The recipes I came up with are adaptations of a recipe I discovered on You Tube, by WhatsUpMoms. I started off with their recipe and then modified it, modified it, and modified it again until I came up with recipes that I felt were more mani friendly and easier to work with. Before I continue on to the recipes, let me just say, please excuse the pictures. Because of the nature of this project, I was working on my (ugly) kitchen counter and didn't set up extra lighting for fear of ruining my lamps during the process.
Both recipes are mostly the same, except one is made using primarily items you will find in your kitchen or can be purchased at your local grocery or specialty food stores. The second recipe is a bit more advanced and may require you order some materials. However the process is same for both recipes.
Kitchen Goods Recipe Advanced Recipe1/4 cup Baking Soda 1/4 cup Baking Soda
2 tablespoons Cornstarch 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Epsom Salts 2 tablespoons Epsom Salt
2 tablespoons Citric Acid 2 tablespoons Citric Acid
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil or Vitamin E Oil 1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil
1 teaspoon Vitamin E
1/4 teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil
1/4 teaspoon Avocado Oil
Optional items for both recipes
1 teaspoon Essential Oil or Skin Safe Fragrance Oil
Food coloring or soap coloring
Both recipes have the same dry goods, the only dry good I had a difficult time finding locally was the citric acid. I read that you could find citric acid in specialty food stores or in pharmacies, however I had no luck with any of my local stores and ended up ordering it from Amazon. Citric acid is an essential ingredient in this recipe, because it is what gives the fizz its fizz. I accidentally made a test batch without the citric acid, and the bomb wouldn't fully dissolve and of course without the fizz it was quite depressing.
Also, for the kitchen recipe you can use either vegetable oil or vitamin E oil. I tried both and found I personally didn't like the vegetable oil version because it left my hands feeling slimy. The vitamin E version was just as moisturizing but without the sliminess. The oils in the advanced recipe might be found at a specialty goods store, but again I had no luck and instead ordered them through a company I have been ordering candle making supplies from for years Nature's Garden Candles. In addition, to candle making supplies they also offer a large variety of cosmetic and soap making ingredients too.
Let's get on to the process, shall we. After testing out a few different methods this is the one that I found worked best...
Begin by whisking together the baking soda, cornstarch and Epsom salts. Other recipes, say to incorporate all dry ingredients, which would include the citric acid. However, I had several issues when adding the citric acid in at this stage. I recommend adding the citric acid last, I'll get into why a bit later. Once, the dry goods are well blended set them aside momentarily.
Next mix your oils, fragrances, and coloring in a cup. I decided to use a disposable cup so I wouldn't have to worry about staining a good cup. If you opt not to use an essential or fragrance oil be sure to make up the difference in your moisturizing oils otherwise there will not be enough liquid in the final mixture. If you opt to use a fragrance oil instead of an essential oil, please make sure that it is skin safe. There are fragrance oils out there that can be very harmful to your skin. Likewise, with the coloring that you use, make sure it is skin safe otherwise you may end up staining your skin. Soap making dyes and fragrance oils would be best to use for this and can often be found in local craft stores. I did use food safe dye and I did not have an issue but I only used one drop.
With the oil mixture combined as well as you can get it to combine, slowly and I mean SLOWLY whisk it into your dry mixture. What you see in the picture is almost too much to add at once. While whisking try to mash out any significant lumps that occur. If the mixture is looking kind of pasty, you are probably adding your oil mixture too quickly. Blend it thoroughly before adding any more liquid.
You should have a slightly but mostly dry crumbly looking substance when it is all combined. I found incorporating a dye made it easier to see when it was completely combined versus a batch I made without dye.
Now it is time to add the essential ingredient, the citric acid. Combine this by adding one tablespoon at a time. Sprinkle each tablespoon in and whisk it thoroughly. If you see it fizzing your mixture is way to moist, stop adding the citric acid and add in some more cornstarch (I would recommend starting with a tablespoon of cornstarch). If you hear fizzing but don't see any fizzing just add a little cornstarch. If premature fizzing occurs it is because the citric acid is being activated by the oils in the mixture. This doesn't mean that they won't fizz later, but I noticed they won't fizz as greatly or for as long as the one that were not prematurely activated.
Once all ingredients are combined you should have a slightly moist but mostly dry crumbly substance. I tested the moisture by pressing some within my hand. If it sticks together, it is should work find. If you find it too dry and it won't stick at all (and if you are daring enough) you could add a little bit of water. I had nothing but problems when I added water. No matter how little water or how slowly I added it, it would activate the citric acid. If you don't want to add water and your mixture is too dry, I would recommend you leave it loose and just use it as a powder fizz.
If your consistency is sticky enough, you can press it into molds. I used a wax tart mold I have from my candle making supplies. You can also use candy molds, or soap molds, or even ice cube tray.
Let your bombs sit for about 6-12 hours before removing them from the molds. If you are in a rush about an hour in the refrigerate helps them to set quicker. I found the longer I let them set the more solid they were and less likely to fall apart when I took them out of the mold. In the picture above, the top row of bombs, is what you can expect when the citric acid prematurely activates. The bad bombs still worked but had hardly any fizz at all when dropped in water and the fizz last only seconds.
Using the bombs are quite simple, fill a bowl big enough for your hands with warm water. Drop in a bomb or if you are using a loose fizz add a tablespoon or two. Submerge your hands in the fizzing tub and soak for about 10-15 minutes. Some people like to wash their hands with a moisturizing soap afterwards, I personally like to just let my hands air dry and rub in any remaining oils. If you would like to see a quick video of a mani fizz in action checkout my Instagram feed.
Mani bombs are all the rage right now and are a great way to pamper yourself. These also make a great gift idea, I particularly like the idea of making loose fizzes and packaging them in mason jars for gifts. If you like these bomb recipes and you really want to self indulge, double the recipe and use a larger mold to make a bath bomb. I hope you'll give this DIY project a try, if you do please let me know how they turn out and if you have any extra pointers on making the process easier. Thank you for stopping by, see you next time.
Your Fellow Plebe,