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Bubbly Science! What could be more fun?

Updated: Dec 7, 2019

Ever wondered why bath bombs fizz and bubble?

The simple answer is baking soda is a base and citric acid is an acid. When moistened the two ingredients create a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide escapes the water by fizzing and bubbling up into the air. If you added an essential oil, the smell is released into the air with the carbon dioxide bubbles.

Want more details on the chemical reaction and bring up memories of high school chemistry? Keep reading!

Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate. Its chemical formula is NaHCO3. As baking soda dissolves in water, it breaks into positively charged sodium particles (Na+) and negatively charged bicarbonate (HCO3-). At the same time, the citric acid is dissolving and a positive hydrogen ion (H+) is separated from the molecule. As you remember from chemistry, negative and positive molecules are attracted to each other. The positive hydrogen and the negative bicarbonate quickly attract causing chemical reactions. One product of the chemical reactions is carbon dioxide (CO2). The carbon dioxide gas escapes the water as bubbles causing the fizzy fun!

Learn more spa chemistry at Ignite’s Spa Science class in January! I hope to see you then!

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