It’s a well-known fact that bath bombs are great for helping you wind down after a long day. They even add a little luxurious feel to an ordinary bath. DIY bath bombs are also amazing if you want to experiment with different ingredients to find out what works best for you.
However, there are many ways that DIY bath bombs can go wrong. If your latest batch of bath bombs is reading more like sludge than soap, don’t fret — all isn’t lost. If this is the case, it just means you have to work a little harder at getting it back to its original form.
How do you make bath bombs harder? Reducing moisture and adding cream of tartar, kaolin clay, or cornstarch are just some simple ways you can help your bath bomb harder.
If you want to learn more about how this works, this article will tell you all the tips and tricks to make the perfect bath bomb!
What Keeps Bath Bomb From Hardening?
Before we can start working on the problem, it’s important to first identify the reason why your bath bomb doesn’t harden or even crumple before you can form a ball.
The first thing you may want to investigate is whether you have used the right amount of ingredients as indicated by the recipe. Too many or too few ingredients in the mix, or not enough/too much of one ingredient are just some common causes of soft bath bombs.
Another issue that can cause the issue is the humidity levels in the environment or even in the bath bomb’s mold. This can cause the consistency of the product to remain too soft, which can cause it to break down or even crumble when you try to remove it from the container.
Getting the right combination of wet and dry ingredients in order to make bath bombs that are harder and more durable is a process that requires a lot of delicate work. In the following section, we will talk about a few ways that you can use to make your bath bombs harder.
How To Make Bath Bombs Harder
Aside from the proper combination of ingredients, there are also various other ways that you can make bath bombs harder. Let’s explore some common ways to harden bath bombs below.
Mix Wet And Dry Ingredients Separately
The order in which the ingredients are mixed can affect the final result. Although you want all the ingredients in your bath bomb to be well-combined, mixing all of them together all at once may cause lumps in the bath bomb and prevent it from hardening.
Most bath bomb recipes include dry ingredients like baking soda, citric acid, cornstarch, and kaolin clay, as well as wet ingredients like water, food coloring, and essential oil.
When mixing the ingredients, it’s best that you combine the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients separately so that the mixing process won’t form any lumps.
Then, you can add the wet mix to the dry mix a little bit at a time while combining them. It’s important to do this so you can control how much liquid is in the bath bomb and stop when you feel that the mixture has achieved the right consistency.
Adding just enough wet ingredients to the bath bomb mixture is one of the best ways to ensure that your bath bomb will harden properly.
Reduce Or Substitute Wet Ingredients
Too much or too many wet ingredients is the main culprit of soggy bath bombs. Alternatively, if the bath bomb is placed in an airtight container before it’s completely dry, or if it is stored in a humid area, the moisture in the air and in the container may also cause your bath bomb to soften.
That’s not to say that wet ingredients are bad. The key here is balance because if there are not enough wet ingredients, your bath bomb will become too dry and brittle.
If you find that your bath bomb cannot harden, there may be too much moisture in the mixture. In this case, you’ll want to reduce the wet ingredients to the right amount so that the mixture is well-combined but not soggy.
Alternatively, you can switch out water for another wet ingredient, such as coconut oil or cocoa butter. These ingredients can add moisture to the bath bomb, but they won’t cause the mixture to become too soggy.
Some DIYers also recommend using a wet ingredient that evaporates quicker than water, including witch hazel or alcohol. These wet ingredients allow you some room to combine the mixture well, but they dry very quickly, allowing your bath bomb to harden in a short amount of time.
Avoid Using Salt
Epsom salt and other types of bath salts are often included in the ingredients for bath bombs. However, one of the key characteristics of salt is that it can draw out and absorb moisture in the air.
Of course, you want your bath bomb to stay dry and intact until you use it, so if you want your bath bomb to harden and stay that way, you should avoid using any kind of salt as an ingredient in your bath bomb.
Add Dry Ingredients
If you have accidentally added too many wet ingredients into the mix, another way that you can fix the mixture and allow the bath bomb to harden is to add more dry ingredients into the mix.
Cream of tartar, kaolin clay, and cornstarch are some dry ingredients that you can add to the mixture to allow it to dry. With cornstarch, in particular, you should only keep this ingredient under 10% of the total dry ingredients.
This is because cornstarch is a thickening agent that can nullify the fizzing reaction of other ingredients, like baking soda or citric acid. If you add too much cornstarch, your bath bomb won’t be able to fizzle at all!
When you add more dry ingredients, we do recommend adding a little bit at a time to make sure that you don’t overdo it and accidentally add too much, which can cause your bath bomb to become brittle and break down.
Once you have achieved the right consistency for the mixture, your bath bomb will be able to harden in no time.
How Long Does It Take For Bath Bombs To Harden?
Making bath bombs is a delicate process, and it’s not done after you’ve successfully mixed all the ingredients together and formed a bath bomb. You still need to wait for all the wet ingredients to dry out, which will allow your bath bomb to harden and ensure its longevity.
Most recipes recommend you to leave your bath bomb to dry overnight. However, depending on the wet ingredients that you use, your bath bombs may take up to 48 hours to dry completely.
If you live in a humid climate, your bath bomb may take a lot longer to dry than usual. In that case, you may want to use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air, which will allow your bath bombs to dry faster and more thoroughly.
If you are in a hurry, you can also use a hair dryer to go over your bath bombs, so allow the moisture to dry out quicker. It only takes a few minutes with a hair dryer, so don’t overdo it, or your bath bomb will crumble.
After going over the bath bombs with the hair dryer, you can allow the bath bombs to cool down and dry out for another 30 minutes before storing them.
How To Store Bath Bombs
Storing bath bombs properly is just as important as making them right. Bath bombs can be stored for up to six months after you make them, and you’ll want the bath bomb to stay fresh and hard until you’re ready to use them.
Once you have ensured that all the wet ingredients are completely dry and the bath bombs are properly hardened, you can store them in an airtight container to prevent the bath bomb from drying out any further.
Do not attempt to store your bath bombs before they are dry. The airtight container will trap all the moisture inside, and your bath bombs will become soggy if it’s not allowed the proper time to dry.
If you have a silica gel bag or two, you can also pop them inside the airtight container.
These gel bags often come inside medicine bottles, that’s because they work to absorb the moisture and keep it away from its surroundings. Using silica gel bags will help you ensure that no moisture can reach your bath bombs before you want to use them!
Finally, you should keep in mind that bath bombs have expiry dates, even if they’re DIY. They are usually good for around six months if they are stored properly.
However, if you try to use your bath bombs after they’re expired, they may not work very well and can even crumple right out of the bag. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you use your bath bombs within the recommended use range to enjoy the best of it!