Looks like I opened things up a bit with my technical responses
on the subject of making bath salts. Rather than send back more
of the personal responses, maybe I should set up categories of
questions, sort of a mini-FAQ; ok, more like holding court. The
questions need to be more specific before the answers can be.
You might also try other crafts forums for questions about
making bath salts. Compuserve's handicrafts forum has an area
for making soap, candles, and something else (maybe herb
products). When I visited electronically a year ago (free sample
subscription), they had numberous exchanges about bath salts,
which were considered implicitly on-topic. You might check their
archives if you subscribe.
Maybe Susan Miller Cavitch at 11150 Glen Birnham Rd., Eads,
Tenn. 38028 could be of use.
The first question is, what do you want your bath salts to do?
(1) Look pretty in a jar?
(2) Perfume the air and/or bather?
(3) Prevent soap from leaving a ring/scum/curd/film on the
tub and/or bather?
(4) Make the water and/or bather feel slippery ("silky")? Or
(5) Buoy the bather higher?
(6) Color the water?
(7) Make foam on top of the water--one type of bubble bath?
(8) Make fizz in the water--the other type of bubble bath?
(9) Clean the bather?
(10) Make soap and/or bubble bath work better?
(11) Cloud the water? Not cloud the water?
(12) Make the water alkaline? Not alkalize the water?
(13) Not irritate skin? Irritate skin? (No irony. Some
people like a bit of irritation, such as from menthol.)
There are other things bath salts could conceivably do, though
maybe not too usefully. Even on the above list, some of the
items are marginal.
What it comes down to is that I don't know what everyone
means by "bath salts". Maybe some of the things you want to make
aren't even salts, but other things that'd work in/with bath
water. I have a patent on a non-irritant bath-foaming mixture
whose ingredients are technically salts but are conveniently
supplied in solution. Some salts are useful as cubes or tablets,
although people tend to think of salts as powder, grains, or
crystals. For example, soap is a salt used for bathing; does
that make it a bath salt?
The second question is, what quantities do you want to make?
The third question is, how close to scratch do you want to start
with ingredients? Is the fun to be mostly in the making, or
mostly in the product?
The fourth question is, how much do you want to experiment? Do
you need an exact recipe? (If so, I won't likely be of much
I can't promise my advice on all the above possibilities will be
equally useful. Some of my knowledge is theoretic, some
practical, some nonexistent.
Robert M. Goodman, Ph.D.