Sunday, June 11, 2017

Genius Hour #6: Bases and Buffers and Oils (oh my!)

     So my Sunday night was comprised of three different trials of bath bomb making. The first started with the replacement of the base, and the realization that I could do no such thing from my house. I couldn't find a singular page online talking about baking soda replacements in bath bombs even though I did find this video, it didn't show too much promise. From there I just had to look for general baking soda substitutes. I could only find two that were common on the inter webs. The first: yeast. Yikes. No one really wants to bathe in a fungus. Also, the only property they shared were their ability to
"raise" things, and that's not really what we want anyways. The next was potassium bicarbonate. I could only find this in "Stump Be Gone" a product that google said was all natural and safe, and also sold at Home Depot. So at six thirty on Sunday night, I drove to Home Depot to see if I could find it. I could, but surprise, they made a really big point on the package to mention that it should not come in contact with the skin at all. Great. Tomorrow I would like to try one final trial with a weak base from the school, but at home, there's not much I can do.
     The next thing I wanted to try was to replace the corn starch; the buffer of the recipe. The corn starch plays a role in keeping the bath bombs together and also is just kind of there to be there and to make sure nothing too wild and crazy happens with the final reaction. The more corn starch you add to a recipe, the less of a fizz you'll get. Again, I was unable to find any bath bomb specific substitutes online, so I had to generically look up corn starch substitutes. A frequent one I found was flower, for its thickening properties. However, because flour has thicker particles, the texture in the batch after the reaction occurred was very unpleasant. Thick bubbles formed all over the surface and a cakey film formed across the top. 0/10 would recommend bathing in that.
     Finally, just for fun, I replaced coconut oil with olive oil. Olive oil was my oil of choice not only because I already had it in the house, but it also has been praised in the world of skincare for its antioxidants and moisturization properties. However, when I tried it in the bombs, it was kind of a disaster. Everything seemed fine on the surface, but when I put my hands in the water, they felt sticky and not pleasant and that was definitely something new that came from that particular batch.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a successful last day!

Genius Hour #5: A Wild Goose Chase

     Hey there, reader. This post won't actually have any real information about my project, but it will be a fun anecdote explaining how long and convoluted my process was to get where I am now in regard to my project.
     So I started off my Saturday like any other day off. Just kidding, I never have days off. But anyways, I went to go pick up my paycheck from work. At work, my boss told me that there was an error with the shipping of the citric acid and that the sending address was all wrong and the order canceled. After looking into it for another solid length of time, she determined that actually, it sent to the PO box so I could go pick it up. Having never been to this post office before, I was super anxious. Especially since I didn't know our box number or have a key. So I got there and just told the woman that I was picking up a package for the Funky Bubble. Luckily, no questions were asked and I got the box and brought it back to my car. Citric acid acquired, mission complete! Just kidding.
     So I get home yesterday afternoon, and I'm determined to start running my other trials. But when I get home I realize: all of my project equipment is at home. Yikes. From here I have to drive all the way back to the store and ask my boss if I could just cash my check at TD instead of Citizens so I could get the money right away. She said she had no idea. Oh boy. So I called TD and asked them and they said either it would be free or they would charge me and there was no way of knowing until I got there. Because I had literally no money with me, I had to borrow some from my boss just in case.
     At the bank, it turns out they don't actually charge me (thank god). So now I have all of my money I need and I can give my boss her ten dollar bill back and everything will be a-okay. From the store (which I have now been at four times in one day), I trek to Walmart and pick up all my ingredients and pray nothing was missed and that I have some substitutes for these products at home. Luckily I was able to make all my purchases, however, it was relatively late in the day by the time I got home and I had late afternoon commitments, so I had to push off until Sunday. Hello, it is Sunday. Stay Tuned.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Genius Hour #4 - Doing Even More Acid

     With the first attempt of switching out the citric acid in the bath bomb recipe being unsuccessful, to say the least, I decided to give the test another go. This time, I'd actually switch out the acid active in the recipe and would also hope the end result would be a little less...gross. To do this, I would be replacing the citric acid with vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid. The new equation for the reaction would be as follows:


It should be noted that the chemical makeup of these two acids is very similar. The only difference is the amount of oxygen. Since oxygen plays part in the release of carbon dioxide in the reaction, which explains why the bomb didn't dissolve as well and that there was less "fizz" happening when the bomb hit the water.

All and all though, the biggest problem I'm facing right now is that my citric acid is gone and after asking my boss if she could order the citric acid three different times and she didn't so I had to order it yesterday so I will be able to make new bombs within the week when it comes to the store!