Admittedly, some things are really difficult to make.
Meringues. Soufflés. Most (okay, all) of the things asked of The Great British Bake Off contestants...
Bath bombs, however, are surprisingly not one of them.
This is usually pretty shocking news to people that ask about the bath bomb process, so I thought: why not share some insider intel with all those curious to get stuck into making their own.
There are, of course, hundreds of different variations you can play around with (Orange Peel Oil and Cocoa Butter is a personal favourite) but the bare bones of the bath bomb itself?
They're the same across the the board.
That means if you've made one bath bomb, you're well on your way to being an aficionado.
Essentially, for a bath bomb to work it needs 3 elements:
The ability to fizz (to effervesce when added to water)
The ability to soothe (relax the muscles, smooth the skin etc.)
..and some kind of style (colour, scent, shape, glitter etc.)
Let's start with 1) The ability to fizz.
This is the very core of the bath bomb, and no matter if you're going for tropical mango or peppermint and rosemary, this part of the recipe never changes.
The ingredients responsible for the bath bomb fizz are baking soda and citric acid.
These 2 agents react when they come into contact with water, just like when you pop an Alka-Seltzer or Berocca into your bedside glass.
Secondly, The ability to soothe. You want to add some kind of soothing agent to the mix. This can be anything from shea butter or coconut oil to Epsom salts.
Epsom salts are especially great for bath bombs because they are known for relieving tight or sore muscles, as well as replenishing our body's magnesium supply which can be sapped by stress. In other words: perfect for bath time.
Finally, style. Here is your opportunity to get creative. This part covers things like food colourings and dyes, any essential oils, scents, moulds… anything you want to use to make your bath bomb uniquely you.
What do I need?
- 200g baking soda
- 100g Epsom salt
- 100g citric acid
- 1 tablespoon water
- 10ml of essential oil(s) of your choice
- 4-6 drops of food colouring
- 1 bath bomb mould or 2-part craft bauble
How Do I do it?
Firstly, you're going to need to dig out a few kitchen bits. Your go-to mixing bowl, a whisk and some scales.
After measuring out your ingredients, you want to start by mixing your dry ingredients: your baking soda, your Epsom salt and your citric acid. Pour these into a bowl and whisk through.
In a separate bowl, combine your wet ingredients. (Your oils, 1 tbs of water and a couple of drops of food colouring) Blend these all together and add it, little-by-little to the dry mixture, whisking thoroughly as you go.
Eventually this will blend to look a little bit like breadcrumbs. It should have enough moisture to form shapes if you compress it gently in your hands. If it doesn't, you may need to add a touch more oil.
Now time for the bath bomb to take shape.
This bit can be a bit fiddly so I would recommend using the traditional sphere shape mould for your bath bomb debut. Until you get a feel for the texture and technique for working the bombs out of the cases, this can be tricky.
'Work swiftly - your BB will begin to set quite quickly once combined with the wet ingredients.'
Take your mould - or halves of your craft bauble - and fill them with your mixture. It's important to work swiftly as your BB will begin to set quite quickly once combined with the wet ingredients.
Make sure that you really pack the mixture into the mould, squeezing out any possible air pockets.
Air pockets prevent proper binding, and mean that your poor bath bomb will crumble the moment you try to remove it from the mould (I've lost many a bath bomb to that..)
You want to this over fill both halves, so that when pushing them together they may adhere to each other, pushing down and condensing the product. Make sure to do this part over the mixing bowl so that when excess product falls away it lands right back in the bowl.
Once you've pressed both halves together and given your bomb all the pressure you can muster, brush away any excess and gently tease it, one side at a time from the mould, tapping the sides gently if necessary.
They will still feel a little soft, so carefully place them on a tray to dry out. This needs to be a spot with very little moisture in the air, so airing cupboards and radiators tend to work well.
In the morning, your hardened bath bombs will be ready and waiting to be enjoyed.
And don't worry: if you happen to have a bit of crumbleage and your first attempt didn't quite go to plan - that's fine - you've got yourself a batch of new bath salts.
Waste not, want not!
Why make your own?
Sometimes you want to have a nice little soak without coming out looking like Edward Cullen standing in the sunlight. A lot of premade bath bombs have an artificial shimmer to them which might be great for a Saturday night, but not so much for the Monday morning meeting…
Experiment with shapes
awn - spheres? You can do better than that. Why not pick up some low-cost moulds and do your very own signature range. Then you get to make your very own...
ou can make really thoughtful presents. Maybe your partner is a complete chocolate orange fiend, or your mum's struggling with a bad back. Whip up a special range completely made to order for major bathtime brownie points. But best of all...
You get to feel Hermione Granger in Potions class
Most people made potions in the bath when they were little, right? There's something about the experimentation process which is so satisfying - I'm still discovering new combinations even now.
In fact, a few years of finessing has meant that I've been able to create some real favourites which smell so unbelievable I just had to share them with you. You can take a look at the Rosina's bath time range here...