DIY Bath bombs are just the thing to turn boring baths into a luxury home spa treatment. You throw one of these into the bath and it immediately fizzes, releasing gorgeous oils, salts, and fragrances into your bathwater, for a wonderful relaxing soak.
In this post, I’ll show you how to make bath bombs with luscious oils and wonderful exfoliating salts for your skin, along with citric acid for that fabulous fizz. After lots of research & experimenting, I can say that this is my best bath bomb recipe ever.
DIY Bath Bombs Are Cheaper
Shop-bought bath bombs are extremely popular because they work the best and are full of amazing ingredients that do wonders for the skin. The only problem? They’re expensive, especially for someone like me who loves baths!
High street bath bomb brands tend to have Epsom salts in them, so I’ve included this in my homemade bath bombs for an extra touch of luxury, at a price that won’t break the bank!
Bath bombs also make amazing gifts on their own, or as part of an interesting diy bath products set. You can’t go wrong with these, someone you know will love them!
Watch How To Make Bath Bombs At Home
First, let’s talk about the basics and show you a simple no-fail recipe for making bath bombs, they are very easy to make and fun at the same time. Then we’ll show you how to make them multi-colored and a few other variations.
The Brilliant Bath Bomb Course Is Now Available Online!
The basic bath bomb recipe is quite simple but it takes time and lots of experimentation to get it just right. Luckily for you, I’ve already done that work! I’ve been making and perfecting bath bombs for years, and thousands of visitors have used my basic recipe to make their very first bath bombs.
More recently hundreds have taken my brand new Brilliant Bath Bombs Course. It’s a self-paced online course for making all sorts of different bath bombs and is currently still in its Half Price Launch offer of $15.
Most students recoup that small investment through the money they save on unwasted ingredients alone, not to mention the value they place on their time saved navigating the learning curve!
Bath Bomb Course Bonus Lessons:
Something people love about the course is that it’s updated regularly with fabulous new bonus lessons, just like these recent updates:
Coloring Your Bath Bombs
A big part of the bath bomb process is choosing your coloring agent carefully in order to get the bath bomb recipe right, especially if you’re planning to gift or sell them.
As your bath bombs fizz, whatever you’ve used to color them will mix with the water in the bath, along with all your other ingredients.
Liquid soap dyes and food coloring are both good choices for dye if you’re new to making bath bombs. But you’ll quickly want to find something a little stronger as your experience grows.
As you make your bath bombs you’ll notice that while liquid soap dye is very easy to use, it doesn’t provide a vivid color. You’re limited by how much you can put in because if you add too much the mixture will be too wet.
On the other hand, Mica provides a very very vibrant DIY bath bomb. Over recent years, I have been experimenting with using micas more and more. In fact, I actually prefer it now.
To learn my technique for mica bath bombs, as well as how to substitute any bath bomb recipe for mica, take a look at my brand new bath bomb course!
Troubleshooting Your Bath Bombs
There’s a lot that can go wrong with your homemade bath bombs, especially considering there are usually so few ingredients! This can be frustrating, but it’s something we all have to deal with to get our beautiful bath bombs.
The most common problem you will find is getting the right moisture content into the bath bomb mixture. Sometimes, on drier days, bath bombs need a little more moisture to hold together.
On the other hand, if it’s too wet or you add too much of the liquid ingredients, then you end up with a bath bomb that won’t come out of the mold in one piece! It just sticks in there and leaves a nasty residue on the mold.
Adding a little moisture to a bath bomb is easy, and we show you how to do this below. However, you can’t exactly ‘take moisture out’ of a recipe easily. So to combat mixture being too wet, we need to be mindful.
I’ve found my mixture is sometimes too wet when I go to town on the liquid soap dye or food coloring. Sometimes you want a vibrant color, and you need a lot of dye to get it where you want it to be. So just be careful how much you add.
However, there are other things that can go wrong when making your own bath bombs, and we talk a lot about these problems in our very first bath bomb course! Take a look to see more about what you can do to get perfect DIY bath bombs every time.
Why Am I Not Using Polysorbate 80 In This Recipe?
Thousands of visitors have used the following recipe and made bath bombs without having to use a drop of Polysorbate 80. This is the most basic recipe I have, and it’s also the most natural, so I like to teach people it first.
Having said that, I do use Polysorbate 80 in many recipes. For example, it is featured in my oat so simple bath bombs and my mini milk bath bombs. I find the benefits of using polysorbate 80 far outway any concerns I have about it not being a totally natural product.
My new bath bombs course goes into detail about how I use polysorbate 80 and emulsifying wax to make my bath bombs foam better and disperse the colorants better in water.
Ok, let’s make the basic bath bombs
Ingredients in the basic bath bomb recipe below should get you anywhere from 8-10 bath bombs, depending on the size of your molds. Just keep going until you’ve used up all of your bath bomb ingredients, you’ll find uses for them I’m sure. For colors & scents, you can use whatever essential oils, fragrance oils, or color dye you like. Although for the carrier oils I do think almond oil and coconut oil work the best for bath bombs.
