Making bath bombs without citric acid
People quite often ask whether it's possible to make bath bombs without citric acid, because they're having trouble finding it.
The answer is yes, but the alternatives aren't as good. So before we get onto how to make bath bombs without citric acid, let's look at where you might be able to find citric acid, as it may not be as hard as you think.
Where to buy citric acid
Citric acid is a completely natural product – it's the stuff that makes lemons taste sour. It's actually used in all kinds of common products, so it may not be as hard to get hold of as you think.
For example, it's used in canning – it's a preservative, it helps canned fruits and vegetables keep their color. So one good place to look for citric acid is in the canning section of your local supermarket.
It's also used for water softening, and cleaning. So, if you supermarket doesn't stock it, try a large drug store or pharmacy. Ask at the prescription counter – sometimes they don't keep it on the shelves.
Next stop – your local health food store. They may stock citric acid in their bulk section.
Failing that, there are online suppliers who will sell it in bulk – such as Bulk Foods.
Lastly, if you ask for citric acid and people are giving you blank looks, try asking for 'sour salt', which is another name for it.
Bath bomb recipe without citric acid
If you really can't get hold of citric acid, then the best common alternative is cream of tartar. You need half as cream of tartar as you would citric acid. So, normally you use 2 parts baking soda to 1 part citric acid. But here you want ½ a part of cream of tartar.
Here's what you need.
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup cream of tartar
- Water or witch hazel in a spritz bottle
Mix the baking soda and the cream of tartar really well. Add fragrance and color to your personal taste. Mix them in really well – it's easiest to do this by hand. Now spritz in some water or witch hazel (witch hazel is less likely to start the fizz early) and mix that in really well, and keep going until you have the right feel. What's the right feel? Well, squeeze a handful of your mixture – if it sticks together in a clump, then that's good. If it falls apart into little clumps, then it needs more water or witch hazel.
Now press the mixture into your molds – pack it in really tight. Leave it for a couple of minutes, then gently tap out your new bath bombs, and leave them overnight to dry.