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Bath bombs are a fantastic way to relax and make your bath so much more enjoyable, and many people make them on their own. It’s a simple process, but it can get tricky, too, because you need to get a perfect ingredients ratio. People often get a too dry or too moist mixture, resulting in the bombs sticking to the molds. So, how can you get bath bombs out of metal molds without breaking them?
If your bath bombs got stuck to the molds, the mixture was probably too moist, or the humidity in your workspace was too high, causing the bombs to expand. Ensure you’re working in a dry environment, and don’t twist the molds, as it will only cause cracks and breaks.
When making bath bombs, it’s all about the correct ratio of all the ingredients. If your mixture is too dry, it will cause the bombs to crack and make you start all over again. But, if it’s too humid, the bombs will keep expanding and stick to the molds. You should do all the necessary preparations before, and if you end up doing it wrong, don’t get discouraged. Toss the mixture in a bowl again, tweak the ingredient ratios and complete the process again until you’re satisfied with the results.
How to get bath bombs out of metal molds?
There are many reasons why your bath bombs might be sticking to the molds. The mixture can be too dry or too humid, the molds might not be clean and prepared for use properly, or the ingredients used don’t react well with each other, causing clumps, cracks, and mixture expansion. We prepared a shortlist of tips and tricks on how to get your bath bombs out of metal molds in one piece every time.
1. Use stainless steel molds
The most common problem that people face without even knowing it’s the cause of their bath bomb failures is using the wrong molds. You can’t use just any metal bowl as your mold. The best results will come when using a stainless steel mold. It will reduce the risk of sticking, crumbling, etc.
However, even then, your bath bombs can stick to the molds, making it impossible to get them out without breaking them. That’s why you should always coat the molds’ inner sides with just a few drops of Cyclomethicone and then let it dry out in the air. It will reduce friction and prevent sticking, making the bombs slide in and out of the molds with ease.
Of course, having the correct mixture is the most critical step in preventing the bombs from sticking or crumbling in the molds, but if you want to give yourself the best chance of success, use the correct molds that will allow you to get the bath bombs out of them effortlessly.
2. Get the right moisture level
Getting the right amount of moisture might be the trickiest part of your entire bath bomb-making process. The main reason why your bombs might end up cracked or get stuck to the molds is too much or too little moisture. It isn’t easy to get the mixture just right because of all the other ingredients you’re putting into the mix, such as fragrances, colorants, essential oils, etc.
Each of those ingredients will affect the integrity of the mixture. So, even though the general ratio of baking soda and citric acid should be around 2:1 to get the perfect mix, you’ll need to tweak that ratio just a bit differently every time to get the best results. It all depends on what ingredients you’re using with the main two.
It would also be best if you coated your molds with a very thin layer of moisture. Most people use Cyclomethicone or witch hazel for this step (and for regulating the moisture levels in general) because it won’t affect the mixture itself that much but will help you get the bombs out of the molds. Use a spray bottle to get an even, thin layer on your molds.
3. Pack the molds lightly
Packing the molds lightly has a lot to do with what you do with your mixture. The mixture itself should feel a bit like wet sand – or an even better comparison, kinetic sand. It should be moist enough to be easily formed, but not too moist, because you won’t be able to model it as you wish.
Be that as it may, even if you get the mixture to be perfect, you can still end up with cracked or misshaped bath bombs. That’s why you should pack them lightly. That means you shouldn’t jam-pack and press the mixture inside the mold. Instead, gently put the mixture in and cover the entire mold without compressing it too hard.
If you put too much mixture in the molds, you’ll end up with cracked bombs or a flat bottom, both of which make your bombs look worse.
4. Never twist and turn the bombs
Once the mixture is dried up and the bath bombs are formed, it’s time to get them out of the molds. This is the step where most people make mistakes and crack or break their bath bombs – because they try twisting them to get them out, ending up with cracks, crumbles, and breaks.
If you’ve done everything right by now, the bombs will easily come out of the mold. But, if your bombs are just a bit too sticky and won’t come out of the molds, try tapping the mold lightly against the table a couple of times. The recoil will impact the bomb, making it “unstick” from the mold. Just make sure you don’t tap too hard and crumble your hard work.
Why are my bath bombs sticking to the mold?
As you probably picked up on the way, there are many reasons why your bath bombs are sticking to the molds. It’s all about the moisture, the ingredients, the mixture, and many other problems. We’ll give you some tips on how to avoid the most common issues.
1. The moisture level is wrong
This is the main reason why bath bombs end up sticking to their molds. If there is too much moisture, there is not much you can do to prevent the bombs from sticking. You should always coat your molds with a very thin layer of witch hazel or another hydrating substance. Water will work too, but try avoiding it.
Even if you get that thin layer right, your mixture’s ingredients can affect the moisture level. Ensure you know what you are working with, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right instantly. Starting over is something you’ll probably have to do more than a few times until you get into the groove.
2. The ingredients make the mixture too sticky
Different ingredients have different characteristics. Especially when talking about fragrances or essential oils – they all affect the mixture differently. Some of them will make your mixture stick to the mold even if it feels like the moisture level is correct.
For instance, tangerine and orange essential oils are usually the most problematic for the entire mixture’s stickiness. Make adjustments of the primary two ingredients (baking soda + citric acid) accordingly, depending on how much essential oil you’ve used.
3. The mixture is too tightly packed
If you press too much mixture into the molds, it will most likely crack when you try to remove the bombs. The reason why that happens is the packing. The more mixture you’re pressing into the molds, the harder it gets, making it stick to the molds as you keep pressing.
Make sure not to do this, because even if you manage to get it out of the mold in one piece, it won’t be as fun when you put it on your tub – it will just sink to the bottom because it’s too heavy.
How long do you leave bath bombs in the mold?
There is some debate over this topic because there are two main ways people do this step. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but if done correctly, both work just fine.
The first way is to get the bombs out of the molds quickly. When you press the mixture into the molds, leave it in for 15 minutes. Then, take the top of the mold off, and leave it like that for 15 more minutes. Take the bomb out of the mold entirely and let it dry openly.
This method makes it easier to avoid the bombs sticking to the molds, but it can also mean that your bombs will get flat on the bottom if they hadn’t dried up enough before you took them out. You should also be careful about how humid the room is because if there’s too much humidity, it can cause warps, expansions, etc.
The other way to do the same thing is to let the bombs dry out inside the molds. That makes the environmental humidity factor less critical, but there is a higher risk of the bombs sticking to the molds.
Leave them inside the molds for at least a couple of hours. The best way to do it is to leave them in a non-humid place overnight. Check them out in an hour or so after putting them in the molds. If you see that they’re expanding out the molds, either the mixture or the room is too humid.