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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Epson Salt: A Must-Have for Home and Garden


Epsom "Salt"...not really a salt at all but two minerals that our body actually uses and needs.  "Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate, which can help improve health in numerous ways. A lack of magnesium—which helps regulate the activity of more than 300 enzymes in the body—can contribute to high blood pressure, hyperactivity, heart problems and other health issues, doctors warn. Sulfate is essential for many biological processes, helping to flush toxins and helping form proteins in joints, brain tissue and mucin proteins."  - Epson Salt Council

Wow.  Pretty amazing for such a humble crystalline substance.  But this drugstore wonder is full of surprises.  It's great as a hair conditioner, sore achy muscles, and even as a garden fertilizer?! Yes, it's true...and there's even more...


When I was growing up, we had wood floors in our house.  The upstairs floorboards had a few rough spots in them but we being kids, didn't seem to notice.  Wood floors made a nice skating rink which we would skate on with socks.  One time though, I skated on some rough "ice" and promptly got a LARGE wood splinter in my foot.  Yuck.  I was horrified and did NOT want my parents to touch it.  The splinter itself was not willing to come out either, so in came the Epsom Salt.  Now, when you're a kid faced with a probing knife to extract a splinter, soaking your foot in some nice warm water was a perfect way to make me relax.  My parents loved me, but a spa experience was not what they had in mind, but rather a way to draw the splinter out of my skin and Epsom came through!  By the time my foot was done soaking, the splinter came out lickity-split (much to my surprise) and relatively pain-free.  So, Epsom salt saved the day and was my hero.  


As soon as I got married, I purchased my own carton (they sell it in bags now...way better idea!) and kept it for emergencies.  We seem to use it for any foot problems, probably because of my previous memory of it, but it does SO much more!  Even the carton I have only lists a few of its many uses.  Here's just a few: eliminates toxins by exfoliating and taking a bath in it - 2 cups in the tub, helps with athlete's feet and toe fungus (see, it likes feet), cleans bathroom tiles - use equal parts of Epsom with dish detergent to clean, is a fertilizer for houseplants and vegetables/flowers*, relieves constipation (!) and much more!!  I will admit my experience with it is limited to the sliver incident (which by the way, is another thing on the list it does) and foot complaints...but it did a great job in these areas.  However, after writing this post, I am going to be sprinkling my Epsom salt on all my houseplants!  


Here's another great bonus for Epsom Salt...you can buy it at the drugstore.  No health stores, no fancy catalogs, no shipping charges; perfect.  I love the simplicity of these types of home remedies and garden helps.  After all, isn't that part of living simply?
So, if you don't have some Epsom Salt at home; run to the nearest Walgreen's, pick up a bag and "skate" on your wood floors with a smile on your face...ahhhh.

Have you used Epsom Salt before? How and why did you use it?

Here's a few great links to more information on Epsom Salt and how to use it:

Epsom Salt Council  
15 Unknown Uses for Epsom Salt at Gomestic.com


*For houseplants: Sprinkle Epsom salt weekly once to nourish your houseplants, flowers and vegetables.

Linked to these amazing blog hops: Waste Not, Want Not Wednesdays  
Frugal Days: Sustainable Ways
Small Footprint Friday

Simple Lives Thursday  Clever Chicks Blog Hop
Homestead Revival 



Warm the mixture of equal amounts of conditioner and Epsom salt for 15 seconds. Apply this mixture through your hair from scalp to end; leave it for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water; you can observe the natural glow in your hair.

Read more: http://gomestic.com/homemaking/15-unknown-uses-for-epsom-salt/#ixzz2DT7hhILh
Warm the mixture of equal amounts of conditioner and Epsom salt for 15 seconds. Apply this mixture through your hair from scalp to end; leave it for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water; you can observe the natural glow in your hair.

Read more: http://gomestic.com/homemaking/15-unknown-uses-for-epsom-salt/#ixzz2DT7hhILh
Warm the mixture of equal amounts of conditioner and Epsom salt for 15 seconds. Apply this mixture through your hair from scalp to end; leave it for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water; you can observe the natural glow in your hair.

Read more: http://gomestic.com/homemaking/15-unknown-uses-for-epsom-salt/#ixzz2DT7hhILh

80 comments:

  1. I just used epsom salt tonight actually. One of my hens is sick and retaining fluid in her belly, so I soaked her in a tub of warm water with 1/4 cup of epsom salt. I read about it online and one blogger called it "the spa treatment."

    That's the only way I've ever used it, though. I'll have to do more with it now that I've read this article!

