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How To Give Your Kids a Detox Bath

detox bath for kids horizontal

Lately, my kids and I have become quite addicted to our nightly detox baths. There’s nothing like taking a hot bath, lighting a few candles, and allowing the troubles of the day to simmer away. This is my ultimate way to unwind. Kids benefit from the nightly ritual, as well. And when you throw in some epsom salt or magnesium flakes, some coconut oil, and a little bit of some essential oils, you have a recipe for a deeply healing bath that promotes healing and relaxation. Before I explain how to give your kids a detox bath, let me dive into why you should be giving them detox baths.

Why Give Your Kids a Detox Bath?

  1. To flush out toxins that have built up in our bodyTHIS is a great article on how and why we should take detox baths.
  2. To strengthen our immune system. 
  3. To promote sleep and relaxation. 
  4. Help muscles and nerves function properly. Great for growing kids.
  5. Helps promote concentration.

“While increasing your magnesium levels, Epsom Salt also delivers sulfates, which are extremely difficult to get through food but which readily absorb through the skin. Sulfates serve a wide variety of functions in the body, playing a vital role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the mucin proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. Sulfates also stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are believed to help detoxify the body’s residue of medicines and environmental contaminants.” (source)

How to Give Kids a Detox Bath:

Materials Needed: 

STEP ONE: Add the Epsom Salt to a tub of hot water

Epsom salt dosage: 

  • For children under 60 lbs, add 1/2 cup to a standard bath.
  • For children 60 lbs to 100 lbs, add 1 cup to a standard bath.
  • For people 100 lbs and up, add 2 cups or more to a standard bath. (source)

STEP TWO: Add the baking soda (optional)

Adding baking soda to a detox bath helps to neutralize the chemicals in the water, especially chlorine. I have well water, so I don’t need to do this. But, if you unsure about your water, or if you know that it is not filtered, then add in some baking soda.

Baking Soda Dosage:

  • For children under 60 lbs, add 1/4th cup to a standard bath.
  • For children 60 lbs to 100 lbs, add 1/2 cup to a standard bath.
  • For people 100 lbs and up, add 1 cup to a standard bath.

STEP THREE: Add the coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)

I like adding coconut oil or olive oil to our detox baths for a few reasons. One, it helps the essential oils to bind to the coconut oil and stick to my kids skin which helps moisturize their skin. Two, it keeps the essential oils from sticking to the side of the tub. And lastly, it clings to skin even after you get out of the tub.

Coconut Oil or Olive Oil Dosage: 

  • For children under 60 lbs, add 1 tablespoon to a standard bath.
  • For children 60 lbs to 100 lbs, add 2 tablespoons to a standard bath.
  • For people 100 lbs and up, add 3 tablespoons to a standard bath.

STEP FOUR: Add the Essential Oils

Whenever I mention essential oils, I am referring to only the top quality, therapeutic grade oils. I don’t recommend purchasing any other kind. Click here to see which oils I recommend. The great thing about essential oils is that they can be used for a variety of different reasons.

Essential Oil Dosage: 

  • For children under 60 lbs and over 2 years old, add 4 drops to a standard bath.
  • For children 60 lbs to 100 lbs, add 6 drops  to a standard bath.
  • For people 100 lbs and up, add 10 drops to a standard bath.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use essential oils in a detox bath for my kids.

Essential Oil Suggestions

  • Calming and Relaxing: Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, or Cedarwood 
  • Bonding: if you would like to jump in with your baby or child, I recommend frankincense to help promote bonding.
  • Immune Boosting: Protective blend or Wild Orange
  • Respiratory Support: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, or a respiratory blend
  • Digestive Support: Peppermint, Cardamom, Lemon or Peppermint.

 *A Few Tips: 

  • Don’t wash your children’s hair on detox bath night! The coconut/olive oil makes it very greasy and hard to get out.
  • Don’t wash their body with any soaps or harsh cleansers with chemicals. Their pores are open and you want them to absorb the magnesium and oils. I recommend using something like Dr. Bronner’s Baby Soap or a bar of castile soap if you must wash them. Otherwise skip the soap.
  • Try to keep them in the bath for 20 minutes to get all the benefits of the bath.
  • Lather them up, if you wish, with a natural moisturizer like coconut oil. I add in a few drops of lavender and give them a light massage as I’m putting on their clothes.
  • Give them some water or leave some beside their bed. Detox baths can make you thirsty.
  • Cuddle on the couch and read a good book before kissing them goodnight! Magnesium promotes sleep so they should sleep very good for you!

