Sprinkles in your bathtub means you're serious about self-care and sustainability while social distancing

We all have spice jars collecting dust, too-big bunches of herbs and other forgotten bits and bobs hanging around. And with little access to anything else right now, there’s a lot to be said for getting creative and doing something nice for yourself, or those close to you, with what you have on hand.

Whether it's a pinch pot of cilantro-orange-cinnamon bath salts for yourself or, a Mason jar of sprinkle-lemon-orange zest for your sister, that little bit of extra effort, carried out with love, is the hug we all need right now.

Here's what you need to get started

Salt  Anything chunky. Something like iodized table salt is a definite no-no, but the salt you use in a salt grinder? Yes, go for it!

Toasted Spices – Fennel seeds, peppercorns, cardamom, star anise... whatever whole spices you've had laying around for a while will need some waking up. To do this, add to a warm pan and toast for a minute or so until fragrant. This makes them easier to crush and more perfume-y to boot. This is also a good practice to get into when using spices for cooking. No need to do this with already ground spices.

Fresh herbs – This may seem odd in a bathroom setting, but salt is a preservative, so the best thing you can do for these guys is hit 'em with the hard stuff! Especially if they’re looking a bit dead already. The second they're mixed in, you'll see them start drying out, which is a good thing in this case! You can also use dried herbs.

Citrus Zest – Use a regular box (cheese) grater to get nice chunky pieces of peel for your mixes. Lemon, lime, blood orange, grapefruit... anything you want.

Mixing – Since scent is a precursor to taste, if the person enjoys the flavours these elements add to meals, there’s a good chance they’ll enjoy the scent they bring to these salts. You can really load these mixtures up too because you won’t be eating it and it will be diluted in a bath tub.

If you’re stuck on which scents to create, try using a fond memory as inspiration. For example, if you enjoy baking with your mom during the holidays, how about a mix of cinnamon, orange zest and some leftover holiday sprinkles? Or, if you and your spouse shared an amazing trip to Morocco, try using the elements that are used in that setting. Maybe a mixture of warm, sweet spices like cinnamon, star anise and cumin offset with some refreshing mint?

Obviously there will be some spices you’ll need to stay away from as their aroma will not induce relaxation and their colouring will most likely stain the bathtub (for example, curry powder or paprika). So use your best judgement!

Here are the combos I've used: 

  • Lemon and Orange Peel, Birthday Sprinkles
  • Orange Peel, Fennel Seed, Cinnamon, Black Peppercorn
  • Lemon Peel, Fresh Dill
  • Lime Peel, Fresh Mint, Black Peppercorn
  • Orange Peel, Dried Rosemary