Surfactants to use when you make bath bombs, Bubble bars and other foaming bath products
The popularity of Bath Bombs and other fun fizzy bath time products has reached an all time high. And creating colorful, fragrant foaming bath products, has never been easier. Once you have that perfect bath bomb formulation, found all the best ingredients – the citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar, colors and fragrances it is ALMOST time to start! But first you need to locate that one ingredient you will need to create the perfect bubbles and luxurious foam – the surfactant!
Finding the right Surfactants for great foam in bath bombs can be tricky
There are so many specialty surfactants to choose from it can drive you crazy just looking at all of the choices.
We have come up with a short list of the most popular, highest quality surfactants used in bath bombs and other foamy bath products used for making the very best foam. We think our information will help narrow down the choices to what will work best in your latest bubbly creations. These will work with all kinds of foaming bath and body products. Experiment and try them all.
Top Surfactants for your Bath Bombs, Bath Fizzies and other foaming bath Products
Here are some top picks in foaming surfactants to make your favorite bath and body creation foam and bubble just the way you want:
Sodium lauryl Sulfate powder, also known as SLS powder, has been used in all kinds of foaming products for years. The liquid version of SLS is very popular for shampoos and body washes and the typical concentration or activity level is 30%. If you want to use a powder, find a supplier that sells a very high concentrated powder of 80% or higher so you can get the best “bang for your buck.” If a supplier does not list the activity level of their powder SLS, contact them to find out. Keep in mind many crafters, and do it yourselfers making bath fizzies and bath bombs shy away from SLS powder because it may be the cause of skin irritation and discomfort at activity levels in your finished product using as little as 5% or more.
Sodium cocoyl isethionate is a new generation product for making great foam. It is a very gentle surfactant, and is a really good alternative to SLS powder. Sodium Cocoyl isethionate is typically available in an easy to use powder, and also comes in what is described as a prill. In some formulations or recipes, you will note that the author will tell you to use a low steady heat to melt the Sodium cocoyl isethionate. Often that is required when SCI is used along with a co-surfactant (also called a secondary surfactant). The prill will more often have to be heated to blend with the formulation than the sodium cocoyl isethionate powder.
Cocamidopropyl betaine is an excellent foaming liquid surfactant. Cocobetaine can be used alone or used as a secondary surfactant. A popular combination is using the cocobetaine along with either Sodium cocoyl isethionate powder or sodium lauryl sulfoacetatein bath bombs and bath fizzy formulations like bubble bars for a really great foam. Cocamidopropyl betaine is an Ecocert surfactant sourced from renewable, natural feed stock.
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate , also called SLSa comes in several different forms- powder, coarse and a flake. The most popular form of SLSa is the powder, and the next most popular is the coarse. The coarse and the powder are often used in bath bombs and bubble bars and other similar foaming bubbly products. Like SCI, the SLSa produces very high quality long lasting foam. Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is an excellent all around surfactant for bath bombs and for just about any foaming product you want to make. SLSa is ecofriendly, biodegradeable (80% within 2 days!) and is EcoCert certified, that it is derived from renewable resources.
Decyl glucoside is a new generation surfactant made from sugars of fruits and vegetables. It is in the family of alkyl polyglucoside surfactants. Decyl glucoside creates high quality and long lasting foam. Decyl glucoside in small amounts percentage wise is used in all kinds of facial cleansers, bath products, shampoos, bath bombs and bubbly bars. It is often used along with other surfactants as a co-surfactant. It is easy to use. To use it bath bombs or in bath fizzies you can add it in with the dry products in a very small amount and let it dry.
Coco glucoside is a also in the new alkyl polyglucoside surfactant family, like the decyl glucoside. It also makes a high quality long lasting foam. Coco glucoside can also be found in all kinds of facial cleansers, bath products, shampoos, bath bombs and bubbly bars. It is often used along with other surfactants as a co-surfactant.
PEG 40 Castor Oil also known as PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil is used as a surfactant, emulsifier, and solubilizer in many products ranging from personal care to commercial and even agricultural uses. The PEG 40 Castor Oil, is a non ionic that has a wide range of helpful benefits. It is used by formulators of bath and body products as a way to get fragrances in to oil and water blends. Plus, one benefit of using the PEG 40 hydrogenated castor oil as an emulsifier or solubilizer in foaming products is that it also foams. Try PEG 40 Castor oil in some of your bath and body creations like bath bombs. It’s an emulsifier, surfactant, solubilizer, and foam booster. One idea- try it in place of the polysorbate 80 in bath bombs and bubble bars. Other benefits of PEG 40 Castor oil are that it is miscible in water and oils. It is also a Non-ionic, so it is compatible with anionic, cationic and other non-ionic, ingredients. The HLB is 15
Here are two websites, and an ebay seller, offering all of these top quality surfactants. They also offer many other high quality ingredients for making your favorite bath bombs and other fun bath time foaming and fizzing products.
www.makeyourown.buzz Excellent selection of surfactants in stock at reasonable prices. Quick shipping as well.
www.saveoncitric.com All of the specialty surfactants detailed here are found, at reasonable prices.
www.ebay.com An ebay seller with most of the surfactants here, and many other products for making bath bombs and other fizzy bath products.