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Exploding bath salts

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JMcSal

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I've been making salts for Christmas presents for a number of years and until now, had never had a problem. I had lost the recipe I'd previously been using, and got a simple one off the web in December - epsom salts, baking soda, essential oils, food colouring. There had been no mention of any dangers attached to it.

Yesterday I got a phone call from a friend who told me that her bottle exploded. At first I thought she was joking, but as she described her bedroom, I began to see that this was actually quite serious. She described her bedroom as being covered in little shards of glass and dust from one end to the other. She has vacuumed 3 times, changed the bedding, washed any clothes that were lying out, and is still finding more shards. The bag the bottle had been in was ripped apart, and had been blown across the room, along with a bag of chips that had been sitting next to it. She said there were over 65 pock marks in her wall from the glass.

The pictures she sent me were out of focus, but showed that they weren't pock marks in her wall, but tears and rips right through the paint and into the drywall itself. The gift bag is missing one whole side, and the cardboard base was blown out. I'm so very glad that my friend was not in the room when this happened as I think she would have been seriously hurt.

I usually use lavendar as an essential oil, but there is a possibility that I used a citrus this year, which I've also only just learned may activate the baking soda. I have also since found a recipe that doesn't use baking soda, and have decided that I will only use cork bottles in future rather than screw on caps.

I've searched the web to see if others had come across the problem, but found very little. I did find a mention on this forum, and so decided to post this story here. I'm hoping to get some feedback on why my concoction exploded, why it took over 4 months to occur, hopefully get some advice on how to avoid this potential danger in future, and perhaps help prevent this from happening to others.
 

Tabitha

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I do not thnk I can be of much help.

I do know citric acid (or citrus EOs), baking soda and mositure cause a release of carbon dioxide which can build up preasure in a container.

I have read several internet stories aboutexploding bath salts or even milk baths containing citric acid & baking soda.

A children's magazine published a recips for Mother's Day bath salts about 6-7 years ago & had to send out waning as well as a retraction when people's containers began exploding. It's not *so* bad if it's a bath salt tube, the top just pops off & sound like a gunshot :shock: , but glass containers can be VERY dangerous.

Thanks for bringing this topic up. It's good information to share :D .

As for your question about why did it take sp long... maybe moisture was not introduced into the equation untill later dow the line for whatever reason. That is only a guess though.
 

IanT

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so its kind of like pouring vinegar on baking soda so to speak?? and the pressure causes the glass to break? couldnt that just be solved if you put a few air holes in the top of the jar and then one of those silica gel packets in it to absorb the moisture?

anyone used rice to absorb the moisture like in table salt??
 

Chay

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While I would never add rice to a retail product I do use it in my salt shakers at home and in the salt I use for body polishes at the spa. Works great.
 

mare61

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You guys sure have a way of squashing my confidence!!! I just made 4 jars of bath salt with the following recipe:

2/3 cup sea salt
1/3 cup dead sea salt
1/3 cup epsom salt
1 1/2 tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp essential oils
food coloring

I made some last week and it felt damp. So this morning I made more and let it dry in my food dehydrator. I guess if will leave out the baking soda next time.
 

IanT

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:D Thats what I thought :) (EDIT about the rice)
 
G

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I've made bath salts sveral times in glass jars, but they never exploded. Not to say that they could and might still, but they've been laying around for a few years with no serious ballistics. I will definately keep the chance of detination in mind if I ever make them again. Under what conditions did they explode? I might want to make the pop rock recipe just to see it explode. :twisted:
 

Tabitha

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I have made the pop rock recipe & they did not explode, they just turned into 1 big, sticky, solid,clump.

A few years back there was a huge co-op going on. It was for non flavored, non colored pop rocks EVERYONE bought some & after that i nEVER heard of anyone EVER making them again.

One HUGE collective learning experience :lol: .
 

JMcSal

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I can't 100% say I used citrus. My friend says there was no odour at all. She thought the baking soda absorbed it...which seemed a little counter productive to the cause, and is another reason why I won't use baking soda in the salts again!

As for the conditions, the container remained unopened since the day I bottled it in December. After I gave it to her she left it on her bedroom dresser, still in the gift bag. This has been a cold Spring up here, so the daily temp of her house has probably remained fairly constant I would think, most likely around 23 degrees (about 73 for those of you south of the border!).

I have a few more jars in the basement that were left over I'm in the process of finding them all, with some trepidation! It's a bit scary to think I may have booby trapped my Christmas bin.

While this whole thing could have been extremely serious, I am blessed with the fact that all my friends have a great sense of humour. Including the one who is still finding shards of glass in every crevice of her room. My bathsalts will forever be called Jinglebombs (I will make an appropriate label for them in future), and I'm sure you can imagine what I'm getting called.
 

jones10021

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Wow, that's terrible. I hope that nobody got hurt from exploding bath salts. maybe experimenting is not such a good idea.
 

bath_angel

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jones10021 said:
Wow, that's terrible. I hope that nobody got hurt from exploding bath salts. maybe experimenting is not such a good idea.
Yeah, specially when putting them on glass containers.
 

KSL

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Wow.
That is serious!

LOL on the names you've been called since..... I can imagine.. lol!

I have always packaged mine in bags - but made a couple in glass containers for this year's holiday. i don't put baking soda or citric acid in mine, and used lavendar EO... I hope that means mine are safe????!!!!!
 

krissy

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wow! i am so glad you posted this story because i was about to make the exact recipe you had. i was also putting it into a glass jar! thank you so much for sharing what happened and making me less likely to damage a friend by accident!
i am also very glad that 1) your freind is ok and 2) your bath salt bomb didnt explode in the mail... can you imagine the trouble you'd be in!! :lol:
 

Deb

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And thank you for the warning! I've been putting mine in plastic, but i'll definitely make a note in my files...



Cheers
Deb
What kind of terrorist are you?
A terrifying terrorist.
 

bathsalts

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bath salts

any bath salts product are good for christmas presence. It would be great! Bath salts have been shown to promote radiant, youthful skin. The minerals present in high-quality bath salts will smooth and soften your skin while drawing out impurities and pollution. Some say that bathing with bath salts is the fountain of youth, as bath salts help to open and cleanse your pores while firming the skin’s surface, minimizing the appearance of fine lines.
 

madpiano

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Re: bath salts

bathsalts said:
any bath salts product are good for christmas presence. It would be great! Bath salts have been shown to promote radiant, youthful skin. The minerals present in high-quality bath salts will smooth and soften your skin while drawing out impurities and pollution. Some say that bathing with bath salts is the fountain of youth, as bath salts help to open and cleanse your pores while firming the skin’s surface, minimizing the appearance of fine lines.
Hiya - glad to see you here, I love your bath salts (well, the website, as I am in the UK and haven't ordered any from you yet). How do you avoid the "exploding" bath salts? And one question I always wanted to ask you: You sell the bath salts on a pier in San Francisco? How do you keep them dry in that air and stop them from clumping????
 

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