Homemade Bath Bombs For Stressed Moms

A few weeks ago I ran across this blog post about making your own bath fizzies (or bath bombs) on The Coterie Blog.  I loved her idea for using essential oils (like eucalyptus) in the bath bombs and dropping them in the tub to help sick kiddos feel better.

But being the selfish person that I am…the first thing that came to my mind was….WHAT ABOUT MOMMY? All you Mom’s know what I’m talking about…when your kiddos are sick, YOU are STRESSED!

Well, instead of adding eucalyptus essential oil, substitute LAVENDER, which is known for its ability to help calm stress and anxiety and to help promote sleep. Then both Mommy AND kiddos will be feeling better. :-)


So these bombs are for you Mom!  


bath bombs

Bath Bombs For Stressed Moms

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup corn starch


bath bombs

Mix dry ingredients together until completely combined and smooth. (I ground up oats in my blender and added about 1/4 cup of that too. It gives the bombs a cool textured look AND it’s good for your skin as well.)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sunflower or other light oil (almond oil would be good too.)
  • 3/4 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Lavender essential oil (depending on how strong your oil is)
  • 1/4 tsp Vitamin E oil (optional, but recommended – an antioxidant which preserves the oils)
  • 1/4 teaspoon borax (an emulsifier)
  • witch hazel in a spray bottle (it doesn’t come in a spray bottle, you will have to put it in one)
  • vegetable or other natural colorant (I didn’t feel like messing with color, so I left them white)


bath bombs

Whisk all of the wet ingredients and Borax together in a large bowl.


bath bombs 5

Drizzle slowly onto the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.


bath bombs

Mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are combined.


bath bombs

Lightly spray the mixture 2-3 times with witch hazel.


bath bombs

The mixture should just start to hold together when pressed in your hand, like slightly moist fine sand. If it’s not sticking together, spray a little more witch hazel.


bath bombs
Pack TIGHTLY into molds. I ordered these fun ones off of Amazon.com, but you could use anything really.  Even a small (1/4 cup) measuring cup.


bath bombs

Let the bath bombs dry and harden overnight before you pick them up. I got a little impatient (who, ME?) and tried to take them out of the molds a few hours later and they would not cooperate. In the morning, however, the ones I hadn’t messed with were hard as a rock. Silly me. No worries though, the crumbly stuff works just as well in the bath. :-)

This recipe made about 16 bath bombs that were 1-5/8″ inches in diameter. Can’t wait to make some more!

bath bombs

bath bombs



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    • Kim says

      Love bath bombs — From 2005 to 2008 I used to make them regularly in tons of different scents and shapes and sell them at all the farmer’s markets and on Ebay — never used Borax — Just Baking Soda, Citric Acid, Fine Sea Salt, and different essential oils and things like butters, mango butter, etc. Some were more plain with just the Baking Soda, Citric Acid, fragrance and spritz a tad of water to make them ‘stick’ == anyway my point for those who ask about the Borax or cannot find it, they still work great without.


  1. Jill Nystul says

    Anony in Norway….I have searched and searched and haven't come up with a good answer. I have read a few different things that are possible substitutions for Borax as an emulsifier: glycerin, lecithin, xanthum gum, even OxyClean. But I'm not certain about any of them. If you try any of them out and have success…be sure and let us know! :-)

  2. Zoquara says

    Jane Foster: Lemongrass bath bombs? That sounds AMAZING!!!
    Jill: Your posts make me wish I lived somewhere with a real craft store! My husband and I are constantly finding stuff we want to try to make, but our local WalMart is the closest we have without driving an hour or so! Thank goodness for Amazon!

  3. Bonnie says

    Sold! I'm totally making these! Love this. I am so glad to see that it is all natural!! Yay! I've just bought some essential oils today!! I bought eucalyptus, sweet orange and peppermint. I will buy some lavendar next time..but right now I am stuffy and bought the eucalyptus for the bath water…I will go ahead and make these bombs with eucalyptus. Can't wait to make these. By the way, I've been reading your blog everyday for a couple of weeks now and I am loving it!!! What a great blog you have.

