By Martha Matthews
Homemade Luxury Bath Products
Editor’s note: Try these without the food coloring for an even more natural, chemical-free approach.
If you like the beautiful designer bath products you see in the trendy department stores but you don't want to fork out the big bucks for them, then why not try making your own? They are inexpensive and easy to create. When dressed up in a pretty container, they make a wonderful gift. So break out the mixing bowls and give these recipes a whirl.
Effervescent Bath Bombs
(Makes about 10 fizzing balls)
These fizzing bath oil balls are solid drops that can be added to bath water.
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon ascorbic acid (crushed vitamin C or Fruit Fresh; provides the fizz)
1 tablespoon borax powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
1/4 teaspoon fragrance or essential oil
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until well blended. Drizzle in almond oil and stir until mixture is moistened. Add vitamin E oil and fragrance, stirring until well mixed. Take teaspoons of the mixture and form into one-inch balls; the mixture will be crumbly and fragile, so do the best you can. Place balls on waxed paper. Two hours later, you can gently reshape the balls. Let balls air dry on a sheet of waxed paper for 10 days. Store balls in a closed container to protect from moisture. To use, drop a bomb into bath water.
Potpourri Soap Balls
3 bars of facial soap (approximately 4 cups of flakes, once grated)
4 teaspoons water
4 teaspoons glycerin
3-4 drops food coloring
4-6 drops of essential oil
1 cup potpourri (small-sized pieces)
Grate the bars of soap using the largest holes of a box-style grater. Place into a microwave-safe bowl. Add the water, glycerin, essential oil and food coloring to the soap. Microwave the mixture on medium until the mixture begins to foam and bubble. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the mixture until it resembles cake frosting. If mixture is too dry, add a little more water and continue to cook. Transfer the soap mixture onto a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with potpourri. Mold soap and potpourri into small soap balls. Let them dry for three to four days.
Wrap them in colorful plastic wrap, or for a designer touch, use colored tissue paper and place in a decorative box. This recipe yields approximately nine golf ball-sized soap balls.
For a masculine version of this similar to "soap-on-a-rope," use cinnamon, orange, lemon and sandalwood essential oils, small pieces of crushed cinnamon stick and dried orange and lemon peel. Form a large ball of the soap around a 16-inch loop of cotton rope or cord for the "soap-on-a-rope" look.
Soothing Bath Salts
4 cups Epsom salts
2 teaspoons glycerin
3-4 drops of food coloring
6-8 drops of essential oil
Combine Epsom salts with food coloring and essential oil in a large bowl. The amount of food coloring and essential oil you use is up to you. Mix well so that the color is even. Put into smaller jars and let stand 4-6 weeks before using. This causes the scent to blend with the salts. Bath salts are very soothing and makes for a very relaxing bath.
2 cups of rock salt
Essential oil of your choice
You can make your own bath crystals with rock salt crystals, glycerin, essential oils and food coloring. Prepare your work area with newspapers. Measure out one half a cup of the salt into four different glass jars. Choose a color for each jar of bath crystals, keeping in mind the essential oil you will use to scent it with.
Measure out six drops of glycerin into a bowl. Add one or two drops of the chosen food color into the glycerin. Stir the coloring evenly into the glycerin using craft stick or metal spoon. Quickly stir the mixture into the salt of one of the containers. Mix until the color is even, or leave it partially mixed for a more textured result. Continue this procedure with each jar.
To scent your salts, you will need essential oils such as lime (enlivening), peppermint (exhilarating), lemon (refreshing), cinnamon (stimulating), tangerine (calming), lavender (relaxing), patchouli (peacemaking), rosemary (awakening), rose geranium (renewing), etc. You can get these at candle shops or craft stores. Choose a fragrance to complement the color of the salt you have already tinted. Add 20 to 25 drops of an essential oil for each cup of colored salt crystals, using a separate dropper for each scent. Mix with a metal spoon to blend thoroughly. Pour the bath crystals into a decorative jar, put on the lid and label. To use, add two tablespoons or more to a warm tub of bath water. Relax and enjoy.
Note of caution on essential oils: Be very careful when using essential oils. They are strong enough to dissolve or mar plastic and wood finishes. Undiluted oils can actually burn the sensitive skin of your lips and tongue. They are also strong enough to burn your eyes. If you get full-strength oils on your fingers, wash your hands immediately with soap and warm water. Be sure not to rub your eyes with oily fingers. If you do get oil in your eyes flush them with clear water and call a doctor.
© Martha Matthews
Martha Matthews is a wife, mother, homemaker and the editor of a web site with resources dedicated to Christian homemaking. She also has a popular free monthly newsletter for Christian wives called The Wives of Excellence Newsletter. To subscribe, send a blank email to [email protected]. Visit her web site at Christian-Homemaking.
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