The shower steamer monster

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I made a batch of shower fizzies following Cada's recipe. I have never made bath or shower bombs before, so I really don't have anything to compare it to. I followed all measurements exactly.

Copied from Cada Molds website:

2 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Citric Acid
60g Menthol Crystals ** (30g if 60g is too strong for you)
2 tbsp Coconut Oil (Helps bind the shower steamer, but it is not necessary or another oil can be used)
2 tsp Essential Oil

**Dissolve Menthol Crystals in Rubbing Alcohol First


Left them out overnight to harden. Nothing exciting happened. I used one off of the sheet in the morning, and put them all in the container. After 1 or 2 days in an airtight container (was one with a pop up suction thing, not just a tupperware)...they about quadrupled their size until the were just one big blob of shower steamers LOL. They weren't wet or sticky or anything. Actually they were hard as a rock.

The only thing about the recipe that I was confused about was how much alcohol to put in the menthol crystals. I probably ended up adding too much of that I guess. The recipe didn't say how much to use, but it was 99% isopropyl. I started with just a little, but ended up about covering the crystals with it before they finally dissolved.

Any ideas as to what went wrong? If I thought it was the alcohol, then I would just retry the recipe. But not sure alcohol would make them blow up like that. Not an expert, so it might have been, I dunno lol. Afraid to try them again because the ingredients are pretty expensive.
 
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Try this one from the MoonCake Cult on Facebook:

91 percent alcohol (enough to cover your menthol crystals)
1 oz menthol crystals ( dissolved in your alcohol)
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/4 cup cornstarch
colorant of choice is optional

Oil isn't necessary for steamers as they're not used for skin.

I use this recipe and they're hard as rock. You don't need to add all the RA, just enough to bind everything. And leave them to dry longer. I usually leave mine out for a week or so before packaging. If you're in a humid area, you could try using rice or silica packets.
 
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cerelife

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Ditto on the silica packets!
After molding a batch of bath bombs or shower steamers, I put the whole batch in one of those 'under the bed' plastic boxes (lined with bubble wrap) along with 2 or 3 silica packs. Worked wonders to prevent warting and expanding!
You can buy the silica packets pretty cheap on Amazon.
 
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Ditto on ditching the CO for shower steamers, as that would make your shower floor slippery. No bueno.

I use a recipe very similar to the one @Misschief listed, and it works very well. The main difference is that I pre-dissolve the menthol crystals in my EO or FO. It takes a little longer than alcohol but always works for me. Just put them in a jar, put a lid on it, and swirl the stuff around it when you walk by. Or put it on the table next to your armchair so you can swish it while reading SMF.
 
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Ditto on ditching the CO for shower steamers, as that would make your shower floor slippery. No bueno.

I use a recipe very similar to the one @Misschief listed, and it works very well. The main difference is that I pre-dissolve the menthol crystals in my EO or FO. It takes a little longer than alcohol but always works for me. Just put them in a jar, put a lid on it, and swirl the stuff around it when you walk by. Or put it on the table next to your armchair so you can swish it while reading SMF.
Microwaving it for a few seconds (10-15) also works to dissolve it more quickly.
 

Becky1024

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The amount of alcohol has a big effect on whether steamers will swell or be crumbly. Too much and they swell; too little and they are crumbly. I like to add enough to get to a wet sand feel.

The other thing I’ve found that affects swelling is humidity. I try to make them on a day when the humidity is low. As soon as the mixture is in the mold I cover it with aluminum foil for a day to prevent the steamers from absorbing water from the air. If I make them when it’s raining or humid out they will swell even with the AC or furnace on.
 

Dawni

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If I make them when it’s raining or humid out they will swell even with the AC or furnace on.
Ugh. This tells me that I'm looking towards a fail if I'm to make these.. And I've always wanted to lol. I currently don't have much competition if I were to sell them, but this, what you said, is my worry. That and how to package them without using foil or plastic. This humidity is turning out to be the bane of my existence lol

I wonder if a dehumidifier will work? Coupled with AC? Hmm...

Sorry to hijack Catscankim
 
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Ugh. This tells me that I'm looking towards a fail if I'm to make these.. And I've always wanted to lol. I currently don't have much competition if I were to sell them, but this, what you said, is my worry. That and how to package them without using foil or plastic. This humidity is turning out to be the bane of my existence lol

I wonder if a dehumidifier will work? Coupled with AC? Hmm...

