Such an unfortunate but catchy name, bath bombs or bath fizzies make a great homemade gift idea because they are one of those luxurious indulgences that people often do not buy for themselves, but love to receive as a gift. They will certainly appreciate them when they realize that they are homemade gifts. You have probably seen them at bath boutiques, but basically bath bombs are balls of baking soda and citric acid that when dropped in water dissolve, effervesce, and releases the scents or other ingredients you put in them. Its kind of like bathing in bathtub full of seltzer water. It can be a soothing and therapeutic experience.
There are a couple of ways to make them. Here is the method based off a tutorial from teachsoap.com:
Citric Acid... A powder that you can find here at brambleberry.com. You also might be able to find it at a local winemaking/brewing shop.
Baking Soda... Should be easy enough to find, check in your cupboard or refrigerator.
Witch Hazel... You can find this at here at brambleberry.com, otherwise you might find it at your local health food store or pharmacy.
Fragrance or Essential Oil... You can find this at, yep, you guessed it, brambleberry.com, or your local heath food store..
Clear Spherical Molds... There is quite a selection at soapequipment.com. They have molds and bath bomb kits at brambleberry.com but no plain spherical ones. I have also heard of people using ice cube trays.
You can tint them with food coloring, but I think they look fine as is. It's a matter of preference. If you do use food coloring make sure you only use a few drops per batch, otherwise it might stain someone's tub.
It is a bit tricky at first. You might have a bad batch or two in the beginning, or a have few bath bombs that fall apart, but don't get discouraged, you will get the hang of it..
1. Thoroughly mix 1 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of the citric acid. Make sure it is mixed well and there are no lumps.
2. Add your fragrance and color. Fragrances are your preference, but I enjoy essential oils like lavender or peppermint. If you are using food coloring, make sure to only use a few drops.
3. Lightly spray on the witch hazel while mixing. You want to spray enough on so the mixture just starts to stick together. Too much and the mixture will start bubbling and reacting.
4. Just after the mixture starts to stick together, press into the molds. Make sure you squeeze the mold halves together hard.
5. Wait a few minutes, then tap them out of the molds.
6. Let sit a few hours or overnight, and then they'll be ready for wrapping.
I have also seen some recipes that include epsom salt in the dry mixture, and almond oil to help keep the ball together. Some recipes also include cornstarch, which I personally would advise against, as it has been mentioned that it might irritate a rash or make it worse. There are conflicting views on this, but I leave it out to be safe.
I used clear colored wrapping and raffia ribbon for the presentation of the gift.
They make a great addition to other homemade bath products in a gift basket.
by Rain Matthews - Counting down 100 homemade gift ideas at http://100homemadegiftideas.com
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