So then I crammed the soap mixture into the mold, covered it and ran away. oh, Hi! I was off on another tangent.
It has been said in business that it’s “not about what you like” which is true. If I did what I liked, I would make soap only and it would magically sell without me ever having to change out of pajamas.
I think I make pretty soap. Don’t you? Okay, if there were a couple of thousand “YES!” then I would be done. But people like other things and a whole store/craft booth/Etsy shop of soap might not get the job done. So I thought, “hey, bath bombs, how hard can that be??” People who make them, please pick yourself off the floor now.
Making bath bombs is basically three ingredients. Baking soda, Citric Acid and something liquid. There are other things that round out the recipe like Epsom Salt, Clay or Cornstarch, Coloring, Scent. Weather, How your mouth is twisted. Sanity. Sanity is a big one.
Basically you mix the first two ingredients together, add something liquid and then harken back to that Volcano that someone in your Science class made in the 4th grade that exploded. Thanks for listening!
I have read all the lovely explanations and how to’s and of course they make it look easy. After 342 tries I sort of get it but I can tell you I am a very stubborn person who refused to give up until I made one and now continue because I can’t believe the recipe is working.
Here’s what worked for me. It is a variation on a recipe made by Anne-Marie Faiola, The Soap Queen.
24 oz. baking soda
12 oz. citric acid
1 tablespoon kaolin clay
1/2 teaspoon mica (coloring, your choice)
2.5 oz. melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon fragrance
a mold (official metal bath bomb mold, plastic bath bomb mold, plastic egg, silicone muffin liner), a rimmed tray, household or medical gloves
rice (you’ll see)
If you are still with me (foolish people), grab a big bowl and a rimmed cookie sheet or container with a slight side to it and a Wisk. Fill the container with enough rice to give the bath bombs a cushion and place a piece of cling/plastic wrap on top of the rice. You are going to use this as a bath bomb holder/dehumidifier if you are not pressing your mixture into a silicone muffin liner. Don’t try to put the bath bombs directly on the rice (tried that, too).
Put on your gloves and measure the baking soda and citric acid into the bowl. Whisk it together removing the lumps. I have also used a mesh straining spoon to find the bits. Be aware that this stuff is dusty so try not to churn it up too much.
If you have kaolin clay you can add it now. It adds a bit of softness and I like to believe it takes a bit of that moisture out. Or you can use cornstarch here or use nothing. Whisk again. Mica? This is my recipe. It’s what I use. There are all kinds of beautiful colors of micas out there. If you are new (more power to you, why are you reading this?) make pure white bath bombs or if you must have a color, do you have a 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric?
Add the fragrance and the coconut oil and whisk into your dry ingredients. This is where the tutorials say that it should have the consistency of damp sand. I grew up at the beach. Their damp sand and mine are totally different things. I would say it should be barely damp sand or powdery snow without the cold feel. (I know, I am no help!) A bit of the mixture should press together when squeezed without feeling wet. Look! A picture! (Disclaimer: all naked hand pictures are solely to show you how this is done. Normally I wear a hazmat suit and beekeeper hat).
How much to put in the mold is also an entire volume of classics. I fill each side of the mold and press a very light thumb indent on each side, then over flow the molds with more mixture. Funny how this works, too little and it won’t fill the mold and hold together. Too much and it breaks.
I then press the two halves together until they meet. I spend a small amount of time pressing the top and bottom together while moving my fingers around and wondering if this counts towards increasing chest size. That’s how hard I press. I have followed the advice of lightly tapping the outside of the mold with a spoon. Key word, lightly, as I have also ruined a perfectly good metal mold in a previous “tapping like Thor” moment. (Attempt 117). If I am lucky at this point, I can take the top off one side of the mold and gently turn it onto the plastic on the rice wherein the other side gently releases. I have heard you can leave it in the mold and turn it out later. I have one mold. I can’t wait. And when I did try it never came out. This was a different recipe, a different life.
This recipe and crazy bench press method works for me with small variations.
1) They all come out in perfect bath bombs.
2) Two come out fine and the third bath bomb splits in half. I say a few things, scoop out the middle of both sides, run my pristinely clean/gloved fingers around the inside of the mold and try again.
If you are using a silicone muffin liner, much easier! Fill it slightly over and press down. Walk away, come back tomorrow and pop them out carefully. If you are in a humid area. you can set this on that rice tray.
Here is a picture of the plastic molds. They actually squeeze together and hold. Mine actually squeezed together and then oozed, expanded, popped before I tried the above recipe.
3). They come out beautifully and then humidity rears it’s head and they flatten slightly on the bottom. I actually made it look like I meant to do that by painting them like sand dollars. It worked.
a) There are a lot of good tutorials out there.
b) Work with your mixture quickly.
c) If your mixture does dry out you can add a spritz or two of witch hazel or alcohol (or just drink the alcohol-over 21 people and you just won’t worry about perfection!!)
d) Don’t touch them for at least 24 hours! It is tempting but don’t.
And don’t give up! If I can eventually do this, you can to! Remember, try number 343 is the charm!