Not Martha

to make: solid bubble bath

This recipe is completely made up by my own guesswork and blatantly stolen from the original bubble bar slices from Lush. I used the ingredients list and guessed the rest. I have yet to order some from Lush so I don’t even know if this compares (I am sure it does not). [update I did and it does, but Lush's smells much nicer and the scent sticks around far longer, the bubbles don't last too long, with mine either] I looked around the internet for a recipe, but didn’t come up with one. This does bubble, but doesn’t seem to hold it’s scent. I originally made these as part of a larger Christmas present basket, which included some salt scrub, a bath bomb, rubber ducky, etc.


ingredients

1 cup baking soda
1 cup sodium laurel sulfoacetate
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
2 ml essential oil
liquid glycerin as needed

instructions

First I measure the baking soda into a bowl. I use a cheap plastic one which I use only for bath products, not food. Essential oils might permanently scent containers, so far my plastic bowl is fine. Be aware that baking soda can scratch softer plastics. If I want to add coloring I do it at this point. I take a smaller amount of baking soda and mix it with drops of food coloring in a separate bowl, then mix that back into the rest of the baking soda.

I do the same to add the essential oil. It helps to have a little disposable droppers (you can buy some from Majestic Mountain Sage) – or just go drop by drop until you’re happy with the strength or mixture of the scent.

Next whisk in the cream of tartar, make sure everything is well mixed. Now add the sodium laurel sulfoacetate. I chose this surfactant chemical because it comes in powdered form (not a liquid or flakes), and is more mild than sodium laurel sulfate, according to The Chemistry Store. The sodium laurel sulfoacetate will immediate disperse in the air when you open the container, so it is best to have super-good ventilation, a strong filtering mask (I find a dust mask is not enough), and everyone else chased away for a little while. According to the chemical specs it is not harmful if inhaled. But you will cough. Handle with care, if you have any concerns, don’t use it.

Whisk in the sodium laurel sulfoacetate gently. Add a splash of liquid glycerin and mix in, adding more until the mixture holds it’s shape when pressed together between your hands.

I prepare my molds (I use a chocolate or soap mold, be aware the mixture will scratch the surface, and don’t use the mold for food after this!) by taking a pinch of the wet mixture and rubbing it on the inside of the mold and tapping out the excess. I sprinkle some dry baking soda into the mold and turn it until most of the surface is lightly covered, tap out excess. I find this helps to keep it from sticking. Now, spoon the bubble mixture into the mold, and press it in firmly. Turn the mold over on top of wax paper or parchment paper and either tap the top of the mold to release, or lift the mold a few inches and drop back to the counter. Perhaps you’ll end up like me — having to bang it a bit. If it comes out a crumbly mess throw it back into the mixture and add more glycerin or baking soda to adjust.

You’re done, ta daaaaa!! Now, store in a sealed container. I have heard of plastic containers sort of absorbing the scent of the essential oils. I sent mine out in small 4 oz. plastic cups with lids (the kind you get salsa in for take-out, got them at a restaurant supply store) and even after a few months all seemed to be well. You can also make a loaf and try to slice it, or break parts off as you need. To use: crumble under running water. I find it will bubble more if you add it at the beginning of filling the tub. Honestly, I don’t think these bubbles keep as long as, oh, say, Mr. Bubble. But they are fun to make, and that’s the whole point right? Right? Um.. right?

I added these instructions:

instructions for use:

1. gather things for bath (see suggesions in instructions for bath bombs)

2. run water with great strenght

3. pull off a hunk of this stuff and crumble under the running water

4. go ahead, you can use more (i will make more)

5. when tub is full, place self in

6. now play with the bubbles dammit

7. tip #1: if you’re going to wash yourself* wait until the end of bath time because it seems that soap and such are bubble-murderers

8. tip #2: crumble under water right after you start running it, there will be more wonderful bubbles that way**

9. tip #3: if you don’t like bubble baths shame on you

* need to wash self is not a requirement for the taking of a bath

** this has only been tested by me and therefore may not be entirely true for everyone… sorry

bubble bar ingredients: baking soda, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (i bought it from, and you can read about it at, http://www.chemistrystore.com – lemme know if you want more info, i’ll mail you what it is all about), glycerine, cream of tartar, grapefruit essential oil, food coloring (do not worry you will not turn orange)


other stuff

  • Use soon! The liquid glycerin is not immune from molding! I have some left over which is now five months old and in it’s original container and appears to be fine, however I’m a little hesitant to use it.
  • I want to experiment with dried pigments to see if they’ll color the water, or better yet, the bubbles!
  • If you’re a strict vegetarian you’ll want to make sure the liquid glycerin you buy is plant-derived. Glycerin is a by-product of the saponification process in soapmaking, and that soap could be made using animal fats. Ever seen Fight Club? Yup. If the glycerin is plant-derived it will say so on the bottle, whereas I have found some glycerin that doesn’t specify.
  • Hide toys in the solid bubble bath! Go on – that is so fun! Or laminated messages!
  • I haven’t yet tried to mold together two or three colors, I’ll take pictures when I do.
  • In the Lush products, sometimes the cream of tartar is listed first in the ingredients list. Cream of tartar is used to keep the foam shape in meringues. I have plans to experiment with cream of tartar at a larger quantity than sodium laurel sulfoacetate. I’ll let you know how it goes.

where to get the ingredients

baking soda and cream of tartar – grocery store, baking aisle.
glycerin – you can find this in the drugstore around with the rubbing alcohol and peroxide. If you’re concerned make sure it is plant derived. It should say so on the label if it is. You can also get glycerin in the personal care aisle of a natural foods store. Stay away from the glycerin that is meant for use in baking and candy making. This can contain sugars (read instructions on bath bombs for the grizzly details), and I have read that it can actually be toxic and should not be used in lip balm. I read it on the internet so it must be true, right?
essential oils – at a natural foods store or a store which carries aromatherapy or massage supplies. I have bought a few disappointing essential oils from the internet, and find it’s worth the little bit more if you can sniff it first. Also, an ounce of essential oil is really quite a lot if you don’t use it on a regular basis. I also avoid fragrance oils, I just don’t like the way they smell.
sodium laurel sulfoacetate – Finding this gave me the idea to attempt to make solid bubble bath. I got mine at The Chemistry Store, which also sells sodium laurel sulfate. You do need to buy a nice sized bucket (~$11). Shipping of chemicals restrictions might apply.

I added these instructions:

solid bubble bath

instructions for use:

  1. gather things for bath (see suggestions in instructions for bath bomb)
  2. run water with great strength
  3. pull off a hunk of this stuff and crumble under the running water
  4. go ahead, you can use more (i will make more)
  5. when tub is full, place self in
  6. now play with the bubbles dammit
  7. tip #1: if you’re going to wash yourself* wait until the end of bath time because it seems that soap and such are bubble-murderers
  8. tip #2: crumble under water right after you start running it, there will be more wonderful bubbles that way**
  9. tip #3: if you don’t like bubble baths shame on you

* needing to wash self is not a requirement for the taking of a bath

** this has only been tested by me and therefore may not be entirely true… sorry

bubble bar ingredients: baking soda, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (i bought it from, and you can read about it at, http://www.chemistrystore.com – lemme know if you want more info and don’t have access to the internet, i’ll mail you what it is all about), glycerin, cream of tartar, grapefruit oil, food coloring (do not worry you will not turn orange)