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Today’s post is brought to you Kristin, our middle sister, she’s been known to make a simple craft or two. She actually makes lots of really neat decor. I think we’ve bugged her enough that she will be contributing here more often. Another thing about Kris? She gives the best gifts! Last year I was gifted the sweetest smelling candles and this year a whole pile of soaps and bath bombs. I’m making a mental note (and a virtual one?!) to get her candle recipe for you too, but we’ll start with what we have and that’s a fiz-tastic recipe for DIY bath bombs. Add that to Webster’s.
We wanted to share the DIY bath bombs this week because it’s yet another craft or recipe that you could add dried rose petals to. As if that wasn’t enough, you could also add tea! You are well aware tea is our ingredient of the season – we’ve said it enough, right? Three cheers for tea recipes and recipes using tea! Okay, stepping down off the dork throne to introduce this recipe now. There may be a few ingredients you’re unfamiliar with or haven’t purchased before.
For starters, citric acid is a weak organic tribasic acid. It’s naturally occurring in fruit and literally tons of citric acid are manufactured each year to be used as an acidifier, flavoring substance, and thickening agent. Baking soda is quite common, but before purchasing some for the DIY bath bombs, read Kristin’s recipe notes about various brands of baking soda and their effects. You’ll also need a bottle of witch hazel that does not contain water so check the ingredients before buying. We talk endlessly about essential oils here. We recommend supporting your local apothecary or buying organic oils online. Skies the limit with essential oils, just make sure you are working with them safely especially if you’re pregnant. Lastly, there are plenty of options for molds, including these really awesome round ones, but we’re attempting minimalism here so we went with muffin tins.
- Citric acid
- Baking soda
- Water-free witch hazel in a spritz bottle (I am not sure how you tell if it is h2o free, but I bought some that did not list water as an ingredient and it worked fine.)
- Essential oils
- Mold (we used a muffin tin)
- Extras: Tea, herbs, spices, citrus peels, flowers like dried rose petals or lavender bud, etc.
- Water-free Colorant
- Start by mixing 1 cup of baking soda with ½ cup of citric acid in the large bowl.
- Next, if using colorant, add a few drops spread across the top of the baking soda/citric acid mixture.
- The liquids you add will immediately clump up, you’ll have to break them apart with your fingers and mix throughout the soda/acid mixture.
- Add the essential oils, start with 10-20 drops, I used a heavier hand (30+ drops) since the oils will be diluted in bathwater. Make these smell a little stronger than you think you should and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
- Last, mix in any extras like a few tablespoons of dry tea, a scoop of dried lavender buds, or even flower petals until they are evenly dispersed.
- Next, prepare the molds, put a thin layer of any add-ins you want pressed into the bombs.
- Spritz the bomb mixture with one spray of witch hazel and mix through. Spray until the mixture starts to clump in your hands. If your witch hazel has water in it, the mix will start to foam. Use the least amount of witch hazel and a lightly, widely-dispersed spray, and mix quickly and you should be fine.
- When the mixture starts to stick together, start filling your molds with the mix and press down HARD. You really want to pack the mixture and make it nice and compact in the mold.
- When the molds are filled, let sit for 10 minutes to dry, then knock the bombs out of the molds and let sit on parchment paper for 24 hours.
- Store in a glass jar near your tub!
- I used about thirty drops of lemon essential oil & lots of dried chamomile tea to create the larger DIY bath bombs shown above.
- The dryer your house, the faster they will set. We burn a wood stove, so my batches were nice and hard within 6-8 hours for a large muffin tin.
- I used two different brands of baking soda and had two different results. Arm & Hammer brand gave me the anticipated results, stayed nice and compact in the molds and dried as expected.
- The off-brand baking soda caused the bombs to keep expanding in the molds for hours. I would periodically press them back down until they got too large, then I removed them from the molds, pressed them in a ball with my hands and kept doing that every half hour or so until they dried.
- The craziest thing is that the Arm & Hammer bombs sunk in the bath and the off-brand bombs floated and fizzed. In the end, I thought the off-brand ones looked a lot cooler in the tub, so I’ll stick with that method/materials even though they require more babysitting than the other kind.
- Added bonus? Essential oils like tea tree and lemon are antimicrobial so they’ll clean both you and the tub while you soak. Citric acid and baking soda are also impactful deodorizers and cleansers so feel better about every bath you take from here on out.
…but totally still here if you have any questions at all. Catch up with us in the comments or on IG.
Even though I refer to us as the Schu sisters, Katie and Kristin are both married ladies! A little more about Kristin Ditterline: she is our middle sister, she’s just two years older than me and seven younger than Kate. Kris and her husband live in Central Pennsylvania in the house that our family grew up in. I think everyone is pretty grateful that our beautiful, old, family farmhouse is in good hands. Kristin is an animal lover, style maven, and badass GIS analyst. She actually travels around the nation training others in her field. She pretends she doesn’t do much, but she’s always up to something whether it’s crafting, homemaking, volunteering, or working, she doesn’t get much vacation time, but when she does, this is what she’s up to:
“During the winter you can find me on the slopes or happily snuggled on the couch with a good book and our two dogs. Winter is my absolute favorite season, so you’ll hear no complaints about snow or cold temperatures here – I find them cleansing.
In the spring I’ll be patiently wishing it was summer and taking lots of walks in the woods.
Summer is all about fitting as much sunshine and water-time (and iced coffee) into our lives as possible. Trekking from the Thousand Islands down to Saxis keeps most of the weekends occupied while the weekdays are spent tending the garden and being outside as much as possible.
In the fall you’ll find my husband and I stacking wood for the winter while soup is on the stove. Summer can be fun, but the hot weather can be stifling, so I welcome the transition into cooler temperatures, of course hot chocolate and Halloween don’t hurt either!”