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    1. Wow! Epsom salts and chickens...who knew? That's pretty amazing! Thanks for sharing your tip! :))

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    2. I have been using Epsom salts heavy for the last 3 months I am withdrawing from topical steroids and Epsom Salts has been a life saver for me

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  2. Wow this is interesting lol! I've used epsom salts for infectons (my nephew got an infeciton on his finger so we soaked his hand in some warm water and epsom salt and it helped a LOT!) and I've heard of using it for plants and grass and gardens although I have yet to try those things since I haven't had any plants or gardens since learning about that. I do like a good epsom salt foot soak though! They are lovely!! :)

    I'm visitng via Waste Not Want Not Wednesday! :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. Epsoms is really good for soaking an injury and a great spa moment for tired feet as well! Thanks for visiting...I really liked your post on 61 Things to Pack for Your BOB Bag too, blessings!

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    2. Oh you're very welcome! I love all things natural! :)

      Awesome! I have been working on that for two months and was just glad to finally get it published!! lol. :)

      Helen
      Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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  3. OMG you are bringing me back to horrible memories of splinters and my mom with a pair of tweezers! Did you know magnesium can also act as a muscle relaxant...hence the foot bath to relax.

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    1. I know, splinters are the worst! Didn't realize magnesium was a muscle relaxant...maybe that's why I was able to let my dad extract the HUGE sliver I had in my foot!! Phew! :)

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    2. good to know! I have an injury that causes muscle spasms.

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  4. I remember my mom always having a box of Epsoms in medicine cabinet. So many great uses!

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    1. It sure does...hope it finds its way back into more medicine cabinets! It's pretty great stuff! :)

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  5. The down side of epsom salts is if you are allergic to sulfates as it is magnesium sulfate

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  6. Here's another use. When planting my tomatoes, I mix up a cup of ES in a gallon of water. I then water in the seedlings. This prevents blossom end rot on tomato plants.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this tip for tomatoes! I can't wait to use it around mine next year...what a huge help for organic gardeners! :)

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    2. I have always put them in my tomatoes as I planted them, also evergreen tree's like them.. Had a blue spruce that just would'nt grow.. a buddy mixed a cup in the dirt around the tree.. and I could almost watch it grow.. also rose bush's love them as they grow..

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  7. When you soak with Epsom salt the magnesium is absorbed and actually relaxes you. I add some lavender oil to my foot bath for good smells, too.

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    1. Barbara, that sounds wonderful. I'm already planning a bath time with Epsom soon. The lavender oil is a great idea too. :)

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    2. They actually have lavender epsom salts I soak in after a intense workout. I buy it from CVS or Walgreens.


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  8. I remember my mother making an Epsom salts soak for things, but it was so long ago I don't remember the details. I know it is a purgative and that is the main ingredient when one is being "prepped" for the unmentionable. I have used it to fertilize pepper plants with great success. I think I'll start soaking in a bath with it now. Interesting article!

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    1. Yes, it is an old time remedy but one that deserves to come back and be in use because it's so valuable. It will hopefully come back into herbal remedy "fashion" again! Thanks for visiting... :)

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    2. ...what is the unmentionable?

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  9. Great article! We use it in the garden and in baths, but I'll have to explore some of the other uses.

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    1. Linda - check out the Epson Salt Council Link for everything you wanted to know about it as well as how to use it. Thanks for reading... :)

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  10. Great post, and thanks for the links, too! I use Epsom salts in a warm bath for my back (I was in a car accident a while back) and they're apparently good for sore muscles :)


    Thanks so much for sharing this and your other great posts on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday! I've pinned them and look forward to seeing what you've been up to this week :)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting and hosting the blog party ! Have a great week!

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  11. Great post! We go through 25lb bags of Epsom salts in our house! So many uses.

    Your post is featured this week at Small Footprint Fridays! I hope you will link up again this week and share more great, green ideas!

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    1. Thanks Dawn! And thanks for featuring my post this week...have an amazing week, blessings!

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  12. Since going through menopause I have gotten relentless muscle twitches, leg and foot cramps - massive, massive charlie horse cramps that wake me up at night in excruciating pain! Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, etc., supplements did nothing to address the issue. Quite by accident I found out that Epsom Salts makes quick work of the twitches and cramps! I take a bath with two cups of ES in the water, soak for 30 minutes or so, and the uproar in my legs and feet is gone. As long as I do this 2-3 times a week, I don't run in to problems.

