When all we have time for on most days is a five-minute shower, and sometimes our schedule is so tight that we forego shaving or washing our hair, taking a bath feels like the ultimate indulgence. To make the most of this rare opportunity, do a few things to make it special. Brew a cup of tea, get a book or magazine to read, have comfy clothes ready to slip into afterwards. And of course, make sure you have some products to use, like a bath bomb, those scented balls that explode in the bath, coloring the water and soothing your skin.
But you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get indulgent products that will elevate your bath to a spa-like experience – in fact, you can even make them at home. Plus, the homemade version won’t contain any of the chemicals and artificial ingredients found in commercial ones. Creating homemade bath bombs is a fun activity to do with kids or teens too, and they also make a unique gift at any of time of year.
The three key ingredients in a bath bomb are baking soda, citric acid, and cornstarch. The baking soda and citric acid come together to create the fizz bath bombs are known for, and the cornstarch creates a silky feeling. You’ll also need oil (coconut, olive, and almond are all good choices) and Epsom salt (regular salt will also work just fine).
The rest of the ingredients are where it gets fun, and where you get to start experimenting and personalizing your bath bombs. Choose an essential oil to give it your favorite scent, or create your own blend to get something truly unique. The same goes for food coloring; you can make your bath bomb any color you want. If you need some inspiration, there’s no shortage of creative bath bomb recipes online: birthday cupcake, pumpkin spice latte, and frozen snowflake, for instance.
You’ll also need some type of mold to create the bombs in. While there are silicone molds that will give them a texture or design, muffin tins will work just as well (just grease them first).
Once you’ve selected all your ingredients, start by mixing the dry ingredients together in a bowl. The measurements don’t need to be exact, but you’ll want approximately ½ cup each of salt and citric acid, ¾ cup of cornstarch, and one cup of baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together, using about two tablespoons of oil and however much essential oil and food coloring you want. Then add the wet mixture very slowly to the bowl of dry ingredients. When combined, it should have the texture of damp sand.
Press the mixture into your molds; this needs to happen right away, or it will start to dry out. Let the bath bombs harden for 24 hours, and then pop them out of the molds and store in an airtight container. Drop one into your next bath, and enjoy!