Friday, 25 March 2011

Top Ten Tips for Making Bath Bombs

1) Select your Citric Acid carefully; Super fine granules (table salt size) are best. Powder is too volatile, whilst coarse granules have a lumpy appearance and may "bobble" as your bath bombs dry out.

2) Be fussy about your Bicarb! Fine food grade Sodium Bicarbonate is best. Technical grade may contain unwanted impurities and granular varieties will result in a coarse looking bath bomb.

3) Want smooth bath bombs? Use Cornflour (Cornstarch) as 10-15% of your dry ingredient content. Cornflour also helps control the fizzing reaction between the ingredients as you are mixing.

4) Dry Ingredients = food grade.   Some of the ingredients such as Bicarb, Citric & Cornflour can be sourced in food stores.

5)Wet ingredients = cosmetic/toiletry grade. Fragrance, colours, etc should be purchased as cosmetic/toiletry grade.  Essential oils should be pure or blended with base oils.

6) Don't use water. Really, don't. Using water to bind your mix causes fizzing & expansion in the mixing process. Fact. Result = stressful and unattractive mad panic to get the mix to stick and mould without turning into a fizzing flop. (You can do it - but why?!) Vegetable Base Oils (Sweet almond, Grape Seed etc) or Witch hazel work well. Witch Hazel speeds the drying time so that your bath bombs can be safely handled/removed from their moulds within minutes.(depending upon the size of the mould) 

7) Spray your "wet" ingredients onto the mix. If using Witch Hazel to bind, always spritz from a fine mist "finger" spray. Oil can be "dripped" into your mix or sprayed on with the aid of a trigger type spray (the sort you get on a Febreeze bottle). Spraying helps distribute the oil more evenly and therefore there is less risk of some premature fizzing in the bowl.

8) Wear gloves and mix with your hands. You will learn to detect the correct consistency for making the perfect bath bombs, but believe me you will get there faster by using your hands as opposed to a spoon. Simply spray or pour with one hand whilst mixing with the other.

9) Ensure your moulds or containers are dry. Keep them away from the bowl when mixing/spritzing to avoid wetting them accidentally.  Sound obvious? Hmmm well we've been there.  Wet moulds = stuck & stranded creations! If this happens and you cannot remove your bath bomb - run the whole mould under the tap - it's preferrable to breaking the mould.  Alternatively, I've taken an entire-mould-stranded-but-otherwise-perfect bath bomb into the bath before. (Waste not want not as my Gramma said.) 

10) Don't over wet your mix; aim to achieve the same consistency that is needed to make really good sandcastles.  Damp enough to hold together but not sloppy. You can always add more moisture but if you've overdone it, it's almost impossible to recover your mix and adding more dry ingredient rarely helps.

11) Avoid steamy kitchens! Set your creations aside to dry in a damp free atmosphere.  If you've cooked a roast, rustled up some bath bombs and set them aside in your kitchen you may find when you return to admire them later that they've developed "bobbles". This is simply the damp in the air and can be avoided.

We hope these have been useful tips...We'd love to hear your experiences, so please do comment below :)

PS... ok so there are 11 top tips. Things don't always go to plan.... a bit like making bath bombs! Perhaps the best things in life are meant to be a little harder to achieve?  Philosophy aside, if you'd like a few more free recipes, hints and tips - why not sign up to our newsletter?

1 comment:

Butegirl said...

Thank you, I found this article to be really helpful. I haven't made any bath bombs yet, but hopefully my ingredients will arrive in the next couple of days.