May 7, 2016

Mom's the Bomb!


      For Mother’s Day this year I have decided to make some bath bombs for my daughter and one of my friends. I have seen several recipes on Pinterest and thought it might be fun and a perfect gift. I love that hot, scented, bombed bath to luxuriate my aching bones and soak away the day’s worries. My daughter bought me my first bath bomb and I loved it.

     Making them was an experience that involved plenty of trial and error, but in the end I did manage to produce a nice collection of bath concoctions. It was a fun journey I would definitely take on again. It began with assembling the required ingredients. There is a chemical reaction that must be created in order for the bomb to fizz when you drop it into a hot tub, releasing the scent and magic. I needed baking soda and citric acid. I ended up ordering citric acid online since I couldn’t find it in any local shops. Next I wanted a soothing ingredient. For this I added some good old Epson Salt, great for aches and pains and a bit of dried lavender blooms from my garden. The fizzy bombs must smell delicious and I got some essential oils as well, rose scented for my friend who simply adores anything from roses, and lilac for my daughter to remind her the scent of the lovely lilac bush blooming beside her window. Even though they are called bombs, they ought to be pretty as well, so I included a few drops of food coloring and some sweet dissolving glittery hearts. I also invested in a lovely candy mold made of silicone. That item I should have done without as you'll see. I put together a recipe from several I found online and started with the basics. My recipe is at the end of this post.

Ingredients

      First, the liquid ingredients are in very small amounts. I had set out much too large a bowl for them. A small glass was fine, so I used that for the second batch. For each batch I melted the coconut oil for a few seconds in the microwave, added the water, scent and color. The dry ingredients were mixed in a large bowl and whisked together, then I poured in the liquid mix and whisked it all. Every recipe made it clear that the mix had to be rather dry. For the first batch, the pink rose bombs, I used only one teaspoon of water and then misted in more water and whisked it in. I tested it often to get it just damp enough to cling together when pressed into a ball. I put some of the glitter into each of the hearts in the silicone mold and filled it, pressing in the mixture very tightly. Then I flipped over the mold onto waxed paper. Nothing. No matter how hard I tried the bombs broke apart, leaving behind some of the mix in the molds. After several attempts at getting the things to work, including dusting one with cornstarch, I gave up on the mold and rolled the bombs into balls. It was not my vision but it worked. In the future I will look for a rigid mold, more like a melon-baller type of thing. For this first attempt I settled for hand-formed balls. I then touched each ball into some of the glitter and set them to dry. They hardened very quickly and I set them aside overnight.

The silicone mold filled. This mold does not work for bath bombs.

     For the next batch, the lilac bombs, I didn’t have the patience for all the misting while mixing and put in more water at the start. Big mistake. The concoction was too wet and it set up the fizzing reaction so that the balls I made started growing on the wax paper after I rolled them. Not quite an I Love Lucy moment, but disappointing nonetheless. I figured I would have to toss that whole batch. I decided to wait and after about fifteen minutes I picked up one ball and squeezed and re-rolled it. I found that as they dried if I re-rolled them every few minutes they stopped getting larger and after about four rounds of re-rolling they finally kept their shape and dried nicely. I had set aside a bit of leftover mix for a small test ball and later when I dropped it into a bath for myself it was heavenly and fizzed well. The whole batch was not wasted. In the future I will calm down, take my time and make better bath bombs for the effort. And I think I will make them again and again.
      I let the balls dry for twenty-four hours and fancied up some canning jars with paint and ribbon to store them, pink for rose bombs and a more earthy jar for my daughter's lilac bombs and her decor.

A jar of rose scented bath bombs

Bath bombs in the jar. One batch filled a quart jar perfectly!

Lilac for my daughter

      They are not perfect, but they will be appreciated because I made them with love and I like knowing that every time they are dropped into a hot tub they will be enjoyed by the recipients, Moms who never get enough appreciation.

Bath Bombs:
1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
1-2 teaspoon water
6 drops of food coloring
6 drops essential oil
Water in a spray bottle
1 cup baking soda
½ cup citric acid
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup Epson salt
Edible sprinkles
Mix the melted coconut oil, water, food coloring and essential oil in a small container. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk in wet ingredients and mix well. Add water by misting and testing until the mixture is just damp enough to form into a ball when squeezed in your hand.
Form into shape and allow to dry for at least 24 hours. Store in a dry, closed container.

Happy Mother's Day!

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