Bath Bomb FAQ
When starting to make bath bombs there's a lot of information to sift through and it may not all make sense right away! There's so many great colors for bath bombs, and they are all quite different.
Lakes: Lakes are the easiest colors to use, will color your bathwater, and have a great color payoff. They are oil soluble, meaning that lakes disperse best in oil. Because they disperse in oil, polysorbate 80 should be used in your bath bomb recipe. This helps emulsify the oil and prevent the dreaded color ring around the tub. The best thing about lakes is they can be added directly to the dry ingredients in your bath bomb mix while dyes need to be bloomed.
Dyes: Just like lakes, dyes offer very vibrant colors and will also color the bathwater. They are more concentrated than lakes, and a little goes a very long way! Dyes definitely add more bang for your buck over any other type of bath bomb colorant. The main difference from lakes is that dyes are water soluble and disperse in water. This means that dyes need to be bloomed first, then added to your bath bomb recipe. This is an extra step and a little more work than using lakes. Even though you don't have to use polysorbate 80 with dyes, we still recommend it. If you use oils in your bombs polysorbate 80 will help prevent a slippery tub!
Micas: Micas are very easy to use and offer the widest variety of colors. They can be added directly to the dry ingredients in your bath bomb mix. Polysorbate 80 needs to be used to prevent a color ring in the tub. Generally, blue and green soap stable micas cannot be used in bath bombs due to containing ultramarine blue or chromium oxide green. Also, glitters containing aluminum are not approved for bath bomb use. Read our blog post Colors for Bath Bombs for more information.
How Much Polysorbate 80 Should be Used?
For all colors, we suggest using polysorbate 80 at about 2 percent of your total recipe. Another rule of thumb is to use polysorbate at half your oils. For example, if your recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of oils, add polysorbate at 1.5 teaspoons.
Dyes: The short answer is no, but we still recommend it!
One of the benefits of dyes is that they are water-soluble and will not make a ring around the tub like bath bomb safe micas and oil soluble lakes can. However, if use oils in your bath bombs recipes we recommend the use of polysorbate 80 at around 2% of your total recipe. The oils can be slick in the tub, and the use of poly 80 will prevent oil slicks. This way you can still get the moisturizing benefits of oils and prevent a slippery tub!
Lakes: Yes. Lakes are oil-soluble and may cling to the sides of the tub when used in bath bombs, creating a ring of color. Polysorbate 80 emulsifies the oils in your recipe so this does not happen. We suggest using it at about 2% of your recipe. Another trick is to use it at half the oils of your recipe. For example, if you use 3 teaspoons of oils, use 1.5 teaspoons of Polysorbate 80.
Micas: Micas are also soluble and should be used in the same way as lakes. Follow the same instructions that you would use when using lakes.