Bath bombs are quite the experience, something like bathing in fragrant, fizzy paint. They make bath times lots of fun. But, it’s not a good policy to buy just any old bath bomb. Some of them have irritating chemicals, like limonene and linalool. (Though those sound like fun names, they sometimes agitate sensitive skin.) Some bath bombs have glitter, sending plastics down the drain and ultimately out in the ocean. None of us want that.
In other words, it pays to buy your bath bombs carefully (Lush does a good job of making them responsibly), and truth be known, it pays even better to simply make them at home. For one, bath bombs can be pretty pricey, but making them at home is like buying them on clearance. For two, if made at home, they can be customized, and there will be no doubt as to what goes into them, i.e. you can stick to organic and natural ingredients.
The initial wow factor of a bath bomb is its fizziness. That comes from the mixing of two key ingredients: a mild acid and a base. The base is baking soda, which can be bought at the supermarket, and it might be a good move to upgrade to the aluminum-free version for a little more health consciousness. The acid is dry citric acid, and it should be food-grade stuff. It’s likely to be located near canning (as in canning vegetables) materials and is widely available.
In essence, the effervescence comes from the mix of these two ingredients when they get wet. Once they get to fizzing, the reaction can last for several minutes.
The Other Ingredients
Now, the other ingredients are for making the bath colorful, aromatic, and soothing. Corn starch (go with non-GMO and organic for the good of yourself and the planet) helps to create silkiness and helps to bind everything. A nice oil will spoil (in a good way) the skin. Coconut and almond are great choices here, but olive oil works fine as well. Salt is another addition, and Epsom salt is the best option. It’s good for our skin and hair, as well as relaxing our muscles. A liquid will be needed as well. Water is the easiest option, while witch hazel kicks up the luxuriousness and cleansing benefits.
Then, it comes down to personalizing the bath bombs with essential oils, whatever scents seem best, and whatever colors feel fun. Lavender, vanilla, sandalwood, and bergamot are all soothing aromas to relax the day away, but many others will work as well. Powdered, dried herbs would be another option here. The main thing with the dyes is to seek out natural options, and there are natural vegetable colorants to help with that.
The Necessary Tools
There are only a few tools needed to make bath bombs, but they are important.
- A digital scale: The ingredient proportions really need to be right.
- Or, measuring cups: Again, it’s just a matter of measuring as precisely as possible.
- A muffin tin: The bombs can be molded by hand, but a muffin tin makes the job easier and tidier. And, almost all of us have muffin pan sitting in the cabinet just wishing we’d use it.
- A mixing bowl: This doesn’t have to be anything special. None of these items will harm you or ruin a bowl. In other words, the one from the kitchen is fine.
- Optional gloves: It’s a personal choice. Those with sensitive skin might want to do this.
Well, that’s it. In a likelihood, we’ll all have these tools around the house already.
Starting with the dry ingredients — a cup of baking soda, ½ cup of citric acid, ½ cup of Epsom salt, and ¾ cup of corn starch — and mix those together in the large bowl. Separately, combine the liquid ingredients: two tablespoons of liquid oil (if coconut, it needs to be in liquid form), two teaspoons of witch hazel, a teaspoon of water (or vanilla extract), and about 40 drops of essential oil, whichever combination seems appealing.
Now, add the liquid mixture a few drops at a time to the dry mixture. The right quality is when the ingredients hold together, rather than crumble, when squeezed. If more liquid is needed, go with a little more witch hazel or water in tiny, even spritzes. Once the consistency is there, there is no time to spare: Press the bath bomb into the greased muffin tin. Then, let it harden there for about two days.
Storing the Bombs
The fresher they are, the more impressive they’ll be in the tub. But, DIY bath bombs can be stored in an airtight container for at least a couple of weeks and still put on a heck of a show. It’s good practice to toss them in the tub and wait three to five minutes for all the magic to happen. Then, get in and let the enchantment continue.
Lead Image Source: Pixabay