So,as part of my decision to try new things and also add things to my product inventory, I attempted that wonderful yet frustrating task of making a bath bomb at home. Like many, I was fascinated by the concept when a friend introduced me to this addiction via Lush.
Tutorials and gorgeous pictures abound on various sites, Pinterest in particular luring me into that belief that I can DIY anything easily and with ingredients around the home. As a seasoned Pinterester, I approached this endeavor with a tad more skepticism, but I am happy to report that, for the most part, they are a delight to make. Notice I didn’t necessarily say easy. The basic concept is, in and of itself, easy. However, it is the finer details that require trial and error before you get the feel of how this process works. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be as frustratingly enjoyable, now would it?
I had planned this trial out in advance, and thus ordered good quality ingredients online. I already had a good supply of essential oils and herbs, so I didn’t run into some of the costlier ingredients my first time around.
WARNING! I am a messy crafter!
The biggest issue I had was the molds. I couldn’t get the damn bombs out of the damn molds. Plus, it has rained this whole week which just royally screwed with how these things dried. Because they dried slowly, even after waiting 48 hours before taking some of them out of the molds, they would settle and flatten. Irritating, the little bastards. Also, they had this bumpy texture that I just did not understand how it happened, since it was a great texture pre-molding.
So, I experimented. I have the Fort Loudon, PA Peach Festival Saturday, and I had been kicking around this idea for 6 months and I was determined to have these at the fair. I’m up to about 6 or 7 batches at this point. I’ve also learned a few things.
- Plastic wrap is your friend. I put this in the molds after reading it on a Q& A post. I had tried tapping the bombs out, and then outright slamming to get the little buggers out. Bent a cupcake pan, but eh, I got it at the dollar store.
- Texture of ingredients matters. I tried grinding my Epsom Salts into a fine powder like the other ingredients, and Poof! Bumpy texture gone!
- Witch Hazel, not water. Don’t know why, but I just had a better time of it after I grabbed a bottle for spritzing duty.
- Arrowroot Powder! I’ve seen this a couple places as a cornstarch alternative, the cost being the only issue. I’ve read that cornstarch can gum up a tub, something my sister-in-law was muttering about on a bath bomb she had used previously (not mine). I found 5lbs cheap at my local Amish store, and I use half of it per portion that I do of cornstarch. Meaning if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup cornstarch, you can use 1/4 cup arrowroot powder.
- Oil ratios. My first 3 batches I based off of recipes I found online, all of which said to mix water with your oil. My last few, I removed it entirely. I’ve got enough humidity. The troubleshooting post said that if it expanded, mixture was too wet. If it crumbled, it was too dry. I ended up with a f*cking crumbly expanding mixture, so at that point, the troubleshooting failed miserably. I adjusted water and mixed some oils together and ended up with a ratio that I liked.
- If plastic wrap is your buddy, then silicon is your Friend With Benefits. I could peel the damn molds off the bath bombs all presto! No problem. After abusing my cupcake trays, there was much swearing at how easy it was and a quick trip to Dollar General to see if they had any Silicone. No such luck. I live out in the boonies, so I wasn’t up to a 45 minute drive to Walmart on a Saturday afternoon.
- Wax Paper. Easier to peel off of and clean when you have powder everywhere from drying fizzies.
- Easy with the spritzing. These mixtures go from dry to too wet instantly. You need to spray once, then mix for a while. It gets wetter the longer you stir. The texture was the hardest part. The best advice I read was squeezing it in your hand- step 1 is if it holds its shape. Step 2, drop the clump into your mixing bowl. If it holds fairly well, it’s ready.
- Pack quickly and pack tightly. It dries very, very quickly. Plus side, if your fizzy crumbles, you can bag then as bath salts!
This is what I have figured out thus far. I’ll put more on storage and creation as I learn. I came up with a nice recipe that I thinks elks divine. I call it Rosey Dreams, and its got milk powder and rose petals in it, scented with rose, lavender, and sandalwood.
To see packaging, they will be on my Facebook business page shortly. Bear in the Woods LLC
If someone else is attempting bath bombs, hope this works.