Jun 05,2024

What is a Bath Bomb?

A bath bomb or bath fizzie is a consumer product used during bathing. It was invented and patented in 1989 by Mo Constantine, co-founder of Lush Cosmetics. It is a compacted mixture of wet and dry ingredients molded into any of several shapes and then dried. Bath water effervesces at the surface of a bath bomb immersed within it, with attendant dispersion of such ingredients as essential oil, moisturizer, scent, or colorant.

Ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • Citric acid
  • Epsom salts
  • Fragrance oils
  • Colorants
  • Surfactants

How Does it Work?

The “bomb” aspect of a bath bomb is the fizziness. But what’s going on in those spheres that make them so fizzy? Two of the key ingredients to a bath bomb are citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. You might also know sodium bicarbonate by its more common name, baking soda. These two ingredients are what cause the impressive and delightful fizz when the bath bomb enters the water.

When sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) comes in contact with water, the sodium (Na) molecules break off from the bicarbonate (HCO3). At the same time, the citric acid is dissolving, with a single hydrogen ion (H+) separating from the rest of the molecule. When the released hydrogen ion from the citric acid encounters the bicarbonate from the baking soda another reaction happens! This time, carbon dioxide (CO2) gas is released as one of the end products. The carbon dioxide forms bubbles in the soap and bath water, and rushes to the surface with a delightful fizz.

Bath Bombs: An Eco-Friendly Indulgence or Environmental Hazard?

Bath bombs have surged in popularity in recent years, offering a luxurious and pampering experience in the comfort of your own bathtub. However, as environmental consciousness rises, many are questioning the ecological impact of these fizzy delights. Let's dive into the pros and cons of bath bomb usage.

The Good: Natural and Plant-Based Ingredients Many reputable bath bomb brands prioritize the use of natural, plant-derived ingredients like essential oils, dried flowers, salts, and clays. These components are biodegradable and less likely to pollute water systems compared to harsh synthetic chemicals found in some personal care products.

The Bad: Synthetic Fragrances, Dyes, and Plastics While natural varieties exist, some bath bombs contain synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes, and plastic components like glitters or toy surprises inside. These non-biodegradable elements can accumulate in waterways, harming aquatic life and contributing to plastic pollution.


The Verdict

Bath bombs can be an eco-friendly indulgence when made with natural, biodegradable ingredients and used mindfully. Opting for responsibly-sourced, plastic-free varieties and practicing proper disposal can minimize their environmental footprint. As with any personal care product, moderation is key to reducing resource consumption and waste.


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