Why Detox Baths are Important for KIDS
No matter how “green” we try to make our home space, our kids are exposed to hundreds of contaminants in air, water, food and personal care products on a DAILY basis. The body can detoxify itself of these chemicals, however, because our exposure to toxins is ever increasing, it’s a good idea to help the body detoxify whenever possible. A detox bath is one of the best ways to help boost the body’s natural skin/sweat detoxification system. I like to give my kids a detox bath weekly for general health and wellness. I also find detox baths to be particularly helpful when one of my kids starts to show signs of illness. I put my “almost” sick kid in a bath to boost the immune system quickly. When my son was fighting his candida episode last year, detox baths were a regular part of his healing protocol. So, long story short…we are big fans of detox baths around here!
Detox baths not only help rid the body of chemicals and heavy metals, but they also provide rich minerals like magnesium and sulfates that help to:
- Reduce inflammation
- Regulate enzyme activity
- Increase immune function
- Improve absorption of nutrients
- Relax the nervous system and muscle fibers
- Promote a good night’s sleep
How to Give a Detox Bath
- First you want to draw a hot bath (not too hot, you don’t want to burn your precious children but hot enough to sweat). Make the bath as deep as possible (use common sense safety precautions with kids), you want as much of the body in the water as possible for maximum effectiveness.
- If your water isn’t filtered you need to neutralize the chemicals (like chlorine) in your water or the detox bath will not work and your children will absorb toxic chlorine instead of eliminating toxins! You can neutralize your water 3 ways: 1) Crystal Ball Bath Dechlorinator (good for 200 baths!) OR 2) 1 teaspoon vitamin C powder. There are 2 different forms and either will work. You can use this one or this one. OR 3) ¼ cup baking soda.
- Add your de-chlorinator of choice to the bath water and let it sit for 2-5 minutes to neutralize the chlorine.
- Mix the epsom salts, coconut or olive oil and essential oils in a small bowl or cup. After the bath is neutralized, add the salts/oils to the bath.
- Add bentonite clay if using. Bentonite clay binds to chemicals, including heavy metals, and removes them. To add the clay to your bath, mix it together with water first in a cup to get the clumps out (however you are not supposed to let the clay touch metal so use a wooden or plastic spoon to stir) and then add to bath.
- Have your kids get in the bath and let them soak for 20 minutes.
- Do not use soaps or personal care products in a detox bath. During a detox bath your children’s pores are wide open and they will absorb all the chemicals from personal care products if you use them! Skip the soap during a detox bath and just soak and relax!
- Detox baths can be done once a week on a regular basis. During times of illness you might increase the frequency to stimulate immune function.
- Make sure your kids stay hydrated with filtered water before and after a detox bath.
Detox Bath Recipes
Everyday Detox Bath for Kids
1/4 cup of baking soda OR 1 teaspoon vitamin C powder
1/2 cup of epsom salt or magnesium flakes (flakes are more easily absorbed by the skin)
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
Everyday Detox Essential Oil Blend: 2 drops lavender
Immune Boosting Detox Bath for Kids (uses more salt for maximum effectiveness)
¼ cup baking soda OR 1 teaspoon of vitamin C powder
3/4 cup of epsom salt or magnesium flakes (flakes are more easily absorbed by the skin)
2 tablespoons of bentonite clay
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
Immune boosting Essential Oil Blend: 2 drops of wild orange essential oil
Add neutralizer of choice to a very warm bath and let sit for 5 minutes. In a bowl mix the epsom salt/magnesium flakes, coconut oil/olive oil and essential oil blend of choice. Add salt mixture to the bath. Add bentonite clay if using. Have kids get in bath and soak for 20 minutes. Do not use soaps or products while in a detox bath. Enjoy!
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Hi Kula Mama,
My little ones are fighting colds right now. So I tried the detox bath and my 3 year old complained of itching on her legs and lower torso and she developed a bit of a rash. She wanted out of the water, so I rinsed her off and then rubbed some coconut oil on her skin. It seemed to stop bothering her within 5 minutes and the rash subsided soon after. My little guy was in the same water and had no issues. I’m wondering if it was a reaction to the epsom salt or the orange oil? Any advice that will point me in the right direction?
