Use this basic recipe for making all the bath bomb projects in this book. Once you have mastered it, you can adapt it to create your own bespoke bath bombs.
• 300 grams (11 ounces or 1 cup) granulated citric acid
• 600 grams (1 pounds, 5 ounces, or 2 cups) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
• 1 teaspoon essential oil or fragrance oil
• 1 teaspoon herbs, glitter, and/or liquid color
• 5 grams (approximately 0.2 ounces or 1 teaspoon) oil or melted butter
• Binder – water, witch hazel, or floral water in a spritz or spray bottle
If you want to make more economical bath bombs, you can use one part granular citric acid to three parts bicarbonate of soda (baking soda); however, we recommend using the quantities stated in the basic recipe if you are using oils or butters (as these ingredients may reduce the fizz in your bomb).
Making the mixture
1. First measure out the citric acid and add to the bowl.
2. Measure out the bicarbonate of soda and sieve the ingredients on to the top of the citric acid.
3. Make a well with your fingers and add any other dry ingredients, such as herbs, glitter, etc.
4. Sprinkle in the color and fragrance; the mixture may fizz when you add liquid color. This is quite normal, just cover the fizzing color with some dry ingredients.
5. Start mixing all of the ingredients together with your hands (do not use bare hands if you have any cuts or sores, as they will sting).
6. Make sure that ALL of the color and fragrance are thoroughly mixed; occasionally the color may clump into little blobs, so you will need to make sure that all of the color has been incorporated evenly.
7. To distribute any clumps of color, try rubbing the mixture between the palms of your hands.
Note: Once the ingredients are weighed out, do not leave the mixture to sit, as it may begin to set by itself before any liquid is added.
8. Now for the tricky part – binding the mixture. If you are using an oil or butter, add this to the mixture now.
9. Next, using your spray bottle, spray the mixture several times with water (you can also use witch hazel or floral waters) and mix in with your hands. When the water reacts with the ingredients, the mixture will become icy cold and heavy to the touch. Squeeze the mixture together with your hands before adding more water.
10. If you do not have a spritz bottle, you can moisten your hands under a tap, or dip your fingers into a small bowl of water, and sprinkle a little into the mixture from your fingertips. Take care, however, as there is a risk of adding too much water.
11. Your mixture should resemble damp sand and should hold together well when squeezed in your hand. If the mixture is too wet, when you turn it out it can ‘grow’ and change shape. If it is dry and crumbles, add some more water. When you are happy with your mix, mould your bath bombs fairly quickly before the mixture starts to dry out. If it does begin to dry out, just spritz on some more water.
Note: If using oil or melted butter in the recipe, this will also act as a binder, so you will not need to spritz as much water. This will also depend on how much fragrance or extra dry ingredients you have used, or even the humidity on the day of making.
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Bath Bombs by Elaine Stavert, published by GMC ($9.95).