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Science with Mrs. Suggs

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How To Grow Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) Crystals

You can find epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) in the laundry and pharmacy sections of most stores. Epsom salt crystals are safe to handle, easy to grow, and form quickly. You can grow clear crystals or add food coloring if you prefer. Here's what you need to know to make your own crystals.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: A Few Days

What You Need

• 1/4 cup epsom salts (magnesium sufate)

• 1/2 cup water

• shallow bowl or dish

• sponge (optional)

• food coloring (optional)

Here's How:

1. Boil the water in a microwave or on the stove.

2. Remove the water from heat and add the epsom salts. Stir the mixture until the salt is fully dissolved. If desired, add food coloring.

3. Pour the mixture over a piece of sponge (optional) or into a shallow container. You need just enough liquid to cover the bottom of the container.

4. Place the container in a warm or sunny location. Crystals will form as the water evaporates.


1. The sponge provides extra surface area to allow the crystals to form more quickly and helps make them a bit easier to view and handle.

2. Compare the appearance of the epsom salts before stirring them into the water with the appearance of the crystals that are produced.