Bath bombs and bath salts have a shelf life of at least six months. However, this is only true if you package and store your bath bombs properly. So much work goes into perfecting your bath bomb recipe and making beautiful products. To make sure that work pays off, it’s important to put just as much care into packaging your bath bombs and bath salts. Below, discover how to package bath bombs and spa salts correctly so they stay fresh and fizzy for as long as possible.
What keeps bath bombs fresh?
Many people don’t realize that oxygen is the main culprit behind food going stale and losing its freshness. Moisture also causes products to spoil and lose their desired consistency or performance. Did you know that the same thing is actually true for bath bombs and bath salts? To keep your bath bombs fresh for as long as possible, you want to prevent oxygen and moisture from getting to your product.
With that being said, the best way to store bath bombs is in an airtight package. There are countless different types of containers and packaging to choose from. Bath bombs can be packaged in things such as:
- Glass or plastic jars with airtight lids.
- Mylar bags.
- Packaging tubes – best for small bath bombs or single-use bath shots.
- Shrink wrap bags or shrink wrap bands.
- Cellophane / cling wrap.
- Resealable plastic bags – best for short-term storage.
All of these solutions are better than leaving your bath bombs unpackaged, but it’s a good idea to choose a packaging method that is appropriate for the length of time you plan on storing your product.
Airtight jars and mylar bags provide the best protection against oxygen and moisture, while plastic baggies and cellophane provide less protection. If you know your bath bombs and bath salts will be used quickly after they are made, there’s nothing wrong with packaging them in a container that allows some oxygen to pass through.
Keep in mind that if any moisture or humidity reaches your bath bombs or salts after they’re packaged, it can trigger the ingredients to react and give off carbon dioxide. That means even if your package was dry when you sealed it, you may experience issues with your product clumping, expanding or fizzing if moisture or humidity gets into to the package later.
Packaging Bath Bombs in Jars
A jar is a very attractive way to store your bath bombs and bath salts. There are lots of cute jars for storing bath bombs, but keep in mind that they are not all air-tight. A cookie jar or apothecary jar might look adorable with your bathroom décor, but it isn’t a great way to store your bath bombs unless it has a rubber gasket that creates an airtight seal. Canning jars and bail lid jars work great for keeping bath bombs fresh, and they can still fit in with your décor.
Packaging Bath Bombs in Bags
Like certain glass jars, plastic baggies are also not completely airtight. They will keep your bath bombs fresher than leaving them out on the counter, but they aren’t the best choice for long-term storage. Plastic baggies range in thickness from 1.5 ml to 3 ml, which is still thin enough to allow some oxygen to pass through.
A much better alternative is a mylar bag. Mylar is a commonly-used trade name for a type of laminated foil with superior protection against oxygen. Like plastic baggies, mylar bags come in varying thicknesses from 2 ml to 7.5 ml.
When sealed properly, mylar will keep air and moisture out regardless of the thickness. In other words, 2 ml mylar is just as effective as 7.5 ml mylar when it comes to keeping your products fresh and dry. However, thick mylar has better physical strength than thin mylar, making it more durable.
For the best protection against air and moisture, mylar bags should be heat-sealed shut. Heat sealing is a process that melts the layers of material together to create an air-tight seal. You’ll notice that some mylar bags come with a zipper so the package can be resealed. Although secure, zippers may still allow some air and moisture to pass through. If packaging bath bombs for long-term storage, you should still apply a heat seal above the zipper.
Protecting Bath Bombs from UV Light
In addition to oxygen and moisture, did you know that ultraviolet (UV) light also causes products to degrade? It’s the reason that some drinks are packaged in green or amber colored glass instead of clear glass. The darker colored glass prevents more light from reaching the product, which keeps it fresh longer.
As you might have guessed, the same logic applies to homemade bath products. While you’re probably going to use bath bombs before they get damaged by UV light, you can still increase their shelf life by keeping them away from direct sunlight. You can do this by storing your bath bombs in a dark location, but you might also consider using dark colored packaging to prevent UV damage.
