Learning With Maya, Episode 8: How To Fail At DIY Bath Bombs
By Maya Malan-Gonzalez
My mother and I love arts and crafts. If there’s a street fair or event in which there is an arts and crafts table for the kiddies, my mother and I will shove those little babies out of the way so we can get to crafting. So when my mom came back from Goodwill with a bath bomb making kit I was so excited. And bonus!! It’s a Jurassic Park bath Bomb kit, so the mold is for a little T-rex. And if you know me, you know I love dinosaurs.
Bath bombs are my FAVORITE way to relax. If you’ve never used one, go to Lush now and get yourself a couple of bath bombs. When you drop them in the tub they release salts and oils to make your bath experience amazing. If you don’t live near a Lush, you can find them at Walgreens, Target, Whole Foods and basically any bath type store.
I’ve glanced over DIY bath bomb recipes online and I’ve always been curious, so what could be better than a kit made for children? This shit is probably idiot proof.
The kit comes with, three color powder packets, a bag of baking soda, a bag called “bath bomb powder mixture”, a practically empty thing of mango scented essential oil, the dinosaur plastic mold, 4 ribbons and 4 little baggies to wrap up the bombs. I guess the kit is supposed to make four bombs. Based on the super easy steps, this looks like a 30 minute activity.
In a mixing bowl, toss in 5 rounded teaspoons of the bath bomb mix. Next, the kit says to add a color packet. Following the color, add a few drops of the essential oil, now since the mango oil that came with the kit is mostly evaporated (I wonder how old this kit is?) my mom pulls out some sandalwood oil, which according to my quick google search helps relaxation. Then you add two tablespoons of the baking powder. The instructions say you can mix all of this with a stir stick or your finger… clearly this is one hell of a kit. As I’m reading the instructions, next on the list is add water (which wasn’t listed in the “things you’ll need” portion). The water instructions are kinda annoying, it basically says, “1 teaspoon of water, or more, mixture should be like wet sand, not too dry, not too wet- experiment!”
WTF?! I only get to make four bath bombs, how am I supposed to experiment? Also, when I poured the water this mixture starts fizzing, and that just doesn’t seem like it’s supposed to happen. When you’ve reached what you guess is the right consistency, then you pack the mixture little by little into the mold, pressing out the air. Now you leave it for 3 - 5 minutes, then flip it on a flat surface and tap the mold till it pops out, then you leave your beautiful little dinosaur to finish drying.
So here’s how it turned out for me, after packing the red mixture into the mold, I realized the instructions kinda screwed me over in terms of color. The instructions are for 1 bath bomb, but they had said to put a full color packet in the mix, and there’s only three color packets! Now I know, that with only two color packets left, if I’m going to make three bombs, I have to pour accordingly. Everything with the red bomb seemed like it was going well, till it was time to tap the bomb out of the mold. That’s when the dino got decapitated. I tried shoving it back in the mold and pressing it again…. When the tapping loose part came fucking head fell off again.
My mom took this as her cue to take over.
While she figured out what to do with the red mixture, I went back to the instructions and gave it a second try. This time, I only used half the blue color packet, but I think I put too much water in this time. Mom played with the red mixture like it was play dough, pushing it into a day of the dead skull cookie cutter. She then snatched some of my blue mixture to make eyes- this was the moment I cursed her red bomb by calling it a white walker. While I worked with my blue putty, I gotta say, her’s did look pretty good. Another failed attempt with the dino mold and I decide to just make a little pyramid shape. There’s probably a reason most bath bombs are just balls. It took forever to dry, I kept rotating the sides it was on so it wouldn’t dry and stick to the board… I think mom’s red bomb is gonna stick to the board!
For my third attempt, since things were obviously such a success I decided to do the advanced, multi colored bath bomb. And after looking at some recipes online, like Rachel Feltman’s “How to make your own bath bombs”, I decide to add some lavender from the garden. Now to make a multi-colored bomb, you mix the colors separately then push them into the mold. I had a yellow mix and a blue mix, but when I was adding the water to the blue, I put waaaaay too much, the whole thing fizzed up like a volcano science experiment. So I threw the yellow mix in with the blue to try and soak up some of the extra water. Basically I got this really weird bubbly green goop. I pushed it in the mold and went off for a dinner break.
When I came back from eating, the thing had gushed out over the mold and was a mess- totally not salvageable.
I have enough mixture in the kit to make one more bath bomb. The red looks super dry, I think she’ll need a spatula to get it off the board. The blue, looks ok, it’s still kinda moist, so I keep flipping it on different sides to help it dry evenly and not get stuck to the board. The green is a shit show, so come on yellow! I decide to use the kit’s mango essential oil for this one. By this point I am well over the fucking dino mold, it’s just doesn’t work. The yellow mango bomb I make into a pyramid like the blue. I’m determined to get fresh lavender up in that bomb, so I just push a little sprig in the top and let it dry, casually flipping it so it doesn’t stick to the board.
By this point the red is crumbing. Mom agreed I cursed it when I called it a white walker, cause it’s falling apart like a white walker that just got stuck with some dragon glass. The Blue is holding strong as the sturdiest and the yellow, with it’s little sprig of lavender, is also holding up decently.
To finish off this adventure, I put the blue bath bomb in one of the little plastic bags that were provided, the bags are actually very small, so I don’t know how the dino shaped bomb was even supposed to fit.
So here’s my takeaway, if you’re going to make bath bombs, probably don’t use an old kit from Goodwill, probably don’t use a kit made for kids, just use one of the pretty easy looking recipes online. But really, ask yourself, do you neeeeeed to make your own bath bombs? Like, maybe it’s worth it to just go buy one at Lush .