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(Photo Credit: Flickr)

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95 Responses to How To Give Your Kids a Detox Bath

  1. Merissa @ Little House Living January 7, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    I was wondering about this the other day since I started doing my own detox baths a few weeks ago. My little guy is almost 2…is that too young? He has a lot of issues with his system, skin, and sleeping and I thought this might help.

    • The Paleo Mama January 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

      Nope, I think even babies can benefit from light detox baths. My son is 2 as well and he gets these all the time. He is very healthy and we have never had any problems. I think your son would really benefit from this.

  2. Sarah January 7, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    I just did a version of this last night for my 14 mo. old! He seemed to love it, but I do have a question – I’ve been unable to find much info about detox baths for little ones. Your post states: “under 60 lbs” so am I safe to assume this holds true for babies/young toddlers? I’ve also read detox baths should be spread out – weekly perhaps. Your thoughts?


    • The Paleo Mama January 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      I think a couple times a week would be safe. That is what we do…probably more towards 3 times a week and when they are sick, I do it every night. And the under 60lbs is for babies and toddlers if you are doing a standard bath. If you have a baby in a smaller tub then I would cut the measurement in half. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!

      • sarah January 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

        Thank you very much!

      • Sarah February 26, 2014 at 12:37 am #

        Thank you for this. Can’t wait to try it with my son

      • Joanie August 20, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

        What is your recommendation for a 6 month old. My little guy is in day care and it seems he stays sick 🙁 I though about doing a detox bath for him, but worry he is too young.

  3. Amanda January 7, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    I usually bathe both of my kids together. Would I up the measurements to reflect their combined weight?

  4. MJ January 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    Awesome post. I never thought about adding the essential oils, or even coconut oil.

    I found that Epsom Salt does wonders for eczema. My toddler eats a modified Paleo diet, but she has broken out a couple times when she gets a little too pink from the sun, which doesn’t take long because she is so fair skinned. She also has reactions to many chemicals that are added to lotions and sun screens, so I don’t use anything on her.

    I wrote a post about our experience, and how I use a combo of Epsom Salt baths and Sunflower Seed Oil:

    • The Paleo Mama January 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Great! Thank you!!!

    • F March 31, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

      My daughter has been having some sleeping issues lately so I’d really like to try this and see if it helps. She just fell and scraped her knees a little today. Would it sting her knees if I did this tonight? Should I wait a day or so?

      • The Paleo Mama April 1, 2014 at 11:04 am #

        It could sting cause of the epsom salt. I’d wait a day or two!

  5. Salixisme January 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    I do something very similar, but I also add sea salt (about a cup-full) to my baths. Love, love, love my nightly bath – it is how I relax and unwind after work!

  6. Ellie January 7, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    I do detox baths a lot for myself but have read it’s important to rinse off quickly after, do you follow that practice for yourself and children? Thank you!

  7. Carol Federoff January 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    I don’t know why I never thought to do this with my child…. I do the Epsom salts and baking soda for myself when I’m sick…. or just achy… THANKS! Hadn’t thought of the coconut oil part…

  8. Kimberly January 10, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    I love this!! I’m going to share it on my facebook page 😉

  9. Megan January 15, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    If I do this once a week, is it safe to bath with regular Aveeno bath wash for every other night? How long does it take pores to close?

    • The Paleo Mama January 15, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      I’m not too sure Megan…I would think a good 15 minutes or so.

    • Christy January 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      Aveeno has a lot of toxic chemicals in it. It was touted as a natural source years ago, but in recent years the truth has come out, it’s right up there with other soaps.

  10. Katya Sam January 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    This is a such a great idea with the coconut oil!!! Thank you!!

  11. Jaimee January 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    Is the measurement for the Epsom salt the same for magnesium flakes? Thanks!

    • The Paleo Mama January 23, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

      Jaimee- I’m not sure if it would be the same or not. Your flakes should have a recommended dosage on them though.

  12. Frida January 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    I love it!!!! i usually give them a warm bath when they are sick with eucaliptos powder, and put some olive oil too, than I massage comes after.
    NOw, certainly can try a everyday or weekly detox for calming and feeling fresh for their busy days!

  13. *Kate January 23, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    Thanks for this great idea! I would like to start doing this with my daughter, but I am sure she would get her hair long hair wet … Without watching it, will it end up all greasy?

