How to prevent bath bombs activating

Order is everything

If you have ever wondered why your bath bombs activate when you’re making them, you need to know that order is everything.

The ingredients you use are pretty important too. But the order in which you combine them can make or break your bath bombs.

I tried to find a photo of an activated bath bomb, but it is not the sort of thing I usually keep. The one on the left shows some activation.

What happens when a bath bomb activates?

Bath bombs are very susceptible to moisture. This means that if there is too much moisture when you make them, the bicarbonate of soda and citric acid react. This is the same as they would do in the bath. You will notice the mixture might fizz in the bowl (worst case scenario). Alternatively your bath bombs might look good when unmoulded, but develop warts as they dry.

Neither is great and there is a lot of information online about the reasons this happens. The two main causes are adding too much water to the mixture or too much humidity.

Dehumidifiers rock!

Humidity can be controlled (to an extent) by air drying in a room with low humidity, i.e. avoid the kitchen or bathroom. Bedrooms are great, because they are rarely humid – and the bath bombs act as an air freshener too.

Dehumidifiers are also regularly used by bath bomb makers, to get conditions just right. You don’t need industrial sized machines, a mini one is fine. It is a good idea to run it for a couple of hours beforehand and if possible, place it near to the bath bombs. If humidity is really bad, you can place a cardboard box over both the bath bombs and the dehumidifier. The cost of dehumidifiers has increased significantly in the last couple of years, but if you want to make lots of bath bombs, it is an excellent investment.

Order is everything

The least known cause of activation is the order In which the ingredients are combined. It took me a while to figure this out, but it is the single most important piece of advice I can give. ALWAYS ADD THE CITRIC ACID LAST. It reduces the likelihood of the bicarbonate of soda and citric acid activating before moulding. It’s not rocket science, but it can make a significant difference. If you do not already do this, give it a try and let us know if it makes a difference.

Don’t forget – you can also find information about bath bomb ingredients and equipment on our main site.

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3 Tips To Help You Complete Your DofE Skills Course In 2022

What can you promise yourself that you will do in 2022? It is a common question that we ask at the start of every year. If you are part way through your DofE skills course, be inspired and set targets to complete your skills section;

1. Create a plan to finish making products

This time of the year is perfect to think about your progress and evaluate how close to finishing you are . If you are still working on coursework, now could be the perfect time to finish this, before other distractions come up in February-March. Remember, taking one step at a time will get it done eventually! Create an achievable timetable to get to week 10. Week 11 is a revision week so you can do this without too much planning. Week 12 is the end of course test – so try and do this as soon after you have revised as possible.

2. Be inspired by other peoples successes

Discuss your DofE achievements with friends and with your leader. Talking about progress will being your DofE award to the forefront of your thinking & is likely to give you a boost. Ask friends about their progress and encourage them to complete their sections too.

3. Review your own progress

Sometimes, one of the best ways to take stock of a situation is to review what you have already done. Review your photos, review your weekly evaluation sheets and you will see that you are closer to completion than you think. This should help you draw up a timetable for getting your skills section signed off. Don’t forget – we usually write assessors reports for our DofE courses within 24 hours – so just let us know when you have finished.

Don’t forget – if you have any questions about our course – we are here to help. Just use the contact form to get in touch.

Full information about our DofE courses is available on our website.

How to make your bath bombs super smooth

Soakster-bath-bomb-smooth-monkey-farts

One thing a lot of people who make their own bath bombs struggle with is, is getting a shop bought smooth finish. However, there is a really easy way to do this – the professionals know the answer, and its not a secret!

It’s all about the citric acid!

Citric acid is the ingredient which reacts with bicarbonate of soda, to give a fizzing reaction when the bath bomb hits the water.

It occurs naturally in citrus fruits, but is also manufactured. It is commonly used as an acidic regulator in the drinks industry but is also used widely in the food and cosmetics industries.

For bath bombs, use the water free version which is known as Anhydrous. Check the information from your supplier carefully, to make sure it is Anhydrous – sometimes it will not be obvious.