This can defeat the purpose of putting your bath bombs on display in the bathroom, but if you’re going for long-term storage, it’s something that helps. Even a pretty blue-colored jar will provide better UV protection than a clear jar.
Keeping Bath Bombs Separate
No matter what type of bath bomb storage solution you use, it’s also helpful to keep different types of bath bombs separate rather than mixing them. This is mainly to keep fragrances from mingling, but it also can prevent moisture from accumulating. Some bath bombs have ingredients that attract moisture more readily than others.
Packaging Bath Bombs Individually
If you sell your bath bombs, shrink wrap will always come in handy for packaging your products. Shrink wrap is ideal for packaging single bath bombs. You might also consider small mylar bags that hold a single bath bomb. If making bath salts, we recommend packaging tubes or cellophane bags that are securely shut. Packaging tubes can be sealed with our 65x55 mm Shrink Wrap Bands.
If you’re selling bath bombs in a set, it’s still a good idea to wrap each bath bomb individually. This allows each bath bomb stays fresh until used.
When to Package Bath Bombs
Before packaging your bath bombs and bath salts, it’s crucial to make sure they are fully dry first. Bath bombs naturally give off carbon dioxide as they dry. Likewise, bath salts that are made with baking soda and fragrance oil (or other liquid ingredients) can also off-gas while drying.
If you put bath bombs in a plastic bag before they’re completely cured, you may notice that the bag puffs up like a balloon. And if you put the bath salts or bath bombs in an airtight container such as a plastic jar, the gas can potentially create so much pressure that it cracks the jar or even makes it explode in extreme cases. That’s because the gas has nowhere to go as it expands.
This is easy to avoid. All you need to do is let your bath salts or bath bombs get bone-dry before packaging them. If the weather is currently humid when you make your bath bombs or bath salts, it’s a good idea to use a dehumidifier in the room where your products are drying.
How to Increase the Shelf Life of Bath Bombs
To make bath bombs last longer, there is one extra thing you can do. Aside from packaging them in an airtight container and storing them away from light and moisture, you might consider using a silica gel packet or oxygen absorber the package.
You’ve probably come across these little packets numerous times in your life without even thinking about it. They’re the little white packages clearly stamped with text that reads “DO NOT EAT.”
Silica Gel Packets
Silica gel packets are used to absorb moisture. Silica gel can hold 40 percent of its weight in moisture. By absorbing moisture that may accumulate in a package, these packets prevent any excess wetness from damaging the item. The result is a package that stays dry and fresh inside.
Oxygen absorbers work differently, but can be used to achieve a similar end result. In most packaged products, it’s simply not possible to remove every last bit of air from the package. Given that oxygen can destroy flavor, freshness and scent, this can be a problem for packaged goods. Oxygen absorbers are often the solution.
As you might have guessed from the name, oxygen absorbers are designed to absorb oxygen from the atmosphere. Our atmosphere contains about 21 percent oxygen and 78 percent nitrogen, with a small amount of other gasses. In an airtight package, oxygen absorbers soak up that 21 percent of the air that is composed of oxygen, leaving only nitrogen behind.
Not only does this keep items fresh, it also has the added benefit of preventing moisture in a round-about way. If you consider that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen, a package that is devoid of oxygen simply cannot accumulate moisture because the elements that create water are no longer present.
Storing Bath Bombs with Oxygen Absorbers
You’ve probably already guessed how all of this relates to packaging bath bombs and bath salts. By including a packet that absorbs moisture or oxygen, it’s much easier to keep your bath bombs fresh.
It’s easy to find both oxygen absorbers and silica gel packets in bulk. Even if you don’t make a lot of bath products, the extra packets can be used to keep other things fresh around the house. For example, tossing an oxygen absorber into a jar with snacks or nuts can keep them fresh for much longer.
Business Tip: If you choose to pack silica packets or oxygen absorbers with your products, make sure you write instructions that say to remove the packet before using the product. These packets come already stamped with text that says “DO NOT EAT,” so that part is taken care of for you.