Bath bombs and aromatherapy–two trends that continue to skyrocket in popularity. And why not? In today’s helter-skelter world, it’s more important than ever to find ways to combat negative stress. A hot bath is a classic stress reliever, but throw in a bath bomb with essential oils and you up the ante. Essential oils work by sending a message to your hypothalamus, which is the region of your brain that controls hormone production. These hormones, in turn, control mood, body temperature, sleep, and much more. And while essential oils will not solve all your problems, the right aromas can help take the edge off stress.
After hearing so much praise, I was ready to take the plunge. There’s just one problem: I don’t have a bath. Wah-wah. So rather than miss out on this trend entirely, I decided to concoct my own shower bombs. You get all the fizz and aroma of a bath bomb, just without the bright colors and glitter. Plus when you make them yourself, you don’t spend $8 on a single bomb like you would at some stores. *cough* Lush! *cough*
One of my favorite essential oil blends is DoTerra’s Citrus Bliss. It’s a sweet blend of wild orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, tangerine, clementine, and vanilla extract. DoTerra’s essential oils can be a bit pricey, however. So rather than use a quarter of my precious bottle of Citrus Bliss for shower bombs, I recreated the aroma using cheaper, single essential oils.
Sweet Citrus Shower Bombs
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 cup citric acid
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 35 drops orange essential oil
- 20 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 20 drops tangerine essential oil
- 5 drops vanilla perfume oil
- A spray bottle filled with witch hazel
- Line a standard muffin pan with cupcake liners. Sprinkle a pinch of dried orange peel into the liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together the baking soda, citric acid, and corn starch. Make sure there are no clumps in the mixture.
- Slowly add in the essential oils and perfume oil while stirring the mixture by hand. Be sure to wear latex gloves!
- Spritz the mixture with witch hazel while continuing to mix it by hand. Only add enough witch hazel for the mixture to reach the consistency of brown sugar or wet sand.
- Spoon about 4 heaping tablespoons of the mixture into the cupcake liners. Use your fingers or the back of a metal spoon to tightly pack the mixture into the liners.
- If the mixture starts to bubble or expand, pack it back down with the back of a metal spoon.
- Allow the shower bombs to dry for 24-48 hours before carefully pulling off the cupcake liners. If the mixture is still tacky and sticking to the liners when you try to peel them off, let the showers bombs dry longer.
- Add an extra drop or two of orange essential oil to the bottom of the shower bombs for an extra-strong aroma.
- Store the shower bombs in a dry location.
You can buy dried orange peel or make it yourself. It’s quick and simple to make and looks much prettier than store bought. Preheat your oven to 200°F. Use a sharp paring knife to carefully peel an orange, leaving as much white pith on the orange as possible. Finely dice the fresh orange peel and spread it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then bake the orange peel for 25-30 minutes, or until it hardens. Voilà!
You can store your shower bombs in a jar, box, or any dry place. I decided to wrap mine in orange and white tissue paper. While great for aesthetics, it also helps keep the shower bombs from crumbling. Plus there’s just something about unwrapping things that’s very cathartic. It’s like opening a present each time you use one.
If you’re giving the shower bombs as a gift or you just feel like being fancy, you can go one step further and wrap them in a brown paper bag and add a decorative tag. Place two shower bombs in each bag. Then simply cut 3-4 inches off the top of the bag, fold it over, and tape it to the bottom. Punch a hole in the bag and tie on a handwritten tag with some twine.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or on-edge, simply unwrap one of these and place it on the floor of your shower. Or you can throw it in a hot bath just like any other bath bomb. It will fizz and bubble as soon as the hot water hits it. And the steam will infuse your bathroom with the soothing scent of citrus and vanilla.