  4. Amy Hartman says

    I love this idea, but it terrifies me that you’re using something with borax to bathe in!!! Here’s why: http://www.enviroblog.org/2011/02/borax-not-the-green-alternative-its-cracked-up-to-be.html Though it’s in such a small amount, I’d still be wary of bathing in any amount of borax, and would never put my child in a tub with some in it….

    Another recipe for bath bombs I found online skips the borax, and sounds much safer, especially for the kiddos! http://www.enviroblog.org/2011/02/borax-not-the-green-alternative-its-cracked-up-to-be.html

  5. Cindy says

    Ok Jillee, I’m hooked! Being new to your blog and website I have read dozens of posts and was eager to try some of your recipes. So eager I fact, I didn’t buy the right materials! What some would call a total bust, I am inclined to call a miraculous mistake:-) So, here goes my first attempt at Bath bombs! I bought Grapeseed oil, because it is naturally high in vitamin E, I figured I could use it as a two for one alternative (oh, did I mention I am cheap! LOL:)) Then I couldn’t find citric acid, in part because I didn’t exactly know where to look, and because after two stores I was feeling a bit defeated; instead I settled for fruit preservative from the canning section of the market. I figured it had citric acid and vitimn c, so it might work. Well my bath bombs didn’t fizz, but they were ultra moisturizing!!! I used 3 table spoons of the Grapeseed oil (combined amounts of the suggested oils, sort of. Hey, who likes to measure!?!?) and the prescribed 1/2 cup of citric acid, except I used the fruit preservative stuff. In the end, my first effort was great fun and super hydrating! I’m ready to try another recipe, but I will use the right ingredients!

    • Elle says

      I’m a bathaholic, but I still love to pamper myself in the shower. I LOVE Lush products, but they’re WAY too expensive….alas, I started making my own products. My fave product for shower from Lush is the Buffy bar (25ish bucks for something that lasts about 2 weeks with daily shower use? no thanks). They publish their ingredients on their website, so I just used that list and went from there. Here’s an approximation of what I do. You can adjust the exfoliating ingredients to more or less for your preference, or leave them out completely (you can also sub them for something harder or softer). Additionally, I have all of these butters, but, if you’re out of one, you’ll be fine, in my opinion:
      1/3C mango butter
      1/3C shea butter
      1/3C cocoa butter
      egual parts that add up to 1/3C of–ground almonds, ground red beans, and ground (dry) rice (all ground very fine in a blender/coffee grinder/whatever you’ve got)
      1-2 tsp olive oil (or your preference)

      In a double boiler, mix all butters & oils together over med-low heat until JUST melted. Remove the top of the double boiler to a counter or a towel. Add ground mixture. Allow to cool (this is the time consuming part), stirring the whole time. Just when you’re starting to get a thicker mixture that’s kind of opaque, stir well again to make sure your solids are suspended, then quickly pour into your mold(s) (make these as big or as small as you like. I would divide this size of mix into 2 molds, personally). Allow to reharden (maybe 20-30 min if you put it in the fridge), remove from mold, use on skin in a hot shower, let it set on your skin for a few minutes, then rub in/wash off before you get out.

      Also, on the Borax, I’d NEVER use that on my skin. Use glycerin as a substitute for sure. Cheap, easy, and SAFE.

  6. says

    These bath bombs sound great, and it’s another thing I would like to try and make found on your blog. I usually mix some essential oil in some Epsom Salt and put that in the bath or use as a foot bath. DoTERRA has some great essential oil scents and the oil blends are wonderful too. They are pure enough to take internally, so safe enough to put on your skin. I am glad I have stumbled across your blog site….thank you! I have a FB page if anyone is interested at http://www.facebook.com/peppermintoilandmore.

