Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homestead Bath Seltzers

These little gems go by many names: Bath bombs, bath seltzers, bath fizzies... but no matter what you call them they are an easy, inexpensive way to help you enjoy a nice, relaxing bath.

Our Maiden's of Virtue Bible study lesson this week was on "the bath" and how God not only desires cleanliness in our hearts but also desires us to present ourselves clean on the outside as well. Usually after the lesson we scrapbook but since "bath" was the theme, and in a former life I ran a handcrafted bath and body care business, I thought I'd teach the girls to make bath seltzers. (They are solid bath salts that fizz and release color and scent into your bath water.)

Most of what you need to make these can be found in your kitchen or around the house. You can also find supplies at Micheal's or Hobby Lobby or through many suppliers on the internet. Nothing is overly expensive or hard to locate. The one exception might be Citric Acid as you usually can't just jaunt into the grocery store for it. But there are many bath and body suppliers on the web. Google handcrafted soap or bath products in your state and you'll find a good list to check out.

The process is easy and after a quick demo and some learning curve experience the girls were off and creating.

Since I used to have a small business making and selling these types of products I still had plenty of supplies on hand. I have lots of molds, scents and colorings. But something as simple as a muffin tin can serve as a mold, and food coloring for color or you can go colorless which can be simple and elegant. Synthetic colors are pretty but they are synthetic chemicals so who knows what you are exposing your skin and self to. As for scents you can get these online, at a health food store, some grocery stores or craft stores. Try to stick with essential oils which are natural vs. fragrance oils which are synthetic. NEVER use a fragrance oil that is not approved for skin. If you find it in the home fragrance or candle section of a store you do not want it for body products. Who really wants to bath in a chemical cocktail?

The process can be messy but clean up is pretty easy.

My son was fascinated by the creation process and so he got into the action the next night using a more manly scent, shape and color. The girls were able to teach him how to do it with out my help.

So go ahead and get your hands dirty so that you can get clean in the bath.

The resulting relaxation is well worth it.

You will need:
One cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup citric acid (this is what makes the fizz)
scent to liking
color to liking
Mix the baking soda, cornstarch and citric acid in a bowl. Carefully add scent and color a little at a time. (Too much liquid will activate the citric acid and make it bubble. So add small bits... you can always add more but you can't take it away.)
Once you have your color and scent added you will take a small spray bottle and lightly spritz the mixture until it holds it shape when squeezed in your hand. It's a lot like playing with playdough or wet sand. The learning curve comes from knowing what the right consistancy is. Too little water and your shape will fall apart. Too much water and it will fizz up and lose its shape.
After you are satisfied with the consistancy then you will press the mix into your mold. Pack the mold tight- just like brown sugar. Once the mold is entirely filled and packed tight you will turn it out on some cardboard covered with wax paper. Be gentle these puppies are fragile. Don't worry if your shape breaks in the process. You can just crumble it, spritz it again and shape it once more.
Let your seltzers dry overnight.
To use just drop into a drawn bath and relax.

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