I love a long relaxing bath. I light some candles, get out the smellies and have a really good soak. One of my favourite things are bath bombs, I love all that whooshing and fizzing…
A quick look around the high street stores shows bath bombs are around £2.50 for a nice one. That’s not very much at all is it? Especially if we use the thrifty tip of breaking it in half and using it in two baths. So we feel all smug for saving money… until we realise that just buying one bath bomb a week comes to £130 a year!!
Time to make our own…..
The two main ingredients are Bicarbonate of Soda and Citric Acid. Both of these ingredients are available in chemists (more expensive) or try your local international store, they usually sell them by the 1kg bag for just a couple of pounds.
On a basic level that’s it for the list of ingredients, but I like to play around with smells and colours. Adding dried flowers is also a lovely idea. I like to dry lavender flowers from my garden in the summer and use these along with a few drops of lavender essential oil. This makes a gorgeous bath bomb to ease aching muscles and send you off into peaceful dreams… once you get out of the bath of course!
250g Bicarbonate soda
125g Citric acid
Fragrance/essential oil (bath bombs are the only time I use fragrance oils as they are a wash away product)
Powder Colour (optional)
Rose water/witch hazel or plain water
Lovely things to decorate it!
So, to get started we need to mix our two main ingredients. I use a recipe of two parts bicarbonate soda to one part citric acid. You can go with a higher amount of bicarb if you wish however the bath bomb won’t be quite as fizzy. I mix the two powders in my old Magimix food processor (well you cant throw a Magimix away!)
Once the two powders are completely mixed you can add your colour. I only use powder colours as its easier to mix them in. Remember to use only a few grains of colour as the pigment is very strong. To make a pastel bomb I just coat the tip of a teaspoon with colour and mix it in.
Mix the colour in well and add a couple of squirts of fragrance oil, mixing as you go. After this, add the fragrance oil just one squirt at a time until you have the desired smell. I find I only need two or three squirts as anymore and the bath bomb gets too oily.
Now its time to add the rose water/witch hazel or plain water. Again add this one squirt at a time and mix well. What you are looking for is a hardly damp mixture that just holds together when squeezed in your hand. Think wet sand! (click on the pictures below for larger views)
I like to use a mould but you can make pretty bath bombs just by shaping the mix in your hands. If using a mould, tightly pack the mix into one half and overfill it so the mix is spilling out. Do the same with the other half.
Now sandwich the halves together firmly. Do not twist the mould. Simply push together and wipe off any excess mix that is spilling out of the mould.
Leave the mould to set for about twenty minutes and then carefully peel off one half. I like to leave the other half of the mould on overnight so the bath bomb doesn’t sink at the bottom.
Decorating your bath bombs. Its lovely to experiment and personalise your bath bombs. Use dried flowers or leaves from your garden, just make sure they aren’t scratchy or irritant to the skin. You can also buy little tubs of glitter and jewels. These look beautiful and the children love to see them floating about in the bath and coating their skin, hey I like to see them floating about in the bath and coating my skin! Make sure to buy cosmetic grade glitters and not craft glitters. The lovely items can be placed into the mould before you pack it or simply added to the mixture. A single rose bud looks beautiful or add little jewels for a special occasion.
For a real treat I make moisturising bath bombs. These are made by grating shea or cocoa butter and mixing it well into the dried mixture. The butter melts into the warm water and moisturises your skin. If making bath bombs with oil remember to take extra care as the bath could become slippy. These creamy yellow bath bombs are made by adding a little bit of grated shea. You can melt the shea and use as an oil if you prefer.
A final note. Don’t get too carried away with your decoration. Yes a bright red bath bomb may look great for valentines day but its not so sexy when you have to spend three hours bleaching the bath and people keep asking you if you’ve been out in the sun!