By Gena Kittner
I’m not a bath person — but I do enjoy a little luxury with my morning shower. It’s also the time of year where I’m looking for cute, “consumable” holiday gifts for friends and family. Enter the shower bomb, which has nicely killed two birds with one lovely scented disc.
Shower bombs are similar to bath “fizzies” sold at luxury soap stores (think Lush), only mine are made largely from items in your kitchen for pennies each. Just throw the disc on the floor of your shower, and hot water and steam releases the calming, relaxing, or vaporizing scents. The disc itself dissolves in about three showers.
What you’ll need to make shower bombs:
- Muffin tin with paper liners OR silicon liners
- 1/3 cup measuring cup
- baking soda
- various essential oils
After a thorough search, I decided to go with the most basic shower bomb recipe: 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. For my first experiment I used 1 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup water, which made about 4 discs when poured in muffin tins. This recipe is easy to increase–either up the ratio or just add baking soda and water until you get a smooth consistency similar to frosting.
When making crafts, I do my best to use what I have on hand. So while some recipes recommended using silicon muffin pans, I went ahead with the paper liners. Ultimately this was fine, but after sitting a few days, the shower bombs do end up sticking permanently to the liners. This is not the end of the world, you just have to throw away a soggy cupcake liner after a couple showers. The silicone option is the less-messy choice, but I don’t think you need to run out and buy a new muffin pan simply to make shower bombs.
I did, however, need to buy essential oils–something I’ve never done. I headed over to Sprouts, a Whole Foods-esque chain in Tucson. The store had a nice selection of Now brand oils, and I bought eucalyptus and peppermint.
I chose these oils for two reasons: They were pretty cheap–around $10 for the eucalyptus and $7 for the peppermint. These also are available on Amazon. I also wanted scents that would help clear my head in the morning–literally. Tucson is unbelievably dry, especially this time of year, and every morning I wake up with… how to put this delicately… rather crusty eyes and nose.
I was hopeful the eucalyptus would do the trick and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s the recipe for my first batch of shower bombs:
1 cup baking soda
1/3 cup water
15 to 20 drops eucalyptus oil
Mix the baking soda and water together until you get a runny paste-like texture. Pour into cupcake lined-muffin tins (or silicon muffin pan) about 3/4 of the way. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Wait until discs are cooled, shake them out of the tin (this may take a little force) and add essential oils.
The amount of oil you add is totally up to you. For my first shower disc I added 12 drops of eucalyptus oil. In the shower that morning I definitely felt the scent clearing my head. Success! The next disc I tried 15 eucalyptus drop and 12 of peppermint. Even better! The combo of scents made the experience more spa-like and less medicinal. I do think 27 total drops is a little much as it ended up saturating the bottom of the paper liner. Fifteen to 20 drops per disc is the ideal amount.
My next scent combo was grapefruit and rosemary. I wanted a shower bowb that would be energizing and these two scents sounded promising. I added 10 drops of each oil; however, the rosemary completely overpowered the grapefruit, and my shower smelled more like Thanksgiving dinner than the invigorating tones I was looking for. This is an easy fix by cutting the rosemary in half and adding more grapefruit. My most recent effort I combined grapefruit and peppermint, which was both refreshing and head-clearing.
I also think the eucalyptus and peppermint combo will be useful for a child with a chest cold. I remember several late nights when my daughter was an infant, sitting in the bathroom with the shower on, hoping the steam would clear her nose and chest. Mixing in some eucalyptus and peppermint couldn’t hurt.
I’m totally sold on these discs and — SPOILER ALERT — friends and family will likely find these in their Christmas stockings this year. They last about three showers each and could easily be put into a bath — for people who are in to that.
Gena is a Midwest transplant living in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, Ellie. When not killing scorpions, Gena writes about food and family. Follow her on Twitter @genakittner, and check out her previous guest posts on Mommy Sanest.