These bath bombs are fun to make and the reward for your efforts is a long soak in a heavenly scented bath. Kids love them and if you can bear to give them away, they make great gifts.
For about eight bombs you will need:
440g baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
180g cornstarch (cornflour)
220g citric acid
110g Epsom salts
2 to 4 tbsp water
food colouring (optional)
20 drops essential oil* (optional)
a stiff plastic or metal mould, like a muffin tin
1 In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of the water with the food colouring and essential oils.
2 Stirring the dry mixture constantly with a whisk, drizzle in the wet mixture a drop at a time until it just holds together if you squeeze a bit in one hand. If it doesn’t hold at all, drizzle more drops of water, one or two at a time. If you start to see fizzing, that means there is too much water in one area and you should stir that area quickly to distribute the moisture. Be warned it doesn’t take much water so keep stirring and go slow.
3 Pack the mixture into moulds tightly, then smooth the surface of each bomb. Carefully unmould them onto a flat, dry surface. If any break during unmolding, just scoop up the crumbs and repack them in the mould. Let the bath bombs dry for about 24 hours, until fully dry. They should keep for up to six months.
4 Fill a tub with hot water and drop in 1 or 2 bath bombs. Relax...
From The Hands-On Home by Erica Strauss (Sasquatch Books).
Photography by Charity Burrgraaf.
* Try matching the colour and fragrance, eg purple with lavender essential oil and a pale yellow-green with lemongrass.