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How Do Bath Bombs Work

The idea between an Alka Seltzer tablet and bath bombs are the same. When added in water, they fizz. But bath bombs effervesce with colors, glitters, petals, essential oils and fragrances.


Bath bombs are ideal for relaxation. They take the stress away with the aromatherapy properties that they exude. They also contain skin-loving benefits that moisturizes the skin. Not only that, bath bombs contain bath salts. These salts help soften the water by replacing calcium and magnesium ions into sodium and potassium.

Bath bombs should always be dry and moisture-free. It is because they can lose their purpose if they are exposed to moisture. Those that are poorly made may exhibit cracks and further crumble.

You may certainly be amazed at what happens next after you drop a bath bomb. Why do they fizz in the first place and what makes them explode?

What Makes Bath Bombs Fizz?

Bath bombs are made from a weak acid such as citric acid and a base sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate, popularly called baking soda do not react when added to water. But in order to fizz and foam, it needs an acid such as citric acid.

Remember during the science experiments you did in high school? When baking soda is added with vinegar, a chemical reaction occurs. This reaction is called neutralization. The weak acid and base neutralize each otherís effect thus forming carbon dioxide and sodium citrate. This eventually breaks the bath bomb.

As carbon dioxide is released, it makes the water fizz. That is why they fizz! When they effervesce in the water, not just the carbon dioxide are released nor sodium citrate. They too then release the additives such as fragrances, glitters, petals and dyes.

But before bath bombs could effervesce, they need to be bound as dry ingredients. Surprisingly, when you thought bath bombs are just made from additives, acid and base, they need an ingredient that will keep them intact.

Cornstarch is one perfect example. It has long starch molecules that helps bind all the other ingredients. There are also some companies that use kaolin clay as a binding ingredient. Unfortunately, they can add up to the cost which makes the bath bomb expensive.

You might be wondering if you can create bath bombs at home. The answer is yes! DIY bath bombs are the easiest to make. There are tutorials and recipes online that you can follow in order to create homemade bath bombs. However, bath bombs can still become bath bombs even without citric acid powder. Perhaps you can use lemon as an alternative. The only downside is that it doesnít fizz that much.

Bath bombs that are used while they are still freshly made will fizz spontaneously and effectively. Each bath bombs also have certain expiration dates that must be followed.

In order to prevent crumbling and cracking, bath bombs must be placed in a cool dry place. It must be free from moisture. Ideally, an airtight container is used.

When you already have made your own bath bombs or purchased one from an ethical shop, do not forget to skin test first. This is done by rubbing the product on the crease of your elbow. Wait for 48 hours and if there is no reaction, you have finally found the best bath bomb for your skin type.

Because bath bombs typically come in bigger sizes and although manufacturers recommend to use it for one bath, bath bombs can be divided into two. Moreso, the ideal time to soak up in bath bombs is from 10 to 15 minutes.

Are you loving your bath bombs yet?

RELATED: How to Use a Bath Bomb