As all of the sites and recipes I’ve read cautioned the difficulty in keeping the humidity in check, in mixing just right, and in molding quickly enough, I decided to do a trial first. This is as boring as a bath bomb can get: all fizz, no joy. (Okay, maybe a little pure fizz joy, but that only lasts so long.)
Recipe for the Plain Jane:
1 cup sodium bicarbonate 1/3 cup citric acid water in a spritzer silicone muffin pan
- Sift the dry ingredients together until well mixed and clump-free.
- Spritzing lightly with water with one hand, mix quickly with the other. The mixture should start to feel slightly clumpy, but not actually moist. When you squeeze it in your fist, it should hold its shape. Once it reaches this stage, the mixture will start to seize up and turn hard. You’ll want to work quickly,
- Pack the mixture into muffin pan (this recipe makes two “muffins” in my pan). Pack the mixture in as tightly as you can, to make a dense bomb with longer fizzy action.
- Once packed, gently pop the bomb out of the muffin pan, and rest on wax paper. Let it sit for 48 hours to cure.
Variations on the Plain Jane:
I’ve seen the ratio of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid vary from 2:1 to 3:1. I’m not certain what the difference is; next time I’ll try 2:1 and see if it impacts the fizziness. Citric acid is the cheaper of the two, which is a point in 2:1’s favour.
Some recipes call for witch hazel, or a 1:1 mix of witch hazel and water, instead of the plain water. Other recipes use water to mix, but then spritz the finish bomb with witch hazel, “to build a crust on the outside”. It was certainly crusty enough just with water. Witch hazel might make the mixing easier, though. Something to test.
Taking the Plain Jane for a Spin:
Well, she fizzes. Quicker than I expected, which could be a result of
- her shape — for a given volume, a ball will have the least amount of surface area. since fizzing action happens on the surface, reducing that area should extend the life of the bomb, at least a little bit.
- her size — I don’t actually know that my pucks have the same volume (or density) as Lush bombs.
- the recipe — perhaps additives to the bomb can extend the fizz-life.
Baking soda and citric acid, on their own, are rather boring. No relaxing scents, no silky water, no fey glitter. Just fizz and bust. A good experimental bomb to figure these details out, but not a quality bathing experience. So eager friends will have to wait for good treats.
Updated 2006.02.01 2:1 of Sodium Bicarbonite and Citric Acid produced ugly bloated things, that fizzed away even faster. Of course, that may have just been the fault of my mixing.