Intro: How To: Make a Bath Bomb
Having a soak in a warm bath is a great way to relax and unwind, but what would make it even better is if you added a DIY handmade bath bomb and turned it into a luxurious spa treatment creating a relaxing and harmonious environment to make you feel truly pampered.
Now a days luxuries like bath bombs can be expensive, so the next best thing is to make your own. Making bath bombs is fun and easy, you can make the basics or get creative by adding yummy fragrances, therapeutic essential oils and gorgeous skin softening agents such as dead sea salts, butters, oils, petals and multiple colours.
There are some ingredients that can be sourced right from your kitchen but if you are adding more specialist ingredients try your health food store or purchase from a supplier of ingredients for bath and body products. Check out this great recipe and step by step tutorial on how to make your own DIY bath bombs. You will impress yourself your friends and your family and they make great gifts that are loved by children and adults alike.
Step 1: Equipment You Will Need
A large mixing bowl
A hand sprayer containing clean cold water
Some latex or vinyl gloves for sanitary and protective purposes, you should always wear gloves when making bath bombs as the citric acid will sting if it gets into cuts or scratches.
Eye protection is advised as fine powders can be very irritating to the eyes.
A Dust mask is advised as the fine powders can be irritating if breathed in.
A Sieve to remove any lumps from the mixture if required.
Suitable moulds to shape the bath bombs - If you can’t get your hands on a spherical mould there are many other options like ice cube trays, muffin trays, disposable shot glasses, chocolate moulds etc. Just hunt around your kitchen and I am sure will find something suitable.
Step 2: Ingredients
300g Bicarbonate of Soda
150g Citric Acid
5 – 10 ml Fragrance or Essential Oil of your choice
5 ml Carrier Oil of your choice, such as Sweet Almond Oil, Grape seed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil.
Colour- Most food colouring can be used or any water based or powdered colour from a supplier of ingredients for bath and body products.
If you are a beginner its worth remembering that smaller bath bombs are easier to make than big ones as the big ones tend to crumble more easily, whereas the smaller ones are more robust.
Start off with a small batches first until your confident, also remember that the weather conditions can effect bath bombs, if its humid or raining when you are making them then you need to use less water in your mix or it will start fizzing and you will end up with a bubbling heap, Its trial and error but you will get the hang of it.
Step 3: Measure Ingredients
Measure out the bicarbonate of soda and the citric acid into the mixing bowl, sieving if necessary and thoroughly mix together.
Step 4: Add Fragrance
Add the carrier oil and fragrance or essential oil into mixture. Most essential or fragrance oils will not cause the mixture to fizz, but some citrus oils can, so if this happens, mix in quickly.
Do not mix fragrance and essential oils together its one or the other.
Step 5: Separate Mixture
If you are making a multi-coloured bath bomb now is the time to separate your mixtures into separate bowl before you add the colour. I am making a triple coloured bath bomb here so I have split it into 3 lots.
Step 6: Add Colour
Now add the colour, if you are using liquid food or cosmetic/soap colours, add in drops until you have achieved your desired shade. Mix rapidly with your hands before the mixture has a chance to fizz.
If using a powdered colour, simply add a little bit at a time and mix until you have your desired shade
Keep mixing until you have a consistent shade throughout the mixture to avoid 'spots' especially when using powdered colours. I find the best way to mix is using the apple crumble technique, where you continually rub the mixture in-between your fingers.
As the mixture gets wetter do not leave to stand or it will slowly start to set, you need to work quickly after this point.
Step 7: Add Water
Spray a mist of water onto the mixture a tiny bit at a time, then mix and work the mixture continuously to avoid it fizzing! Be careful not to add to much water, aim for a consistency where the mixture is still a bit crumbly but starts to just hold together when slightly squeezed in your hand.
The only way I can describe the texture is a bit like making a sand castle with slightly damp sand.
Fill and compress the mixture into your moulds. If you're using a two-part spherical mould, then slightly overfill each half of the mould, and then press them together tightly. Don't twist, just press. Wait a few minutes then lightly tap the mould to release one half of the bath bomb mould and leave to set in the other half of the mould for around 20 minutes.
Remove the bath bomb(s) from the mould and leave them to dry for a couple of hours in a warm, dry place. I like to place my bath bombs on some folded bubble wrap or a nest of wood wool. It seems to help them dry better, and stops the spherical ones from getting flat on the bottom.
And there you have it, your own super duper handmade bath bombs! Just drop one into a hot steaming bath and enjoy!
Remember the fresher the bath bomb the more it will fizz, If you are not packaging your bath bombs then store them somewhere dry.
I package mine in shrink wrap which keeps them fresher for longer. I have added some photos of how I have packaged my other bath bombs to give you some ideas.
I have also uploaded a short video of how the bath bomb fizzes in the water.