I love bath bombs. The combination of incredible scents, soothing fizz, and beautifully soft skin is hard to beat, but it’s often an expensive luxury. Just one Lush bath bomb can cost $7.95, and their ‘Giant Bombshells’ cost $15.95!
If you want all the relaxation and feel-good factor of a bath bomb, but would prefer to do it on a budget, I’ve found a bath bomb recipe that features the same natural ingredients for a fraction of the cost.
To make your own DIY bath bombs, you’re going to need baking soda, citric acid, corn starch, salt, as well as your choice of essential oils and colorants. It takes around 10 minutes to make, and the results are out of this world!
Don’t worry if it sounds complicated; it really couldn’t be simpler. I’ll explain every step here. When you’re done, your homemade bath bombs will make great gifts too, if you can bring yourself to give them away!
What’s In A Bath Bomb?
Before we get started with the recipe, it’s useful to understand what goes into making them. The great thing about making your own bath bomb is that you know exactly what goes into the mix. No one likes exposing their skin to harsh chemicals or artificial colors, and when you make your own, you don’t have to!
There are six basic ingredients:
- Baking soda
- Citric acid
- Corn starch
- Salt (or Epsom salts if you prefer)
- A base oil
- A liquid (water works just fine)
Baking soda makes up most of the bulk of the bath bomb, and it’s an essential part of getting that fantastic fizzy reaction when you drop one into your bathwater.
Acid might not sound like a great addition to your bath, but don’t panic! Citric acid naturally occurs in fruits like lemons and limes, and it’s a popular addition to medicines and beauty products. As well as helping with the relaxing fizz, citric acid gives your skin a beautiful smooth feeling after you’ve indulged in a bath bomb.
After your bath bomb dissolves, it leaves the water feeling silky smooth!
Athletes often add salt to their bathwater to help ease sore muscles. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from a little relaxation! Basic salt helps to smooth the skin and flush out toxins, but Epsom salts are an even more luxurious and soothing option.
There are two kinds of oil you can use in bath bombs, a base oil and essential oils. You’ll need a base oil to help create the shape and consistency of the bomb, and while essential oils are optional, they will give your bombs a fantastic scent.
Almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, or even olive oil all work perfectly as a base oil. These help the bomb melt into your bath and provide a beautiful natural moisturizing element.
You can also use essential oils to give your bath bomb that pure Lush-inspired heavenly scent. You’ll need far less essential oil than base oil, but you’ve got an almost endless selection to choose from. If you’d like a bath bomb with a bit of added tingle, you might even choose to add some peppermint oil!
You’ll need some liquid to bind the ingredients together, and water works perfectly for this job. You might decide to add a little color to the water to give your bath bombs some vibrancy. If you do, natural food coloring is an effective and safe option.
If you like to get inventive, you might decide to add some extra ingredients too. Some people add chopped herbs for a delicious fresh aroma. Adding flower petals or biodegradable glitter can make your bath bombs look out of this world!
Basic Homemade Bath Bomb Recipe
Now that we understand what each ingredient does, it’s time to create your own DIY bath bomb recipe!
Here are a few helpful details about what to expect from this project.
Creating the bath bomb mixture should take no more than 10 minutes. However, you’ll need to allow several hours of drying time. Ideally, you should leave your bath bombs to dry overnight.
You may have some of these ingredients in your cupboards already, but if you do need to go and shop for bath bomb ingredients, you can expect a cost of around $2 per bomb – rather than the store-bought $12.
If you make a big batch, you’ll probably be able to drop the price even further, making these a great DIY gift idea for the holiday season!
Making bath bombs is simple, so this gets an ‘easy’ recipe rating. But if you want to get the kids involved, you’ll need to make sure they’re not sensitive to any of the ingredients before they roll their sleeves up.
Luckily, you don’t need a lot of equipment to create your bath bomb mixture:
- Large mixing bowl
- A hand whisk
- A small mason jar
- A bath bomb mold (optional)
If you don’t have dedicated bath bomb molds, you can use cupcake or muffin tins instead. Be warned though, it’s difficult to squash your mix down firmly enough in silicone molds, and your bath bombs might crumble if they’re not packed tight enough. Metal molds will give a much better result.
