Saturday, September 20, 2014

DIY bathtub fizzies for kids



I keep making bath bombs for myself and my kids keep stealing them.  I had bought some little tablets that color the water for my toddler, but then I looked at the ingredients.  Ew!  Seriously?  This stuff is safe for two year olds?  

So I decided to make some especially for the little ones.  It's really easy and requires only one ingredient that's out of the ordinary (at least in my household.)  

Ingredients

1 Cup citric acid (I buy it in the bulk food section at Whole Foods or on Amazon)
2 Cups baking soda (I buy it in bulk at Sam's Club or Costco and it's a huge bag for $6 or so)
4 Tbsp epsom salts (bought at the dollar store)
1 ounce coconut oil or other light body oil like sweet almond or apricot
Essential oil for fragrance - go easy since this is for kids
Food coloring - I found some that were neon bright colors.  You could also use soap coloring drops that you can find at craft stores.  I've used them before but they don't seem to color the bath water, just the bath bombs themselves.
Spray bottle of witch hazel (another Dollar Store find)

Mix the baking soda and epsom salts in a bowl with a whisk.  Get it all really well incorporated and break up all the clumps.  Note:  A lot of recipes use cornstarch.  I find it good for one reason only - it makes your batch of bath bombs go farther.  Instead of making 12 it might make 16, for example.  But it gets everywhere, there's dust in the air that you're breathing in, and I feel like I need to wear a gas mask while I'm making these.  So I don't add cornstarch.  Problem solved.





Next, add the coconut oil (or almond, or apricot, or even plain ol' olive oil) and stir.  The small amount of oil makes your skin really soft but it doesn't leave a ton of oil in the bathtub after the bath.  I LOVE getting my toddler out of the tub after a bath.  He's so smooth and soft and he smells so yummy!  

Then add the food coloring (I used about 15 drops of the neon blue) and your fragrance oils (I used a few drops of Warm Vanilla and a few drops of Lemon - it smells like cookies!  You can omit the fragrance altogether, of course, or you can do eucalyptus and rosemary to clear sinuses, lavender to help them calm down before bed, etc.  I'm no expert on aromatherapy.  I just use what smells good.)  Stir well.  I mean, REALLY well.  The food coloring seems to clump up into the coconut oil so it takes quite a bit of stirring to make it evenly distributed and not mostly blue with big blue clumps here and there.

NOW we add the citric acid.  Every other recipe I've ever read says to add it to the baking soda in step one, but then when you add your liquids it starts to fizz.  So on a whim I didn't add it till the end.  NO FIZZING AT ALL.  I must say, I'm a genius sometimes.

Now we grab the witch hazel.  It works much better than water for helping the mixture bind together, and it softens your skin too.  Spritz the mix 3-4 times and stir.  Grab a handful and make a snowball.  If it sticks together you're done.  If it's too dry and crumbly spray a few more times and try again.  Don't overdo it or your citric acid will start fizzing and then your bath bomb won't fizz much later.  You'll probably need about 8-12 squirts of witch hazel.

When it's done you're ready to fill your molds.  I have these cute silicone molds I bought on Amazon.  They're really just muffin pans with fancy shapes and they come in different sizes.  


I use them for everything - baking, homemade fruit snacks, homemade chocolate, and bath bombs.  You can also use plain muffin tins. They're plain but they work fine.  So grab your muffin pan, put some of the mixture in and pack it down like brown sugar.  Then fill it the rest of the way and pack it down again.  Try to make it flat across the surface.  Fill as many molds as you have mixture.  For me this makes 6 large bath bombs and 30 of the little hearts.

Here's my favorite trick:  preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  When it comes to temperature, turn it off.  Put the silicone molds on a cookie sheet for stability and stick them in the oven.  Leave them in the warm oven that is TURNED OFF for several hours.  This really helps them dry out faster, especially if you live in the hot and humid south like I do.



