I have been saying I was going to make bath bombs for a long time. You know, those giant, fizzy things you drop in your bath that smell fantastic and cost $7 at Lush. And then I round up all the supplies and I start reading about them and how easy it is to mess them up and how things can go wrong and you’re never exactly sure why and I shelf the idea until a few months later when I’m like, “Hey, Kate, let’s make bath bombs today!” And then it happens all over again. Just ask the snowballer that’s been sitting unused in my craft closet for 3 years.
So I make fizzy bath salts instead. Not like the dangerous, illegal narcotics–I tried to think of a better name for this particular product and I was at a loss, so just know that these are regular, legal, safe, non-hallucinatory bath salts. These are so easy (and HARD to mess up), cheap, smell like you’re taking a bath in a tub of candy canes, and they’re a really fun and easy gift to give during the holidays. Except that my husband thinks it’s super weird that I’m giving people things to use in their baths–he said guys don’t do stuff like that. Which reminds me of the time Chandler started taking baths on Friends, but I digress…
You’ll need epsom salts (they’re widely available at drugstores, grocery stores, and Target-like places), peppermint essential oil (I just used the same oil I used in these Cream Cheese Mints last week, but if you’re in the market, just mention the words “essential oils” on Facebook and you’ll have 52 people wanting to sell them to you, and another 12 wondering if you might be interested in joining their Beach Body team or acquiring YouNique mascara), baking soda, and citric acid (which might be the trickiest to find–check out the canning section of your grocery store, or places like Whole Foods. You can also find it on Amazon–I bought a big ol’ bag of it (you know, because of all the bath bombs), but poke around there and there are lots of options; one pound will be plenty for this recipe.
I highly recommend slapping on a pair of rubber gloves while you make this–any residual moisture on your hands will make the salts fizz prematurely and if you have any tiny cuts or scratches or irritations on your hands, the straight-up citric acid isn’t going to make them feel better (don’t worry, it’ll be fine in the tub, partially because it’s diluted and partially because the fizzy reaction is actually the baking soda neutralizing the acid. Science, yo.)
Pour the salts into a large and completely dry bowl. Add food coloring (again, I used the deep pink color from this set, but regular red liquid food coloring would work just fine) and essential oil and mix until completely combined.
Add the baking soda
and mix until combined. Add the citric acid and combine completely. Divide into airtight containers (glass is preferable).
You can use 1-2 cups of these salts if you’re doing a therapeutic epsom salt bath (epsom salts are actually a form of magnesium and, when you soak in them, some of the magnesium absorbs through your skin. Magnesium is great for aches, sprains, bruises, muscle cramps, and relaxation. Funny side note: I am a terrible sleeper and my doctor had me start taking a magnesium supplement at night. After a year of every prescription and over-the-counter sleep medication on the market, it is the only thing that helps me fall asleep and stay asleep, plus I don’t send weird texts or buy $300 worth of stuff from Etsy like when I take Ambien.) If you’d rather just add something fun and yummy-smelling to your bath, you can just use a few tablespoons.
Tie some twine around those bad boys and you’ve got gifts for all your girlfriends (or Chandler Bing) for just a few bucks!
Fizzy Peppermint Bath Salts
By Our Best Bites
3 cups epsom salts
1/2 teaspoon red or pink food coloring (optional)
20 drops peppermint essential oil
2 cups baking soda
1 cup citric acid
If desired (or if you have any small cuts on your hands), wear gloves. Pour the salts into a large and completely dry bowl. Add food coloring and essential oil and mix until completely combined. Add the baking soda and mix until combined. Add the citric acid and combine. Divide into airtight containers (glass is preferable).
You can use an entire cup of these salts if you’re doing a therapeutic epsom salt bath, or you can use a few tablespoons if you just want something to add to your bath.
Edited to add: If you live in a dry climate, allow these to dry for a few hours before packing them up. If you live in a humid climate, you may want to try blow drying them on low for a few minutes to remove any excess moisture and then packaging them immediately.
P.S. I’ve added the printable I made. I don’t love it, which is why I didn’t include it, but lots of people want it, so don’t judge me, haha!