One of the best parts of using spinning bath bombs is watching how it spins and colors the water. The secret to making them spin is simple. Here’s a great recipe!
I’ve made (and sold) more bath bombs in the past six months than in the past 10 years. Everyone wants something different, but they all want the same results: fizz and spin.
How to Get Spinning Bath Bombs
One of the exciting parts about using a bath bomb is watching it spin and color the water. The secret to get spinning bath bombs is to use embeds. An embed is a small colored ball or other object that is made like a bath bomb, but is more concentrated. Here’s a great recipe:
- ½ cup citric acid (find it here)
- ½ cup baking soda
- ½ teaspoon lake pigment or bath bomb color (find a variety of mica pigments here)
- optional, 15 drops essential oil (find pure organic essential oils here)
- 91% rubbing alcohol mixed with witch hazel, equal proportions (find organic witch hazel here)
Mix the dry ingredients really well, then spritz with the rubbing alcohol/witch hazel mixture. You should make it like damp sand – firm enough to hold together without crumbling. Pack this into small molds pretty tightly and pop out. Let dry a bit before mixing together the next step.
The Basic Bath Bomb Recipe
Even spinning bath bombs are made with the same basic recipe as most other bath bombs. It’s one part citric acid to two parts baking soda.This ratio will give you the best fizz possible. Other ingredients can be added like cream of tartar or kaolin clay to make the bombs harder or Epsom salt for a muscle soothing soak. A good basic recipe will have the following:
Ingredients & Supplies
- 1 cup citric acid
- 2 cups baking soda
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup epsom salts
- ¼ teaspoon dry color, such as bath bomb color, mica, or lake pigment
- 20-25 drops skin-safe essential oil or fragrance oil (find pure EOs here)
- 3 tablespoons liquid oil, such as sweet almond or sunflower (find these organic oils here)
- equal parts 91% alcohol and witch hazel, mixed together
- bath bomb molds (find them here)
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add your color and mix well. For secret color, leave white for now. Add essential or fragrance oil and mix well. Add liquid oil and mix well again.
2. At this time it’s a good idea to mix with your hands rather than relying on a mixing spoon. Use gloves as the baking soda can wear on your nails. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, spritz 1-2 times with the alcohol/witch hazel mixture. Mix quickly with your hands and check to see if it’s ready. Make a snowball with some of the mixture and drop it into the bowl. If it holds together it is ready to mold. If it breaks apart, spritz 1-2 more times and check again. Repeat until your snowball holds together when dropped into the bowl.
3. Lightly pack a good amount in half of a bath bomb mold, then place an embed (recipe above) on top of the mixture. The secret to creating good spin is to place the embed off center, not in the middle. It has to be off balance in order to spin. And of course we want our spinning bath bombs to spin!
4. Next, overfill the other half and place both sides together. Push the sides firmly so there is no gap in the center. Don’t twist, as this will separate the halves. You want them to join cohesively.
5. Tap each side with a spoon, then release one half. Turn over and release the other half. Set on a piece of cardboard or wax paper and continue with the rest of the mix. (The bombs may smell a lot like alcohol, but this will disappear in a day or two.)
6. Dry for at least 24 hours, then seal in plastic wrap. The bombs need to be sealed or they will absorb moisture from the air and won’t fizz as much in the bathtub.
When choosing color, lake pigments and bath bomb colors will work the best to both dissolve in the tub and color the water. If you’re not concerned with making a completely natural bath bomb, you can add a bit of polysorbate 80 to help the color to dissolve and to keep the oils from floating on the top and making the tub slippery. Polysorbate 80 is a synthetic compound that is used as a surfactant and emulsifier.
Powdered mica can also be used to color bath bombs. Mica is a natural mineral, and has usually been dyed to make colorants. Mica produces nice soft colors, but will not color the water, which some people want in their bath. It will sometimes stick to the sides of the tub and appear to stain it, but this can be alleviated by using polysorbate 80.
Many people love a scented bath bomb. Essential oils can sometimes be too irritating for open areas of the skin. Some exceptions are lavender and rose essential oils. Fragrance oils, although not completely natural, can be used in the bathtub, and may not irritate skin as much as essential oils.
Finally, there is some concern with using cornstarch in the bath and the assumption that it can cause yeast infections. It would need to be used in much larger amounts to cause a problem. If you are still concerned, you can omit it from the recipe.
Have you ever made fizzing and/or spinning bath bombs? Tell us about your experience.