A DIY Bath Bomb Recipe For Maximum Benefits & Fizz

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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 honestly say that this is my best homemade bath bomb recipe ever.

If you enjoyed my DIY bath salts, you will love these bath bombs. They 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.

basic diy bath bombs

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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!

DIY Bath bombs also make amazing gifts on their own, or as part of an interesting diy bath product set. You can’t go wrong with these, someone you know will love them!

First, let’s talk about the basics and show you a simple no-fail recipe for making your own 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.

Coloring Your Homemade 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.

how to make bath bombs

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 your own 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 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 DIY bath bombs course!

Troubleshooting Your Bath Bombs

There’s a lot that can go wrong with your 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.

using a bath bomb mold

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 the 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?

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 bath bombs recipe, 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 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.

basic diy bath bombs

How To Make Bath Bombs

After much research I now have the best DIY bath bomb recipe ever. Ingredients include luscious oils and wonderful exfoliating epsom salts for your skin, along with citric acid for that fabulous fizz.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Drying Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Yield: 8 Bath Bombs
Difficulty Level: Easy
Author: Angela Wills

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Ingredients

Equipment

Video

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Instructions

  • 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
    dry ingredients for a bath bomb
  • 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
    liquid ingredients for bath bombs
  • 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).
    baking soda and liquid for bath bombs
  • 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.
    bath bomb mixture will begin to stick together at this stage
  • 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
    add your citric acid to bath bomb mixture
  • 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.
    both halves of your bath bomb mold , pack them with your mixture
  • 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.
    press the two halves together tightly so that the mixture bonds into an orb
  • 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.
    exposed half of your bath bomb onto a silicon cupcake case
  • 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.
    diy bath bombs

Notes

Ingredients in these quantities should get you anywhere from 8-10 DIY bath bombs depending on the size of your molds. Just keep going until you’ve used up your ingredients, you’ll find uses for them I’m sure. You can use whatever essential oils, fragrance oils, food color, or soap dye you like, although I do think almond works the best for bath bombs.
Category: DIY Bath & Body
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Easy

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Want To Make Bath Bombs Your Friends and Family Will Love? I’m Running a 50% off sale on the DIY Bath Bombs Course Today!

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.

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.

my best diy bath bombs

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.

DIY kids safe bath bombs

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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

Method

kids safe bath bombs in a mold

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?

homemade 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!

how to make multi colored bath bombs

Making multi-colored bath bombs is just one of 34 lessons in my Brilliant Bath Bombs Course. Some of my other favorites include clay bath bombs, color surprise bath bombs, confetti bath bombs, painted bath bombs, cupcake bath bombs, mooncake shower steamers, donuts, bath bomb brittle, and more.

More Natural Bath Bomb Recipes

Super Foaming Bubble Bath Bomb Recipe

I just love this bath bomb. The fizzing and the bubbles are such a wonderful combination. It really does feel like magic, sometimes!

Two super foaming bath bombs

Shea Butter Bath Bomb Recipe Without Polysorbate 80

A shea butter bath bomb recipe that can fully emulsify into the bath without using polysorbate 80. Wax emulsifier also provides extra skin conditioning goodness. and it also makes the bath bomb harder, which is never a bad thing.

Two bath bombs bombs and half a lime

Oats So Simple Bath Bomb Recipe

I just love how these oatmeal bath bombs look and smell. Oats are excellent for the skin and their addition here makes for a superb soothing moisturizing bath soak. Plus, it brings an interesting alternative to your standard bath bomb recipe.

diy oat bat bombs

Mini Milk Bath Bombs That Leave Your Skin Super Soft!

Your new go-to tutorial on making mini milk bath bombs. You’ll whip these luxury handmade treats up in no time, and they’ll leave your skin feeling ultra soft!

handmade bath bombs that leave your skin super soft!

Making Confetti Bath Bombs For Special Occasions

I’m a sucker for great bath treats, & I just love how these DIY confetti bath bombs look, perfect as party favors & gifts, or even as a special treat just for you.

diy confetti bath bomb for special occasions

Final Thoughts

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.

Author: Angela Wills

Title: Founder and Author - Savvy Homemade

Expertise: Beauty Recipes, Skincare Formulation, Soapmaking, DIY Crafts, Parenting

Bio:

Angela Wills is an author, founder, and the driving force behind Savvy Homemade. With over fifteen years of experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to every post she writes. She is fearlessly dedicated to creating tried and tested beauty recipes, skincare formulations, soap recipes, and many other DIY crafts that will work for everyone. Angela has a Diploma in Skincare Formulation, is a proud member of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, and infuses each DIY product with her passion and expertise.

Discussion (85 Comments)

  1. I made my very first batch today – first time success! They bond well and the fizz is excellent – thank you for a fool proof recipe!!!5 stars

    Reply
    • Hi Donna,

      You can use hydrosol instead of distilled water. If these aren’t for sale, you could probably even just use a little tap water.

      Reply
  2. I like to ask how do you keep things from falling apart when you increase the fragrance just a little more than you have on here. I find my bath bombs are falling apart or when I give out my gifts to my family they tell me they arrive to soft and no good?

    Reply
    • Hi Larry,

      If you want to increase the fragrance oil, I would also drop some of the liquid. Maybe the distilled water. It sounds like your mixture is just too wet. While homemade bath bombs with natural ingredients do have a tendency to fall apart eventually, but that does take many months.

