I am not sorry.
Bath bombs. Homemade. They have coconut oil in them, they smell incredible, and I’m smitten.
I’m a bath girl. Not like a sit-in-the-tub-and-wash kind, but a relax-with-a-book-and-forgetchertroubles kind.
It’s tough being a bath girl and a military wife at the same time, because moving so often means that there’s a good chance your next home won’t have a tub (just a shower). Or it may have a tub, but it might be unsuitable for baths (too small, for example).
In the 11 years, 6 states, and 9 homes of my military wifedom, I’ve only had three bath-worthy tubs. My current tub being the latest and greatest.
With a tub like that, yes, I need pretty, yummy, girly bath bombs.
This is one of the best projects I’ve done in a very long time. I got inspired by a little bath bomb kiosk that popped up at my local mall, and now, I’ll never buy a pre-made bath bomb again.
I loved having control over what was going into these, and how they were going to turn out. I made a variety of bomb sizes, because I love the idea of fun shaped fizzies. Plus, you can always toss in two or three, depending on their size, and it’s far better than one of those massive balls that is really too much for most baths.
For shapes, I really wanted a vintage, old timey feel, so I made pretty cameos, funny little octopi, elegant keys, dapper mustachios, and frogs. I love how they turned out; the colors are beautiful and fresh, they smell absolutely delicious, and they look whimsical and lovely. They’re like pretty, pastel steampunk toiletries.
I made my bombs using coconut oil, because it’s so great for your skin and it smells wonderful. All I did was cut the oil (which is like a soft shortening consistency) into the dry ingredients of my bombs. You can see that the mixture is mostly sandy, but there are a few clumps.
You can use another kind of oil, if you prefer, but I liked that the coconut oil was semi-solid, allowing me to use other ingredients for the moisture.
*Be sure to add just a little bit of the wet ingredients at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. If you add too much, these will begin fizzing and continue to do so.
I tried making my bath bombs two different ways. The first technique was with a silicone mold (the pink octopus). This method works – quite well. However, I would recommend that you only use molds that don’t have any delicate details, like tentacles. They were such a disappointment when they easily snapped off during de-molding. I managed to get a couple of cuties out, but it was a pain.
The second technique I tried was using basic clear chocolate molds. These were absolutely perfect. Every single bomb came out beautifully, and without a smidgen of trouble. They just pop right out.
When molding the bombs, pack them into the molds very tightly. You want to compress them as much as possible.
First, wait until the bombs are completely dry before taking them out. For me, that meant a minimum of four hours. Minimum. If you take them out too soon, there’s a good chance they will break. Even simple molds will lose chunks, because they’re slightly sticky while they’re still drying.
Second, wait until the bombs are completely dry before taking them out. Yes. I know. It’s the same piece of advice, but it’s for a different reason this time. The thing is, you can take them out before they’re dry. On simple molds, they come out decently.
However, see that picture up there? The pink bath bombs? See how they look all bumpy and unattractive? Yeah. That’s because they were reacting with the moisture in the air. They still work, but they’re not very pretty.
The conclusion? If you’re gifting these and you want them to be pretty, they must dry completely while in the molds. Those pink bombs were cameos. I pressed them in, then popped them out immediately. They looked beautiful! You could see the design, and they held together…
…and then they started getting weird bumps. Lesson learned.
Yay for homemade bath bombs! I really contemplated scents and essential oils for these, but I hated all of the ones I found locally, so I skipped them. Instead, I just brewed some strong tea (white, in this case). You could use any tea you like…green tea would be excellent. It adds a light and delicate scent to the already fresh scent of the coconut. This was really all they needed.
Now, for the big test (I know, the mug is totally amazing, and absolutely gorgeous…Anthropologie, of course)…
Success!! The bombs are bombing…in a good way! They fizzed and floated and dissolved and left behind fragrant, soothing water that made my skin feel crazy soft. Like, really. I’m utterly obsessed. Imma say it again: I’ll never buy store made bath products again. Seriously.
These were easy (mix, mold, use), fast (5 minutes to mix, tops…10 to 15 to mold), and really incredibly fun to have on hand.
Don’t talk yourself out of making these. I made them on a whim, because I really wanted to try it out, and I wanted coconut oil in mine, and I’m so happy that I did. I had fun making them, and they truly are wonderful.
White Tea Coconut Oil Bath Bombs
Makes 1 to 3 dozen, depending on size
*If you gift these to anyone with a gluten allergy, make sure that you double check all of your ingredients and buy GF brands. You should also always double check vegan ingredients.*
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid (I got mine at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons Epsom salts
2 tablespoons coconut oil
5 to 6 teaspoons liquid, such as water or tea (I used strong white tea)
a few drops essential oils, optional
food coloring, optional (I used all-natural colors)
In a large bowl, combine the baking soda, citric acid, corn starch and salts. With a whisk or dough cutter, work the coconut oil into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles sandy with some larger chunks of oil.
Working with 1 teaspoon at a time, *slowly* add the liquid to the dry ingredients, stirring it in immediately with a large spoon. The mixture will foam slightly with each addition, this is normal. Add the liquid until your mixture resembles slightly damp sand. *Be sure to add just a little bit of the wet ingredients at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. If you add too much, these will begin fizzing and continue to do so. It should still be primarily dry, but when you squeeze a handful together, it should stick in a lump.
If you wish to add coloring or essential oils, do so by mixing them into the liquid ingredients. For example, I made white, pink, and green bombs. Before adding the liquid ingredients, I divided the dry mixture equally between three bowls. Next I divided the liquid ingredients into three equal parts (2 teaspoons each). To one bowl, I added the plain liquid. This was my white bomb mixture. For pink, I added a small amount of pink food coloring to the liquid, then stirred it in. I repeated this step with green food coloring for the green bombs.
Once the mixture is ready, press it firmly and tightly into each mold. You do not need to prepare the molds in any way. Allow to dry for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight. Remove from the molds and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Recipe by Darla (Based loosely on Brenda Sharpe’s recipe – which I can’t seem to find a working, original link to. 🙁 Will update when located.)