Homemade Bath Bombs

Homemade Bath Bombs

As the season of gifting draws closer people are starting to purchase presents for their friends and loved ones. Some people like making gifts instead of buying them. One of the enduringly popular gifts is homemade bath bombs.

We get lots of people of people that come in to purchase ingredients for these products. I knew one of our staff (Deandra) makes these for friends as Christmas gifts so I asked her to share her recipe so I, in turn, could pass it onto you. Happy days!

We sell our citric acid in bulk at our Whyte Avenue store. It is 8$/kg. I am told this is the best price in Edmonton. People come in for the citric acid for craft and also as a household cleaner (descaling kettles is a popular use). They also use it to make some cheeses (though I suggest that people opt for our non-GMO citric acid for that use).

We charge 5 cents for each bag but if you bring in your own bag or container you get a FIVE cent reward.

We also carry essential oils, baking soda, Epsom salts, carrier oils, cacao and shea butter. Check out our blog post from last season on some of the great ingredients we have in the store for your craft needs.

Basic Recipe:

1 cup Citric Acid

2 cups Baking Soda

Approx. 1 tbsp of a nourishing carrier oil (such as jojoba, olive, coconut, grapeseed, avocado)

Essential Oils (15-20 drops or about 5 ml, but entirely up to the maker)

Spray bottle with witch hazel (a skin toner so it doesn’t “fizz up” as much while mixing)

Bonus and Tips for Homemade Bath Bombs:

Add 1/4 cup Epsom salts or pure magnesium (Ancient Minerals – magnesium chloride) to the blend. The magnesium in the Epsom salts and Ancient Minerals will help make your bath more soothing and relaxing.

You can add 1/2 a tbsp more oil, and may end up spraying more witch hazel.

Add 1/4 cup of cream of Tarter or cornstarch (Acts as a dry filler to control the reaction between the citric acid and baking soda – ergo making lower bubbles and longer fizz time.)
Cacao or Shea butter- Personal bias towards cacao butter because it smells yummy, but can mix well with any fragrance, and leaves less residue than shea. Also, it doesn’t go off as quickly it seems. After melting in a double boiler (or microwave like you would chocolate chips, stirring at 10-second intervals), add a few tablespoons to your recipe – it solidifies as it cools, so it won’t affect the dry to wet ratio. Also, to increase the reaction you can coat the dried bath bombs in the melted cacao or shea, but note that this makes the bathtub very slippery and you must wipe it down the bath after use, to ensure the safety of your cohabitants and yourself.

You can also add dried flowers to the mix such as lavender or rose (sunflowers in the summer are my personal favourite.)

Obviously, you can add food colouring, blue or green comes out super nice. Not much is needed so go one to two drops and mix, then adjust. If using natural foods beware, turmeric can dye the skin orange. If you add milk powder or coconut milk powder, this should negate the effect. Beet juice seems to be less “dye-ing”, and juices from frozen berries do not have a strong effect at all.

Tools:

  • 1-2 Glass or metal Bowls – one large the other can be small-medium (Plastic bowls can absorb scents because of it’s porous nature)
  • Metal spoon works fine, but you can use a rubber spatula, it may absorb the scents, so maybe have one designated for crafts.
  • Whisk
  • Gloves

Mixing:

  1. Mix together citric acid and baking soda, as well as optional Epsom salts and/or cream of tartar in a bowl . Make sure they’re mixed thoroughly. You can sift between 2 bowls to get a pretty thorough mix, but I personally prefer to use less dishes, and go the whisk method. Note that once the liquid is added you should use your hands to mix.
  2. Add essential oils, a tablespoon of  carrier oil, and optional colouring, cacao and/or shea butter . I like to put the liquids into their own bowl and stir, before adding to the dry mix. Allows you to add less to avoid it getting goopy, and to adjust the colour ratio if it is too weak or too strong. Mix rapidly with your hands before the mixture has a chance to fizz. The food colouring may make the mixture a bit clumpy, but you can fix this by rubbing the mix between your hands.
  3. Spray witch hazel onto the mixture a little at a time,  while continuously mixing, to ensure it is just wet enough to clump. You probably need less than what you think! Aim for a consistency where the mixture is still pretty crumbly but will just hold its shape when you squeeze it hard in your hand. Otherwise, it may crack or break apart before it dries in its mold.
  4. Pack the mixture tightly into your molds. If you’re using a two-part mold like a Christmas decoration, then slightly overfill each half of the mold, and press them together tightly. Don’t twist, just press. Tap the mold to release the bath bomb.
    Silicone ice cube trays and chocolate molds are my new go to mold and allow you to do more at a time, likewise, a muffin tray, or mini cupcake tray for itty bitty ones, would be similarly effective. Pack the molds as tightly as you can, and work quickly, with your spray bottle at the helm.
  5. Let your bombs dry for a couple of hours in a warm, dry place. Keep them out of direct sunlight though as it diminishes the effect of the essential oils. You can place the bombs in a little “nests” of tissue paper, to help them dry better. It also stops round ones from getting flat on the bottom but is not required.
  6. Use within a few weeks . It’s important to know that they lose their fizzing power if they’re kept in storage for too long. If you give them as a gift, make sure you tell the recipient to enjoy their gift sooner rather than later! Limited shelf life.

I see some recipes online are recommending putting things like glitter into the bath bombs. DON’T. This is a pollution. Small and micro plastics are a serious pollution in our waterways and oceans. Please don’t add to this pollution. Add colourful dried petals or food colouring. Suggestions for colourants can be found on the internet but please head Deandra’s warning about turmeric or you may look like Donald Trump 🙂

We hope you enjoy this blog post regarding homemade bath bombs.

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