You may be aware by now of my ever so teeny Pinterest addiction. To this end, I have been taking part in the #Pinaddicts Challenge for the last few months. You basically have a Pinterest board dedicated to the challenge that you can pin stuff to (my board is here), but the deal is that you have to actually stop pinning and start making, and once a month make something from the board, and then link up on their website here.
I have seen lots of posts for homemade bath bombs on Pinterest (I could lose days on Pinterest, in fact, I probably already have..) and thought they would make a nice little Christmas gift, so I decided to have a go myself.
First of all though, I had to order some supplies! I know I’m not supposed to be buying anything new, but I kind of figured that the ‘ingredients’ for this were a bit like ingredients for a food recipe, and I’m not sure I could make them myself (have I got away with that one..?!) I found all I needed on a website called Summer Naturals, which sells all sorts of ingredients for homemade and natural cleaning and beauty products. I think you could actually get most of what you need from your local chemists, although I was warned that they are a bit twitchy about selling citric acid, as I am reliably informed it is used by drug dealers…!
I had several ‘recipes’ pinned, so I picked out a couple that I had the ingredients for, and thought I would try both.
The first one I tried was this one from Garden Therapy. I halved the recipe, as I was trying out two different ones, and didn’t want to end up with 100’s!
This is what you need:
- 1 cup baking soda-I assume this is just the American name for bicarbonate of soda, that is what I used anyway, and it seemed to work!!
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 100% pure witch hazel
- Spray bottle
- 10-15 drops of 100% pure essential oil-I had lemon and lavender, but use whatever floats your boat
- the original post says natural colorant, but I used food colouring
- plastic moulds-I used some ‘novelty shaped’ ice cube trays I found at a car boot, but you can use anything. I saw one post that suggested using a cut in half tennis ball-what a fab idea, but what a huge bath bomb!!
This is what you do:
- In a big bowl, mix the baking soda and citric acid well
- Add 1/2 tsp colouring and mix well. I only had the food colouring pastes, which didn’t work that well as it was hard to get it to evenly disperse. If you are using liquid ones, you should be fine. You can add as much as you want but remember that it may well stain the bath (and the bather) if you use loads…
- Drip in the essential oil and mix with your hands
- Using a spray bottle filled with witch hazel, spray the entire surface of the mixture lightly and scrunch up with your hands. Keep spraying lightly until it just holds it’s shape in your hands when you scrunch it (like making a snowball)
- Then quickly pack the mix into your moulds, pushing down hard
- None of the recipes then tell you how long to leave the mix in the moulds for before turning out, which kind of implies you can do it straight away, but I was a bit scared, so I left mine a bit while I got on with recipe number 2. BUT I think I May have made my mix a bit too wet as they did ‘poof’ up a bit in the moulds and were slightly gelatinous when I turned them out-oops. They still work ok though-I know because BigSmall insisted on trying them….
- These ones were supposed to be fish, which I thought would be pretty cool, swimming in the bath! But unfortunately all their tails fell off when I was trying to get them out of the moulds. But fortunately, they now look a bit like lemons! So that’s what I’m telling people they are…
And these one’s are hearts, but slightly mis-shapen, and you can see some spots where the colour didn’t mix in that well!
So all in all, not a resounding success…but I am still going to give them. Made with love and all that!!
So recipe number 2 was this one here from Rookie Mag.
Just to complicate things, this one needed some different ingredients…
This is what you need:
- 1/2 cup baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 cup citric acid
- 1/4 cup epsom salts (you can use bigger quantities but obviously just keep the ratio the same)
- Food colouring
- About 10 drops of essential oil
- Sunflower oil (or almond oil would work well too, but I didn’t have any)
This is what you do:
- Mix the dry ingredients together well in a large bowl
- Mix the food colouring with the essential oil and about 1 tbsp oil, and a ‘smidge’ (technical term) of water
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients gradually, mixing well. If you do it in one big heap, it will all start to fizz. Not what you want. Again you want it to be scrunchy like a snowball, so you may have to add slightly more or less liquid to achieve this
- Pack into your moulds
- This mixture was much more crumbly, to the extent that it kept crumbling when I tried to remove them (I may have gone from one extreme to the other..) so I left them in their moulds overnight, and by the morning they had firmed up loads and came out nicely with only a couple of minor casualties!
I did these ones with lavender essential oil, so tried to make them a subtle purple colour by mixing red and blue food colouring, but it didn’t really mix that well. I did these in penguins (not sure why) and hearts. These ones definitely came out best.
If I was going to make more I would probably do the second recipe, although I think the 1st one would have been fine, it I hadn’t been so ‘trigger happy’ with the spray bottle!
I have packaged them up into some old jam jars, (from the two recipes above, I made enough to fill 3 medium sized jam jars, and some breakages!) and now all they need is some pretty labels, and they are good to go!