Why Your Kid Needs a Detox Bath

Last updated 12/4/2020 |

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These natural detox bath recipes help your body remove toxins and strengthen the immune system. Detox baths can help with constipation, colds, growing pains, and even temper tantrums.

claw foot bathtub and towel

I can hear you now, through my computer screen: "Why does my kid needs a detox bath? Isn't detox what they do at the Betty Ford clinic? What the heck would a kid need to detox from?"

Unfortunately...a lot.

Toxins are chemicals or poisons that have harmful effects on the body. They are in food and water, from chemicals in our soaps, lotions, in medicines, and even in the air. (Like when you help Daddy with a demolition and painting project.)

little boy in messy room with paint roller

Your body gets rid of toxins by filtering all your blood through your liver. The liver collects toxins and transforms them into compounds that exit your body...in the bathroom. (That's a polite way to phrase it--right, Mom?) Many other organs are involved as well, including your skin, lungs and kidneys.

These are your body’s natural methods of detox when you are in good health. Your body’s systems are effective and efficient until they're overloaded with toxins--then TILT!

little kid in bathtub

Signs of Toxin Overload

Your body stores excess toxins in the liver, fat cells, brain cells, and nerve cells. This overload manifests in many ways:

  • headache
  • muscle and joint pain
  • irritability
  • flu-like symptoms
  • allergic reactions, including hives, stuffy or runny nose
  • sneezing and coughing

Moms, do any of these sound familiar? When I learned this, those toddler tantrums and growing pains meant something completely different to me. Maybe Mr. Grumpypants needs to detox!

toddler in bathtub

The Detox Bath

Warm and soothing, detox baths help draw toxins out through the skin and ease the burden on the liver. They work great for kids and grownups alike.

A few points to note:

The detox bath is designed to open the skin’s pores, so don’t use harsh, chemical soaps. A natural, unscented castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s is perfect.

Unless your bathwater is purified (we have a Berkey shower filter), it probably contains chlorine, trace amounts of medicines, and who knows what else.

You don’t want to absorb that gunk while your pores are open, so neutralize it by adding 1 teaspoon of Vitamin C powder or ¼ cup natural baking soda to the bathwater.

When I talk about essential oils below, I mean top quality, therapeutic-grade oils from doTERRA. I don’t recommend purchasing any other kind.

doterra essential oils for detox bath

All of these recipes are for a full bathtub. If you’re only filling the tub halfway, adjust the amounts accordingly.

Immune Booster Detox Bath

Kids: 4 drops Protective blend and up to ½ cup epsom salt

Adults: up to 10 drops Protective blend and up to 2 cups epsom salt

Toddler Tantrum Tamer Detox Bath

Kids: 4 drops Lavender essential oil and up to ½ cup epsom salt

Colds or Congestion Detox Bath

Kids: 4 drops Eucalyptus essential oil OR Lemon essential oil (not both) and up to ½ cup epsom salt

Adults: up to 10 drops Eucalyptus OR Respiratory blend (not both) and up to 2 cups epsom salt

Constipation Detox Bath

Kids: 4 drops Digestive blend and up to ½ cup epsom salt

Growing Pains Detox Bath

Kids: 2 drops Marjoram essential oil and up to ½ cup epsom salt

Soak for 15-20 minutes in the tub, and drink lots of water afterward.

Ahem. Not the bath water, Little Buddy!

kid pouring water in the bathtub

Next time you're faced with sick or grumpy kids, send 'em to the bath! Which one will you try first?

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Hi, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here, and please check out the resources in my Natural Living Shop!


  1. Shari Childress on March 6, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Can you do a combo of the tantrum tamer AND Colds/Congestion? I would be doing the Lavendar and Lemon combo. Family doesn’t like smell of eucalyptus.

    • Pam on March 11, 2019 at 6:08 pm

      Yes! You would just reduce the number of drops of each blend.

  2. Alpinegardener on January 24, 2019 at 8:21 am

    People…Remember that our skin is our largest organ. Therefore pulling out toxins via bathing or sauna is of course going to be beneficial. Drinking lots of water will help move the impurities out.

