When we first started making bath bombs, one of our biggest challenges was getting the darned things to dry! Most of the time we simply had to leave them on the counter overnight, and hope they'd be ready by morning. But once we started getting busier, we needed a way to make the bath bombs dry FAST. Below are a few different approaches you can take to help your bath bombs dry.
1.) Air Drying
Pros: Free, easy, reliable. Perfect for beginner Bath Bombers.
Cons: Slow, cost ineffective when sales volumes increase.
Ah, the old standard, Air Drying. This is typically the first method every bath bomber uses when starting out. It's easy, free, and reliable. This works particularly well if you're using clam shell molds for your bath bombs, as you can just leave them in the mold over night and in the morning have a nice round dry bath bomb. This is ideal for new bath bombers who only have a handful of bombs they need to make at a time, though it can become prohibitive once your sales start to increase as you'll have to buy more and more molds to hold bath bombs, and even the cheap little plastic clam shells started to get really expensive once your sales pick up. Additionally, because most e-commerce sites penalize you if your ship times are too long, it can become troublesome having to wait 24 hours before you can ship your bath bombs once your business starts to grow.
Which brings us to option 2.
2.) Oven Drying Your Bath Bombs
Pros: Cheap, Easy, Decreases Handling Time, Great Option for Growing Bath Bombers
Cons: Bath Bombs must be removed from mold, Not Scalable when business takes off.
The next method we moved on to when we were starting out was drying our bath bombs in the oven. This is a great option for you bath bombers out there that only need a few oven's worth of bath bombs at a time. It's effective, easy, and doesn't cost anything (aside from electricity). To dry your bath bombs in the oven, simply turn the oven to the 'warm' setting, let it come up to temp, and then leave them in there to dry for 1-4 hours.
This is a great solution for when you have a specific type you need to make in the morning and need to be able to ship it later that day. If it's an absolute emergency, you can usually get away with only drying it for about an hour, but remember, the longer you leave it in there the better the odds of it showing up to your customer in one piece!
Another benefit is that when we baked our bath bombs they would come out and almost have something of a 'shell' on the exterior. It felt very hard, and made a satisfying clicking sound when you tap your fingernail against it.
The main drawback with oven baking is that for it to be effective, the bath bombs should be removed from their molds and placed onto an oven rack. This can be challenging if you're using clam shell molds and your bath bombs are fragile right after you've made them. That was one of our biggest challenges when we first started making our own bath bombs. This is mainly due to your baking soda and the citric acid mix being too dry, so if this is a problem you encounter, the best course of action is to continue to experiment with your recipe until your bath bombs come out perfect and durable every time.
And one of the best ways to achieve that result is...
3.) Kaolin Clay
Pros: Very Reliable end result, very fast drying, scalable to any size operation.
Cons: Adds the cost of Kaolin Clay to your overhead.
At the end of the day, if you're going to grow your bath bomb business, you should really consider adding Kaolin Clay to your recipe. When we first started using it, it proved to be a real game changer for us. Our bath bombs became instantly more durable when removed from the mold, and were dry enough to ship within 3 hours if needed. We could make our bath bombs in the morning, and know that they'd be ready to ship by the afternoon whenever we needed them.
The only real drawback to adding the kaolin clay was the added upfront cost, though when I worked out the numbers at the end of the month it turned out that what we spent on the Kaolin clay was offset by the amount of product we didn't lose to crumbled bath bombs. So for us it was a no brainer, and we've been using it in every bath bomb we've made since. One (very important) caveat, is that the Kaolin Clay comes in powdered form, so as with all powdered ingredients you want to make sure you're always wearing a dust mask or a respirator when handling it so that you don't breathe the powder into your lungs.
Do you have a favorite drying method that we didn't mention? Comment below and let us know which methods you use and prefer to drying your bathbombs!