    Wish I had known this when my sons were little. They had horrible "growing pains" leg cramps. Nothing helped. At all. ES might have made the difference.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience! It's amazing what a simple drugstore item can do...that's for sure. So glad you're twitches and leg cramps are so much better. My husband had leg cramps for awhile, but is better now. I will have him use the Epsom if he has it again! Thanks again!

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  13. I use Epsom Salt foot soaks for my dogs when they blister their paws!

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    1. What a great idea! Easy and natural too...thanks for sharing this tip!

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  14. I love Epsom Salts! :) Many of us with Fibromyalgia (chronic muscle pain) have regular baths with it. It even helps to just soak your hands in a sink/basin of warm water and ES for a few minutes as your skin absorbs the magnesium and relieves muscle pain. I was also advised once by my Vet to place a washcloth dripping with a mixture of ES and warm water against my cat's bad wound. Her 3" wound healed quickly ~ and it was a really nasty-looking gash! I'm most def going to try it on my tomatoes this Spring... thanks for the info!

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    1. Thanks for some great ideas...hard to believe how easy it is to use!

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  15. I blend epsom salt and essential oils and make my own bath salts. So much cheaper than buying premade bath stuff, and I can customize it for whateve my mood is as I get in the bath!

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    1. It's a double bonus too...it smells great and is wonderful for you!

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  16. I gave a special "Bath Salt" to my clients as Christmas present last year" mix ES, some food coloring, some essential oil--the ratio depends on you.Put it in a fancy jar-- fancy present.
    Thanks to all for the great uses!I also saw a couple of days ago the fabric softener made of ES and essential oil.

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  17. My grandparents always soaked in an epsom salt bath after a long hard day if gardening or working on the farm. I had forgotten about that until I saw this, I'm gonna pick some up for sure!

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    1. I love re-discovering these old remedies...it's recapturing a bit of our history!

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  18. I wonder if I could use it in my Hot Tub??? Any one know??

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    1. According to the Epsom Salt Council, "Please consult with your local spa dealer to determine whether it is safe to add Epsom salt to your hot tub or whirlpool." Hope it works out for you!

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  19. The best apple butter I have ever tasted is made with Epsom Salt.

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  20. Very interesting and useful post, Nancy! I read all the comments, they have good tips too. I grew up in Russia. Every Russian family used to have a jar of magnesium, dark magenta crystals. It is used for soaking and also in gardening to fight pests and plant diseases. After soaking, skin gets brown and stays this way for a while. Epsom Salt isn't dark and doesn't have such 'minus'. Thanks again!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story,,,so interesting! Epsom Salt would definitely be better than then dark magenta crystals!

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  21. This will be really useful for gardening if you know how to manage all of this things and even can help for planting herbs to produce one day best herbal incense when it goes great.

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  22. Can you use in a facial or as a scrub

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    1. Found this online...Homemade skin mask: Apply the mask to damp skin. For normal to oily skin, mix 1 tablespoon of cognac, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of non-fat dry milk, the juice of 1 lemon, and a half-teaspoon of epsom salt. For normal to dry skin, mix 1/4 cup of grated carrot, 1 1/2 teaspoons of mayonnaise and a half-teaspoon of epsom salt. This simple honey face mask works wonders as well.

      Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/use-epsom-salts-13-wonderful-ways.html#ixzz2O6WW1l8x

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  23. I have a terrible ingrown toenail that gets easily infected because it's hard to get under it to keep it clean and trimmed. It's also VERY painful. One good epsom salts soak for about 45 minutes and the infection clears up and the pain is gone.

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  24. I make a special soak for my hubby who has psoriasis - 20-30 minutes and it not only relaxes him, it helps slough off the excess scales.
    There is another soak I make for my kids when they have growing pains and one we all use when sick. Epsom is Awesome ! Did you know, you can make your own electrolyte water ? Look it up =)

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  25. 88 cents for a 2 pound carton.. can't go wrong there. I used Epsom salts since I was a kid to help with "growing pains" that made my legs hurt so much I couldn't sleep at night. We've used it to draw out infections too. This year I made many homemade scented bath salts for friends.
    I only just learned about using it in the garden. I will try it out next year. ^.^
    I've also used this as a laxative. It's VERY hard to drink as it's soooo nasty. But they make it already mixed and flavored and it still sucks to drink but is 100 times better than the homemade kind. It words wonders and will clean you out in 30-45 minutes. Only down side is that the effects last for hours so don't plan on leaving the house that day.

