Dec 08,2022

What is a Bath Bomb?

Bath bombs, also known as bath fizzers, are dry ingredients that are designed to effervesce once in contact with warm water. Once it hits the water, it releases essential oils, scents, colors, and bubbles to elevate your bath experience. Bath bombs can help condition the skin and soothe sore muscles. Additionally, they may help detox and relax the body and mind.   

The great thing about bath bombs is that they contain the precise amount of oils and bath salts that you would normally have to purchase separately. Not only does using bath fizzers speed up the bath time process, but they make the experience so much better.

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.

How Long Do Bath Bombs Last After First Use?

Once you’ve opened your bath bombs and put them into the water for the first time, you will find that you’ll likely only get a few minutes of use out of the bath bombs. Generally, most bath bombs will continue to work for about 3 to 6 minutes; however, if you cut down your bath bomb before submerging it in the water, you can make the bath bombs last longer by having two halves to dunk into the water. However, if you only submerge part of the bath bomb, you may be able to make a single bath bomb go for several uses.

Do Bath Bombs Expire?

Unfortunately, yes – your favorite bath bombs will expire after a while. Indeed, in many cases, bath bombs will expire around six months after they’ve been made. As such, depending on when you purchased or received your bath bombs, you will likely find that they should have a shelf life of around five months. However, over this time, you may find that your bath bombs begin to expire since the ingredients will begin to lose their potency over time. However, if the bath bombs are stored properly, they may be able to last for anywhere up to a year.

How long do bath bomb ingredients last?
While storing your bath bombs in a bathroom cupboard appears to make sense, you also need to consider that they will be exposed to moisture and steam.
Since bath bombs contain a variety of fresh ingredients, this type of exposure can affect their longevity, which could reduce the shelf life of the package.
The usual shelf life for some of the ingredients used in bath bombs are:
Essential oils: Anywhere between 1-8 years depending on storage conditions and usage.
Carrier oils: Usually 1-2 years, depending on the usage and storage.
Baking soda: 6 months for an opened package, 2 years for an unopened package.
Citric acid: 3 years for an opened package, 5+ years for an unopened package.
Cornstarch: Almost indefinite, provided it is stored correctly.
Epsom salt: Indefinite, provided correct storage instructions are followed.

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