Thank you!! 🙂
Oh no Amy! Not the experience you were hoping for I imagine. My first thought is that it could be a reaction to the orange oil. Especially if she is prone to sensitive skin. When she is feeling better I would try one without the oil at all and see how she does. Epsom salts typically do not cause these reactions–the opposite is usually more the norm (i.e. using epsom salt in baths to soothe irritated skin, eczema, rashes etc.). However, perhaps her little body was detoxing quickly and it irritated her skin. If that is the case you could remedy it by using less epsom salts, perhaps cut the amount in half or more on your next try. Have you used essential oils before? They are very strong so my first guess is the oil. Will you let me know if you try it again and how she does?
Hi, one question. If the bentonite clay isn’t supposed to touch metal how does that work in the tub with the metal stopper?
Hi Cori, The metal just reduces the effectiveness of the clay so you don’t want to mix it with a metal spoon, however in a large bathtub I think it would be ok–it won’t hurt anything.
where do you get Bentonite clay?
If you click on the link in the post (where bentonite clay is highlighted) you will be taken to my preferred brand on amazon.com 🙂
Do you know if it is safe to do a detox bath with my daughter?
How old is your daughter, Sandy? I’ve been doing them with my kids since they were both 1.5/2 years old.
My daughter is 8 months she’s very healthy but I would love to help boost her immune system even more. Is she to young for a detox bath?
I did detox baths will my little one at that age. I used about 1/2 cup epsom salts.
Can you do this more than once a day with a sick child? He enjoyed it so much and it really helped calm his symptoms.
How old is your child? If it helps him, 2 times a day while sick would be ok, you can just use half the epsom salts in each bath. I’m glad he liked it!
If I were to just use Epsom salts and baking soda for kids , would that be ok? For a moisturizer after should I just use coconut oil?
Yes Jessica, that would work great!
Would I get similar affects with Sweet Orange essential oil as I would with Wild Orange essential oil?
Orange or sweet orange is a great one for kids. Or lavender.
Do I have to put essential oils in? Also, which is recommended more for an 18 month old: epsom salt or magnesium flakes? I do have some Epsom salts. Is the brand that linked to the recipe the best or does it matter?
Also, can this recipe also be used for adults?
You can do this without essential oils absolutely. I like the brands I’ve linked to in the post, yet. When I do this detox bath myself I increase the magnesium flakes or epsom salts to 1 cup.
Is this safe for a 10 month old? He already is sensitive to things and has strange bumps on his cheeks and ears. Could this make it worse? And my hands will have to be in the water with him. Would that affect anything?
Also, I’m having severe gallbladder problems (Since April). Can I do this bath or would it put too much of a strain on my liver and possibly put me into an attack?
Hi there! With anything I would start slow and first talk to your naturopath or functional medical doctor. If your 10 month old starts detoxing from the detox bath then yes, you might see an increase in symptoms as the body clears toxins, however, if you start slowly (cut down the amount of salts you use) the magnesium might be really helpful. Check with your practitioner first. For your condition I would also check in first with a doctor. I’m not a doctor so I can’t make suggestions about medical conditions. Sorry 🙁
Thanks for the post! I take detox bath myself weekly and benefit greatly from them! My 7 year old has type 1 diabetes and am wondering if there’s any concern around detox baths and diabetes that you are aware of. Thanks!
Hi Robin, I’m glad you like them 🙂 I’m not a doctor so I can’t say directly but from what I’ve read magnesium can help with blood sugar regulation. But of course check with your functional medical practitioner or naturopath before you make any changes to your child’s routine! Hope that helps!
Hi, My daughter will be 8 months old on the 4th of November. After her 4 month vaccines within hours she completely changed. After 2 months of trying to get answers of why she was continually getting worse from the doctors. We found out at her 6 month check up after seeing a different doctor that her fontanelle closed due to her brain not growing since she was 4 months old. The doctors have done some very questionable things so I have turned to natural remedies allowing her body to heal. She is already showing positive signs of progression due to a complete change of her diet to get toxins and metals from the vaccines out of her body. However I was just wondering Your suggestion on the best essential oils or clays for her bath for her age and situation.
