to make: bath bombs
By far the best bath bomb recipe and instructions I found in my search are given by Brenda Sharpe (thank you Brenda!). So go there and read those and look at great the photos. Ok? Ok. She mentions the need to keep the bath bomb mixture as dry as possible, but I live in a very damp climate. My first few attempts failed pretty miserably because of this. The problem is that the instructions call for you to mix all the wet ingredients together, which is great, but since my baking soda is pretty well moist without me adding anything to it, none of my skin-softening oils or yummy smelling essential oils were making it into the bomb either. So I made a few changes to the process. But first we must discuss a few things. Please remember everything contained here is my opinion or based on my personal findings and preferences. Use at your own risk. I haven’t hurt myself yet.
on where to get the ingredients
Baking soda is baking soda, you can get it in any grocery store. Epsom salts you can buy in any drugstore, in the medicinal aisles — it usually comes in a cardboard quart or pint milk container, somewhere around with the rubbing alcohol and bulk petroleum jelly. I have gotten essential oils of peppermint and rosemary from Majestic Mountain Sage. and From Nature With Love has been recommended to me. A quick warning, I bought a few oils online that I wasn’t happy with. Best bet is to buy essential oils from a local natural foods store that you can sniff
first. They may be a little bit more expensive, but I find that it’s worth it. Mail order essential oils are best for hardcore soapmakers who are using ounces of essential oils at a time. Citric acid is where you’ll probably have the most trouble. I have been getting mine from Majestic Mountain Sage. I buy the 5lb, the smaller container goes surprisingly quickly. I haven’t had any luck finding it in stores, though I hear that you can find it in larger quantities for a good price at brewing and winemaking supply stores. The nut oil that you choose can be found in the cosmetics section of natural foods stores, or from Majestic Mountain Sage, I haven’t tried using any oils that you might find in the specialty section of cooking oils, although I have seen a number of recipes that call for nothing more than olive oil, so I suppose it’s up to you. Also see the supplies list at the Toiletries List .
a note about corn starch
update Feb. 19th, 2003
This space used to say:
It is used in many bath bomb recipes to make the bombs float, however I have read that corn starch can exacerbate yeast infections and can interfere with skin conditions. I have not found corn starch as an ingredient in any commercial bath bombs and, going upon the assumption that that is why, I leave it out. It’s true that without it the bombs are less likely to float, but you know, ack. Mine seem to float, or rather try to launch themselves right out of the water, the fizzing is so strong.