A bath bead is a bead you put in your bath. Duh! Actually it’s a confusing couple of words because there are bath beads you can make yourself and there are the oil filled gel beads you can buy. There’s also another version of a bath bead and that’s called bath caviar. If you’re familiar with caviar (fish roe) you’ll have an idea of the size of bath bead that you have in bath caviar. Think very small.
You can make bath caviar if you have infinite patience. The oil filled gel beads aren’t practical to make in that they are inexpensive to buy and are way too time consuming to make. You would have to buy the empty capsules and inject the oil into them yourself. The most practical bath beads are a little larger and are made out of heavy dough. The recipes are pretty much the same everywhere with the exception of what colorant to use. That is if you use colorant at all.
One recipe called for a few drops of food coloring (I haven’t tried that nor do I think I would given the staining properties of food colorings). When I use colorant, I use a water based soap colorant.
If you have kids, get them to help you make these. It’s like working with play dough. Most all of us kids like to do that.
Here’s the recipe for bath beads:
- ½ cup powdered milk
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons borax powder (20 Mule Team is recommended)
- ¼ cup rose or orange water
- Essential or cosmetic grade fragrance oil of choice (Lavender is a good choice for a relaxing bath)
- Colorant (Optional – I suggest making your first batch without and then experimenting with a soap color to see if you like the results)
In a large bowl use a wooden spoon to combine the powdered milk, powdered sugar and borax. Stir until evenly blended.
Add about ¾ of the rose or orange water and 10 drops of essential oil (The number of drops may vary depending on whether you are using an essential oil or a fragrance oil). You will probably need more than 10, think 20 – 30 drops, if you are using fragrance oil.
Mix well adding the remainder of the rose or orange water as needed to create dough with the consistency of play dough or clay. Roll a teaspoon or less of the dough for your first bath bead. Place your bath bead on a sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil. Continue until all the dough is gone. Allow to dry for 24 hours and then package. Voila, bath beads.
Now go have fun and relax.