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How to prevent bath bombs activating

Activating bath bomb

Order is everything

If you have ever wondered why your bath bombs activate when you’re making them, you need to know that order is everything. 

The ingredients you use are pretty important too. But the order in which you combine them can make or break your bath bombs.

I tried to find a photo of an activated bath bomb, but it is not the sort of thing I usually keep. The one on the left shows some activation.

What happens when a bath bomb activates?

Bath bombs are very susceptible to moisture. This means that if there is too much moisture when you make them, the bicarbonate of soda and citric acid react. This is the same as they would do in the bath. You will notice the mixture might fizz in the bowl (worst case scenario). Alternatively your bath bombs might look good when unmoulded, but develop warts as they dry. 

Neither is great and there is a lot of information online about the reasons this happens. The two main causes are adding too much water to the mixture or too much humidity.

Dehumidifiers rock!

Humidity can be controlled (to an extent) by air drying in a room with low humidity, i.e. avoid the kitchen or bathroom. Bedrooms are great, because they are rarely humid – and the bath bombs act as an air freshener too.

Dehumidifiers are also regularly used by bath bomb makers, to get conditions just right. You don’t need industrial sized machines, a mini one is fine. It is a good idea to run it for a couple of hours beforehand and if possible, place it near to the bath bombs. If humidity is really bad, you can place a cardboard box over both the bath bombs and the dehumidifier. The cost of dehumidifiers has increased significantly in the last couple of years, but if you want to make lots of bath bombs, it is an excellent investment.

The least known cause of activation is the order In which the ingredients are combined. It took me a while to figure this out, but it is the single most important piece of advice I can give. ALWAYS ADD THE CITRIC ACID LAST. It reduces the likelihood of the bicarbonate of soda and citric acid activating before moulding. It’s not rocket science, but it can make a significant difference. If you do not already do this, give it a try and let us know if it makes a difference. 

Order is everything

Don’t forget – you can also find information about bath bomb ingredients and equipment on our main site

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