Bath bomb or bust

Our local grocery store recently set up a display of fragrant bath bombs.  You know the craze of balls of Epsom salts, citric acid, baking soda, and some concoctions of beautiful smells.  As soon as we got within ten feet of the display we were hit with the aroma mixture of lemongrass, ginger lavender, and rose.  The first time P rolled by he was disgusted and intrigued.  “Ewww!  These stink.  What are they?  Who will buy them?”  The questions were spit out one right after the other not really needing an answer from anyone.  P picked one of the bath bombs up, squeezed it, and took a big whiff.  It was enough to make him cough as he dropped it back into the display.  He says, “Mom, never ever buy those.”  I said, “No worries for eight bucks we will leave them here.”  We continued on with our shopping without much thought about the bath bombs.  But after our third trip to the store with the third stop to inspect the bath bomb display the questions started up again.

P wanted to know the ingredients for a bath bomb.  And he wanted to know if Grandma had a recipe.  In P’s view on life, when it is time to make something it only takes two calls, one email, and 4 Facetime calls to Grandma to get the recipe.  I told him that Grandma probably didn’t have a recipe.  As he is still inspecting the bath bombs in the busy grocery store, he wants to know what do they do.  I said, “People will put them in the bathtub and when the water hits it fizzes, and it smells good.”  I said the magic word to P.  He was all in for a bath bomb.  He is actively sniffing every bomb in the display now.  “Why did you not tell me they fizz?  Fizz is a chemical reaction, Mom!  How much fizz?  Is it like a volcano?”  He was all about getting a bath bomb.  Yet, I was still not in for the eight bucks that the store was charging for the bath bomb.

That started us on our journey to make our own bath bombs.  P still had to call Grandma to confirm that she was not the holder of a secret recipe to create bath bombs.  Once, he was convinced he asked me, “Mom, can you find instructions on Pinterest?”  Now, that is music to my ears to be asked to find something on Pinterest.  After inspecting several different pins, I chose one that seemed pretty straightforward.

P read the instructions on the pin.  We measured out the Epsom salt, citric acid, corn starch, and baking soda.  It seemed like recipe would be easy.  It was no problem at all.  I let P measure the coconut oil and water.  A little tidbit about P that he likes to live by the motto, “if a little is good, then a lot must be great.”  The recipe called for two teaspoons of coconut oil.  Of course, it soaked into the dry ingredients.  So, P’s automatic response was to add another teaspoon of oil.  I knew that was not good, but I wasn’t sure what that would do to active ingredients.  We added the water, some essential oils, and a bit of color.

P stirred up with the concoction.  It looked a bit oily.  But, P was so excited talking about the chemical reaction that the bath bomb could make. Then he went into lots and lots of questions what if we added triple the amount of citric acid and baking soda?  That’d be awesome to see the big fizz.  All the time he was talking, I was wondering what we were going to mold it into. P stopped what he was doing.  He paused, “Will it burn my skin?”  I reassured him that no that won’t burn his skin.  We looked up the uses of Epsom salts that it can be relaxing.  Coconut oil is good for the skin.  It will be good.  I know that bath bombs are usually molded into a ball form.  The best thing we had was a silicone purple ice cube tray.  P happily scooped the mixture into the ice cube tray.  He pushed it into the squares.  He worked from side to the next.  By the time he was done molding it into the squares, we had noticed the mixture was expanding faster then we knew what to do with.  Was that because of too much oil or not the right mold?  We had to leave the ice cube tray and see what happened.  It was incredible that the mixture expanded so much to cover up the entire ice cube tray.  It was like a blue blob living and growing on my kitchen table.  P was disappointed that we did not have success on our first try with bath bombs.  I explained to him that science sometimes works and sometimes does not.  We learned two things 1) we need to measure carefully and 2) we need the right mold.  P says, “Uh-uh there was one more thing.  We need Grandma’s recipe.”


All my best to you,



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