, so you need to learn the proper ways of storing it.

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According to Market Research Future

According to a report by Market Research Future, North America currently holds the largest market share for Epsom Salts, but the Asia Pacific region is expected to take the lead in the coming years due to the growing demand in various industries, such as personal care.

How to Store Epsom Salt?

Always make sure that the Epsom salt you purchase is from a trusted brand, recently produced, and properly sealed. Also,

  • Keep It Away From Moisture.
  • Keep It in Dark Places.
  • Avoid Contamination.

But why are these three points important?

Keep It Away From Moisture

Epsom salt absorbs moisture easily, causing it to clump and lose quality. To prevent this, you should store it in a dry place.

Also, don't bring the whole container into the bathroom when using it for a bath. Instead, use a spoon to take out a small portion and add it to your bathtub.

Keep It in Dark Places

Exposure to sunlight can degrade the quality of Epsom salt over time. Keep your salt away from direct sunlight in a dark cupboard or closet to maintain its quality.

Avoid Contamination

Store the Epsom salt in an airtight container to keep it from absorbing moisture or odor from other items. Always ensure that the scoping utensils are clean to avoid any contamination.

Before each use, you should check that the salt is free from contamination, as it easily absorbs moisture and impurities. Luckily, there are many signs to help you tell if the salt has gone bad.

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Epsom Salt Baths Ease Muscle Pain

The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends soaking in a warm bath with Epsom Salt for 15-20 minutes to help reduce inflammation and relieve muscle cramps, soreness, and stiffness.

How Do We Know Epsom Salt Has Expired?

Since this salt is directly in contact with your skin, or you may drink it as a supplement, you should carefully check it before use to make sure it has no signs of expiration.

Do not use your Epsom salt if you see

  • Clumping and Moisture,
  • Strange Smell,
  • Discoloration, and
  • Reduced Dissolving Ability.

Clumping And Moisture

Epsom salt is highly hygroscopic, meaning it easily absorbs moisture from the air, which causes the salt crystals to clump together, forming hard, solid lumps.

When Epsom salt clumps, it becomes difficult to dissolve in water. If you notice clumping, it’s a clear sign that the salt has been exposed to moisture, and it's best to replace it with fresh salt.

Proper storage in an airtight container can help prevent this problem and make sure the salt remains dry.

Strange Smell

High-quality Epsom salt should have a neutral and earthy scent. An unusual or bad smell shows that the salt has probably spoiled.

This change in odor can occur due to contamination or chemical changes in the salt over time. Contaminants can enter the salt through exposure to air, moisture, or improper storage conditions.


Epsom salt appears as white crystals. Any change in color or texture is a strong sign that the salt has expired.

Discoloration can result from contamination by external factors, such as moisture, dirt, or other impurities, so it’s better to throw it away.

Reduced Dissolving Ability

Epsom salt should dissolve easily in water, especially warm water. If your salt remains undissolved or dissolves very slowly, it's a sign of expiration or contamination, possibly because of moisture.

But what if you don't see any of these symptoms and the salt has passed its expiration date? Can you use expired Epsom salt in a bath?

It’s not recommended because, over time, expired Epsom salt can lose quality and change its chemical composition, which leads to reduced magnesium content.

In this case, you should buy fresh Epsom salt, because bathing in fresh salt can have many benefits due to its high magnesium content.

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The Health Benefits of Epsom Salt

Some healthcare professionals believe that Epsom salt has therapeutic benefits and can be an alternative treatment for many conditions. It can

  • ImproveSleep and Reduce Stress,
  • Improve Performance and Recovery in Exercise, and
  • Reduce Pain and Swelling.

Epsom Salt Can Improve Sleep and Reduce Stress

Adequate magnesium levels are important for sleep and stress management because magnesium helps produce neurotransmitters, like serotonin and melatonin, that help relax the body [3].

So many believe that taking Epsom salt baths can improve sleep and reduce stress by allowing the body to absorb magnesium through the skin.

However, it’s not scientifically proven that magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, so the relaxing effect of Epsom salt baths may simply come from hot baths.

Americans Don't Get Enough Magnesium

According to the United States Epsom Salt Council, the average American consumes only about 1/4 teaspoon of magnesium daily, far below the recommended daily intake of 400-420 milligrams.

Epsom Salt Can Improve Performance and Recovery in Exercise

Magnesium in Epsom salt can be beneficial for exercise performance and recovery. Athletes are often advised to take an Epsom salt hot bath or oral magnesium supplements to relax their muscles [4].

Reduced Pain and Swelling

Due to its magnesium content, Epsom salt is often claimed to reduce pain and swelling, particularly in conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis [5].

A 2015 study of 15 women with fibromyalgia mentioned that applying magnesium chloride to the skin can be beneficial for reducing symptoms [6].


Does Epsom Salt Expire? Yes, while Epsom salt does have a long shelf life, it's important to check its exact expiration date labeled on the package.

With proper storage in a dark and dry place, it can last around 5 years. So, it’s better to focus more on storing it correctly rather than worrying about its expiration date!

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