Bath bomb disaster

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allinalather

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I so wish I had taken photos.

So newbie makes first bath bombs, she can't go wrong they are all fabulous:)

Then I bought some citric acid. It said "fine" for silky .... whatever. I didn't read the bit that said that it was better for a press rather than hand made moulds.

So, I added the yellow food colouring, no perfume as it was intended for kids. Then I started on the witch hazel. I spritzed a few times, nothing. A bit more, nothing. I had to add LOADS to get it to stick together.

I put it in the moulds. I was using balls and the left overs went into little heard shaped moulds which should come out like heart shaped tablets. IE FLAT.

Walking past them about 20 minutes later, I saw that I appeared to have made MUFFINS:confused: I had a look at the balls and despite them being held together with strong elastic bands, they were oozing out of the seams, they had shifted the elastic bands off to the side and the stuff was desperately trying to escape.

So OK. Too much moisture obviously. I had used a heck of a lot of witch hazel. I decided to let them dry out until the next day to see what they looked like. They just turned to powder. Too little moisture? I wouldn't have thought so.

I had bought anhydrous citric acid instead of the monohydrate type. "Fine finish"? I'll say it was fine. The ball would pass straight through the sieve.

So I ground it all down and put it in a plastic bag (not much grinding needed). Just out of interest I thought I would give the powder another go. Again, huge amounts of witch hazel required to make it hold together. I rammed it into a large heart shaped soap mould. Several hours later it is still flat. On the one hand "whoopee". On the other hand I don't fancy having to put it through two processes in the future. And there is nothing to say that it won't turn to powder again when I try and get it out. It is a stiff mould.

So lesson learned. Read ALL of the description before I buy next time.

What do I do with 2.5 kilos of this anhydrous stuff:confused:
 

SomethingGoodAustin

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Wow. I've had that happen before, but not because of the type of citric acid (didn't know there was more than one type, as a matter of fact. Yay! I learned something!). Instead, it was due to the dead sea salts I used. Sucked moisture right out of the air and bloomed like a great big flower of disaster. I should have taken pics.
 

allinalather

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The recipe could not be more simple. 300g Bicarbonate of Soda, 150g citric acid, fragrance/colour and witch hazel to bind.

I don't know the reason for putting cornstarch etc into bombs, I will research that when I am confident to move on.

dixidragon the salts went into a bag. I got them out and added (loads) more witch hazel and it held together without swelling. Pic below

heart.jpg
 

hmlove1218

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You might want to check the remolded bath bombs by dropping one in water. If they puffed up, it means that the baking soda and citric acid were reacting. You're remolded ones may not be bath bombs anymore
 

allinalather

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hmlove1218 Good point. I just tried half a mini ball in the basin. It fizzed but it was pathetic :) So the heart shaped one will go in with another good one when I next have a bath. At least it tells me that double processing it would be a waste of time. Just not sure what to do with the stuff I have left over.
 

allinalather

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I have never heard of it either, but I am a newbie and there is LOTS I have never heard of :?

From the website, note that I did not read the last paragraph!

Fine powdered Anhydrous Citric Acid, a very fine grade to give an ultra-smooth finish when making bath bombs where it reacts with the alkali (sodium bicarbonate) to release carbon dioxide gas. Also used as a pH balancing agent in many cosmetic and toiltrey formulations.

Citric
acid is a weak organic acid that is a natural preservative present in citrus fruits. It is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks.

Please note that this very fine grade is best used when making bath bombs using a press rather than by hand in moulds.

A link to the web page, there is also technical data available on the tabs
http://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/cgi...PAGE=citric-acid-powder-anhydrous.html#SID=18

I have yet to see a press for sale in the UK.
 

cmzaha

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Now I'm curious--what is anhydrous citric acid used for? I've never even heard of it.
The citric acid I always use is anhydrous.
Oils and butters will definitely help bind your bombs together. I add some emulsifier in mine and use as little oil as possible. It is just me, but I am against a lot of oil in the tub.
 

paillo

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The no-fail recipe I've used for years. Got it from YouTube but no idea where.

1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup citric acid (anhydrous)
1/2 cup epsom salts
2 TBSP clay

1.5 TBSP sunflower, rice bran or other liquid oil
1.5 TBSP melted hard butter of choice (cocoa, kokum, other)
2 tsp Polysorb 80
some vitamin E oil
fragrance

Use gloved hands. Mix dry ingredients, make a well in the middle, then pour liquid oils into it. Squish, squish, squish with your hands. When evenly mixed, spritz 12 times with 91% rubbing alcohol, squish squish 'til consistency of damp sand. Mold as usual, let dry.

ETA: I've tried to make larger batches but they've been cranky, so I settled on making multiples of this size batch.
 
