How to make bathtimes more splendid?
August 24, 2010 7:12 AM   Subscribe

What are some awesome things to add to a hot bath? Cost is a factor, but feel free to post rare treats as well. Currently I favour magnesium sulfate and tea tree oil.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
oatmeal in a muslin bag
powdered milk
posted by lizbunny at 7:14 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Eucalyptus Oil, Pine Needle Oil, Cypriol, Lemon Oil...
That combination will also work great for relief from congestion if a few drops are placed in a hot bowl of water.
posted by Morbuto at 7:17 AM on August 24, 2010

Response by poster: I've tried eucalyptus oil before, but it was vicious on my various sensitive parts! Perhaps a lower concentration would be fine, though.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 7:23 AM on August 24, 2010

Radio 4
posted by run"monty at 7:27 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

I like citrus oils, especially lemon and/or lime.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 7:29 AM on August 24, 2010

Grapefruit oil, rosemary oil. [...As for the tender bits, low concentration (3-5 drops) is essential.]

Not a bath additive, but a low cost beauty treat: Give yourself a exfoliation scrub with a spoonful of nice kitchen oil (sunflower, sesame, hazelnut..) mixed into small cup of table sugar or salt. (Careful though--can make your tub slippery.)
posted by applemeat at 7:32 AM on August 24, 2010

seconding the oatmeal - and if you do this, definitely smoosh it around a lot and paint the bag onto any exposed skin for extra softening effect. sections of old pairs of tights are good if you don't have muslin.

Powdered milk, jasmine oil and rose petals for a "Cleopatra" effect...

mustard powder for aching muscles.

any herbs or spices you like or you'd like to smell like (unless you're pregnant), also in some kind of bag
(ie chamomile teabags to calm you a bit, rosemary for your hair or calendula for your skin)

(and er lots of stuff from Lush is very lovely and luxurious-feeling to use, except lots of their coconut-oil based bars are VERY heavy, and I'm not sure if they are still using palm oil. It's a good idea to go to a Lush shop, look at the labels on what you like and go buy the main ingredients at the grocers.))

Honey and ground almonds is a nice gentle mask/scrub for your face and delicate bits.

Also seconding Radio Four, failing that Chris Whitley or Natacha Atlas. And a cold G'n'T...
posted by runincircles at 7:48 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

Second person. Champagne. A splendid bath indeed...
posted by pixlboi at 7:51 AM on August 24, 2010

Sugar scrubs!
posted by peagood at 8:07 AM on August 24, 2010

If you're adding essential oils to the bath, make sure you're using a lipid that they can dissolve in, otherwise they will float on the surface and irritate your skin. Full fat milk is good, or you can buy a dispersing bath oil that has been treated to mix with the water. It's known as Turkey Red oil, and is castor oil that has been sulphonated to make it disperse.

Lavender oil is good in a bath, or you could do like the Romans would and add rose petals. The essential oil is VERY expensive though, and not worth it for a bath.

Maybe some herbal teabags? Cheap and easy to clean up.
posted by Solomon at 8:37 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding runincircles'suggestion to go to Lush. The bath bombs are nice (I like Butterball, myself). You can usually break them in half to get two baths out of one bomb. Considering how strong their scents are sometimes, it's probably a good thing not to use a whole one if you're sensitive.
posted by cabingirl at 8:46 AM on August 24, 2010

In Japan, it is traditional at new year's +/or winter solstice (?? I can't remember and don't have time now to research -- sorry) to have a yuzu bath.
Yuzu is a citrus fruit that I guess I would describe as a cross of lemon, orange, and grapefruit (+/or lime?!).
I found a blog post here, with some good pics, too.
I suspect that yuzu are not widely available outside of Japan/Asia, but maybe Asian groceries stock them? Maybe only at the right time of year? Maybe some combo of readily available (where you are) citrus fruits would do the trick?
It really is a wonderful experience; the aroma is the main joy for me, but the visual and tactile part -- these yellow "balls" bobbing around your head -- is also really enjoyable, and it's supposed to have a number of health benefits as well.
posted by segatakai at 9:37 AM on August 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd go easy on the tea tree oil. It went well for me for years, but now ever so little gives me an itching rash for days; that change came up very suddenly. Seems like that stuff creates some sort of threshold reaction in some individuals.
posted by Namlit at 10:26 AM on August 24, 2010

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