Bath bombs (aka bath fizzies) are a fun project to make at home and a fun gift to receive. They can be a frugal addition to a spa gift basket — or, creatively packaged, they're a great gift idea just by themselves. kids LOVE making bath bombs because it's like playing with Moon Sand and the “crumbs” leftover when you're done making them are fun for them to drop into water to see the fizzing properties of the citric acid in action.
I experimented with multiple “recipes” for bath bombs before I figured out how to get it just right. The first couple times I made them, I was following a recipe that had a small amount of water in it. It caused my bath bombs to start the fizzing action and expand before they had hardened. The final bath bombs recipe that worked the best for me is the one you see below. It calls for witch hazel instead of water, which seemed to do the trick.
1 C. baking soda
1/2 C. citric acid (don't skip this ingredient as it causes the fizzing action. It can be found at health food stores, food co-ops, or on Amazon.com)
1/2 C. Epsom salts
2 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (or other oil like grape seed or almond)
Few drops food coloring
1/2 tsp. fragrance oil
1/2 tsp. borax (Borax is not a liquid; but will help emulsify the other ingredients. It is found in the laundry detergent aisle of the grocery store)
witch hazel (in spray bottle)
Molds to shape your bath bombs (an old tennis ball works well for round bath bombs)
Cellophane for wrapping your bath bombs
Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well-blended. If you have a sieve, that may work to get any clumps out.
Mix the first four liquid ingredients together (vegetable oil, food coloring, fragrance oil, and borax) in a small bowl. Pour the witch hazel into a spray bottle and reserve for later.
With a wire whisk, slowly pour in the liquid ingredients into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients. You'll need to work quickly and stir constantly so the dry ingredients don't clump together or start their fizzing action. Spray the mixture with witch hazel to moisten very slightly, until the mixture takes on the consistency of damp sand. Avoid making the mistake of getting it too wet, which will cause the mixture to expand. You'll only need a few sprays of the witch hazel.
Right away, put the mixture into molds to harden. A tennis ball cut in half works well for round bath bombs. I had these heart-shaped Jell-O molds (pictured) that also worked well. Leave the bath bomb mixture in the molds 5-10 minutes to allow it to dry slightly.
Remove the bath bombs from the molds and allow to air-dry for a few days.
Package and give your bath bombs as gifts. Or, enjoy them yourself!
SECOND Bath Bombs Option:
- 1/2 C. baking soda
- 1/4 C. citric acid
- 1/4 C epsom salt
- 1/3 C. cornstarch
- about 20 drops essential oil