Thursday, March 22, 2007

Easy Peasy Bath Fizzies

One of the products we make that is simple after you get past the learning curve are bath fizzies. These are sort of like alka-seltzer tablets. You drop them into the water and they fizz. Our grandkids absolutely love them, always begging for more to be plopped into the bath.

When I first began trying these, I used sea salt as one of the ingredients. The sea salt seemed to interfere with the texture of the fizzies and I had a difficult time getting mine to turn out as they should.

So this is the recipe that I use now and I haven't had any trouble since.

3 parts baking soda
1 part citric acid
1-2 TBL oil (I use a blend of 1:1 sweet almond and grapeseed)
scent and colorant as desired

I don't know how much water any given batch uses because sometimes environmental factors apply. The water addition is one that you just get to know by the looks and feel of the mix. I'll explain more a little bit later.

This is how I start. I mix the 3 parts baking soda, 1 part citric acid, colorant if used and the oil and fragrance as desired. For color, I like micas because they are easy to mix in. You can't be to heavy handed with the colorant or someone like my wife will complain that it leaves a color ring in the bath. And the oil addition can be a personal adjustment depending on how much of an oil feel you want. Remember that especially the more oil used, the more you will see and feel it in the bath, particularly how slippery it can be!

I use a fork to mix and after mixing should resemble lightly dampened sand (because of the oil).

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Now you are ready to add water. I turn the water on to just a narrow stream. (I like the way my camera captured the little droplets in the stream)

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You want the stream of water to be small and consistent. Again using the fork to mix, I create a small well in the middle of the mix and then for just a few seconds stick the bowl under the stream of water. Don't add to much because as soon as the water hits the mix, it will begin to activate the action of citric acid and baking soda and start bubbling and fizzing.

The picture looks like the water is already streaming into the mix, but it is an optical illusion. The water stream is actually outside the bowl:

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Holding the bowl in one hand and the fork in the other, I add the first bit of water and quickly remove the bowl from the water. Immediately stir the mix, mixing the water thoroughly into the mix. Be sure to scrape the sides and incorporate all the water into the mix. I usually add water about 2-3 times in this manner. The most important thing is to thoroughly incorporate the water into the mix. Too much water and your fizzie mix will rise faster then the Pillsbury doughboy. Here is a picture of the mix after I've added the water.

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When the mix has enough water in it to help it hold together, I use plastic measuring molds to make the fizzies. I've found that they tap out of the plastic much easier then out of metal.

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I just scoop out enough mix to fill the measuring part of the mold. I quickly press the palm of my hand against the surface of the mix, sort of rubbing off the excess with my palm. Then I just tap the fizzie nugget out of the spoon. One tap is usually all it takes and I can make quite a few of these in just a few minutes time.

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Here are a couple of different variations:

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All these are made with various plastic measuring spoons. I've read instructions of people using hammers and molds and tapping them to get a compact tablet. These are made just using the pressure of my palm against the mix in the spoon. They are usually hard enough in just a few hours to package and use. We use silver pouches for packaging.

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Can't believe how long it has been since I last blogged. But I've got more to enter over the next few days. Grandkids are on spring break so we took them to Boise for a few days and spent some time at the Zoo and the Birds of Prey. News at 11 :)


At 7:45 PM, Blogger Denise in PA said...

My sister loves bath fizzies...almost as much as I hate making them! Mine always start puffing up while they are drying...they almost always turn out looking like lava rock. Hey, she still uses them! BUT, yours look much nicer! I can't wait to hear about your trip to Boise! ;)


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