These heart bath bombs would make a great Valentine’s Day gift even for someone you’re not romantically involved with. Moms, friends, sisters, or anyone you know who deserves a luxurious bath. Out of the two of us, my husband Steven is much more likely to enjoy a bath (sometimes with a glass of whiskey in hand, to keep it manly), so he’ll no doubt be testing out my supply of bath bombs.
Bath bombs are something that I’ve wanted to try making ever since the days when Lush was a big deal. Even though I rarely take baths, I like the idea of a scented, fancy-schmancy fizzy bath. But when I investigated how to make them, I was intimidated by the ingredient list, especially the citric acid. It sounded like something that would be difficult to find. Then I noticed that my local grocery stores have it right in the bulk spices sections. It’s using for canning, so if you can’t find it, check the canning supplies. And aside from the essential oils, everything else should be available in any grocery store these days.
So after buying all of the ingredients I needed, I figured I’d just follow one of the many tutorials I’d bookmarked online, and then I’d have bath bombs. Easier said than done when you live in a place that currently has 100% humidity. Water, in the bath or in the air, is the key ingredient to set off the fizzing reaction. Like other bloggers who live in damp climates, I had trouble keeping my bath bombs from slowly fizzing away while still in their molds. I tried a couple of recipes until I finally stumbled on a winning formula. The key is that there is no liquid added other than the food coloring and essential oils. If you live in a dry climate you might need to use a different recipe with more water, but this recipe was successful for me.
I molded my bath bombs in a heart ice cube tray (from Ikea several years ago, but you can still buy one here), a heart cookie cutter, and a heart candy mold (the same one I used for these peanut butter wasabi ginger filled chocolates), or go crazy with the many fun-shaped ice cube molds you can find these days. If you want the traditional round shape instead, you can mold your bombs in fillable plastic ornaments, or a round ice cube mold.
Heart Bath Bombs
Makes 3-4 small bombs.
1/4 c baking soda
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp citric acid
2 Tbsp Epsom salts, finely ground in a spice grinder
5 tsp coconut oil (DO NOT melt)
4-6 drops essential oil
4-6 drops food coloring
1. Mix cornstarch, baking soda, citric acic, and Epsom salts with a whisk. Mix in the coconut oil (remember NOT to melt) until well-mixed. I found a fork or my hands worked best for mixing at this step. Add essential oil and food coloring, and mix well. A note on colors: If you want to mix food colors to make non-primary colors, mix them first before adding to the dry ingredients.
2. I didn’t need to add anything else to my mixture, but if the mixture isn’t sticky enough, add a drop of water and quickly mix. Continue adding water dropwise until the mixture will stick to itself when squeezed. Press into molds as firmly as possible. Let dry for a few hours, then remove from mold and let dry throughly in a warm location. This can take a couple of days, depending on dryness or wetness of your area. You can tell by touch.
3. Put the bombs in a pretty jar and give them away with instructions for the receiver to pamper themselves. Optional: Include a dumb Valentine’s Day pun like, “You’re da (bath) bomb!”