This is part of the relaxing home spa kit I made for my mom for Mother’s Day this year. Go check out the rest of the kit!
I am so in love with taking long hot baths right now! It all started with the simple detox bath recipe I posted a while ago, and ever since then I’ve been experimenting with new bath ideas and enjoying one or two a week. It has been fabulous!
One of my favorite bath accessories is the bath fizzy. Not only do they make your bath smell nice, but watching them fizz up in the water is fun too.
When I came across a pin on Pinterest of a recipe for DIY bath fizzies on Martha Stewart’s website I knew I had to try it. I totally bombed my first effort and the fizzies fizzed up on me before I could even get them into the mold, but the second attempt was a complete success! And look how adorable they are!
Don’t be fooled by my failed first attempt; making your own bath fizzies is really easy. I ruined the first batch because I added too much water (the original recipe didn’t have many details, so I was guessing). But I made sure this tutorial is pretty detailed, so if you follow these instructions you should be just fine!
To make your own bath bombs you need:
- 1 C baking soda
- 3/4 C cornstarch
- 1/2 C citric acid (This is sometimes hard to find at a regular grocery store; I found it at Whole Foods)
- 1/4 C Epsom salts
- food coloring
- essential oil for fragrance (I used lavender, you can also get these at Whole Foods)
- a small spray bottle
- ice cube trays or candy molds (You should use soft silicone trays if possible, it makes the bath bombs easier to remove at the end. I got these adorable octopus ice cube trays at Bed Bath & Beyond)
NOTE: This recipe makes enough to exactly fill one of those 12-cube square silicone ice cube trays, but I wanted to make my bath bombs octopus-shaped. I filled an 8-cube octopus tray and then half-filled 9 of the 12 square holes in my square silicone tray. (You can see the filled trays below)
The first thing you should do is put down some sort of cover over your work area. I didn’t realize how big of a mess this would make before I started, and you can see what happened!
Mix the baking soda, cornstarch, and citric acid together in a mixing bowl. Use a strainer here to remove any clumps if you have them. Stir in the Epsom salts and mix well. The combination of citric acid and baking soda is what fizzes when water is added, so from this point on be very careful to keep your hands dry, your mixing spoon dry, etc.
Add about 15 drops of essential oil to the salt mixture for fragrance. The oil won’t make the mixture fizz, but be careful to mix it in well immediately. You can change the amount of oil here depending on the scent and desired strength (i.e. lemon is a stronger scent than lavender, so use less). 15 drops of lavender oil makes the actual bath fizzy itself smell very strongly, but when you add it to an entire bathtub full of water the scent is very very light. You can add more essential oil if you want a stronger scented bath.
The final step before packing the mixture into the molds is to add the coloring and a little bit of water to make the mixture packable, and this is where I messed up the first time, so pay attention here. You color your bath bombs by putting water and food coloring into a spray bottle and lightly spritzing the mixture while stirring it in until it is the color you want. I had two different problems here. First, my food coloring to water ratio was very diluted, and second, I added too much water to the salt mixture in an effort to get the color dark enough. It basically turned my entire bowl of stuff into one giant bath fizzy that wouldn’t stop fizzing and expanding as I tried to pack it into the molds. Woops!
The first picture below is the one I had messed up. It wasn’t completely fizzing at this point, but about a minute later it started expanding (kinda like bread rising) and you can see how much more “crumbly” it is than the bottom picture. What you want is a very slightly moist and sandy mixture with maybe a few crumbs (like the bottom picture).
So here’s what you should do to avoid the mistake I made: Mix 6 drops of food coloring per tablespoon of water in your spray bottle (don’t just pour colored water in or it will fizz up on you). Lightly spray the food coloring into the salt mixture, stirring constantly. You’ll get tiny bubbles and little bits of fizzing here, but that’s okay. Just stir constantly and thoroughly and you’ll be fine. Continue spritzing and stirring until the mixture is wet enough to pack into the molds, but not so wet that it gets crumbly or fizzy.
Once the mixture is ready to go, spoon it into your ice cube trays, filling to the top. Press it down a bit; I used a piece of saran wrap to keep it from sticking to my fingers and I used my thumbs to compact it. Pack it down, but not too firmly; it still needs some air in there so it dries properly. Keep packing and filling your trays until the salt mixture is gone, and that’s it!
Let your bath fizzies dry for at least 24 to 48 hours before gently removing them from the trays. 48 hours is better if you can wait that long, they will hold their shape better. The square bath bombs popped right out after 24 hours without much hassle, though the bottom of the fizzy was still slightly wet. I just turned them over on a plate and let them dry overnight again. The octupus-shaped ones weren’t quite dry after 24 hours and I was worried the legs would break off, so I let them sit for 48 hours and they turned out fine!
Toss two of these bad boys into a bath and enjoy! And if you’re making them as a gift just put them in a pretty bag and they’re ready to go. Or a pretty box, or a pretty tin, or whatever.
Have you ever made your own bath bombs before? I never even knew you could do this!