    Thanks again!

    • The Paleo Mama January 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      It’s hard to wash out but it’s great as an extra conditioner! 😉

  14. Leah January 23, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    My son has eczema, would this be an issue for a detox bath. His skin is very sensitive.

  15. Lacey January 24, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    So excited about this! My daughter is in it as we speak and fighting a little cold so I used Breathe and OnGuard as her essential oils. Can’t wait to use this regularly! Thanks!

  16. Melissa H. January 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    I’d be worried about the coconut oil clogging in the drain or making the tub slippery. Is this a problem at all?

  17. stefanie January 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    I love the idea of the detoxing bath and love to take long soaks. I am not sure about the baking soda. I own a swimming pool company and we use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to raise the alkalinity level in the water and soda ash to raise the ph in the water. This does not neutralize the chlorine in a swimming pool at all so I am not sure it would in a bath. Ascorbic acid does neutralize it and knocks it out quickly. We use it as a stain remover and it negates the chlorine from the whole pool in just a matter of minutes.

  18. C February 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    I read that you are to rinse off with cool water after a Detox bath to close the pores but you have that the coconut oil and oils can be rubbed in? Just curious on your take? thank you

  19. The Paleo Mama February 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    Great Sarah! Glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Emily February 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Thanksgiving for the ideas! I did this for the first time with my 3 & 5 year olds tonight. We’ll see how well rested they are in the morning!!

  21. Alanna March 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    Just tried this with my 3yo son. While he was in the tub, I put his towel in the dryer since we’re having a really cold winter and also let his tube of lotion sit in the sink which was full of hot water. I can’t stop laughing to myself because my son who’s got sensory issues and detests baths is saying repeatedly how much he liked his bath and how calm he feels. I tried to stay calm, even with water flying everywhere at times, so I didn’t ruin his experience. I also omitted the hair washing because that’s the part that always sends his over the end and ultimately makes bath time a bad experience.

    I used the epsom salts, coconut oil, and lavender oil — all of which I had on hand. After his bath, I followed up with magnesium oil (unscented spray) on his feet. I’m trying this as an experiment based on all the anecdotes I’ve read, particularly regarding noise sensitivity. Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope it helps.

    • The Paleo Mama March 6, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

      So glad he had a good bath!!!

    • Brigitte March 21, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

      I could never seem to get my kiddo to accept hair washing, but to go under and blow bubbles? No problem! I just scrubbed her first so the water had a little soap in it and it seemed to work great. Rarely needed a separate shampooing, only when she had sunscreen in it or something, so the fights about it were fairly few and far between at least.

  22. Catherine March 10, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Does it matter what brand of Epsom Salt? Is all Epsom Salt created equal?

    • The Paleo Mama March 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

      I don’t think so. I just get regular epsom salt.

  23. Rainy March 10, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    Just did this with my littles tonight, lived how soft it made their skin. Question: how do you get rid of the oil in the tub and on their toys?

    • The Paleo Mama March 12, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      I just give it a quick scrub with a scotch wand as the kids are getting out of the tub. Sometimes I make them do it 😉

    • Cindy April 8, 2014 at 12:33 am #

      I have been adding coconut oil to my son’s bath for some time as he is biracial & it helps with his dry skin. I noticed that since I have done this, his bath toys no longer develop mold on them 🙂

  24. Ella March 18, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    Do you think one could make this detox solution up ahead of time, as in have a jar with the combined ingredients ready to go? Or would that not work due to the different nature of ingredients? Thanks!

  25. Autumn Smith April 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    My husband want to do a detox s o in my interest search I came across your article about detox bath….love the idea I can’t wait to try it.

  26. KHix April 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    I have a question regarding the toxins from the detox bath. How do the toxins being pulled out from the bath not get soaked back in from through water with your pores being open? Really interested in this!

    • The Paleo Mama April 3, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      Good question. I think the detox bath works most after you get out of the bath. Your body keeps working and eliminating the toxins.

  27. Greg Sharpe April 8, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    What about getting all this in the kids eyes, seems like oils will cause irritation or worse. I think its a great idea, I am just unsure if there is any harm in these additives.

    Most people I know use tear less shampoo and wash to avoid this.

    • The Paleo Mama April 8, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      I’m just careful when I give them this bath to avoid the eyes.