When you should add citric acid to your bath bombs

It might not seem obvious, but there is a perfect time for you to add the citric acid to your bath bombs. Once the bicarbonate of soda and citric are mixed, you need to mould your mixture quite quickly. These two ingredients react and allow the mixture to bind.

Your other ingredients can all be added to the bicarbonate of soda, with no real impact. So get your colour, fragrance, other dry ingredients and any oils (if you are using them) combined with the bicarbonate before you even think about adding the citric acid.

How the professionals make super smooth bath bombs

The answer to this question is astoundingly simple. It comes down to the grade of citric acid you buy. Most citric acid is sold in granule form. This works just as well in the bath bombs, but you will get a rough finish. You may also see mottling or white parts on the bath bomb. This is because the granular nature of the citric acid cannot absorb the colour.

If you have bought granular citric acid and want super smooth bath bombs, you can use a coffee grinder to reduce it to powder. This works really well but can be very messy.

The easiest way to get an instant and amazing smooth finish is to buy citric acid powder. You may need to go to a cosmetic ingredients wholesaler to buy this, but it really is worth it. It makes an amazing difference to the texture and feel of your finished product.

Where to buy the best citric acid

If you want to know more about ingredients, check out our ingredients pages over on our sister site Soakster.com

Alternatively try a specialistic wholesale supplier like The Soap Kitchen or EazyColours to buy powder form

Plastic bauble bath bomb moulds – how to get the best out of them

Plastic moulds can be a bit hit & miss. You can get great results, but often too much pressure can make them crack and prolonged use can cause the surface to deteriorate. The flip side to this is that they are cheap and come in a wonderful variety of shapes.

Don’t apply too much pressure

Bath bomb mixture needs to be compressed when you are moulding. This is how it retains its shape when it is removed from the mould. This is really easy to do with metal moulds, but less so with rigid plastic. To get the best results, fill each half loosely with mixture and pile a little on top. Bring the two halves together and press, just enough to bring the mould together.

Use a spoon to tap on the mould – this will help break the vacuum/seal. Listen for a hollow sound, this will tell you the bath bomb has come away from the mould.


Bath bomb mix sticking to the mould?

Fragrance and essential oils can lead to degradation of the plastic over time. We tend to use these moulds about ten times before recycling them. You will know when they have reached the end of their life, because your bath bomb mixture will start to stick. You can get round this in the short term by sprinkling a little bicarbonate of soda in the mould before filling, but recycle soon after.

Great shaped bath bomb moulds!

Because the hard plastic moulds are so cheap, there is a great variety of shapes available. Whilst you can buy multipacks of individual shapes, buy a multipack to get variety. Doing this will give you an assortment of shapes from the same batch of mixture. Some of the moulds we’ve used are listed below.

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Amazing benefits of handmade soap

Handmade soap is a luxury that everyone can enjoy. There are many benefits of using it over other products.

Handmade soap is a luxury, but it has many benefits for your skin and health. For example, handmade soaps typically only contain natural ingredients which make them better for your skin and less likely to cause acne or dry patches on your skin. It also means that handmade soaps are hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. It is perfect for when you’re dealing with allergies or just want something gentle to use on your body.

Natural ingredients in soap

Natural ingredients are the foundation of making soap. They act as emollients, humectants, anti-inflammatory agents and as emulsifiers.

Shea butter is a natural plant butter that can be extracted from the nuts of karite trees in Africa. It has various properties including being anti-inflammatory, conditioning hair and skin, and having antioxidant properties.

Olive oil is extracted from the fruit of the olive tree and is known for its ability to hydrate skin while reducing inflammation. Coconut oil is another ingredient that is found in many soaps for its moisturizing properties. Cocoa butter comes from cocoa beans (the fruit) and has moisturizing effects on both skin and hair because it contains palmitic acid which has an affinity for water molecules.

Chemical free soap

Artisan soap makers do not use chemicals, fillers or foaming agents in their soap. Shop bought soap is made in factories, where cheap ingredients are often used to cut costs. If you look at the ingredients label you will often find a long list of chemicals, rather than pure, natural ingredients. There is no need for these chemicals, soap is a centuries old product which can be easily made with naturally occurring raw ingredients. The difference between the two products is twofold; cost and quality.