Sorry to hijack Catscankim
I don't live in a humid area, and I have to wrap mine tightly in plastic or they do swell. Sorry :(
 

SirSoapsAlot

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The only thing about the recipe that I was confused about was how much alcohol to put in the menthol crystals. I probably ended up adding too much of that I guess. The recipe didn't say how much to use, but it was 99% isopropyl. I started with just a little, but ended up about covering the crystals with it before they finally dissolved.
Heat helps dissolve the crystals and it really doesn't take much. You can place the container you measured it into in a bowl of hot water and stir or swirl and it will dissolve much more quickly.
 
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Ugh. This tells me that I'm looking towards a fail if I'm to make these.. And I've always wanted to lol. I currently don't have much competition if I were to sell them, but this, what you said, is my worry. That and how to package them without using foil or plastic. This humidity is turning out to be the bane of my existence lol

I wonder if a dehumidifier will work? Coupled with AC? Hmm...

Sorry to hijack Catscankim
No apology necessary lol. It helps to get great advice. I live in a pretty humid area, although I don't think its been too bad lately. But since I live in it year round, whats not humid to me might be horrendous to another.
 

math ace

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Also, What size Silica packets? Looks like they come in 1 gm, 2 gm, 5 gm. and bigger. Is there a ratio... so many silica packets to so many shower steamers?

I have some Eucalyptus EO that needs to be used up. Could I use this instead of the menthol crystals?

Also, wondering what EO or FO you add to the Menthol crystals to help improve the smell?
 
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Also, What size Silica packets? Looks like they come in 1 gm, 2 gm, 5 gm. and bigger. Is there a ratio... so many silica packets to so many shower steamers?

I have some Eucalyptus EO that needs to be used up. Could I use this instead of the menthol crystals?

Also, wondering what EO or FO you add to the Menthol crystals to help improve the smell?
I work in a print shop and one of our toner suppliers adds a silica packet to each toner cartridge; I save them and have lunch bag full of them. There is no ratio, really, I would just throw a handful in your container of steamers.

I make three "flavours" of steamers, menthol with lavender, eucaluptus, or lemon. You don't have to use menthol crystals but I think that's kind of the point of them.
 

math ace

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I work in a print shop and one of our toner suppliers adds a silica packet to each toner cartridge; I save them and have lunch bag full of them. There is no ratio, really, I would just throw a handful in your container of steamers.

I make three "flavours" of steamers, menthol with lavender, eucaluptus, or lemon. You don't have to use menthol crystals but I think that's kind of the point of them.

Thanks Misschief. I don't usually use the shower, so I have no exposure to steamers. However, it does sound like something that I would like to try to make. Does the Menthol open the sinus sort of like vicks vapor rub? Is that the point of steamers?
 
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I've used lavender, tea tree, peppermint, orange, and a variety of FOs that go with menthol, which is pretty much anything that goes with mint-type scents, IMO. If you use enough menthol, they definitely open the sinuses! I think that's the main point for some people, whereas others just like a nice-smelling shower.
 
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I don't usually use the shower, so I have no exposure to steamers. However, it does sound like something that I would like to try to make. Does the Menthol open the sinus sort of like vicks vapor rub? Is that the point of steamers?


I'm not a shower person either but they're a good seller for me. The menthol is optional and IS kind of like Vicks in the shower, clearing the sinuses; I have one customer in particular who has allergies and loves the menthol steamers before bed. They can also be relaxing (lavender), invigorating (citrus) and so on, depending on the essential oils used.
 

cerelife

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@Dawni , I live in an area with VERY high humidity and I've made bath bombs during Tropical Storms, lol! Work fast and get them into the plastic box with plenty of bubble wrap to support the shape and toss in 2-3 silica packets. I don't remember who on this forum gave me this advice, but it works!
@math ace , I buy 10 gram silica packets on Amazon - 30 'rechargeable' packets for $10. The company name is Dry & Dry and they are reusable for at least 3 or 4 times in my experience.
I buy my menthol crystals from WSP, and I double-bag them in plastic sandwich bags and crush them with a mortar and pestle before I attempt to dissolve them. It helps :)
 

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