Thursday, February 10, 2011

Adventures in Crafting-Chai Bath Bombs

Hello readers! I made some fizzing chai bath bombs before the holidays and never got around to blogging about them, but they came out pretty well! I found the basic recipe for these in a book called Melt and Pour Soapmaking by Marie Browning that I borrowed from the library. It’s a pretty useful book, not just recipes but also some basic advice on how to make hand-milled soap, bath bombs, bubble bath, and other things too. I won’t reprint the actual recipe here as I don’t want to step on any toes-but there are tons of basic bath bomb recipes online that could give you the right proportions, or you could see if your library has this book!

In general, though, all the bath bomb recipes I’ve seen have a few things in common-citric acid and baking soda. These are what create the fizz when wet! Many recipes include some kind of salt (either purchase sea salt, bath salts, or simple epsom salts which was what I used) and some add cornstarch. Then they add something to give the bath bombs a scent-usually essential oils. Some also include food coloring or other colors. I chose not to use essential oils as they are generally toxic to cats (I have two, and they both lick water out of the bathtub) and I have heard that some people with sensitive skin react to some types. I also didn’t add any colors. The recipe I chose used simple spices for both scent and coloring. I was able to get all the ingredients I needed (including a tiny spritz bottle) from a local natural/health food store that has a bulk section so I was able to make up little baggies with just the amounts I needed. Obviously the epsom salt, baking soda, and spices can also be purchased at drug stores and grocery stores, but you might have more trouble finding the citric acid there.

First all the powdered ingredients are combined together and mixed. This particular recipe calls for citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch. I didn’t use all the spices called for in the recipe-I only included cardamom, cinnamon and clove (all powdered)-I wasn’t able to find star anise, so again I left it out. mmm, spices!

Next you spritz the powdered ingredients VERY sparingly-enough to make them stick without activating the fizzing reaction. This is where I made the main modification to this recipe. I thought that it would add to the scent and color to use chai tea instead of water or witch hazel for the spritzing liquid. I made tea from a delicious loose leaf chai that I had on hand from a local tea store, and spritzed the bath bombs with that. To the left, you can see the spritz bottle I used and the tea I made. It smelled sooo good.

You have to be very careful not to let it get too wet-in my first batch the powder started sticking together before the mixture seemed damp to me and the ones in that batch ended up fizzing and expanding in the molds-not good! The second batch I stopped spritzing sooner, and it still packed into the molds nicely and held together when dry. Below you can see how the damp mixture looked before packing it into the molds

I found an ice cube tray to use for the mold. You have to pack the mixture down very tightly into the molds, I found that I could fit a lot more in there than it looked like at first! Most recipes say to let them dry in the molds for a few hours and then let them continue hardening on a cookie sheet overnight before using or wrapping to give away (some say a week).

It’s been a couple of months since I made them and the ones I have left have lost some of their scent, so my advice would be to use them as soon as possible! I still think they’d make a great gift, you just couldn’t make them too far ahead of time. I do wonder if adding the vanilla fragrance oil would’ve held the scent longer or made no difference.

Making homemade beauty products seems like a lot of fun to me. I’ve found a few recipes for body lotion and I’m planning to combine a few and try that out next! :o) Have you tried crafting soap or beauty products? Any good websites or books to recommend? Please comment and let me know what you think!

Copyright 2011. See more at Voyage of the Hyperspace Hippo


  1. These sound really easy and fun to make! Maybe good for a big fizzy foot soak. MMM, spicy feet, lol. Oh, btw, I think you can get Citric Acid powder labeled as "Sour Salt" right in the grocery store. :)

  2. I think these are amazing. Go you with making homemade stuff! I love reading about things like this - I am a bit crafty myself but never seem to have time anymore to do things like this (probably because I spend too much time on FarmVille with you - lol)

    Thanks for posting. x

  3. Thanks for reading, both of you! That's a good tip about the sour salt, I'll have to take a look for that next time I go to the grocery store!

    And Margaret, glad you enjoyed the post! See ya around the farm, lol! :)

  4. I love to try new crafts too! I will definitely be giving these a try, looks fun and pretty simple to make.

  5. We have the same ice tray and in the same colour :D

    I absolutely love bath bombs but it never occurred to me to make them. You've inspired me to give them a go. Looks like a lotta fun :)



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