Detox Baths (Therapeutic Soaks)

By Cat, Mar 2017; updated Oct 2018, Feb 2019

We have a wonderful old-fashioned herb store here in Bigfork: Swan Valley Herbs and School of Natural Healing (1). They sell herbal tinctures made in their kitchen, and  dried herbs (both medicinal and culinary) many of which are wild-crafted from the mountains and valleys near Bigfork MT. Every year they offer an Herb Walk with the owner, Tom Tracey, to learn about local herbs for medicinal or culinary use. See my postings on The Essentialist. They also do energy-based testing for health issues. Sorry, they are not online so I cannot share link or email address with you.

One of the interesting things they recommend for detox is special baths. Some of these might sound a bit crazy, but remember they are energy-based detox.

I have done  each of the recommended baths several times since 2008. Despite how weird they sound, they do work.

See an article in Flathead Living about Swan Valley Herbs: Let Nature Be Thy Medicine for more about this great business (2).

NOTE: This information is from a Swan Valley Herbs handout provided for my first detox bath.

General Method

Caution: Do not use bubbles or oils in the bath.

  1. You must have a bathtub with hot (not warm) water.
  2. Before getting into the bath, you drink 2 cups of yarrow tea: 60 drops of yarrow tincture in 2 cups (16 – 20 oz) of just-boiled water. Let it cool a tad so you don’t get burnt. This tea will make you sweat, so that while soaking in the bath, your toxins will escape your body in your sweat.
  3. Add the detox substance (see below) to the bathwater and get in.
  4. Meditate and do some deep breathing while relaxing in the bath for at least 30 minutes. See below for more about meditation.
  5. You may wish to rinse off in the shower after finishing the bath.
  6. If more than one soak is recommended, skip a day between soaks. If you experience much discomfort during the first few days of your detox program, skip an extra day or two between soaks, to slow down the process. Adjust to your comfort.

Meditation during the bath:

“Your way of thinking is as important as your remedies. Prayer, meditation and positive visualization can dramatically help your body heal. Be as consistent as possible in taking your remedies. Make subtle changes in diet, drink clean water, and learn to breathe deeper.” (from the Swan Valley Herbs handout).

Detox substances for the soak:

The Swan Valley Herbs store in Bigfork, MT will test you energetically to determine if you need a soak, and which soak is most appropriate. If you don’t live in NW Montana, you can send them a hair sample to represent you. They are not online, so you would have to call them.

Hydrogen Peroxide Soak

This is to detoxify pesticides and other chemical compounds, and works more gently than clorox (below). [Cat’s note: both the hydrogen peroxide and clorox soaks work by increasing oxygen in the cells.]

  • For each bath, you need one 16-oz bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a full tub of water. Soak 30 minutes.

Clorox soak

Two types of household bleach

Like the peroxide soak, this is to detoxify pesticides and other chemical compounds, but has a stronger (perhaps more uncomfortable) action.

CAUTION: As of October 2018 and February 2019 updates, there are three concentrations of Clorox bleach on the market (see photos, right (7a) and left (7b)):

  • old formula (6% hypochlorite bleach), image, upper right. This is the bleach recommended for soaks. It will be discontinued but will remain on store shelves until all are sold;
  • concentrated formula #1, also known as Clorox Regular Bleach 2®. (8.25% hypochlorite bleach), image, upper right. Until this newer formula has been adequately tested, I do not recommend using it.
  • concentrated formula #2, also known as Clorox Performance Bleach with CLOROMAX (8.3% hypochlorite bleach (7c)), image left (7b); . Until this newer formula has been adequately tested, I do not recommend using it. Its extra ingredient, CLOROMAX® is intended to kill more microbes than the previous formula, so may be toxic in a soak.

The instructions below are for the old formula; if the old formula is no longer on the shelves, I suggest using the peroxide soak (above) instead:

    • Clorox brand (old formula)6% hypochlorite bleach on the label: you need ½ cup (8 oz) to a full tub of water. No other brand or concentration of bleach will work, and may be harmful. Soak 30 minutes.

[Cat’s notes: 

  1. Oct 2018: This bath is fairly controversial, as chlorine bleach is, in itself, a known toxin. There are many testimonials on the web as to the effectiveness (of the original 6% formula) even for heavy metal detox! However, using the new, concentrated formulas has not yet been adequately tested.
  2. Feb 2019: I sent an email to Dr. Lancaster ND about the changes to Clorox, as she has a web page about therapeutic soaks including Clorox bleach (8).

Salt and soda soak

This is to detoxify radiation, such as X-rays (as for mammograms, etc), and radiation from wiring inside your home or other buildings, clocks, radios, televisions, microwave ovens, wireless phones & internet, computers, laptops and pads, cell phones, cordless phones and more.Use 1 pound each sea salt and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to a full tub of water. Soak 30 minutes.

Cat’s notes:

  • About making your own salt and soda: be sure to use real sea salt – unrefined sea salt is best; do not use iodized salt. Also use pure baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) that is free of aluminum and other toxic heavy metals.

Other Detox Baths

The following are websites featuring detox baths. There are many more sites available online; google “detox bath soak”.

  • Wellness Mamma: Detox Bath Recipes (3)
  • Dr Axe: 10 Detox Bath Recipes (4)
  • Healthy Home Economist: Detox Baths: Which Ones are Best and for What Ailments (5)
  • Herbs 2000: Detox Baths also has a good discussion about the controversial clorox bath (6)


  1. Swan Valley Herbs, Bigfork MT
  2. Flathead Living Article:
  3. Wellness Mamma:
  4. Dr Axe:
  5. Healthy Home Economist:
  6. Herbs 2000:
  7. Clorox Bleach
    1. Image:
    2. Image:
    3. Discussion about Clorox Performance Bleach:
  8. Dr Linda Lancaster, on Therapeutic baths:

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