There’s are many reasons to love bath bombs, from their pleasant scents to their soothing fizz. They even leave your skin super soft too, but considering their often steep price tags (LUSH bath bombs can cost $8-16 each, depending on the size!), they can be a surprisingly expensive luxury!
But the good news is that you can enjoy all the relaxation and feel-good factor of a bath bomb without blowing your budget, simply by making them at home! I’ve found a bath bomb recipe that features the same natural ingredients you can find in the high end ones, but for a fraction of the cost. (Even if you didn’t have any of the ingredients on hand to begin with, it would still only cost you around $2 per bomb in materials!)
And while making a fizzy bath bomb may sound complicated, it really couldn’t be easier and they’re so much fun to make! It only takes around 10 minutes of hands-on effort, and when you’re done, you’ll have a whole batch of homemade bath bombs you can use yourself or give away as gifts!
Bath Bomb Ingredients
Before we get to the recipe, let’s quickly go over what goes into making them. The great thing about making your own homemade bath bombs is that you complete control over what is going into them. (No harsh chemicals or artificial colors to worry about here!)
My bath bomb recipe calls for the same six basic ingredients that go into many bath bombs:
- Baking soda
- Citric acid
- Epsom salt
Baking soda makes up the bulk of most bath bomb recipes, in part because helps produce the fizzy reaction that occurs when you drop one into your bath water. It’s also a mild exfoliant that can help soften rough or dry skin.
Citric acid, which occurs naturally in citrus and other fruits, contributes to the fizzy reaction of the bath bomb and makes skin feel nice and smooth after soaking.
Once the cornstarch in your bath bomb dissolves, it leaves the water feeling silky smooth!
Adding Epsom salts to a bath is an easy way to soothe sore muscles, making it a perfect addition to bath bombs too!
There are two kinds of oils you can use in bath bombs, carrier oils and essential oils. A carrier oil is necessary to the shape and structure of these bath bombs, and essential oils can infuse them with natural scents and provide additional skin benefits.
For this recipe, you could use almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, fractionated coconut oil, and even olive oil as your carrier oil. And as far as essential oils go, you can use whatever ones you like! (See “Customize With Colors And Scents” near the bottom of this post for ideas!)
Lastly, you’ll need a bit of liquid to bind all the bath bomb ingredients together. Water works just fine for this job, but you could use witch hazel as well.
BONUS: Add-Ins & Extras
Once you get the hang of making your own bath bombs, you can start experimenting with add-ins and extras to jazz them up! Add finely chopped herbs for a fresh aroma, or add flower petals or biodegradable glitter to make your soak feel even more special.
You could even add a little food coloring or mica powder (a common colorant used in cosmetics) to color your bath bombs. About 3-5 drops of food coloring should be enough to add some color without risking any staining of your bathtub (or skin!), while a pinch of mica powder will produce a more vibrant hue.
Now that we’ve got over the ingredients, it’s time to learn how to make these bath bombs (and how to customize it to create your very own bath bomb recipe!)
How To Make Homemade Bath Bombs
Tools & Supplies
You don’t need a lot of special equipment to make bath bombs, but you will need these items:
- Mixing bowl
- Mason jar
- Bath bomb molds*
*Note: I use my muffin tin as my mold whenever I make bath bombs because it’s convenient, but you could use any silicone molds or plastic molds you like. If you’re going to be making bath bombs regularly, consider getting dedicated bath bomb molds!
1 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp carrier oil (see “Oils” section above)
20-30 drops essential oils
3-5 drops food coloring (optional)
Step 1 – Combine Dry Ingredients
Add the citric acid, baking soda, Epsom salt, and cornstarch to a large mixing bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients until they are well incorporated and the mixture is free of clumps.
Step 2 – Combine Wet Ingredients
Next, add water, carrier oil, essential oils, and food coloring (if using) to a mason jar. Secure the lid on the jar and shake vigorously to combine.
Step 3 – Add Wet To Dry
Remove the lid from the jar, then SLOWLY pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture while whisking gently and constantly. It’s crucial to do this slowly to minimize the amount of fizzing as much as you can, because the more fizzing happens in the bowl, the less will happen when you drop the bath bomb into your tub!
You may find it easier to avoid fizzing if you use a spray bottle to add the wet ingredients instead of pouring them in. But whichever way you choose to do it, if you hear the mixture begin to fizz at any point, stop and whisk the mixture vigorously to stop the reaction.
Step 4 – Test The Moisture Level
Add any extras or add-ins at this point. When the mixture begins to come together in clumps, pinch some of the mixture together to test it. If it retains it’s shape reasonably well when you pinch it, you’ve got the moisture level just right!
If you’ve added all of the wet ingredients but your mixture still isn’t quite there, add an additional small drizzle of carrier oil until you can pinch the mixture and get it to stick together.
Step 5 – Fill The Molds
At this point, the mixture is ready to be formed into bath bombs! For larger LUSH-sized bath bombs, aim to fill the cavity of a standard muffin tin. Use a mini muffin tin to make smaller bath bombs, or you can use a standard muffin tin but only fill the cavities halfway full.
Regardless of what type of mold you’re using or how much mixture you’re adding to each cavity, make sure to pack the mixture down as much as possible. (If they aren’t packed well enough, they’re likely to fall apart during the next step!)
Step 6 – Remove And Let Dry
When you’re confident that you’ve packed your bombs tightly enough, gently tip them out or otherwise remove them from the mold. They won’t dry or harden properly if they’re left in the mold, so don’t skip this step!
Once removed from the mold, let your bath bombs sit out at room temperature until they’re completely dry. Allow them to dry for at least a few hours, but be aware that it could take a full 24 hours depending on how humid your climate is.
Storing Your DIY Bath Bombs
The most important thing about storing finished bath bombs is keeping them away from moisture.
And as don’t be tempted to use airtight container—bath bombs will release air and gas as they continue to dry, and if it has nowhere to go, pressure will build up inside the container. The simplest (and cheapest) storage solution for bath bombs is to put them in a cellophane gift bag.
Customize With Colors And Scents!
- When it comes to customizing your bath bombs, there are an infinite number of possible combinations you can create using colors and scents. Here are a few ideas that I’ve been wanting to make, just in case you would like a little inspiration:
- Purple coloring with lavender essential oil and dried lavender flowers
- Yellow coloring with lemon essential oil (or sweet orange essential oil)
- Green coloring with rosemary essential oil
- Blue coloring with eucalyptus essential oil
- Pink coloring with geranium essential oil
Whether you plan to make them for yourself, or hand them out as holiday gifts, these bath bombs are sure to provide a relaxing and restorative bathing experience. So grab your whisk and mixing bowl and give this easy-to-make bath bomb recipe a try! :-)
What kind of bath bomb would you be most excited to try?
DIY Bath Bomb Recipe
- Large mixing bowl
- Hand whisk
- Small mason jar
- Bath bomb mold or muffin tin
- 8 oz baking soda
- 4 oz Epsom salt
- 4 oz citric acid
- 4 oz corn starch
- 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!