Kids love bath bombs! Which means them an exceptional way to teach kids some real life science. Know what else kids love? Cookies! So we brought these two kid favourites together into an amazing Cookie Dough Bath Bomb Recipe that includes a fascinating chemistry lesson.
Bath Bombs For Kids – Cookie Dough inspired recipe without Citric Acid
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My kids love bath bombs, I love saving money and turning activities into fun hands on learning moments. Making homemade bath bombs makes all of us happy! There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you master making your own bath bombs, you will be happily creating and fizzing for years to come!
Not only do kids love using bath bombs, they also find the process and science behind them fascinating. These are the lessons they will remember for a lifetime.
Homemade bath bombs also make incredible homemade gifts, and are a zero waste creative project.
Citric Acid Free Bath Bomb Recipe
When making bath bombs with kids, one of the struggles I have faced is that Citric Acid is an irritant when it becomes airborne. My kids are tweens/teens and have learned how to pour and stir without agitating the dry mix too much. Plus we work in a well ventilated area, but sometimes we need a recipe that is more gentle. Especially when younger kids are helping make our bath bombs.
The answer is to replace the Citric Acid with a different acid, Powdered Buttermilk. We have used this replacement in our sweet orange bath bomb recipe before and it was an interesting science experiment.
Buttermilk is definitely more gentle and not irritating if you have enthusiastic kids helping make your bath bombs. Buttermilk is also very soothing for the skin. Overall, using a buttermilk bath bomb recipe with younger kids is an exceptional idea. But there is one downside.
The downside is that bath bombs made with powered buttermilk don’t have as strong of a chemical reaction when added to water. This means less fizz. As long as you are prepared to give up a bit of fizzy reaction in the tub, Buttermilk is a great alternative to Citric Acid.
Cookie Dough Bath Bomb Ingredients and Supplies
2 cups baking soda
1 cup powdered buttermilk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup white kaolin clay
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon polysorbate 80
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon cookie dough scented oil
1-2 drops light tan or very light brown colorant
Stainless steel bath bomb molds
Mini muffin tin (optional)
1 large mixing bowl
1 Microwave Safe Measuring Cup or Bowl
How to Make Citric Acid Free Cookie Dough Bath Bombs
In a large mixing bowl, add the baking soda, buttermilk, kaolin clay and cornstarch. Mix the dry ingredients together.
In a microwave safe cup melt the coconut oil. Then add the Polysorbate 80, scented oil and colourant. Mix the wet ingredients together.
Now add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix everything together.
If you want a darker color, add 1-2 more drops and repeat until you get the color you want.
Add in poppy seeds. Mix ingredients thoroughly. You may need to use your hands to break down any lumps and make sure everything is mixed in. The mixture is perfect when it holds together when you press it into your hands and feels like wet sand.
Now it’s time to pack the molds!
Fill both sides of the mold with the mixture, piling it loosely into a nice heap. Once both sides are filled this way, press the molds together and twist until the sides of the molds touch. Let excess mix fall back into the bowl.
Gently tap each side of the mold to release the bombs. To avoid the bombs breaking during the drying phase, I put them in a mini muffin tin. They fit perfectly!
Allow to dry a minimum of 24 hours in a warm, dry place. If your climate is wet or cold, allow an additional 24 hours. My rule of thumb is that when it is hard to the touch, they are ready for the tub! Store in an airtight container until ready for use.
The Science of Bath Bombs
Bath bombs fizz due to an acid-base reaction. In most recipes, this reaction occurs between baking soda and citric acid, but in this recipe we have replaced the citric acid with powdered buttermilk. The reaction is the same type, just a little less enthusiastic.
Polysorbate 80 is an emulsifier and kids love experimenting with this stuff! As we all know, oil and water don’t mix. That is until you add an emulsifier. We experimented with this and show the reaction in action when we created our Moon Dough recipe.
Thanks to polysorbate 80 the oils in our bath bomb mix with the water creating a more luxurious experience and helping keep oils and colours from sticking to the tub. This means easier clean up after the bath.
Happy Bath Bomb Making!
For the love of cookies… try our cookie soap recipe!