Bath Bombs

These are the bath bombs in their cases, drying.

Bath bombs usually come in a ball shape (SpaceNK’s come in tablet form, tray posh) and you chuck them in the bath and they fizz like a giant Alka Seltzer and can also colour the water at the same time. Some also have things in them, like flower petals, that are then released into the water and float around like…floatsam or jetsam or whatever it is. I’d look it up but I’m meant to be writing a Very Important Piece about something terribly grown up, and if I go and look up the difference between floatsam and jetsam, before I know it, it’ll be midnight and I’ll have got onto a  Killer Whale site and enrolled on (another) trip to Antarctica.

Bath bombs cost a disproportionate amount of money for what they are. So for ages, since I bought one in Lush and almost died at the price, I’ve been really determined to make our own. I mean, how hard can they be? I can make sourdough bread FFS.

Well they’re not hard to make. Not hard at all. But finding a recipe for them was not easy. This may have changed since I last looked, and you’ll probably now all post links to 25 different sites where you can find a recipe for bath bombs. But look, when I looked there were very few, or they were all hard to follow. I’m guessing this is because they don’t want you to know how easy and cheap it can be to make because bath bombs must have a mark up of about 12,000 percent. Although that said, you do need to make them on a fairly small industrial scale as the ingredients aren’t always easy to find locally (do try though, eh?) and so you probably will spend about £12 on them, or something (I haven’t actually added it up as I’m easily distracted).

What I’m getting at is that you will probably have to make a few to get value for money.

It’s a good idea to wear a pair of disposable gloves, we always have a box on the go for cleaning out the chickens, working on the car etc, we get ours from Lakeland but most supermarkets now sell ‘one use gloves’ (which is a lie cos you can use them more than once). I also find wearing some sort of mask (or Hermes scarf tied round your face if you’re posh) an idea since I get a right sore throat after making these. They’re probably carcinogenic or something. But you have to suffer for your home made crafts. Ask Kirstie Allsop.

Then you need a bowl and ultimately you’ll need something to put your bath bombs into. We used little paper muffin cases but those silicon muffin trays would be ideal. Although the bath bombs we made are small (they’re for my daughter’s Christmas cards to her school friends, we always make cards with use, but I know I will have to put a ticket in them saying Bath Bombs DO NOT EAT), but bath bombs work best when made a bit bigger – they give a longer fizz and will colour the water more effectively.

The ingredients you will also need are sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, corn starch (cornflour works fine), some food colouring, some essential oils and some glycerine. Now you can buy all of these ingredients (save for the food colouring) from your local chemist or online from Summer Naturals.

Decide on what you’d like to use as a measure, it could be a table spoon or a cup, depending on how many you’d like to make. I’ve found you always need more than you think.

Then you take

2 measures of sodium bicarbonate
1 measure of citric acid
1 measure of corn starch
a few drops of food colouring
a few drops of good quality essential oils – I use lavender and orange, you could I suppose also use your favourite perfume, but I’ve not tried this  yet (all my perfumes are in spray bottles anyway so not sure how I’d do this).
and a good few squirts of glycerine

It’s not madly precise because you don’t have to be. You mix it all together with gloved hands (if you don’t have gloves use a spoon. It’s a bit like making an apple crumble and rubbing the butter and flour together. When you get a handful of the mixture and press it together it should stay, if it doesn’t add a bit more glycerine and corn starch.  You then pack it really tightly into whatever mould you’re using and let it dry out overnight/for a few days. Put it in an airing cupboard if you’ve got one. Then turn them out and they’re ready to use or give as presents.

You could also added dried flower petals to the mix, which would be nice I guess.

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