  28. antionette April 9, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    My question is I have a 10 month old baby. Is it safe to give her a detox bath and how often should I do it?

  29. Amy June 18, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    My 4yr old is always putting her bath water in her mouth. Gross I know, but she won’t stop! Anyway, is this safe for her to put in her mouth? She doesn’t drink it, just spits it on the wall. lol.

  30. Evi June 19, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    My daughter is 8 years old and she has increased magnesium levels since she had her first blood tests. She is also diagnosed with autism. I’ve read about Epsom salts and how relaxing can be to autistic children but i still have the question: can they be beneficial to her concerning her magnesium levels?
    Thank you

  31. Corinna July 27, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    Would detoxing like this help my body to not get BO so often? Also do I have to use essential oils? They are pretty expensive from what I have seen online.

  32. Meg September 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    My six year old son suffers from chronic idiopathic constipation. We are giving him his first detox bath tonight and holding thumbs that this starts to help my poor little man. He’s been suffering with this since 1.5 years old and only just found out exactly what’s wrong with him!!
    Will keep you posted x

    • Tiffany November 9, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      Was wondering if the baths have helped. My 4 year old daughter is chronically constipated and trying to find a healthy way to help her. She has gone up to 7 or 8 days before a bowel movement. I am getting frustrated! Thanks!

  33. Brenda October 17, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    My son is 7 and has molluscum in between his legs and its slowing spreading to other parts of his body. In my research I heard about Epsom baths and found your site. Hoping this will help his skin. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Marianna October 31, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Hello, can I mix two different types of oil, e.g. lavender and wild orange for relaxing and immune boosting purpose? Thanks

  35. Amanda November 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Hey. Have you done this while nursing? I know you shouldn’t cleanse while nursing.

  36. Icetea November 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    This is a super silly question, but do you have any tips for an adult taking a detox bath in a too tiny tub? I’m sure I’m not the only adult sized person using a small Shower/tub combo, but my legs stick out, the top half of my torso is typically out of water, if I lay flat on back or stomach then the full half of the back of my body is out of water >< It's isn't terribly relaxing and I'm not sure how to get the full benefit of the detox…but I sure want it to be enjoyable!! TIA

  37. Laurie Forbes November 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Be sure to add some rubber ducks to the bath, preferably the ones that quack when you squeeze them.

  38. Joy November 17, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    I really look forward to trying this out. My 15 mo old does not sleep very well so hopefully this will help. How high should the water be in the tub? She’s not fond of laying back in the tub. Also she’s got terrible exzema and I’m hopeful this will ease the inflammation. One last question, I’d like to wash her lady areas but feel I shouldn’t as you mentioned her pores will be open… I use Honest soap, do you think she’ll be ok? Thanks so much!!

    • The Paleo Mama January 5, 2015 at 10:46 am #

      I wouldn’t use soap at all during a detox bath unless you are sure it is 100% natural. Just fill the tub up to the normal height!

  39. Amanda November 21, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Hi, question….i have a child that has been perpetually sick with a cold/then turned to strep/now back to cold, she’s 4 1/2 and has never been this sick in her life!! Anything in particular you recommend that is GOOD! I hate antibiotics!! THANK YOU!!

  40. Monte November 29, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    Hi there. I am very interested in trying this with my kids. They are 16 months and 3 years old with a combined weight of about 55lbs. I bathe them together so I am just wondering about the measurements. Should I stick to the under 60lbs measurement? Or do I have to double it because there are two children in the bath? Thanks so much. Cant wait to try.

  41. Julie December 11, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    I would like to make a batch of this as a gift for a friend. I’m wondering what amounts of each item to use in a big jar so that she could use it for herself and her kids. Could instructions say “one cup for kids and two cups for adults”? Also – let her know to add the coconut oil or could that be mixed in as well? Thanks so much!

  42. Blunt Belief December 15, 2014 at 6:30 am #

    Which toxins does this eliminate?

  43. Tracy January 2, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    My 2 yr old has a nasty cold that is just making her miserable. I did one of these detox baths yesterday and one today. She feels so much better when she gets out! She doesn’t seem as conjested, she ate a little, started playing for the first time all day, and actually say on the potty and had a bm- she’s been in the constipated side. I mixed all but the evoo in a jar with 2 T bentonite clay power per bath. I used immune boosting, respiratory and relaxing blends of eos in it. Thank you so much for this post, which I found via Pinterest.

