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!

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