How To Make Bath Bombs At Home
- Mixing Bowl (Glass, Aluminium or PET)
- Bring together all of your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, (baking soda, corn starch, Epsom salts) excluding your citric acid. We want to leave the citric acid until later, as adding it now can complicate things during the liquid pour step, just trust me.2 cups Baking Soda, 1 cup Corn Starch, 1 cup Epsom Salts
- In a seperate container, you can go ahead and mix your wet ingredients as well, including any food color or soap dye you’re planning to use.4 tsp Sweet Almond Oil, 4 tsp Fragrance Oil, 2 tsp Distilled Water, A few drops of Liquid Soap Dye
- Working slowly so as not to disturb the baking soda too much, add your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients a bit at a time and mixing thoroughly with your hands. (Adding your dye to the Epsom salts rather than your liquids is an interesting alternative worth trying at some point. Just mix thoroughly before adding the salts to the rest of your dry ingredients).
- As you work the bath bomb ingredients, you’re looking for a texture that is similar to that of damp, but no saturated, sand. You’ll notice that the mixture will begin to stick together at this stage, a bit like wet sand does in your sandcastle bucket.
- Once all of your liquid has been added and you’ve mixed thoroughly, add your citric acid and mix once more. It’s okay to use your hands but as citric acid can cause irritation and burns, make sure you’re using gloves.1 cup Citric Acid
- Now to get that orb-like shape we associate with a bath bomb. Take both halves of your mold and pack them with your mixture. You want it ever so slightly heaped so that your halves stick together well.
- When you’re ready, press the two halves together tightly so that the mixture bonds into an orb. After a few seconds, you should be able to remove one half of the mold.
- Lastly, gently set the exposed half onto a silicon cupcake case. You don’t have to use a cupcake case, some people use muffin tins for this, but I find it’s the best thing to rest these on without them falling apart. Hopefully, it should just pop out of your bath bomb mold, but if it doesn’t gently tap it to try and loosen it up. If this becomes a regular issue, take a look at how much liquid you’ve used. Also try working a bit quicker and don’t leave the mixture in the mold for more than a few seconds.
- You can use plastic bath bomb molds but prefer to use metal molds, and haven’t had a problem with them. If you’ve had problems with a mold made from a particular material (say plastic) let me know how it turned out. Otherwise, stick to metal. You'll then want to leave your bath bombs to dry for at least 24 hours, but usualy a couple of days. Pop them somewhere they won't be disturbed easily, just reduce the chance of dents and imperfections.
How To Use Bath Bombs
So now you have some great bath treats, let’s move on to how we use them which is totally easy.
The next time you run a hot bath, simply throw one of the bath bombs into the water. The ingredients all mix with the water to create the chemical reaction that makes a big fizz, and it will take about 5 minutes to completely fizzle away, so you can wait until you’re in the tub before you pop it in.
And Gifting These Bath Bombs
These DIY bath bombs make perfect gifts. Sometimes I gift these on their own for the hell of it, using cute little paper gift bags and some shredded tissue paper without any need other than my love of sharing homemade things.
But if it’s someone’s birthday, pop one in a gift bag with some other lovely beauty products. You could even make a nice gift basket or hamper if it’s a very special occasion.
Kid Friendly Bath Bombs
Bath bombs should be for everyone, including your little ones, so how do you make bath bombs kid-friendly?
The following bath bomb recipe is infused with lavender essential oil, which is well known for instilling a sense of calm necessary for sleep.
Sleepy Time Bath Bomb Recipe
These bath bombs are great to use if you have a toddler, right before bedtime. While you should be careful using essential oils on children, Lavender is one of the best EO’s you can buy for sensitive skin. Besides that, each bath bomb should have no more than a few drops, which should be fine in a tub full of water.
- 1 cup Baking Soda
- ½ Citric Acid
- ½ Cornstarch
- ½ Epsom Salts
- 3 tsp Peach Kernel Oil
- 1 teaspoon distilled water
- 1 teaspoon Lavender Essential Oil
- Purple Water-soluble soap dye or food coloring (optional)
I’ve used a peach kernel oil in this recipe, which I’ve used in many a bath bomb recipe before, and it works great. A good alternative is sweet almond oil, which is what I used almost exclusively in my bath bomb recipes up until a couple of years ago.
I would not try to substitute the essential oil for anything else, as Lavender is very kind on the skin. A fragrance oil is a bit unsuitable here, as I’d prefer to use only natural ingredients for my kids and grandkids. It’s also the main ‘sleepy time’ agent in this recipe, and everyone with a little one knows how difficult it can be to get them to fall asleep sometimes.
The method (and recipe) for this is nearly the same as the basic bath bomb recipe above, so go ahead and follow that.
However, notice that I have used a different type of mold for this recipe. While you can use any mold you wish, if you’re using a mold like I have (see picture), simply pack the mold firmly with your hands and leave to dry for 24 hours. Then, you can gently remove them from the mold. As simple as that.
Multi Colored Bath Bombs
So, that’s how to make bath bombs using just one color for each. But, how do you make multi colored bath bombs?
This can actually make them very eye-catching, and it’s a great technique to learn! You can even use more than just two colors, but if this is the first time you’ve done this, start with just the two, I just think they are so cool looking!