  3. Kirsten on November 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    It depends on the nature of the processing disorder. Which senses are affected? If you’re looking for aroma therapy that helps calm and relax your child, both chamomile and lavender work well. You can even dilute them with some coconut oil and rub some on your child’s neck before bed time so the scent stays with them. doTERRA has some oil blends that help with anxiety and tension, Calm and Serenity are the two I’ve used the most. I’m not a professional, so please take this with a grain of salt, but it may be at least a little helpful. I do work with children who have special needs so I have some experience with various processing disorders. I hope you find a solution! Also, doTERRA has a ton of resources on their website which is great when you are first trying essential oils or if you have any questions about how to use them or how they work. Best of luck!

  4. Pam on November 27, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Eucalyptus can be dangerous for children when not sufficiently diluted. Dr. Tisserand has specific dilution recommendations for kids on his site: https://tisserandinstitute.org/learn-more/kids-inhalation-safety/

    You can always use Lemon for congestion, too!

  5. Pam on November 27, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    I would suggest diffusing a drop or two (literally) of Lemon in her room. Oils are so concentrated that topical use on babies can be too much for their little bodies.

  6. Corrie on November 26, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I agree with the concept of a detox bath. However, eucalyptus is not safe for children under the age of 10. It can cause respiratory distress which is the opposite of what we want. I certainly don’t want my children soaking in something that can cause respiratory distress.

  7. Judith on November 17, 2018 at 2:36 am

    Is it safe for under a year to take detox baths? My 8 month old grand daughter has a lingering cold & has some sleep issues. She is not yet sleeping through the night.

  8. Maggie on August 23, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Do you have any suggestions for a kid with sensory processing disorder with major insomnia issues?

    • Lorie on August 29, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      Lavender is calming right before bedtime

    • Lorie on August 29, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      Lavender is calming right before bedtime

  9. Kris on March 16, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Great article, I use Epsom salts in my kids baths. They work great for bum rashes!

  10. Ems on January 31, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Ugh I’m not a comment person normally but it just frustrates me so how its ok with everyone for drs to pump them full of chemicals and have every side affect in the world but heaven forbid we do anything natural!! And what a brilliant comment that since we prefer to treat our children with as few chemicals as possible we must raise brats too! Lol love it!

  11. Diana on January 3, 2016 at 8:08 am

    I usually don’t comment but I feel compelled to. First I’d like to say that when you are sick you will do anything to get better. Doctors, biochemists, etc don’t know everything. Your body is a mystery & its needs varies as to individual & unique as the person. I was diagnosed with HPV & told because it’s viral there is no cure. I endured 4 years of painful colposcopys, every 6 months. After doing some research I found a website that sold Aloe Vera Gel caps. After taking it only 2 months, my results came back negative for HPV. I took these caps for 6 months and have never been back to an oncologist since. I am under my regular Gyn care & symptom free. It didnt cure it but did what I needed. I also had acid reflux disease & had gastroendocopys every year & took every kind of pill on the market. I weighed 103 lbs & couldn’t eat anything that wouldn’t hurt my stomach. None of the doctors I saw could cure me & I was wasting away. Then one day I visited my cousin who lost 60 lbs. He said he had completed a program called Body for Life. It combines exercise with eating healthy. You simply cut out saturated fat & sugar. Eat 6 small meals a day & exercise 6 days a week – 20 minute aerobics 3 days & 45 min weight training the other 3 days. This not only cured my acid reflux but I was in the best shape of my life. After a year I cured my acid reflux. Now I can eat anything I want & weigh a healthy 130 lbs. I am an adult & know my own body, I cannot speak for children. However my own experience taught me one valuable lesson, to advocate for my body & trust my instincts. Doctors failed me but I will never fail myself. I will say this about Epsom salt, it cured my 8 year old’s puss filled, ingrown toenail. This after using alcohol, peroxide, neosporin, dermoplast & iodine. Within 24 hours his toe was puss free & 60% better. Thank God for good old fashioned Epsom salt.

