I have been working on making a bath bomb recipe that makes me happy. Now the basic recipe for a bath bomb is pretty simple: make a basic ratio of 3:1 or 2:1 of baking soda to citric acid. Simple, right? But in this day and age, no one wants a plain, white, unscented bath bomb/fizzy that may soften your water and fizz a bit. People want more! They want scents, bright colors, exotic oils, salts, and all kinds of additives in their bombs and fizzies. It sounds great to take a luxurious soak in a deliciously scented tub with warm water that has been softened with rich oils and butters. Sounds better, right? Well, it may sound better, but not such an easy task.
I started with the basic 2:1 ratio between baking soda and citric acid then decided to add some things I thought I would like. Not much mind you since I didn’t want to interfere with the chemical reaction that occurs between the baking soda and citric acid and I honestly didn’t feel like figuring how much to eliminate of either the baking soda or citric acid to compensate for the additives. I decided to add sea salt, kaolin clay, and a minimal amount of shea butter to my bath bombs. Of course I added some scents using some essential oils and some fragrance oils and some colorants. My first few bath bombs were awesome! At least, they felt and reacted great! The shea butter and other ingredients really softened the water and moisturized my skin. Loved that, but I hated the nasty color ring! Ugh!
So, I researched online what I could do about the nasty color ring. Well, I tried a variety of colorants: pigments, micas, dyes, with the same result, color rings. I did see a few companies that offered bath bomb colorants that would not leave color rings such as these colorants from here. Though I love the company, I thought the price a bit high for me at the time, especially since the shipping for the items would have been high as well due to the company being located across the country from me.
Anyway, I figured the colors seemed to be sticking to the oils. The shea butter in the bath bomb was leaving a film on the top of the water and the colors seemed to stick to that and then leave a lovely smear on the tub as it drained. Yuck! I decided I need to look into adding an emulsifier to the bath bomb. An emulsifier is a substance that enables oils to mix easily and disperse into water. I figured if I could get the shea butter to disperse in the water evenly, then the color would be less likely to stick to the sides of the tub.
I shopped around for an emulsifier and finally decided on polysorbate 80. Polysorbate 80 is derived from olive oil. It’s non-toxic, non-ionic surfactant/emulsifier. Besides dispersing oil into water, polysorbate 80 helps to lubricate and soothe the skin! Bonus!
Anyway, I used some of the new emulsifier in my bath bombs and yay! The color and oils disperses nice and even through the bath water and helps prevent the oils in the bath bomb from making the tub a bit slippery.
I was so relieved when I figured out my bath bomb recipe. I’m sure I could have bought a book with a working recipe, or found someone else’s online, but it was greatly rewarding to come up with my own and I had fun learning about all of the things that could go into a bath bomb! I have more ideas to try for future bath bombs!
Here are a few of the bath bombs I have made so far:
I guess that’s it for now. I’ll not be posting my recipe! It’s not too bad figuring out your own and it’s fun! Just remember to always have either a 3:1 or 2:1 ratio of baking soda to citric acid. Have fun experimenting!