A quick how-to guide to making your own bath fizzies
Bath fizzies, or bath bombs, are little semi-hardened blocks of good-for-you Epsom salts, baking soda and citric acid - the powders and salts held together with a bit of oil, which can also be a skin healing oil with infused herbs, and water. You can add essential oils and dried herbs and flowers to give it even extra flourish!
A wonderful way to add some joy to a relaxing bath - especially after a hard day's work in the herb garden! These fizzies are gentle enough for kids' bath time too. And don't think you'll miss out if you don't have a bath - if you make these a little smaller, they make excellent footbath fizzies, relaxing and soothing tired feet.
- Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) - this makes the water silky and is believed to be very good for relaxation, soothing sore muscles, relieving skin irritations, and is also said to help the body detoxify through the skin.
- Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) - is a strong base and will neutralizes acid, it also removes germs, and can even aid in healing.
- Citric Acid - while there are specific skin treatments for which citric acid is used, in the bath bombs, I think, it's main job is simply to react with the baking soda (acid + base) to create the fizzing effect.
- Corn (maize) flour - this is a bulking agent, and when it's mixed in with the rest of the powders, slows down the reaction of the acid+base a little bit, which means your fizzy bath bomb lasts somewhat longer when you drop it in the bath, and don't just "volcano" into nothingness within a few seconds. But corn flour also stands in its own right as a cosmetic ingredient, with some sources claiming it makes the skin smooth, vibrant and healthy.
- Oil - depending on which oil you use, most carrier oils have fabulous skin healing or soothing properties - choose whatever you have on hand, or what you feel your skin needs most - olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil are all good candidates. You can also use a herbal macerated oil (an oil in which herbs have been steeped for a couple of weeks) - a great one to try could be calendula oil as calendula is a fabulous healing herb when it comes to skin, or even kawakawa oil, lemon balm oil, cornflower oil ... each herb can add an extra special healing/cosmetic touch to the bath bomb.
- Essential oil - concentrated plant essences are good medicines, and as the essential oils touch the skin, and their scent releases in the air, you get a bit of aromatherapy happening too! If you're unsure of the use of essential oils, check with a qualified aromatherapist, or choose a tried-and-tested recipe from an aromatherapy book. Lavender is a good one to choose, and generally safe for everyone. Lavender soothes and relaxes, eases tension and promotes good skin health. For sore muscles, you can try marjoram oil, or rosemary oil too (note Rosemary oil should not be used if you suffer from high blood pressure or if you are pregnant). *
- Herbs & Flowers - generally dried herbs work better, especially if you're going to store your fizzies for later use. Choose herbs that go with your chosen oil, and or essential oil, e.g. lavender blossoms if you used lavender essential oil, or rose petals if you used rose geranium essential oil, cornflowers if you used a cornflower macerated oil etc. There's a plethora of herbs that are good for the skin. **
- Colours - for added fun, and because it won't stain you or your bath, you can add a few drops of food colour to the bath bombs if you wish.
* While there's some places touting the fact that you can ingest your essential oils, I'm not entirely following that tribe, and believe these sacred medicines should be used with knowledge and respect.
** If you don't like bits floating in your bath, you can omit the herbs and flowers too.
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1/4 cup epsom salt
- 1 tsp dried herbs and flowers (we used lavender blossoms)
- just under a 1/4 cup carrier oil (we used rose and hibiscus infused avocado oil)
- 10-15 drops essential oil (we used pure lavender essential oil)
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with a whisk or fork until it's free of lumps.
- Add your oil and essential oils and mix thoroughly with your hands.
- You can spritz the mixture with water a few times (not too much!) to make it all hold together somewhat when pressed. Don't add too much water, and incorporate any fizziness with dried ingredients.
- Scoop the mixtrue into your molds (silicone molds work really well!) and press in firmly.
- Let set for a few hours - at least four - before carefully removing from the molds.
You can use them straight away! Or if you want to store, them, make sure they are in a dry and tightly sealed container - I even add in a sachet of silica gel to make sure they don't react with moisture in the air.