Hi Raquel, oh I’m so sorry to hear this story about your daughter. She is a lucky girl to have a mom like you searching for answers about how to get her better. She is a little young to use essential oils–I’m not an aromatherapist so I can’t make suggestions for her but I used these guidelines when deciding what to use for my baby (she might also be a good resource for you as you research what to use for your daughter–her website has lots of great info). http://www.learningabouteos.com/index.php/2014/02/07/essential-oils-and-children/
As far as epsom salts in general, I used them with my daughter a little at that age. You would want to use a brand that tests for heavy metals like Ancient Minerals. Also use less epsom salts or magnesium flakes…I believe I used 1/4-1/2 in the bath at that age but again I’m not a naturopath so check in with you functional medical doctor or naturopath.
Hello Raquel, I have my daugter who changed after her normal vaccines at 4 months old but not right away, she changed after a while, slowly until we noticed she stopped developing and stopped saying any new words and no one knows why. She doesn’t even have communities with others or kids and have little eye contact with us. So after all the search i have done it looks like she might have autism. Ur story got my attention because its very similar with my daughter. Do u mind if I asked u how is ur daughter now and what did u do to help her?
Thank you and God bless u and ur family!
Just wondering how the detox bath works with coconut oil. The coconut oil coats the skin so how does the epsom salts, etc get absorbed?
Hi April, the coconut oil won’t seal off your skin, it just helps the oils emulsify and also moisturizes your skin. Your pores will be wide open from the heat of the water so you’ll get plenty of magnesium too! Enjoy!
My grandson will be 4 months on January 10th and he has fever of 100.8 taken under the arm, he also has nasal congestion and my daughter and I want to give him a detox bath. Is it ok to give him a detox bath at that age? How much Epsom salt is recommended? Thank you!
Hi Lisa, I don’t think I would recommend a detox bath with a fever because for the bath to work effectively you want it hot and your baby has a fever so you don’t want him getting hotter. Bath isn’t a great idea. Do you have a naturopath or functional doctor you see? You can check in with them. When my babies were that little I just nursed them a lot when they were sick and let the body recover naturally. Have you seen my post on fevers? It’s a sign the immune system is working so let his body do the work if you can and I hope he gets better soon. https://kulamama.com/natural-remedies-for-fever/
Hi, I have two kids, my son is 6 and my daughter is 8. She also has eczema and my son has a nasty cough. They eat fast food a lot, mostly because of my parents, and I think their little bodies need a detox. I’m not as healthy as I would like to be when it comes to my food choices by I’m getting there. I’m a young mother and just want to know if this could be a good detox for the both of them.
P.s. because my daughter does have eczema what if anything would you suggest I put on her skin after the detox bath so her skin won’t be dry
Hey I’m a young mother of two kids (my daughter is 8 years old and son is 6 years old). My daughter has eczema and my son has a cold and nasty cough right now. They both eat a lot of fast food, mostly because of my parents always giving them what they want. I want to give them both this detox and just wanted to know what if anything can I put on my daughters skin when she gets out of the bath so that her skin won’t be dry. And is it OK to give my son a detox bath with an active cold.
Here’s a great recipe for homemade eczema cream and we do detox baths when my kids are sick to help them heal. https://kulamama.com/homemade-eczema-cream/
I’ve been wanting to use bentonite clay but we have a plastic tub. Is it safe to use in a plastic tub? Will it draw toxins from the plastic?
I personally wouldn’t do a hot detox bath in a plastic tub for exactly that reason!
Thanks for this great tutorial! I’ve started giving an immune-boosting bath to my 4 year old with Thieves about once a week, and she has been getting sick from daycare and preschool much less frequently! It’s awesome!
I am wondering about my three month old, can I put Epson salts in his bath. There is so much yes and no on the Internet, I have been putting him in 2 tablespoon and some baking soda and he sleeps so well.