  7. Jolene says

    I made these with my daughter last night. She loves bath fizzies that color the bath water, so we added some green food coloring. They came out a pretty green, but as they were “drying” in the mold, they were growing out of it! They expanded about 1/4 out of the top of the mold. I figured it might have been the fact that the dishwasher was running and we had extra moisture in the air, or we had too much liquid in the recipe. I think next time, I’ll skip the 3/4 Tbs of water since we added food coloring, it might have been too much. She did use one for her bath and it did fizz and turn the bath water green, but it dissolved very fast. Thanks for posting this, they were fun to make and we’re learning what works and what doesn’t work for us!

      • Beverly Elrod says

        I don’t see how cornstarch can be bad for the drain. It is a food item that we eat when we have cake and it’s in a lot of processed foods…not to mention all the recipes that call for it. If it’s bad for a drain, I can’t imagine what it does to the human body. I can’t see that it would be bad for the drain. If I’m wrong, I sure hope somebody tells me before I eat any more cake.

        • Loren says

          Beverly, in small doses corn starch is ok…However it is a very dense product often used as a thickening agent and enough of it mixed with liquid can be dangerous to the human body as well as inanimate objects.

          A science lab experiment is to fill a Large tub with cornstarch and water and walk across it. its that dense. If you stand on it, you will sink but if you walk on it, you can walk across it and it will leave very little residue on you.

  8. Beverly Elrod says

    I noticed that you have Borax under the wet ingredients. I have the powdered form. In fact, I didn’t know there was such thing as a liquid form. Is there some way that I can you the powdered form?

  9. Crystal says

    I just made these today as this recipe is the one that seemed the best of all the recipes out there. I added the ground oats and used ‘Relaxation’ scented essential oil. OMG they smell great! When I went to clean my hands after making them I didn’t use soap first, just wet my hands (because I wanted to enjoy the fizzies lol) and my hands felt incredible! I made them for my sister as a thank you for all the things she has done for me lately and I am so pleased with how they turned out. Thank you for the great recipe and for your great blog. I use so many of your recipes on here and I now love baking soda and LOVE LOVE LOVE all my homemade cleaning products. I used to be of the mind that store bought is always better than homemade, but now if I can make it at home I do!

  10. Kristi B3 says

    Totally making these for my teenage daughters for Christmas. We only “store buy” $100 for Christmas, everything else is homemade. This will be great for them in a,”spa basket” full of homemade goodies!

  11. Stephanie says

    Just wanted to add a little FYI…if you are planning on making these for an expecting mother or someone trying to conceive DO NOT use Borax. Women who are pregnant are told to handle Borax with care to prevent potentially harmful side effects. So, you definitely don’t want her soaking in it.

  12. Laurie says

    I saw that you had trouble when trying to get them out of the forms after a few hours. I don’t have those silicon forms, so I wondered if you could do like dough and roll it out on wax/parchment paper, then use cookie cutters once it had thickened/hardened a bit. would that work? How long til they would be stable enough to do this, if at all?

  13. Briana says

    So I made these without the witch hazel and borax (mostly because after my long hunt for citric acid, I completely forgot about these and was too impatient to find those too!). Without the two it worked great!!! I just used more oil to hold the materials together. I used a touch of water on my first batch. Duhh, of course, it was a bad idea. Thank you for the recipe though! I’m giving a bunch to my parents and enjoying some of my own :-)

  14. Hope says

    Made these up tonight with rosemary an d lavender. Put them in cupcake papers. They were ready in 2 hours.

    They are so fab!!! Make the bath water soft and skin even softer. Will become my go-to gift for the ladies.

    So awesome!!!

  15. Angi B says

    Help! I wanted to make these with my kindergarteners for gifts, but cannot find Citric Acid that I can afford! To make them with 30 students, the cost of citric acid online is horrific – and no one in town carries it bulk. Any suggestions??

