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Toddler Talk: DIY Eco-Friendly Bubble Bath

Oh, the love/hate relationship I have with bubble baths. On one hand, bubble-bath mix is the magic elixir that has transformed my reluctant 2-year-old bather into an eager, water-loving clean fiend. On the other hand, my bubble-obsessed toddler always wants more ... more ... more bubbles! And good grief, bubble bath can be expensive. Especially if you're wary of chemicals and try to invest in eco-friendly or organic soaps. (And "invest" really is the correct term; can I buy stock in California Baby?)

So when I heard that you could make your own chemical-free bubble bath, I got super-excited. (OK, maybe I need to get out more.) My bank account got excited, too. Of course, you still have to start with an organic soap, but there are a ton of eco- and baby-friendly options that have a less-expensive price tag than bubble bath. And the secret ingredient? Glycerin—inexpensive and easily found at your local health food store.


1 cup eco-friendly/organic soap or shampoo

3/4 cup water

1/2 to 1 teaspoon glycerin

I have a ton of organic and eco-friendly soaps, but for my first run of this recipe, I decided to use a green body wash/shampoo from Costco. (Because, hey, I have A LOT of it.) I poured all of the ingredients into a clear glass bowl and began to whisk. I felt like a total Martha Stewart minion until my 2-year-old got in on the whisking action. So, it's good to know that, depending on your choice of soap, if it's splattered all over the bathroom, it will smell great. We were in a world of tangerine and vanilla, and I hadn't even run the bathwater yet.

Then came the real test: bathtime.

I'll admit, I was suspicious. I had already used this particular body wash (OK, and a thousand others) to make bubbles when I'd run out of official bubble-bath soap. And they work just fine. I mean, maybe they won't fool a Mensa master, but for a 2-year-old, they still make enough bubbles to get the job done. So I wasn't sure if the addition of water and glycerin would really make a difference.

I'll put you out of your suspense: It totally does. The homemade bubble bath mix churns out not just bubbles, but a thick frothy landscape of lather. It's like a PG-rated foam party. Instead of just a goodly number of bubbles floating on the water, bathtime now resembled a winter wonderland, with snowy peaks and assorted large random bubbles perfect for popping.

So this eco-friendly recipe is a real winner: It will expand both your bubbles and your bank account. And you can take comfort in knowing that the products you're using to keep your kids clean are great for clean living, too.

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