With my daughter we started her at about 9/10 months and used only 1/4 cup of magnesium flakes in the bath. Do what you are comfortable with, 2 tablespoons is very minimal and seems reasonable for a 3 month old
My 9mo daughter and I are both sick 🙁 I was thinking we’d take a bath together. Is that a bad idea?
Thanks for the post!!
I wanted to ask if it matters for the bath if the bathtub has been resurfaced/coated with spray-on porcelain? Also, I would like to know if it is a good idea to bathe both of my kids together for the detox bath. I have a 4 year old boy and an almost 2 year old girl. They both currently get their regular baths together. And are there any toys allowed in this bath or just water? Most of my babies bath toys are plastic, but i’m willing to substitute wood or any other materials you could suggest. One more thing- can you suggest where I might be able to find these things, good quality essential oils, magnesium flakes, etc in a physical store? I don’t like to have to shop and order online all the time, and it can be really inconvenient to have to wait for shipping when you really want to get started ASAP.
does detox baths help with rid the body of mold and candida overgrowth and toxins. And are the baths safe for children with asthma.
I have a 4 mo old. What age is the detox bath appropriate for? Can you use Dead Sea Salt instead of Epsom Salt? Thanks!
I believe I started my kids on detox baths after 9/10 months and used only about 1/2 cup epsom salts.
Greetings, I use these bath often but did not know about the neutralizing importance. Since my kids take baths daily (not detox) is it harmful that the water is not filtered?
It depends on several factors–what’s in your water (levels of chlorine and other contaminants), how hot the bath water is, how old your children are,their overall toxic load, etc. We use a crystal ball dechlorinator (the one I link to in this post) to remove the chlorine now on a daily basis, not just detox bath nights.
Do you recommend this detox bath for detoxing after vaccinations? My son is getting his first vax and want to help rid his little body of the heavy metals afterwards.
Hi Colleen, The detox bath certainly won’t hurt. You can also supplement before (according to the weston a price foundation) with extra cod liver oil, vitamin C and B12 before each shot.
My son is 17 months old. He occasionally drinks the bath water while in the bath, we have a de-chlorinating bath ball but have never done detox soaks until last night, it was after a vaccine and I thought it was a good idea. Is it ok if he drinks some of the bath water that has bentonite clay in it, or should that be discouraged? I have also seen posts about how children should take an electrolyte drink after such a bath, or is water enough? I didnt realize this last night. He is still nursing though.
Hi Nina, I don’t let my kids drink the bathwater. I think drinking filtered water after the bath is a good idea.
Can you do a detox bath with Lavendar and Epsom salt in a plastic tub? Is that what most tubs are made of?
What if you don’t know what’s in your water? Just add the baking soda for good measure?
Amy, I do!
Or get the crystal ball dechlorinator that I mention in the post!
My soon to be 2 year old son is a bath drinker, would it be safe for him to drink?
I would encourage your son not to drink the water. A little bit wouldn’t hurt probably but any more could cause loose stools.
Thank you so much for this post and all the responses to some great questions! I learned so much reading this and am so excited to put together a detox bath for my little one 🙂
Hi! We are in a rental and I think both bathtubs are plastic! What do I do for detox baths for me and my family? It is me and my husband and our two daughters (ages almost 6 and 2 1/2). Could I do clay foot detoxes in glass bowls or what kind of material is best? Also can we still do detox baths with the plastic tubs at all? Sorry so many questions but I just started detox baths again and love them. Thanks!
Hello, we have seven minerals magnesium spray with aloe, one spray is 20mg and we put one spray on the bottom of our 4 year olds feet at night, for our 12 month old we wanted to put it in her bath water the company said its great in tub water, my question is would it be safe for our 1 year old to get 1 spray of 20mg magnesium with aloe in her tub?
My son who is now 3 years and 4 months just finished taking his anti-tuberculosis medicine. He took it for 7months together with B-complex and iron food supplements, so basically he was taking around 4 different kinds of medicine everyday. Now, that he is done with the anti-TB meds i wanted to get everything out of his system. I found your article about detox bath and i would want to try it on him. do you think this would help his body clear out all the synthetic drugs and do you have other suggestion on how i can detox him?