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)
35% baking soda
35% SLSa (powder)
10% cream of tartar
10% LSB or cocamidopropyl betaine
1% fragrance or essential oil
0.5% liquid Germall Plus
- Weigh the powder phase into a container.
- Weigh the liquid phase into a container.
- Pour the liquid phase over the powder phase, and mix well with your hands.
- Scoop the bubble bath out of the container, and let sit on parchment paper until it is solid.
- 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!
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