Who doesn’t like to give themselves a treat with a delicious, pampering bath once in a while? And there is nothing more joyous than a fizzy, fragrant bath bomb to make your bath explode in wonder.
But it is a downer when you drain your bath water to find color stains left behind on your bathtub’s surface, especially that ring of color where the water level was. If you don’t clean it instantly, it can build up and become harder to remove, requiring chemical cleaners to get rid of.
The best way to stop DIY bath Bombs from staining the bath tub is to not use any form of colorant. It sounds obvious but color provides only aesthetics. You’ll still get great fizz, super scents and relaxation without any staining agents.
But if you are dead set on color, I’m going to tell you how you can make colorful bombs that do not leave stubborn color stains in your bath, and, depending on the material your tub is made of, how you can remove any stains if you’ve got them.
1. Avoid Bright Colors
You do not need deep colors in bath bombs and the brighter and deeper the dyes used, the more chance there is of ending up with a bath tub with stains on. Sometimes, using the wrong dyes will leave these stains permanent and no amount of cleaning will remove them entirely.
Always use light colors and in very small amounts – read on
2. Natural vs Artificial Colorants
It is true that some synthetic colorants such as “Lake” colors can leave stains, and of course, the chemicals can have their own medical and environmental disadvantages too. That’s why some people prefer all-natural bath bombs.
However, natural coloring ingredients like micas, clays, and charcoal aren’t exactly your biggest friends in this situation either. Natural colors can be equally responsible, if not more, for leaving a ring of color behind in your tub.
What matters is the water-solubility of the colorant, whether natural or artificial. Some natural colors are water-soluble. If you were to make a rose bath bomb using rosehip extract, which is a water-soluble coloring, you won’t have to worry about stains.
Water soluble liquid colorants are the best way to avoid staining as much as you can. Powders and natural colors are more prone to staining.
A lot of people prefer using La Bomb synthetic colorants which are specifically designed for bath bombs and keep all optimal features in mind. Some people use Wilton Gel colorants which, if used in little quantity (and a little goes a long way), do not stain your tub either.
3. Only use Small Amounts of Color
The “a little goes a long way” trick applies to any colorant you might be using. You run the risk of staining if you use excessive amounts of coloring. When you have used enough to make the color warm and pleasing, that is quite all you need.
Rarely does anyone want very dark-colored bath bombs that can make the whole tub of water change color. Children do enjoy bright colors but for that you should avoid clays, charcoal or mica, as all of them can stain if used too much.
4. Add an Emulsifier like Polysorbate 80
To help the colorant (and even other essential oils) dissolve homogeneously into the bathwater instead of making a layer on the top (which is more likely to leave a prominent ring mark on your tub after you have drained the water), an emulsifier should be added.
It is recommended to use Polysorbate 80. [Check price at Amazon] The amount to start with is 0.1 oz. per cup of fizzy bath bomb mixture. This will prevent the color pooling on the top and mitigate the risk of staining, especially with natural colorants.
5. Clean the Bath Immediately
Identify what material your bathtub is made of, because certain types of materials attract stains and other residues, such as porcelain, and fiberglass which does not have a protective coating.
Cleaning your tub
Clean your tub every time you take a bath with a bath bomb, because that is the easiest way to prevent stain buildup.
When you have just drained the bath water, any color ring left on the tub is light and very easily comes off with a light swab over it. Use a micro-fiber cloth to go over the whole tub once and shower away with water; you will see the stain come off easily.
If you have a porcelain tub, you can use a pumice scouring stick on it. With enamel tubs, pumice is too rough, so you can use hydrogen peroxide instead.
Oxiclean is a cleaner that works with all types of tubs too. If you want to avoid scrubbing yourself, you can fill the tub with very hot water and add Oxiclean to it.
Leave it for at least half an hour and then just drain the water; the Oxiclean will have washed the stain away itself. Then you can go over it very lightly with a sponge too, just to be sure nothing was left.
There are some steps you can take to try to avoid staining your bathtub when using bath bombs, but depending on the colorants used combined with the type of material your bathtub is made of, there is some chance that some color will remain. You will get color within the normal scum line and the only way to 100% prevent discoloration of the tub is to use bath bombs with no added color in the first place.