The Science of Bath Bombs!

Everyone loves a good bath bomb!  They’re fizzy, colourful and make your bath feel extra special! But did you know there’s some cool science going on as you drop that ball of fizz into your bath? This week we’ve been delivering our bath bomb workshop in Hull, Beverley and Scunthorpe.

Making bath bombs is all about acids and alkalines. Our workshops are aimed at ages 5+ so this is quite a complex topic for the young children but we demonstrate how we can identify acids and alkalis, using substances they recognise and they’re always fascinated.

The acid and alkali combination is what makes that fantastic fizz as you drop the bath bomb into the water. The acid we use is citric acid and our alkaline is sodium bicarbonate. The combination of these 2 ingredients added to water causes a chemical reaction, and gives us that fizz!

But what is citric acid? It’s a relatively weak acid that comes from citrus fruits; lemons, limes and oranges. It’s also added to the outside of fizzy sweets to give them that slightly sour, taste!

Sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking powder is a weak alkaline. If these ingredients are mixed together and then added to water a chemical reaction occurs. The acid and alkaline neutralize the effects of each other. A process called neutralization! Carbon dioxide is formed and this creates rapidly forming bubbles, which is where that fizz comes from! Before the children make the bath bombs we demonstrate this by adding the ingredients to a balloon and watching the carbon dioxide inflate the balloon.

During our workshop the children make 2 bath bombs with a choice of colours and fragrances! The most popular fragrance this week has to be bubblegum! They actually look forward to going home and having a bath!

Thanks to everyone who attended our workshops this week! Next week we have a mixture of volcanoes and slime workshops! See you there!

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Have a great weekend!

Katie, Carol, James, Lauren and Anita

The Lab Rascals Team xxx

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