You’re at the mall running some errands and picking up some necessities when a familiar scent fills your senses – oh the yummy smell of bath bombs. You quickly pop into that ever so popular beauty store known for their bath bombs (you know which one I’m talking about) and think “oh, I’ll just pick up a few” and end up at the cash register with a dozen. The scent must have had you hallucinating because you spent how much on bath bombs?
Good news here is that you can get the delicious smelling, trance-like relaxation you’ve sought after in stores but at home! DIY bath bombs aren’t too complicated, easily replicated with just a few ingredients and are highly customizable. Read on to learn more about the benefits of bath bombs and how to make a bath bomb.
What is a Bath Bomb?
A bath bomb, or bathtub bomb, are those colourful, super fragrant spheres (or often other shapes as well). Bath bombs are usually sold in beauty and bath stores with the sole purpose to help you relax and unwind. Once you’ve set your bath, you throw the palm sized sphere into the bath where it instantly starts to fuzz, releasing pleasant aromas and painting your bath water all sorts of colours.
Bath bombs are made up of nothing more than salts, colorants, oils, and some surprises (for example, rose petals or glitter). When you drop the bath bomb in the water, the sodium bicarbonate in the bomb reacts with the citric acid in the bomb to release carbon dioxide gas which creates all that fizz. It’s the same reaction as when you drop an alka-seltzer into the glass of water. When this reaction starts, the bath bomb starts to disintegrate, releasing the colorants, fragrances, and skin conditioning agents like salts or essentials oils. This is what causes the aroma and colours in the bathtub. Keep reading for our bath bombs recipe.
DIY Bath Bomb Recipe
There are many bath bomb recipes available out there but they all start out similar. Any recipe for a bath bomb will have 3 core ingredients that you can most likely find in a kitchen. Baking soda, corn starch, and citric acid. The baking soda is the sodium bicarbonate we mentioned earlier that mixes with the citric acid in water that releases carbon dioxide and creates the delightful fizz. The corn starch purely acts as a slowing agent. By combining it with the baking soda and citric acid, it slows down the chemical reaction and prolongs your experience.
To make a DIY bath bomb, you will need:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup Epsom salt
- 3/4 tsp. water
- 2 tsp essential oil (any scent or mixture of scents you like)
- 2 tsp oil (jojoba, sweet almond, coconut olive or even baby oil)
- bath bomb molds – if you don’t have any on hand, then you can use muffin tins, or candy pans for the mold
- a jar
- A few drops of food colouring (optional, we recommend to skip this one if you have sensitive skin
- Dried flowers petals
How to make bath bombs:
Step 1: Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, but leave out the citric acid. Don’t forget to make sure there are no clumps.
Step 2: Add all of the wet ingredients in a jar with a lid. Close the lid and shake the mixture vigorously. If you’re using coconut oil, make sure to heat the coconut oil until it is liquid, and then add it to the mixture.
Step 3: Slowly pour all of the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, whisking as you go. Then, add the citric acid slowly. If you see a little fizz, that’s okay. Once all of the wet ingredients are combined with the dry, you can take a small amount in your hand and mold it together.
Step 4: Now tightly stuff your chosen molds with the mixture. If you are using a bath bomb mold, you can use a spoon to make sure the mold is super stuffed on either side, and allow for a little overspill. Now leave it for an hour for the mixture to dry a little and then gently remove the bath bombs from the mold. If it breaks, just re-press into the mold again and let it dry out longer before you try removing it again. You want to remove the bath bomb from the mold so it can dry out overnight, but if you leave the bath bombs in the molds for too long, it can be even more difficult to remove later on. Just find the right balance and remember that if it breaks, just re-mold. No sweat!
Step 5: Let them dry overnight. Once completely dry, it’s time to make your bath! Store the rest in a dry place or in plastic wrap or wax paper bags.
Do Bath Bombs Have Any Actual Benefit?
The only benefit here are the skin-conditioning ingredients like the oils. If the bath bomb contains oils, that is released into the water which helps moisturize your skin. On the contrary, all the fragrance and dyes can actually cause irritation if you have sensitive skin. Not to mention, getting sparkles into places that shouldn’t ever have sparkles.
Bath bombs solely service the senses and therefore have little to no actual skin or health benefits. But when it comes to self-care, function really takes a backseat. We just wanna bath in fizzy, sparkly water and smell like a tropical sunset.