Bath bombs are a wonderful thing to add to your bath water. They release a wonderful scent and can add moisturizing ingredients to your soak. Unfortunately, most bath bombs sold commercially, and even most homemade ones contain citric acid which is harmful to people with sensitive skin. I have a niece with eczema, so I decided to do some research and try to make a bath bomb that would be safe for her as well as enjoyable for others. This recipe is the result.
Makes 20-24 ice cube sized bombs
In one bowl, mix together your dry ingredients. Make sure they are well combined.
In another bowl, mix together your wet ingredients, including the food coloring. I found that 12 drops gives a nice pastel, add more if you want a deeper color. For the orange color I used 5 drops of red and 7 drops of yellow. Add about a teaspoon of water to the wet bowl.
Pour the wet into the dry a bit at a time and mix well using a whisk. Don’t mix with your hands.
Add all the wet and keep mixing. You may need to switch to a large spoon. The goal is to get a texture that’s like wet sand and will pack tightly. Grab a small amount and press it in the palm of your hand. If it can be easily broken, you’ll need to add more moisture. Add water a half teaspoon at a time and mix it in fast so it doesn’t start the chemical reaction. When you can make a firm ball like in the photo that takes a bit of effort to crush, you’ve got it right. Make it only as wet as you need it, too much or too little moisture will ruin the batch. Mix, crush and stir a lot to make sure the moisture is distributed evenly.
Use your finger to apply a thin layer of grapeseed oil to the inside of your molds, on every internal surface. Put just a little, you don’t want so much that it runs, just enough to keep the bombs from sticking. Wash your hands. Lay some wax paper on your counter to prevent a mess.
Put on your gloves and start packing your molds. *Don’t use flexible silicone molds! They’ll flex and the bombs will shatter.* Whatever mold you use needs to be hard so that you can really pack the bombs. I used an ice cube tray. Use your spoon to put a bit of mix in each spot and press really hard. You’ll have to add more mix several times and pack each layer down tight.
Once the bombs are packed, use your spoon to level off the molds and make sure everything is packed tightly. Really pushing it in there is key. It’s going to take some effort. My hands and arms got tired, but they need to be really tight. This is why silicone molds won’t work, they deform under the pressure.
Now it’s time to unmold the bombs. Put some wax paper on a cookie sheet, turn your molds upside down and give them a good whack to loosen the bombs. It may take several taps, bangs and jiggles to get them out. Just be careful not to get too rough. Eventually, they’ll drop out. If you used too much oil, you’ll see it on the surface and you can gently blot the bombs. Let them sit out for about an hour before putting them into a wax paper lined airtight container. Store in a cool place.
These smell amazing and they work quite well. Most people make them far larger than I do, about double the size, but I made them smaller to give more control. One cube is a really light scent, two is stronger. I’ve used some and they smell really nice and when the oil releases into the water it makes your skin really soft. This recipe doesn’t fizz as vigorously as you might expect, but they do bubble and work well. They take about 5-7 minutes to break down totally. Some people might not like the lack of fizziness, but it was important to me to have something that people with sensitive skin could use safely.
I linked all of the ingredients to Amazon listings, which is where I bought some of my components. However, some things can be gotten a lot cheaper at your grocery store. I got the baking soda locally for $2, the Epsom salt for $4 and the grapeseed oil for $6. It depends on what your stores carry though. I made sure to link to the exact brands I buy, because I know for certain that they work and are good products.