You can buy bath melts with a significant price-tag attached at your local or online cosmetics and beauty shop but you can just as easily make your own with a few simple ingredients available at a far more reasonable price. They also make very nice presents so if you’re still looking for something to give for the holidays, stop looking right now.
A week ago shackspace member Bine gave a bath melts workshop at shackspace and it left us with a very nice smelling space and lots of presents to give away. Here’s the recipe if you want to make your own.
- 60g Cocoa butter
get this from an online shop or last minute at your local pharmacy at a slightly higher price.
- 50g Sodium hydrogen carbonate
also known as baking soda and sold as Kaiser Natron in German supermarkets.
- 40g Citric acid (powder)
the cheapest source for this is the big packs you get in the cleaning supply section of the supermarket where it’s sold as a descaling agent (Entkalker), make sure to only buy 100% citric acid. There’s also 5 gram packages in the baking supply isle but those are much more expensive than the cleaning supplies 😉
- 100g Powdered milk
most commonly found in the baby food section of your supermarket.
- 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil
To customize the bath melts you can add a lot of stuff, here’s some ideas
- Essential oils
Vanilla, Orange, Cherry, Apple, Cinnamon, … or baking extracts
- Food coloring
Make sure it’s not water-based or see the tip below on how to make suitable colors using easter egg dye
- Dried flowers
Rose blossoms? In my bath melts? More likely than you think.
Because everything is more awesome with glitter (except for that horrible vampire thing)
To mold the melts into shape use silicone ice cube trays or other silicone molds. There’s a wide array of patters to choose from.
Making the bath melts
- Carefully dissolve cocoa butter in a water bath
Note: cocoa butter begins to melt at 30C, do not overheat the butter.
- Mix up powdered milk, olive oil, baking soda and citric acid
- If you want to add food coloring, now’s the time
- Add the molten cocoa butter and mix well
- If you like you can add essentials oils. Use between 15 to 50 drops.
- If you want to decorate your melts, add glitter or dried flowers to the ice cube tray now
- Use a teaspoon to press the mixture into the ice cube tray or silicone molds
- Let the tray rest in your freezer for half an hour so the melts can harden
Carefully remove the finished melts from the ice cube tray. This is easier if you’re using silicone trays.
Pack everything up and store in a dry place.
Use three to four melts for a single bath.
You can make your own (relatively) water free food coloring using easter egg dye (they either come pulverized or as small pellets).
Simply add a tiny amount of water to help dissolve the powder. Once its dissolved use olive oil to thin the color before adding it to your mix.
Also pay close attention during making and later storing of the bath melts to ensure that everything is kept dry and no water is introduced since otherwise your bath melts will begin fizzing and bubbling away prematurely 😉
How does it work?
The cocoa butter begins to dissolve at around 30C and is a common ingredient in a wide array of cosmetics and food products. It’s commonly used as a skin care product to aid dry and chapped skin. Together with the olive oil and milk powder it’ll leave a smooth oily film on your skin when dissolved in water.
The baking soda and citric acid when introduced to water will start to fizz and bubble resulting in a fresh bubbly feeling on your skin and soften the water. Do not use too much citric acid since it might irritate your skin.