I’ll let you in on a little secret about me. I believe in unicorns, dragons, and fairies and all that is whimsical and magical! It makes life less dull. In the spring, the kids and I start cleaning and decorating the yard for the arrival of the fairies and gnomes. The kids build fairy gardens and houses to complement what Mother Nature already provides. By summer, the unruly squash plants turn into a spectacular mess and provide protection for our little pixies. This year the kids have more to work with in the way of bunnies, gnomes, birds and angels. I thoroughly enjoy our little garden and being outside, feeling the heat of the sun, as I tend to the food we grow with the help of our fairy friends.
Now unicorns… Where do they fit in all of this? They represent magical entities as well. Do they exist? I’ve never personally seen one, but that means little as I’ve never seen a lot of things I accept as truth. I do love believing in possibilities though, as do many others. This is where Unicorn Bath Scoops enter the picture. I wanted to kick off spring with something magical and I think I managed to achieve it. These bath scoops (bubblers in an ice cream format) have the colouration and the sweet, yet floral, scent you would think a unicorn might smell like with some glitter to add some sparkle! While not considered natural, they are non-toxic, easy to make, and really fun in the tub!
So, what are the ingredients that make up these magical delights if not natural? The recipe calls for Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSa), (which is not to be confused with Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate… they are different chemicals and are not near as gentle on the skin… I do not believe in using SLS or SLES in my products as they are known dermal irritants!), which is a surfactant in powder form that gives most of the bubbling action to these gems. You do need a dust mask when working with SLSa as it becomes airborne almost immediately and it doesn’t feel great when inhaled (I know from personal experience). The Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a coconut based secondary surfactant that also adds to the foam and is compatible with most surfactant systems making this a great addition to the recipe. Sodium Bicarbonate is added to the recipe as well as cream of tartar. The cream of tartar acts as a binding agent to make the bubble bars stronger and harder. I have tried to make them without it and they just aren’t the same. Earth’s General Store on Whyte Avenue here in Edmonton, sells it in bulk (I did call to confirm) being that Bulk Barn no longer carries it.
For the scent, being that I am fragrance oil adverse, I used a pure essential oil blend (exclusive to CfE) that I came up with called Glitter. It is sweet, yet floral… what I would expect a unicorn to smell like. The blend also has amazing staying power in soap. It does have to be labelled as parfum on our labels though because of the addition of Rose Absolute Replacer which is an ingredient in it. The colourants used are completely dye free and considered natural. For more about micas, oxides and ultramarines and their natural status, please click here. The colourants used in this particular batch are Pink Ultramarine, African Violet Ultramarine and Coral Reef Blue. The glitter I used for the top is TKB’s Gold Reflecks. We do not supply it currently in the store, but I’m thinking about it. Any body safe glitter will do.
- 1 cup Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (200 g)
- 1 cup Sodium Bicarbonate (300 g)
- 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar (25 g)
- 2 g of each Colourant (if using powdered ones). You can just add to the colour that suits you, remember it will getbrighter when it’s wet.
- 1 tbsp Essential or Fragrance oil (13-16 g)
- 4 tbsp + liquid surfactant such as Cocamidipropyl betaine (105 g)
- Dust Mask (Absolutely required)
- Nitrile Gloves
- A bowl for mixing
- A scale to measure out ingredients with more precision than volume
- Vessels to measure out the ingredients
- Parchment Paper lined baking tray
- Put on the dust mask (this is very important!)
- Weigh out your ingredients.
- Mix together all of the dry ingredients except for the colourant. (If you are colouring the whole batch the one colour, then go ahead and mix it in and skip step 5).
- Add the liquid ingredients. Using gloved hands, mix the liquid into the powder well. If it will not hold together when you squeeze it, add more liquid surfactant until you get a playdough-like consistency.
- If you are adding more than one colour, split the batch (we used two batches to make the Unicorn scoops and we split eacch batch into two colours) into as many parts as you wish per colour. Work the colour in with your hands until it’s fully incorporated. Add more liquid surfactant, if needed.
- Once you have the colourants worked into it all, press the various colours into a cake pan or a bowl as if it looked like Neopolitan ice cream.
- Using an ice cream scoop with a trigger release, scoop the mixture from the bowl and press into the ice cream scoop.
- Release it onto a parchment lined baking tray.
- Do not move once it is on the tray for 24-48 hours as it hardens over this time.
- Once cured, crumble into bath tub under running water!
Now how many scoops does this make? That depends on how big your scoop is. It makes approximately 650 g of product. I made various sizes, but I could get ten 60 g bath scoops out of the recipe and they each work in approximately two baths (you have to break them first). If you wish to use a melon-baller instead for single use scoops, you will get many more.
It’s such an easy recipe and my kids love these bubblers! The picture shows the actual foam from a bubble bar I made years ago with this recipe.