I suggest measuring your dry ingredients with a kitchen scale because you want precise amounts to get the best outcome. If you don’t have a scale, I’ve provided volumetric measurements, too – but it’s important to remember that they are approximate.
- 8 oz baking soda – Just under 1 cup
- 4 oz Epsom salts – A slightly heaping 1/2 cup
- 4 oz citric acid – 1/2 cup
- 4 oz corn starch – 3/4 cup
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 3 Tablespoons oil (Almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, fractionated coconut oil, or olive oil)
- 20-30 drops of essential oils
- 3-5 drops food coloring (optional)
I’ve broken the method down into six easy-to-follow steps:
Mix all the dry ingredients in your large bowl. Whisk the powder for 20-30 seconds until the dry ingredients are combined and free of clumps.
Add all your wet liquid ingredients to the small mason jar before closing the lid. Make sure it’s sealed tight, then vigorously shake the ingredients to combine.
Open your mason jar carefully and SLOWLY pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, gently mixing with your whisk as you do.
It’s imperative that you gently pour the liquid in, as it can start the fizzing process if you suddenly splash it all into the mix. If you do hear the mixture begin to fizz, quickly stir it up to stop the reaction.
When your mixture begins to come together in clumps, it’s time to dip your fingers in and test it! If you can pinch the mix together and it retains some shape, you’ve got the liquid level just right!
If it’s still powdery, you’ll need to add a little more liquid. If you’ve already emptied your mason jar, simply add a bit more base oil. Just add a small drizzle, until you can pinch the mixture, and it holds together.
Now, press your mixture into your molds. You’ll have to press down hard to make sure they’re as compacted as possible, as you don’t want them to fall to pieces when they’re dry!
If you want to get Lush-size bath bombs, aim to fill a standard muffin tin ¾ full. For extra-cute mini bombs, you can fill just ½ way.
If you’d like to make your bath bombs stand out, now’s a good time to add your additional ingredients! A rose petal at the bottom of each tin looks fantastic, as do dried herbs!
When you’re confident that you’ve packed your mixture tight enough, gently tap your bombs out of the mold to let them dry. This is a crucial step, as they just won’t set properly if they’re left in the mold.
If you live in a dry area like I do, then you might find your bombs are ready within a few hours. It’s usually a good idea to leave them overnight to be sure. They’ll bring a heavenly smell to your home as they dry too!
Storing Your DIY Bath Bombs
If you’ve made a big batch of bath bombs, make sure to store them away from any moisture.
Don’t use an airtight container. Your bombs will release a little air as they continue to dry, and this will cause the container to bulge or make a sealed baggie pop open!
Instead, hop on Amazon and look for cellophane gift bags. They’re cheap, and they’re perfect for showing off your beautifully colored creations.
Some Ideas For Colors And Scents
When it comes to colors and scents, your only limit is your imagination! With essential oils, colors, and herbs, you’ll be able to recreate your favorite desserts and aromas with a little practice.
If you need a little inspiration, why not try some of my blends?
- Purple food coloring with lavender and a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil. The lavender creates a relaxing scent, while the peppermint provides a tingle for aching muscles.
- Yellow or orange food coloring with lemon, neroli, or sweet orange essential oils. This citrus blend is excellent for an energizing morning bath!
- Green food coloring with lemongrass, rosemary, and thyme essential oils. An aromatic herbal blend that nourishes your hair.
- Blue food coloring with eucalyptus and lavender essential oils. This is a calming, relaxing scent. If you close your eyes, the smell will make you feel like you’re in a spa!
- Red food coloring with rose essential oil. The rose scent is luxurious and relaxing, so be careful not to fall asleep!
Give It A Try!
You could be forgiven for thinking bath bombs are just good fun. After all, who doesn’t love watching those incredible colors fizz and mix with your swirling bath water?!
The truth is, you can pack so much more into a bath bomb. The scent from essential oils can help you unwind when life feels stressful, and the right base oils can help to ease skin conditions or repair damaged or dry hair.
Whether you plan to make them for yourself, or hand them out as holiday gifts, bath bombs are guaranteed to be a hit. So, grab your whisk and mixing bowl and give the recipe a go!