More Clean Fun! Homemade Bathtub Paint


So, remember last week, when my group of science club kids and I exploded Ivory soap, all in the interest of understanding Charles’ Law?  Well, when our little science experiment cooled down, it left me with this:

A big pile of powdery soap flakes.  So what did I do?

I followed the example set by Housing a Forest, the same blog that gave me the idea to do the ivory soap experiment, and we made bathtub paint!  I figured His Majesty was the perfect age to enjoy painting himself, the bathtub, and anything else that happened to get in his way, with slippery, foamy homemade bathtub paint.

Making it was simple. Of course, if you haven’t already, you have to stick an ordinary bar of Ivory soap (it has to be Ivory) in the microwave for about 2 minutes.

It will grow to about 5x it’s original size, and will gunk up your microwave, but it’s just soap, so no worries, wipe it up and move on. Then, set the soap cloud out to cool.  Mine sat out for about 30 hours, simply because that’s when I got around to making it, and it still worked out fine.

As far as what you’ll need to make the paint, you probably already have everything handy in your kitchen and pantry.

All you need (beside your cooled, exploded Ivory soap flakes) is a blender, food coloring, and some boiling water (which I prepared in that teapot, to make it easier to pour into the blender). Simple enough, right?

Since making the paint isn’t an exact science, I just grabbed a few handfuls of flakes at a time, filling the blender about half way.  Then, I slowly added water (if you add it too fast, you’ll get foamy soap bubbles, which is definitely not paint), and pulsed the blender.  The source blog advised that you blend your mixture to the consistency of yogurt, which took me about 10 seconds to achieve.  She also put hers into icing bags, so that her kids could “pipe” the paint, but His Majesty is more into squishing paint and using a brush, and I had the perfect little empty containers lying around to use for this activity…

Yogurt cups!!  We save them because they are good for lots of things:  Christopher loves to build towers for His Majesty with them, and His Majesty loves to stack them and knock them down, plus we use them to “water paint” on the cement, and I use them when I paint with acrylics. Save your yogurt cups, they really come in handy.

Anyway, fill up your cups with your soap-water mixture that is at the consistency of yogurt.

Then, add your food coloring, and mix your paint.

See how pretty the colors are?  His Majesty’s favorite is “Boo”.

Then, take them to the bathtub and have a go with your fantastic homemade bathtub paint.

My husband likes to be in charge of bath time, and he said that His Majesty was a little tentative about having the paint ON him (I guess my husband figured it WAS soap, so why not wash him up with it), but that he enjoyed smearing it around and “painting” the walls with it.  When the water turned colors, and my husband rinsed it down the drain, His Majesty started chirping “Paint!  Paint!” wanting to have some more paint.  Lucky him, we have plenty left over to use tomorrow.  We used the shower head to rinse the “paint” off of the walls of the tub surround, and it came off without a problem.  I’m thinking that if it’s warm enough in the coming days, I might take him outsideand let him paint the patio.  Cleaning it up shouldn’t require more than the hose.  My kind of clean up.

Two thumbs up for homemade bathtub paint.  Inexpensive, easy to make, and easy to clean up.  But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself! And then come back and let me know how your kids (and you!) liked it.


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