Celebrate National Bubble Bath Day with a lovely solid bubble bath!

Happy National Bubble Bath Day!

My mom and dad both loved bubble baths as do so many of my friends, so this was one of the first products I wanted to make way back in 2006. I love this formula I created for my ultra bubbly bubble bath, but I thought it was time I created a solid bubble bath.

I’ve tried this one a few times with citric acid as the powdery acid, but it seems like cream of tartar just works a bit better. This, combined with sodium bicarbonate or baking soda, will help the scoop break apart in the tub better.

What is cream of tartar? It’s tartaric acid, and it has a pH of around 5. In this case, we’re using it as an acid to combine with the base of the sodium bicarbonate to create an acid-base reaction that will offer a little fizzing and will help the bubble scoop break apart in water. (Related post: What’s the science behind bath bombs?)

As a note, I find the no-name baking soda from Superstore is far too coarse for cosmetics, so I always get sodium bicarbonate from Voyageur Soap & Candle or use Arm & Hammer.

I used sodium laureth sulfoacetate (SLSa), a powdered surfactant that offers great flash foam and bubbles, as the powdery base. I added cocamidopropyl betaine, a secondary surfactant that increases and stabilizes foam and bubbles. I love using LSB, which is disodium laureth sulfosuccinate and SLSa, as it’s a great foamer, but I know not everyone can shop at Voyageur Soap & Candle, so I’m suggesting the betaine instead.

If you don’t have SLSa, you could try another powdered surfactant. I’ve made a version with powdered C14-16 olefin sulfonate, bought at Voyageur Soap & Candle as Bioterge AS-90. It’s a great foamer and bubbler, and was quite lovely. I have also tried a split of 20% SLSa and 14% Bioterge AS-90, which was really great.

I used glycerin to bind it together, but there are times of the year when you can’t use this humectant around where I live as it’s just too humid. So I have one version with glycerin and the other with glycol distearate, also known as EZ Pearl. This is an emollient pearlizer for surfactant systems – in other words, it thickens a liquid product and makes it look all opaque and pearly. It’s quite lovely! It isn’t a humectant, so it won’t draw water to the bubble bath, which is a bonus!

SOLID BUBBLE BATH (for less humid climates)

POWDER PHASE

35% baking soda

35% SLSa (powder)

10% cream of tartar

LIQUID PHASE

10% LSB or cocamidopropyl betaine

8.5% glycerin

1% fragrance or essential oil

0.5% liquid Germall Plus

Liquid colourant

  1. Weigh the powder phase into a container.
  2. Weigh the liquid phase into a container.
  3. Pour the liquid phase over the powder phase, and mix well with your hands.
  4. Scoop the bubble bath out of the container, and let sit on parchment paper until it is solid.
  5. Package in adorable containers and rejoice!

For the version you see here, Emrys chose to combine green and blue-green LabColours with vanilla mint fragrance oil (Voyageur Soap & Candle) for the ice cream. For the chocolate chips, she used chocolate truffle mica (from Voyageur) and used chocolate lava cake lip balm flavouring (Windy Point Soap).

Join me tomorrow for the version I make for my very humid climate!

Please note, any and all links to stores are provided here so you can find the ingredients I’m using. I don’t accept any ads, sponsored posts, pop ups, or affiliate links for this blog. Who pays for all of this, you might be asking? My Patreon subscribers, who have made it possible for us to buy this website and pay for all the things required to make it work, like the Discus commenting system. 

  • Doris Bitler Davis

    About how much is required for a single use? I’m definitely going to make this for my husband, who just loves your ultra bubbly bubble bath formula!

    • Malika Smith

      My husband loves this bubble bath. When I asked him what he wanted for Christmas this was it. We have never measured how much he uses in a single use but it is not a lot. I would guess between 1 to 2 tablespoons. Now I am going to have to have a bath tonight and measure how much.

      • Too bad your husband didn’t know someone who could make him bubble bath whenever he wanted, eh? 🙂 Although I think this year’s was the thickest version ever!

    • For these little scoops, the first time we made 3 – 100 gram (3.3 ounce) balls, and we used about half for a bath. I do like way too many bubbles, though, so I think you could use less. I’ve made 120 gram (4 ounce) ones, and I thought they were a little big, so now we make around 75 gram ones, which is more than enough. I have a few dishers I used to measure them. I’ll have to post about that shortly.

  • Hayley Benseman

    Hey Susan! BIG fan here – commenting for first time 🙂 LOVE your work. You have converted me to preservatives over time so don’t get me wrong here – but in this case wouldn’t it be unnecessary to add a preservative as they would be a one off product, only touching water when added to a bath. OR are you covering against the steam in the bathroom? curious.

    • Hi Hayley! Yay! I’m so glad you’re using preservatives. I use them in this for a few different reasons. One, because I don’t know what people will do with it once they make them. Two, because I don’t know what my friends will do with them when I give them to them. There are so many ways this could be exposed to water from the steam in the bathroom or being near the tub, and things like people putting a large one into the bath, realizing they are happy with the bubbles, then removing it and putting it back into its container. Mine aren’t one time use kind of things – we found a 100 gram one was good for two baths.

  • Tracey Ingham

    Hi Susan…I made my first successful batch of bubble bars in February 2017 ..when I saw this I ran down to my work shop & dug it out. I believe I intended to maybe round out the percentages but you know sometimes I’m on to something else. Anyway I thought I’d share it’s pretty similar to yours
    17.73% Slsa
    40.43% sodium bicarbonate
    7.8% zea mays
    7.64 ph tartate

    Liquid phase
    15.96 glycerin
    4.26% poly 80
    3.19 coco glucose
    For some reason I didn’t calculate the oil or the preservative not sure why but I did add a tablespoon of safflower oil
    I used fdc lakes red 21 and yellow #10.. I remember they turned out picture perfect like something on the lush website I was definitely pleased with the aesthetics I’ll have to find a picture…well I’ll have to make them AGAIN…as I’m sure I intended!
    Thank you!
    Tracey

  • Wendy Dittmer @ The Rustic Bee

    I agree entirely on the baking soda grind! I know there are many that use feed grade baking soda or source it from a variety of places but I struggle when I make bath bombs with anything but Arm & Hammer! Thanks for this great recipe! Looks simple enough and I think I have all the ingredients, even better!

  • Doris Bitler Davis

    Thanks for the responses, everyone! I think I’ll try making these in chocolate molds and see how that goes. If one isn’t enough, it sounds like two will be :-). I’ll be sure to report back!

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