  16. Christin says

    Did anyone else have a problem with them rising as they dried? Mine poofed up and aren’t drying well. They’ve been sitting for about 10 hours. I’m wondering if my house is too moist or if I used too much witch hazel. I pulled one out and formed a ball with it and it still works, just isn’t as pretty. Any suggestions for the next batch?

  17. Faith says

    I made these as Christmas gifts, and they turned out great! I didn’t have witch hazel and added about 1/2 tsp coconut oil but otherwise followed the original post. They turned out awesome and smell great!! Mine hardened overnight and did not crumble at all when I took them out of the holders. I used plastic chocolate molds.

  18. Jordan says

    I tried this recipe for a present for my sisters for Christmas and was extremely disappointed!! I left mine overnight and they didn’t stick together at all! Now I did all that work for nothing. Thanks a lot.

  19. Lalyna says

    I was wondering if anyone else’s swelled up after putting it in the molds? I used a cupcake tin, and it swelled up above the tin, and also I used 1 tbs instead of teaspoon of the fragrance oil, and added food coloring! Hope it hardens by morning time :)

    • Trish F says

      I agree w/you Brownee! It is not the author’s fault that these didn’t turn out for her. I tried to make these a couple of years ago (different formula), they didn’t turn out that great either but I certainly didn’t “blame” the person I got the formula from for the failure.

  20. Katie B says

    I just got finished making these and had a blast! They turned out well so far. I couldn’t find almond or sunflower oil, so I used coconut oil. Just melted a bit and during mixing it seemed to work well. I made some just as lavender, and the other half as lavender and eucalyptus. I’m going to be giving mostof this batch away, but I can’t wait to make another batch for myself!!

  21. Deanna says

    I would not use borax in my bath water…researched it and am even thnking of taking it out of my homemade laundry detergent. Disappointed with the recipe…but happy for most that I find…go DIY people!

  22. says

    You don’t need Witch Hazel at all for this recipe to work. In fact, I would omit altogether. Take your wet ingredients and put in a squeeze type bottle (think ketchup dispenser at fast food restaurants) and squeeze this into the dry mixture, mixing thoroughly as you go. Try to squeeze the bottle with one hand while mixing the dry and wet with the other. Do not let the wet mixture sit on top of the dry mixture as this will “set off” the citric acid which is what makes your bath bomb fizz in your tub. You must pack the mixture tightly in your mold. I also use salt (Epsom, Dead Sea Salt) in my bath bombs which make them harder. Vitamin E does not preserve the oils. It will help prolong the shelf life of carrier oils (not essential oils) but will not preserve them. I would also omit the borax. If the bombs swell it usually means too much liquid or you are making them when it is very humid. They love to suck the moisture out of the air.

  23. Katie B says

    Just a suggestion. Make sure you store them something other than a plastic bag. Preferably a glass jar or something. I put mine in plastic baggies and they lost their smell really fast.

  24. Mary says

    I am a tutor for one of my students who needed to practice on reading procedural texts. I chose this one and she followed all the steps and bath bombs came out successfully. They smell wonderfully. I was concerned about using Borax. I used grapeseed oil instead of sunflower oil. I used less of the grapeseed oil since it’s thicker than the sunflower oil, but I added a little more of essential lavender oil. Next time I would try glycerin, but where can I find it? And is it safe on our skin? Jordan, my student had no trouble making ‘em stick together ‘n they came out of plastic ice cube trays easily. Use witch hazel more, if needed, to make ‘em stick together. I left ‘em overnight. I’m fortunate that I live in Austin, TX; and there is a wonderful herb bar where there’s a wide variety of essential oils (www.theherbbar.com). That’s how I learned about using the grapeseed oil instead. Next time I’d make ‘em again but will use essential valencia orange oil for energy. As for the citric acid, I found ‘em at a healthy grocery store (Sprouts Farmers). I called ‘em to check if they have, so I didn’t have to drive from one place to another. I gave my student an A plus!


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