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allinalather

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Darn it! I put an order in today, I don't have all those ingredients but will get them on the next order. Thank you.
 

SomethingGoodAustin

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I have never heard of it either, but I am a newbie and there is LOTS I have never heard of :?

From the website, note that I did not read the last paragraph!

Fine powdered Anhydrous Citric Acid, a very fine grade to give an ultra-smooth finish when making bath bombs where it reacts with the alkali (sodium bicarbonate) to release carbon dioxide gas. Also used as a pH balancing agent in many cosmetic and toiltrey formulations.

Citric
acid is a weak organic acid that is a natural preservative present in citrus fruits. It is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks.

Please note that this very fine grade is best used when making bath bombs using a press rather than by hand in moulds.

A link to the web page, there is also technical data available on the tabs
http://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/cgi...PAGE=citric-acid-powder-anhydrous.html#SID=18

I have yet to see a press for sale in the UK.
Hmm. The MSDS linked on the Soap Kitchen website says that your product is water soluble:
http://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/acatalog/PDF_MSDS_Citric_Acid_Anhydrous.pdf (see the paragraph headed Ecological Information)

"Anhydrous" means that the product contains no water, not that it won't dissolve in water:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anhydrous

I don't think you've found your solution just yet. On the bright side, though, you don't have to go searching for a new supplier of a material that doesn't (seem to) exist. :)

Edited: Oops, obvs, monohydrate does exist.
 
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SomethingGoodAustin

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I'm a wee bit obsessive, so I had to search for more info on monohydrate CA.

Where did you purchase the monohydrate you've used in the past? The only source I've found so far for Monohydrate Citric acid says that they only sell to schools and businesses. The MSDS (linked here: http://mistralni.co.uk/products/citric-acid-monohydrate-technical-grade) also says that the substance is highly irritating to eyes, and apparently irritating enough to skin that gloves are suggested. If contact with skin occurs, the MSDS further recommends rinsing with water for 15 minutes.

Does this sound like the same product?

Edited to spare y'all another post:
I would bet that one or both of the following issues are what affected your bath bombs: the fineness of the powder made it more prone to react with moisture (I've ordered CA from multiple sources, by the way, and it was always granular) and/or you were working on a particularly humid day.

Perhaps a press, which I've never used, because they're easily in the $300 range and beyond, compresses the bath bombs quickly and completely enough so that very little moisture is able to get in until the bath bombs are submerged in water...?

I would try using less witch hazel if possible, or, as suggested, including butters to bind your bombs.
 
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allinalather

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The first link you gave, "uses for citric acid" mentions bath bombs on the last bullet point.

Previously, I got it on line, from Amazon, it just said "Citric Acid" and it was granular.

I could not have used less witch hazel than I did. As soon as it held together I put it in the moulds. I am going to try it with some shea butter next time. I will update here when I have done it. We are in winter here in the UK and although it is a little warmer than normal, I don't think that the humidity played a part.
 

cmzaha

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The no-fail recipe I've used for years. Got it from YouTube but no idea where.

1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup citric acid (anhydrous)
1/2 cup epsom salts
2 TBSP clay

1.5 TBSP sunflower, rice bran or other liquid oil
1.5 TBSP melted hard butter of choice (cocoa, kokum, other)
2 tsp Polysorb 80
some vitamin E oil
fragrance

Use gloved hands. Mix dry ingredients, make a well in the middle, then pour liquid oils into it. Squish, squish, squish with your hands. When evenly mixed, spritz 12 times with 91% rubbing alcohol, squish squish 'til consistency of damp sand. Mold as usual, let dry.

ETA: I've tried to make larger batches but they've been cranky, so I settled on making multiples of this size batch.
I use a similiar recipe, but less oils. It is a matter of choice. Epson salt can be replaced with sea salt or even table salt. Vitamin E I do not waste in a bath bomb. I fully agree with making multiple small batches. What I do is masterbatch my mix and keep it tightly sealed.
 

Misschief

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I have a recipe I've been using to make bath bombs for, literally, years.... 15 years or so. It has never failed me. I did have a bit of cracking one time but that's because it was a particularly damp day and they were being stored in an unheated room.

I've shared it many times over the years. You can find it here:

https://stringthingstwo.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/how-to-make-bath-bombs/
 

SomethingGoodAustin

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The first link you gave, "uses for citric acid" mentions bath bombs on the last bullet point.

Previously, I got it on line, from Amazon, it just said "Citric Acid" and it was granular.

I could not have used less witch hazel than I did. As soon as it held together I put it in the moulds. I am going to try it with some shea butter next time. I will update here when I have done it. We are in winter here in the UK and although it is a little warmer than normal, I don't think that the humidity played a part.
Then I bet it was the fineness of the powder. Sounds like you can still use it, though--just experiment with your formula. Shea butter sounds very luxurious.
 
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