Misbehaving Bath Bombs

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MelissaDawn

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So I have seen this asked in different words but I'm going to ask again because I am still having issues! I've been using the same bath bomb recipe for almost 2 years and it's deciding that it doesn't want to work right anymore! They expand and bubble, ok I understand that to mean they were too wet. Try less liquid (at the time green tea or water) and they crumble. And I really loved this recipe in the beginning and never had any issues so I think well its not the recipe it's me. I've also recently moved so I thought maybe this house is too humid. So I see a demo for a bath bomb press (just the hand held) and she used alcohol claiming water is too wet. So I try 99% isopropyl and added some bentonite clay and let them set over night and when I checked them they were not even crumbly the mix was still soft and sandy in the mold. So I dumped it out and tried redoing it with a mixture of water and witch hazel. The **** things blew up! I don't understand what is different if it'd the altitude or the air in this house which is wood stove heated so you'd think it would be quite hot and dry in here. I'm at my wits end and it sucks because bath bombs are my best selling items. Can anyone help or am I asking on a really outdated forum?? That would be my luck haha.

20161020_141817.jpg
 

snappyllama

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I'm surprised you ever had good luck using water in your original recipe. Mine would fizz if I even looked at them while so much as thinking about the ocean. ;)

They actually don't look wet enough to me. That clay probably sucked up all your moisture - but I would add an oil to them - not water. I recently moved from an arid/high elevation area. Using a hard butter like Mango at around 5% + Poly 80 at around 1% really worked well for me. It was practically full-proof in any kind of weather.

Now, my bombs are the sinker-sort. So if you're wanting floaties you might need to adjust them.
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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If you post your full recipe with weights people would be better placed to offer advice. It will save us making guesses that you can just cover now
 

lsg

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I use cocoa butter in my bath bombs, no water or witch Hazel.
 

MelissaDawn

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The recipe

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric Acid
1/2 cup corn Starch
2 TBSP Epsom Salts
2 TBSP Coconut Oil

The original recipe called for 5-6 tsp green tea and add coloring and fragrance to that and add 1tsp at a time. I found this to be a waste of fragrance/EO as well as the color didn't turn out very dark. I saw Soap Queen used witch hazel which I tried in a spritzer in place of the green tea and it was way too crumbly. Now I work the fragrance in after the coconut oil and used either root powders or oxides to color and added sprays of water until it held together in my hands. Molded and then blew up again. Like I said this recipe worked amazing when I lived in the mountains but we've moved about 1,000ft lower and this house is definitely more humid than my old one. So I thought adding a couple tablespoons of clay would help. Nope blew up again. So I used alcohol, too dry. And the photo is my latest batch (witch hazel and water) which is evidently too dry yet blew up so I don't know if that means it was too wet at the time of molding and I should have used less liquids during the making of them?
 
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Maybe try 91% alcohol with no bentonite clay. Is it possible that your ingredients are not fresh (maybe not past expiration, but not fresh fresh?) I think 91% rubbing alcohol may help, but just try it with a basic baking soda & citric acid recipe and go from there. Also, what kind of spray bottle do you use? I find the hand size spray bottles that mist work better than the type that shoot a tiny jet stream.
 

MelissaDawn

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Thank You Everyone

I just use a small little spritzer. I will try again with out the clay. Thanks for the tips and I'll update again if I fail again haha.
 

Wildcraft_Garden

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My spritzer broke, and I had a heck of a time with all the other ones I tried because it was too fine a mist and I couldn't control it as well. Now I use a mix of alcohol and water, and pour in a little at a time while my mixer is going. It's been working great.
 

Dahila

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first of all try to eliminate water, I just use two sprays of WH and the rest is RA. Add Cot Cream of tartar.........it makes them rock hard and smooth
Maybe you should start to weight your ingredients instead of volume, Only weighting will give you consistent results. insensate of coconut oil try Apricot Kernel oil, it makes awesome BB Good luck
 

seven8soap

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Sometimes, the more experienced I get, the more I get over confident. The beauty of this type of artwork is that we are all novices all the time. Doing something well over and over again gets harder every time you do it, so you are always practicing excellence, and being your best. The first soap I ever made was wonderful because I was so meticulous. The 10-30th soaps came out like, well, dog turds. So, true to the nature in which I was raised in a family of artists, I spent a year making nothing but plain, unscented, uncolored, loaf shaped soap, cut into exact 3.25 oz bars. Japanese artists in general go through a nearly lifelong apprenticeship to come out as masters, gaining freedom of experimentation somewhere around the age of 40(at least in ceramics). We are all still students. I think the masters live around Allepo.
 

BabyPickles106

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You might try replacing the Epsom salt with Baking soda. My understanding is that Epsom salts can pull moisture into a bath bomb.
 

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