Making multi-colored bath bombs is just one of 29 lessons in my Brilliant Bath Bombs Course. Some of my other favorites include the clay bath bombs, color surprise bath bombs, confetti bath bombs, painted bath bombs, cupcake bath bombs, mooncake shower steamers, and more. I’m adding new bath bomb lessons every other month at the moment!
That’s everything I have for you today. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to make bath bombs at home. The liquid pour stage can be a bit of a struggle sometimes, you’ll get used to it after the first few batches you make. Just remember to add the citric acid last and you shouldn’t have too many problems.
I can’t say this enough; homemade bath bombs make fabulous gifts that nearly everyone will enjoy. Perhaps not a great choice for a man, but you never know!
The only thing I can think of that might put someone off is if the color or fragrance isn’t to their liking. Either make lots of different varieties of bath bombs or you can customize a batch just for them. The latter is what I tend to do as it’s such a lovely, thoughtful thing to do. Everyone will be impressed with them, all of my friends certainly are.
And don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on in the comments section below. I love to hear your trial and error stories and the latest DIY bath bomb recipes. Sharing your successes and even your failures can really help someone that’s quite new to this and making bath bombs for the first time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the ingredients to make a bath bomb?
2 cups Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
1 cup Corn Starch
1 cup Citric Acid
1 cup Epsom Salts
4 tsp Sweet Almond Oil
4 tsp Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil
2 tsp Distilled Water
A few drops of Liquid Soap Dye (or food coloring)
How to make bath bombs with essential oils?
Add 4 tsp of essential oil to 4 tsp sweet almond oil, then add any food color or soap dye you’re planning to use. These are your wet ingredients, which should then be mixed with your dry ingredients to make the bath bomb mixture.
How do you make 3 ingredient bath bombs?
You can leave out the corn starch and make bath bombs with just citric acid, baking soda, and Epsom salts as the dry ingredients. Just replace the corn starch with more baking soda and you’ll still have great bath bombs. I only have it in my recipe because it helps to slow down the reaction and makes the bath bomb last a bit longer before fizzling out.
How do you make a 100% natural bath bomb?
The ingredients we use for making bath bombs are all naturally occurring products. But unfortunately these days they are all commercially manufactured in one way or another. So we can never claim to be making totally natural bath bombs, but these are as close to ‘Natural’ as you can get. And we can certainly make bath bombs without the added chemicals and other nasties included in the store-bought varieties.
How to make bath bombs for kids?
See my Sleepytime recipe above. These bath bombs are great to use if you have a toddler, right before bedtime. While you should be careful using essential oils on children, Lavender is one of the best EO’s you can buy for sensitive skin. Besides that, each bath bomb should have no more than a few drops, which should be fine in a tub full of water.
How to make bath bombs like Lush?
Lush make so many wonderful and lovely smelling bath bombs! But each recipe will be using different oils and aromas. So the question should be, how do I make my bath bombs as good as the ones for sale at Lush? Simple, follow the many recipes in my Brilliant Bath bomb Course!
How much does it cost to make your own bath bombs?
This will depend upon the quantity and quality of your oils. Fragrance oils are cheaper than essential oils, and some carrier oils are more expensive than others. So as long as you don’t go for something like Rose essential oil, you will find that the average cost of a homemade bath bomb is around $.50, less if you opt for the cheapest oils.
Is it cheaper to make or buy bath bombs?
You can buy bath bombs for $.50 but they won’t be the same quality as the $.50 bath bomb made at home using premium ingredients. To match this quality in-store you are looking at over $4 and sometimes much more. So looking at like for like, I would say that making bath bombs yourself is 8 times cheaper.
How long does it take to make bath bombs?
Making bath bombs is a very quick process. Once you gain experience it only takes around 10 minutes to make a dozen. But remember that they do need 24 hours to harden.
How long do DIY bath bombs last?
Homemade bath bombs with natural ingredients do have a tendency to fall apart eventually, but that takes many months.
Why are my DIY bath bombs too wet or too dry?
You may have used a little bit too much water. Have you added any witch hazel or rubbing alcohol? If so try omitting this. If not, then reduce the water. Also, ensure that you are adding all of your dry ingredients to the bowl (excluding citric acid) before adding your wet ingredients. Then add the citric acid at the end before forming your bath bombs. If the mixture is too dry, try using a few sprays of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. If it is too wet, try omitting some of the water or using less dye. You’re looking for the texture of damp sand, not saturated sand, but enough for the mixture to hold together.
How do I make bath bombs fizz more?
Try using more citric acid or less oil/butter to get more fizz.
How do I make bath bombs without citric acid?
I wouldn’t recommend going down this route, but it’s possible to make bath bombs without citric acid using a combination of baking powder and apple vinegar. Some people also replace citric acid with lemon juice.
Is citric acid safe in bath bombs?
It sounds scary at first glance, but citric acid is the main ingredient in any bath bomb. In reality, this safe compound can be found in many food products such as oranges and lemons! Just adding 1/3 cup will make your favorite bath salts nice and refreshing without being overwhelming or intimidating.