  44. melissa January 11, 2015 at 6:50 pm #

    Is this safe for children with excema? And any suggestions for mosturizers after the bath due to a coconut allergy?

  45. Ashley January 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

    First thing first – you are my most favorite blogger and are so down to earth, I love it! Secondly, my son is 2 and is obsessed with bubble baths. I’d like to start giving him detox baths and still incorporate the bubbles. I saw your picture in this post and was wondering what you use for bubble baths for them? Thanks for your time 🙂

  46. devin January 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    My dd is 25lbs much mag flakes should be added? 🙂

  47. Great post! We are linking to this great content on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

  48. Jessica February 24, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    I have a soaking tub problly 2-3x the average tub would I still use the same salt and baking soda ratios?

    • The Paleo Mama February 27, 2015 at 7:56 am #

      If you have double the water of a normal tub, I think you’d be OK doubling the ratios also.

  49. Erica Cherry March 9, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

    I read this article and I am so glad this is safe for the children. I know if I enjoy detox baths then any children I have will also. Thank you so much for sharing this information I reposted this article on facebook.

  50. Robert March 24, 2015 at 1:41 am #

    I wouldn’t use soap at all during a bath with Epsom salt or magnesium [chloride] flakes either, because they counteract each other, regardless of whether the soap is 100% natural. Together they form curdy magnesium soap that doesn’t dissolve.

  51. Breyanna F. March 26, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

    The only thing I’ve found that naturally gets coconut oil out of hair is lemon or lime squeezed juice diluted in water. I do about 1 part juice per 6 parts water, and this is actually what I use to clean my hair with normally. Leave it in for 2-5 minutes, any longer and you will start getting blonde highlights and potentially drying out your hair. Orange works some as well with minimal dilution and would be less acidic for use on older children. I’ve struggled for a long time with either greasy or dry hair, and using this lemon wash twice a week with occational coconut oil conditioning has kept my hair healthy and balanced.

  52. Iisha April 13, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    If I use coconut oil in the shower/tub I spray a little vinegar-water mix all around when I’m done. That helps me with the slippery issue. 🙂

  53. Jennifer November 7, 2015 at 7:27 am #

    I Would suggest that you blend your oils with a little bit of the baking soda or Epsom salts before mixing into the bath water as this will help the highly concentrated essential oils dissipate into the water better and not potentially burn sensitive skin due to being undiluted.

  54. Claire December 4, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

    This has worked wonders when my 2 year old daughter has had fevers! Thank you for this post. Do you know if there would be any reason that you shouldn’t take a detox bath like this when you are pregnant? 2-3rd trimester? I was going to use the lavender oil if that makes a difference.


    • Lisa April 27, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

      Total body detox should not be done daily. Two to three times a week are recommended for continued success. Symptoms of light-headedness and tingling are normal. Anxiety and restlessness are also noted as common side effects. Detoxifying also unbalances your system by extracting all pollutants in your body, which may lead to other temporary side effects, such as irritability. Detox baths are not recommended for someone who is pregnant or has a heart condition. Since the body is working hard to release toxins, many people experience high blood pressure and overheating—two side effects that can become potentially dangerous for a person who is at risk of a heart attack, or someone with a developing fetus.

  55. Stephanie March 26, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

    How do you get the bubbles?

  56. Seth Bittker May 2, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

    Regarding Epsom salt baths for autism, there is science behind its use. I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Rosemary Waring who first documented the sulfate deficit that is typical of autism and suggested Epsom salts as a potential therapy. A transcript of the interview is available here:

  57. Breana May 21, 2016 at 12:52 am #

    I didn’t think peppermint or eucalyptus oil was safe for kids

    • Jackie Ritz May 23, 2016 at 7:49 am #

      The doTERRA Science information on Essential Oils and Kids ( says:

      “When used as directed, essential oils are safe for the entire family. However, when beginning essential oil use for any age group, we recommend that you follow some simple guidelines. Start off using the oils aromatically or topically, diluting to prevent sensitives. One drop of essential oil to four or five drops of a carrier oil is a good ratio for young children. Start with a single oil to address the immediate need, then try something else at a later time to determine what works best. Remember, young children need less oil because of their lower body mass. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears and nose, and sensitive areas. Finally, all our essential oils labeled for internal use are on the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list, but consult with a physician before using oils internally with young children, and to avoid accidental ingestion, keep out of reach of children.”

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