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Love Bath Bombs? This Easy DIY Recipe Will Save You A Fortune

bath bombs

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 bombs

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
  • Cornstarch
  • Epsom salt
  • Oils
  • Liquid

Baking Soda

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

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.

Cornstarch

Once the cornstarch in your bath bomb dissolves, it leaves the water feeling silky smooth!

Salt

Adding Epsom salts to a bath is an easy way to soothe sore muscles, making it a perfect addition to bath bombs too!

Oils

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!)

Liquid

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.

bath bombs

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

bath bombs

Tools & Supplies

You don’t need a lot of special equipment to make bath bombs, but you will need these items:

*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!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup Epsom salt
3/4 cup cornstarch

Wet Ingredients

1 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp carrier oil (see “Oils” section above)
20-30 drops essential oils
3-5 drops food coloring (optional)

Directions:

bath bombs

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.

bath bombs

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.

bath bombs

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.

bath bombs

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.

bath bombs

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!)

bath bombs

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.

bath bombs

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.

bath bombs

Customize With Colors And Scents!

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?

bath bombs

DIY Bath Bomb Recipe

Jill Nystul
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.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Drying Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Cost $24
Yield 12 bath bombs

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Hand whisk
  • Small mason jar
  • Bath bomb mold or muffin tin

Ingredients
  

Dry Ingredients

  • 8 oz baking soda
  • 4 oz Epsom salt
  • 4 oz citric acid
  • 4 oz corn starch

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 Tbl water
  • 3 Tbl oil almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, fractionated coconut oil, or olive oil
  • 20-30 drops essential oils
  • 3-5 drops food coloring optional

Instructions
 

  • 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.
    bath bombs
  • 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.
    bath bombs
  • 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.
    bath bombs
  • 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!
    bath bombs
  • 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!
    bath bombs

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I love the bath bombs but I am not so good at getting the mixture right – it gets either too dry or wet and then I didn’t get them compacted enough. But I found it easier to use metal muffin trays than the silicon ones, as they can take it when you press down harder. I had to do over some of the dozen, as they dried and fell apart, but at last I got them o.k. – thanks for the fun and lovely smelling tip! I used Spark essentials Bliss blend, which you recommended some time ago – calming and nice.

  • Hi there,
    I am going to help my son make these bombs for a school craft fair this November. Can you help us with suggested dyes that won’t stain the tub? And for essential oils….you said 100%, correct? any other tips fro us first timers? also curious….what do you think the cost to one batch is roughly?….just trying to figure out pricing etc…
    thank you in advance for your help!

    • It depends on the size of your mold. Only 4 or 5 muffin-sized ones, but you’ll get a lot more if you’re just using a tablespoon measurer! Probably closer to 15 or so :-)

  • While making these, a spray container with witch hazel in it comes in handy for moistening the bombs. It doesn’t make them expand. If you can get a colorant that can be infused into oil, it helps. If you use silicone molds ( Ikea has some cute ice cube trays) then you can leave them in the mold to dry, which is much easier, And I agree, they make the house smell great! Love your blog, so many good ideas! Thanks!

    • That’s the stuff! I found it at a health food store. Most grocery stores just have “Fresh Fruit,” which has citric acid in it, but you don’t need all the sugar that comes with it!

  • Jillee,
    I was wondering if there was anything that I could use in substitute for the Essential Oils. I can’t afford to make the type of purchase.
    Thank you for your help! Love your blog, I’ve been a follower for many years. I always have learned something new and extremely useful.
    Thank you again!

    • Hi Stephanie! You could substitute dried lavender or lemon zest! The smell would not be quite as strong, but it would work! A small bottle of lavender is only $6.99 – and there are tons of other uses for it. Some readers suggested cheaper oils from Walmart, and those would probably be just fine for a recipe like this. You just wouldn’t want to take those oils internally, though, and they’re just not going to be as strong! Look for 100% pure essential oils if you do take that route. :-) I hope that helps!

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