a brief history of bubble bath

Who doesn’t love a hot bath? After a long day, especially in cold weather, I cannot wait to come home and soak in the bathtub with a good book (and sometimes a cheeky glass of wine). I don’t know about you, but it’s never just plain water for me; soaking salts, milks, or bubbles are a must, enhancing the overall experience and benefits of the bath. There is just something magical about watching the bubbles form and stepping into clouds of foam perhaps it’s childhood nostalgia as the smile spreads across my face while I swirl my hand through them, blowing the bubbles, and watching them float across the room.

I think most people are generally aware that taking a long, warm bath is great for your health. But some may not be aware of what exactly is so great for you a warm bath increases your blood flow and releases tension in your muscles, as well as, reducing levels of cortisol (aka the hormone associated with stress). There are also many additional benefits in the ingredients of different bath products like soaking salts or bath milks.

Adding bubble bath to the water actually helps to make your bath last longer, giving you more opportunity to reap the rewards of a warm soak. The bubbles act like a layer of insulation, and the foam traps the heat in bathwater keeping it hot for longer.

While bathing dates back to about 3000 BCE in Greece, creating large amounts of foam or soap bubbles that lasted in bathtubs didn’t happen until the 1900s. Here’s a brief timeline of their history:

HISTORY OF BUBBLE BATH

1200
/ traditional bar soap making spreads across Europe after the arrival of Muslim soap makers in Spain & Italy

1900s
/ the earliest bubbles in the bath were created with foam from soap, but the amount of foam in the tub increased when soap flakes, instead of soap bars, were invented and marketed

1927
/ Hans Schwarxkopf invents and launches one of the first liquid shampoos for hair

1930s
/ more adults start taking baths with bubbles from soap flakes for cleansing purposes
/ Air bubbles created from mixing soap and water tend to pop easily, and so, alongside the invention of liquid shampoo, synthetic surfactants started being added to soaps to help create longer lasting bubbles
/ a character takes a foam bath in the original 1936 production of the American play “The Women”

the-women-american-play-joan-crawford-1930-bubble-bath

1940s
/ bubble baths grow in popularity and become more mainstream with adults
/ showing up more in television shows, films, and comics, bubble baths were used as a way to conceal actors and models clothing while making them look undressed

1950s
/ LIFE Magazine published a sultry cover of “Bubble Bath Girls” (models Rosemary Williamson, Ronan York, and Kaja Sundstenon) on August 21, 1950

life-magazine-archives-1950-bubble-bath-girls-cover


1959
/ bubble baths are marketed heavily - Charlie Eaton is credited with inventing a powder bubble bath he called “Bub”. Several larger companies like Colgate create “Soaky”, Calgon releases bath products with the tagline “take me away, Calgon!”, shortly followed by Gold Seal Company releasing Mr. Bubble

1960s
/ the first commercial bubble bath product for kids, Mr. Bubble, goes on the market
/ bubble bath manufacturers started to market their product toward parents and children, to try to make bathtime a fun activity rather than a struggle
/ the first mechanically-aerated tub was introduced into the world in 1968, when Candido Jacuzzi made the first whirlpool bathtub

mrbubble-vintage-box-bubble-bath
1972
/ Mr. Bubble released a new liquid bubble bath, reformulated from their powdered product

1989
/ bath bombs (or bath fizzies) were created, made from baking soda, citric acid, and other ingredients. This combination of ingredients creates little carbon dioxide bubbles that fizz up in the bathtub

1999
/ January 8th becomes National Bubble Bath Day in western society

2000s
/ majority of bubble baths contain synthetic scents, colours and chemicals, surfactants and parabens to decrease costs in a competitive bathing market while increasing quantity of bubbles

2010s
/ around 2011, physics professor Eugene Terentjev of Cambridge University confirmed bubbles act as an effective insulator, stating the water in a bubble bath stays hot for 50% longer than plain bathwater

2021
/ all natural bubble bath from well kept is introduced! We hand pour and hand mix all our bubble bath in small batch at our studio in Vancouver. A lot of care goes into making these long lasting bubble baths

Slipping into a bath filled with bubbles is a great option to relax, improve circulation, and have a deeper sleep. Unfortunately, many chemicals found in mass-produced bubble bath formulas are bad for the environment and bad for your health. Chemicals like surfactant Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which can cause dry skin and parabens which can disrupt hormone function can be found in bubble bath products. On top of that, it’s common for products to have synthetic fragrances which can cause irritation and dryness.

These reasons are why it’s better to make considered choices like choosing bubble baths with natural ingredients. There are also the therapeutic benefits of having essential oils in your bath that improve your emotional and physical health (yes, please!). In addition to creating a foaming layer of bubbles, our fresh bubble bath, with eucalyptus, peppermint, and clary sage essential oils provides an aromatherapy experience, helps soothes muscles and smells delicious. For a more soft scent that relaxes that mind is our blossom bubble bath, with rose, bergamot, and lemongrass essential oils. For a really, really bubbly bath, run the tap (the stronger the water pressure, the better) and slowly pour the liquid under the running water. Enjoy!