Posted by on 2/7/2020 to Let's Talk DIY & Crafts!
What are Bath Bombs: Learn How to Make Easy and Maybe the Best Bath Bombs You've Ever had!
I'm sure at this point you've heard of bath bombs and probably even tried a few, but do you really know what you're putting in your water?
Do you really look at the ingredients before dropping that sweet smelling ball into the tub? Let's spend a moment and discuss bath bombs!
What is a Bath Bomb?
Bath bombs used to be simply spherical shaped balls or more your more common shapes that simply dissolve, fizz, spin, or float once placed in water, all while giving off a beautiful aroma. Many of these bath bombs use natural ingredients and are designed to do various tasks. Now they are much more, and can resemble many different objects!
Let's talk about the different aroma's and colorants used in bath bombs. Many people buy bath bombs based off of a scent that they prefer, coupled with beautiful aroma's added. Others take a closer look at what one is intended to do for them.
For instance, Lush is probably a company you've heard of, and frankly the first place I saw and held a bath bombs in my hand. They are also one of the first companies I saw putting things inside bath bombs (embeds), like hidden rose peddles. I remember it being hard to resist going to the mall and not trialing one or using one of there samples to drop in a bucket of water.
Certain ingredients that are added to bath bombs usually serve one or more purposes. For instance some additives are responsible for making your skin feel soft, like shea, cocoa butter & milk based bath bombs.
Today, bath bombs have become very detailed and intricate in their ingredients (there are even bath bombs with surprises or rings inside) and specifically in their designs.
Typical ingredients in an "Easy" Bath Bomb
Let's get one thing out of the way, to make a bath bomb it really only takes a few (4-5) ingredients and a simple round mold, however these days bath bombs have become a science.
Many companies include upwards of 10-12 ingredients and can be molded seemingly into anything one can imagine it to resemble. So what exactly is in a bath bomb?
In the simplest of bath bombs the ingredients consist of baking soda, citric acid, food coloring of choice and a scent of choice. These scents can be anything from essential oils, to skin safe fragrance oils/scents, to a blended scent of both. Not all oils are created equal.
Brambleberry does a nice job at explaining how to make a simple Lavender Relaxing bath bomb.
Are Bath Bombs Easy to Make?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, it depends.
You see, bath bombs are extremely finicky. They are made up of common ingredients and certainly can be made by anyone in the comfort of your home, as there are many people making homemade bath bombs these days.
However it's also extremely easy for your bath bomb to go south quickly. For instance understanding the humidity/climate in which you live and how it can effect your bath bomb mixture.
Is your bath bomb to wet/heavy and crumbling or not holding it's shape? Is your homemade bath bomb to dry and falling apart in the mold? Does it sink when you want it to float? How do I make them spin? How do I store my homemade bath bombs? How long will it last stored in the perfect environment? How do I package them if I want to sell them? Why did my homemade bath bomb develop raised bombs or warts after molding them?
You see, there is no way to make perfect bath bombs without first running into some of these problems (in my experience) and then correcting them one-by-one with each batch.
The idea is easy, however carrying out the idea is sometimes not so easy, so just keep that in mind and try not to get frustrated when first starting.
How to Make a The Best Bath Bomb for Beginners
(Ingredients, Ratio's & Steps)
- 1 Cup Baking Soda (250 grams)
- 1/2 Cup Citric Acid (100 grams)
- 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch (10 grams)
- 1 Hardener - 1 Teaspoon Kaolin Clay or 1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar (I prefer Kaolin Clay, although it is a heavy additive)
- Fragrance of Choice: (2% of your formula - 6 grams of SKIN SAFE fragrance).
- Coloring of Choice: (Depends on preference and amount. Make sure to have an idea of which colorants may stain your tub).
- Spray bottle with 50% alcohol/water combination, or witch hazel.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. I usually mix until all the clumps (if any) of the sodium bicarb are turned to fine powder (you can use a sifter). I like to rub the mixture between my hands.
I then mix together my fragrance and color of choice and add it to my dry mixture, continuing to mix as I add the wet ingredients. After those are mixed I assess the mixture because at this time, the mixture should not be completed.
You will need to use a spray bottle with your Alcohol/Water mixture and gradual wet the mixture and mix at the same time. Add 2 sprays at a time and mix, or you will start to get a reaction (fizz) which occurs between the sodium bicarb and citric acid when water is added so mix to quickly.
I am usually a hand mixer, however many people use an automatic mixer, especially for larger batches if you actually are selling the bath bombs, it can cut down on your work load. Regardless, you have to feel your mixtures at some point.
How Can I Tell my Mixture is Ready for the Mold
I follow a very basic test to tell if my mixture is wet enough or the right consistency for a mold. It's call the squeeze and drop test. If you squeeze your mixture in your hand and then drop it from about 10 inches and it holds it's form and does not stick to your hand, it's ready for your mold.
From here the clock is ticking. If you take to long, the mixture starts to dry out and you have to add more water mixture. Keep in mind this is a very basic mixture, and there are a lot of additives you can use, but will require you to be more well versed in your process.
Simply add this mixture of your homemade bath bomb to your round mold. Overfill both sides of the round mold and then press together. The sides may not touch and that's okay.
You really just want to compact the mixture. (You can also try using a bath bomb press machine). If you have the right consistency it should only stay in the mold a few seconds and you can tap the mold and take the bath bomb out. Sit on something soft, as a hard surface may cause the bottom of this "easy" bath bomb to flatten because it is still soft.
Tip: I recommend the first few times you try to make a bath bomb, try it without the hardener, because when you add the hardener into the mixture it becomes a little more difficult to tell when the mixture is ready for molding, because the hardener starts to react, but in fact can still be to dry for a mold and still feel like it's the right consistency.
Tip: The more rounded your bath bomb mold is or the design of your mold, the easier it will come out of the mold. Designs or shapes with hard or sharp edges tend to get stuck easier and makes it harder to un-mold and more delicate.
How to Dry your Bath Bomb
The drying process is crucial. Place them in an area preferably with lower humidity, as high humidity areas may cause moisture retention. After you set them aside, as tempting as it may be, let them dry!
Allow water/alcohol mixture that you added to evaporate. Don't keep moving them around. With no hardener, let dry 24-48 hours before using or packaging. If using a hardener, I usually wait only 24 hours.
Follow these steps and you are well on your way to making the best bath bombs you've ever made. Bath bombs are easy to make, but do take some practice if you want them just right. We hope you enjoyed our post, be sure to share our content and products on social media, thanks again for visiting, we hope to see you again soon!