Bath bombs have stolen the show in the world of bathing products. Quickly rising to be a popular trend among consumers, bath bombs have become a staple of fragrance products. Because many people love bath bombs and can’t get over their abilities, it is important to look at what goes into a bath bomb, especially its “bomb” qualities. That way, you can really know your stuff the next time you go to buy bath bombs.
Basic Components of a Bath Bomb
There are five general ingredients in a bath bomb. The first three to talk about are the inactive ingredients. They aren’t necessarily involved in the bomb’s fizzy reaction. These three are the general materials and effects desired in the bathwater, and they are as follows:
- essential oils: the primary fragrance component involved; examples include lavender, frankincense, and eucalyptus.
- coloring agents: adds color not only to the bomb itself but give way to the overall color change in the bathwater; examples range from colorful salts to artificial dyes.
- lathering agents: contribute to the bathing experience by bringing soapy qualities to the bathwater; a popular example is sodium lauryl sulfate.
The last two ingredients are included to chemically react and produce the effervescent “explosion”. The first is a base, typically sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda). The second ingredient is an acid, typically citric acid.
The Chemical Reaction
To better understand the two active ingredients, it’s time for a brief chemistry lesson. Acids and bases are substances that differ in pH and react together to form three things: salt, water, and carbon dioxide. In terms of bath bombs, the salt and water are just added to the bath, but the key part is the carbon dioxide. This gas is released in the form of bubbles producing the nice fizz.
But why does it take water for the reaction happen? Acids and bases are what are called ionic compounds. These substances are composed of reactive molecules that separate when dissolved in a liquid like water. When these substances are not in water, however, they are just dry unreactive powders. So when a dry acid and base encounter each other in a wet environment, they react- just like in a bath bomb.
In general, bath bombs are fun to use and they certainly add excitement to any bath. Because they are so enjoyable, it is interesting to know their background and the science that goes into them. With the above information, you are guaranteed to feel like a scientific genius the next time you go online to buy bath bombs.