After several hours take them out of the oven and turn them upside down onto the cookie sheet.  Leave them there to dry overnight on the counter if possible.  You might even be able to use one that evening if you let them sit in the oven for at least 4 hours.

I usually drop two little ones or one full sized bomb into the bathwater when I go easy on the food coloring.  This turned out pretty bright blue so we'll see what it does to the water tonight at bath time.  They fizz like crazy but they have never turned the water blue before so here's hoping I'll get lucky this time!

The hardest part is keeping him from trying to eat them as they're fizzing in the water.  But as far as I have learned, none of the ingredients are toxic (just taste really nasty!) in small doses.


Here we are, fizzing away.  I dropped two of the small hearts in.


If this kid would ever talk he'd be saying, "Look, mama, it's blue!!!"


I threw one more in for good measure and voila, that's some blue water!  Didn't stain the tub or towels either.  Happy baby, happy mom.

17 comments:

  1. This is an amazing idea, Karin! We all know kids love distraction, or just having something to play with whenever they are in the bathtub. It makes everything fun for them! And to think that this bathroom fizz is actually a low-cost project? Well, that is what I call a great job!

    Fred Richardson @ SGKHomeSolutions

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    1. Thanks Fred! They're fun to make for the kids too. It's like making sand castles in the kitchen.

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  2. So, mine fizz up when I put them in the oven. What am I doing wrong?

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    1. Hmm, good question. Are they really moist when you put them in the molds? The oven part is totally optional - I just found it to help them dry out faster but it's not necessary. Maybe just leave them on the counter for a day or two instead.

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  3. Mine did not fizz in the tub or completely disolve. What am I doing wrong

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    1. Was this the same batch that fizzed up in the oven? I'm wondering if they fizzed too soon and so didn't fizz in the tub They can't fizz when you're making them or they won't fizz in the water. I've never had a bath bomb NOT dissolve before as long as the water was hot. That one completely stumps me. Try another batch and maybe use less liquids this time.

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  4. Just made my first batch. They smell amazing! Mine are rising up like little cupcakes as they dry in the oven though! Is this normal? (I tried a chunk in a sink full of water and they fizz like crazy so at least I have that going for me!)

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  6. Word of advice: make sure the oven is turned off before you put them in. I just ruined two whole pans bc they started to "cook" and when I tested them, they don't fizz now. BUT, I tossed them in my blender with plain epsom salt and a little more frangrance oil and turned them into bath salt. No waste here!

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    1. Yes, make sure the oven is off first! It should just be warm to encourage them to dry out faster. But that's a great idea to save them!

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    2. I wish I had thought of that with my first couple of batches! They fell completely flat! Also, if you have on hand or access to some SLSa and or sour salts you can turn it into fizzing and foaming baths.

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  8. The bombs have to stay molded until dry, otherwise they "melt" and flatten out. I tried unmolding before putting them in the oven and I got blobs��. I make these for my grandsons and sometimes put a secret prize in the middle. Either a small toy or a coin or two. They get so excited waiting to see what they win!

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    1. That's pretty brilliant, Kim. I love the idea of hiding a toy in the center!

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  9. This was the best recipe I found for making bath bombs. My daughter and I made them yesterday allowed them to dry over night. When we left them in the molds overnight because to me is just seem a better idea. Worked out like a charm; we got a total of 24 mini and 1 1/2 large ones. My daughter loves Lavender since she was a baby so that is why we did that one first. The one that was the 1/2 large was the one we tested in the tub. We are hooked on making them over and over again. We are going to use them as Mother's Day gifts this year. Just have to figure out how to package them to send out of state.

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    1. Thanks so much, glad you tried it! Now that my kids are older they like to help make them. It's like making sand castles for them. As for shipping, as long as they are thoroughly dried out and you seal them in an airtight package they ought to be ok. I mean, I order Lush bath bombs online and they arrive just fine. Best of luck to you!

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