Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bath Bombs!

I was meaning to make & blog these before Christmas but that didn't happen.  These make a great Valentine gift to a friend or yourself.  Wikipedia - Bath Bombs (or BB's) shows the chemical formula, but the most interesting factoid is that they dissolve into water, carbon dioxide and salt.  I've been making these for awhile and play around with the recipe so no two batches are exactly the same.  The great thing is the base recipe is very forgiving.  In an hour I can make 3 batches if I don't do any soap grinding.

Words of caution:
  • This is very fine powder and should not be inhaled. 
  • When using essential oils, be sure to use oil to prevent skin irritation.  The oil acts as a carrier to help prevent skin irritation.  BB's are high in salt, your skin needs a bit of oil too.
  • Don't be too generous with the oil, it makes the bathtub dangerously slippery.
  • Be aware of other additives like sparkles, paper etc are hard on plumbing and make the tub no fun to clean afterward.  To avoid this I would recommend putting the BB into old pantyhose before dumping into the tub. That seems to be no fun though, who wants to bathe with pantyhose?  Better to skip using non dissolvable stuff.  Although, oatmeal would be great skin soothing bombs after sunburn or bug bites...  Hmmmm, Ideas brewing!
  • If you choose to grind up smelly soap as the "extra,"  keep that grinder only for soap.  Better yet, buy a used one from a thrift shop for this purpose.  These supplies should never again be used for food.
  • Do not use fragrance intended for room fresheners, your skin will thank you for skipping that experiment.
  • The gloves keep your hands from drying out from the saltiness of the ingredients.

Base recipe:
1 part citric acid  (available at the health food store)
2 parts baking soda  (cheapest from the bulk bins at the grocery store)
1/16 part oil  (food or skin grade)

Useful Supplies:
rubber gloves
1/2 cup measure
cheap sandwich bags & twist ties
spray bottle filled with tap water
scarf or protective face mask

Aren't they pretty!

Not Housework Bath Bomb recipe:
1 cup citric acid
2 cups baking soda
1 cup epson salt
2 tablespoons almond oil
pick ONE variable from the list below

a bunch of drops of essential oils
shredded glycerine soap
shredded perfume soap
bath pearls
bath confetti
soap leaves
soap flakes
sugar candy or chocolate
It's okay to try different oils: olive, canola, shea butter...
The spray bottle can have a mix of water/glycerine/rose water if you like but water works just as well.


  1. Wear your gloves and mask.  Add to the bucket citric acid, baking soda, salt, and ONE variable you like.
  2. Mix it together well with your gloved hands.
  3. Add in the oil, and the essential oil if you are using, mix again.  (Picture below)
  4. Spray about 3-6 times with water, watch it fizz too long and you will have less ingredients.  The water activates a chain reaction which can make the mix too wet too fast.  The spray bottle helps you control the moisture closer.  Quick now, mix it around. (picture below)
  5. Repeat step 4.
  6. Grab a clump of the mix and squeeze.  It should hold its shape easily.  If it doesn't, the mix is too dry and will not form into shape.  If its too dry, repeat step 4.  If the mix is too wet, enjoy the fizz, wait for it to slow down a bit and proceed to step 7.  Channeling Goldilocks here, not too much, not too little but juuuusssst right.
  7. Measure out into bags.  They can be as big or as small as you like.  Half a cup of mix makes small BB's and seem a  bit stingy, but are perfect for a child's bath.  You're the creator!
  8. Once all the mix is distributed and any left-over is dished out to the other bags, now is fun part.  Pick up a bag and squeeze it together into a ball.  Channel your inner child's snowball making days if you like!  Children can help out with this part too.  Tie them with twist ties or pretty ribbon if you prefer and set them aside overnight.  Or go use one right away if you like :)  I don't bother with cleaning out the bucket or washing the gloves or measure, it doesn't seem to affect the next batch.  Go ahead & clean them if you prefer.  I keep the supplies together in an old gift bag in the closet until the next time I make some.  (Picture below)
Dry mix with some fragile commercial butterfly bath fizzers broken up, see step 3.

Fizz after 3 sprays, see step 4

Attempting to add intact commercial bath fizzer to centre of BB, and how it looks after squeezing, see step 8.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!

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