    • Pam on January 5, 2016 at 9:41 am

      What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  12. MrsHooty on October 5, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I’m just a regular mom. My daughter has these baths all the time. She’s never sick. She loves them and they make bedtime so much easier. So say what you want but I think they’re wonderful.

  13. C'mon on October 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Hahahaha. OMG. I love how people just assume that everyone on the internet is honest about their education level/career.
    Btw, I’m a rocket scientist!

  14. Maggie on September 15, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Hahahaha. Omg. I love how all of these legitimately intelligent scientists disagree and confirm the your child does not need a ‘detox’ bath. But in the age of “what I think is probably best”, let’s all keep being “right”. Let me guess…you don’t vaccinate, you eat organic and your kid never leaves your sight. I can’t wait to see the obnoxious children these kinds of parent raise.

    • Dez on September 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Whether or not you believe Epsom salt baths will detox you. magnesium is best absorbed transdermally and Epsom salt is high in magnesium. I can’t wait to see the type of children that come out of parents that blindly follow what “intelligent” people say. How many times has science said “this is right” and then 10 years later said “oops we were wrong about that”? Maybe it would do you well to do a little research and educate yourself.

  15. chaimommas on August 25, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Thanks for this information! It’s so true that kids need detox too and we love all the natural ways you described 🙂

  16. Tiff on August 20, 2015 at 8:45 am

    For all you smart people who doesn’t think this works at all. There is so much research that says our livers are over taxed. I guess none of you have ever had a Doctor say to you… I do not know what to do for you and I can’t help you. Not just one Doctor. There are illnesses Droctors have no idea what to do for. Epsom salt baths are very good for you weather or not needed for a detox. So think what you want healthy people. One day when your sick and the doctors can’t help you. You will change your tune. I am sorry that you only think man made chemicals can heal. Not true. Plus one of my Doctor starting me taking Epsom salt bath years ago before I knew about oils. I really wonder what personally experience you haters have with anything. Or are you so healthy you just live life like most people in America with your blinders on to all the suffering out there. Sure tell people to take drugs with side effects cause that really seems to be keeping everyone well!!! Not!!!! Will the blind wake up.
    Thank you for the post

    • Moments on January 7, 2016 at 3:10 am

      I don’t think the intention behind the blog was to cause arguments and tension. This is her opinion and it’s up to the individual to decide what they want to do with it. The reply section is so everyone can respond with questions or gentle opinions not be accusational. Please everyone, be respectful and if you don’t agree be decent about it.

      • Moments on January 7, 2016 at 3:14 am

        This reply wasn’t geared towards you Tiff, I like your response. This is towards all those who are being hostile with their replies.

  17. sandi on April 30, 2015 at 2:50 am

    It maybe I just have super sensitive skin but I’ve put ongaurd in my bath before and it burned so badly. And that was only two drops. What other oil do you recommend?

    • Lauren on May 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      OnGuard contains “hot” oils and should be diluted heavily (like 1% dilution). If you added it directly to the bath water, you didn’t dilute it. Water and oils don’t mix, the oils just sit on top of the water, which means they just sit on top of your skin, which is why it burned. Personally, I wouldn’t put OnGuard in my bath, but if you feel you need to, mix 3-4 drops with 1 cup epsom salt (make sure it’s mixed well), and that will dilute the oil.

      • No_B_S on June 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm

        Coconut oil works really well as a medium to dilute essential oils into as well and it’s really good for your skin. Use about 1 teaspoon with 1-2 drops essential oil.

  18. Organizing Chic[k] on March 28, 2015 at 5:06 am

    I agree with your post and I also think we adults need a few now and then 🙂


  19. Carla on February 14, 2015 at 12:08 am

    How often can these detox baths happen? Can this be at every bath time? (Once a day)

  20. Heather on January 23, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Just for a Regular detox which oils do you recommend??

  21. heather on November 6, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Which one do you recommend for headaches ?

    • Holly on December 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Peppermint oil is great for headaches, but it shouldn’t be used on children.

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Hi, I'm Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here! Learn more about me.

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