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  26. I soak in tub with Epsom salt and baking soda to soften ..is nice and helps clear a foggy head. It helps ground me,

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  27. Epson salt is also good for drawing infection out of anything.... in my case a boil, just all to bathtub water and soak... draws in infection right out.... Dad always used it for a long time ago, i was born in 1956 and i know he used it before then

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  28. getting some tomorrow cant waitso good i remember my mum using it but i forgot

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  29. I got some for my partner, he puts it in bath after a game of league and said it works great after a big game

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  30. Add to your laundry to help break down hard well water and soften fabric (I don't use fabric softener...add your favorite essential oil to the epson salts and add abt 1 oz in wash OR rise cycle..like the Purex Crystals that cost SO much only So much cheaper!)

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  31. If you like green peppers, bell peppers (all colors), plant your garden with epsom salt. I mean use it on ALL your plants! Cucumbers are the sweetest and so are your peppers. The pepper plants will yield double what you normally get. Flower love it too! We have been using epsom salt for the last 5 years and our garden does wonderfully! Try it! You can sprinkle it in the hole when planting, mix 2 Tbsp. per gallon of water for watering or sprinkle it around the plant. It will not burn the plants either. It is a mineral. We love our Epsom salt. Sam's Club sells it in a bucket. When it is empty, go to Walmart and buy it by the bag & refill it! It is such an inexpensive mineral, I can't live without it! :-)

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  32. Roses & any flowering vegetable & flower loves it!

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  33. It is most useful for muscle aches. I asked my neuromuscular therapist if it was an old wives tale about soothing muscle, and she said it really helped besides the warmth of the water to draw lactic acid out of the muscles. It is also helpful for soaking injuries.

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  34. I've heard it used for deep depression. You soak in a bathtub with it.

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  35. I used it before for soaking my hands as I suffer with terrible chillblains. Worked too!

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  36. i have a cuestion about the magnesium sulfate is the same of cloruro of magnesium?? thanks

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    1. Thanks for your question. Magnesium sulfate is different from Magnesium Chloride (cloruro of magnesium.) For more information, please copy and paste the link below.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_chloride

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  37. My mom used Epsom salt to soak her horses' feet when they had infections or abscesses. It would draw out the infection. I've been using it in my boys' bath to help with eczema. I only recently started, so I'm not sure if it's working (it's clearing up, but that may be due to other factors), but their skin is definitely softer after a soak in an Epsom salt bath. It seems to help their naturally dry hair to be softer and healthier.

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  38. Epsom salt is a stable in our house. From soaking out the pains to helping making you regular. This year I did some backyard gardening. My homemade fertilizer was only coffee grinds, egg shells, and EPSOM SALT, My garden had the best harvest ever. As far as growth and taste!

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    1. Way to go! Natural is always so great and especially when it's free or low cost!

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  39. How often do you put it on your plants? Or do you do just when planting them?

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  40. Ok one last time..how often do you use it on your plants? Or do you just use it when you plant them?

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    1. That's a great question! I would say that I use it about once a month. It also depends on whether you're talking potted plants or in ground plants. I use it less with plants in pots as they have no way to get rid of excess fertilizer. If in doubt...less is more. :)

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  41. Epsom salt can now be bought with lavender scent all ready added..picked up 3 bags at rite aid yesterday

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  42. Epson salt now comes with lavender scent all ready in the mix.Picked up 3 boxes at Rite Aid just yesterday.

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  43. I used it to soak a family members cellulitis, they were on antibiotics for 3 weeks with no improvement, we started hot es compresses and could start to see a difference right away. did this until all signs were gone, at least 2 times a day, at first 3-4 times a day.

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  44. I use it primarily on roses, and have made a bath soak that is nice...1 cup Epsom salt, 1 cup sea salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon of glycerin and 12 drops of lavender...put 1/2 cup in your bath and soak 20 minutes...you can use other essential oils, but I don't recommend putting dye in it...I put mine in mason jars and have given it as gifts. You can add other oils like sweet almond, vitamin E, argon oil...but not too much or it may end up a solid lump...I am still experimenting.

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  45. I have heard you can use it to remove tree stumps after cutting down a tree. You drill several holes in the top of the stump and fill them full of Epsom salt and it will start causing the stump to quickly deteriorate.

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  46. Just read about epsom salt for weed killer, 1 gallon vinegar, 2 cps. epsom salt & 1/4 cp. Dawn dish soap. says it will kill anything you spray it on, spray in the morning and by evening it is dead.

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  47. Use as weed killer, 1 gallon Vinegar, 2 cups Epsom Salt & 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap, spray in the morning & by night it is dead.

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