      Reply
  3. You have given me some new ideas with some of you’re bath bomb recipes. I also see you are more interactive with people on here than on some pages I’ve been on. I use different fragrances in my bath bombs and have been trying to find the right mix. I also want to let say thank you for sharing your recipe with us here it was so nice.

    Reply
      • I’ve been able to figure things out now with a little trial and error. I finally found something out that holds strong so far. I’ve also used a heart shape mold instead of a ball mold to make mine an extra special touch than all the rest. My friends and family like them a lot too.5 stars

        Reply
      • Well I’m back to the drawning board again my bath bombs are now a mix of either to dry or to wet. I’m in need of some help for sure. Do I add the Epsom Salt with dye to dry mix and just mix slowly before adding citrica acid ?

        Reply
        • Hi Larry,
          If you are trying to make our Basic Bath Bomb recipe then 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 spays of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. If it is too wet, try omitting some of the water or using less dye. Your looking for the texture of damp sand, not saturated sand, but enough for the mixture to hold together.

          Reply
  4. I was hoping to make my bath bombs with just citric acid, baking soda, and Epsom salts as my dry ingredients… will bit having corn starch be a big issue for me? Should I add more of something, do you recommend a substitution, or is it simply not possible?

    Reply
    • Hi Autum,

      You should be perfectly fine. Just replace it 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. Makes the bath bomb last a bit longer before fizzling out.

      Reply
  5. I love your bath bomb recipe. The problem I seem to have is when using the round metal molds, the ball falls apart when I try to take the last half off. Too much fluid? Not enough?

    Reply
    • Hi Martin
      Sorry to hear that you are having problems with your bath bombs

      If they are crumbling, which happens to me sometimes, I just give the mixture a couple of sprays of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. If you don’t have one of those to hand you can also use just water.

      Give a couple of sprays then try molding again, repeat if necessary, hope this helps

      Reply
      • I found your recommendation to use silicone cupcake moulds to turn out into essential in them not crumbling at the last step too. In the same batch when I didn’t use the cupcake mould, they crumbled.5 stars

        Reply
  6. hi this recipe looks wonderful .. i am reluctant to use corn starch and wondered what i could use instead to ‘pad’ out the bath bomb or help slow the fizz. thanks

    Reply
  7. I’d never made bath bombs before, and I’ve now made these twice. I’ve read a lot of comments, here and elsewhere, and I have to say, this seems to be a great recipe. I live in a humid climate, so I worried about how they’d turn out.

    I made two big mistakes with my first batch. First, I didn’t check the fragrance oil first and it turned out I had half the amount this recipe called for. So I split everything in half. The second mistake was that I forgot to split the water. So it was very difficult to get the halves to stick together. Most fell apart when I set them on the drying tray, so I had to put them back together. I made a few in cupcake tins because I was tired of fighting with the round ones, and the edges of those ‘fizzed’ before they dried due to the humidity. One cracked and nearly all flattened on the bottom, due to too much water. Still worked great in the bathtub, though!

    The second batch, I used the correct amounts. It’s amazing how much easier they went together! I found that if I fill part of the mold, then press, but not pack, then loosely add to make it heaping, do the same with the other half, then put together, they turn out perfectly. Pressing the mixture too hard into the mold means the halves never stayed together.

    I put them in an old Tupperware container, the lid on top loosely, and put a bunch of packets of desiccant around them. I noticed this morning that the packets all said they’re saturated, so I’ll change them before heading into the office. I felt that using a lid would cut down on making the entire house smell like Ocean Breeze, as well as ensure the packets dried out the bombs and not the whole area.

    Reply
    • Hi, vk rose!

      Thanks for sharing! I love to hear about how you get on. It also gives others some neat tips, like your mold packing method. Thanks again.

      Reply
  8. How do you test your citric acid to make certain it is still usable. I have had mine for many years.

    Reply
    • Michelle,
      Citric acid can be tested by mixing a few pinches with a bit of bicarb and then chucking it into a bit of warm water. It should fizz up just like a bath bomb. If in doubt, chuck it. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to make a bath bomb and find out your citric acid is no longer good. But otherwise, good luck with making yours!

      Reply
    • Hi Jacquie!
      I would start off with a teaspoon, and reduce the amount of oil/butter by this much to even out the liquid to dry ratio. If you find they are a bit dry anyway, you don’t need to reduce the amount of oil, but you may find they take much longer to dry. Test them and see how they react in the bath. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  9. I had to add about double the amount of liquid and I still think the mixture was a bit too dry. Also I don’t think I packed the molds tight enough as one ball slightly crumbled after removing it from the mold. This was my first attempt, will try again with a moister mixture. Thanks for the guide, these were fun to make!

    Reply
    • Hi Hannah,
      I’ve tried lots of different recipes with various different ingredients. I’ve found that almond oil just works the best. By all means, give it a try with the coconut oil, but for optimal results I recommend the Sweet Almond Oil.

      Reply
    • Hi Dorothy. I’m not really sure about this one, as I haven’t tried it and not sure how effective they would be. I also don’t have a steam shower so I’m not 100% sure how they work. The steam should moisten them, but immersing them infuses the lovely ingredients into the water. But nevertheless, give it a try! I’d love to know how they work out!

      Reply
  10. Hi I tried these last week and it seemed to work ok but durring the drying processes they all cracked and fell apart. Do you know what may have caused this?

    Reply
    • Hi Rene. This can happen from time to time. I find that on particularly sunny or warm days the mixture can dry out much faster than anticipated. Try your best to work with it quite quickly once you’ve mixed the ingredients, and make sure you get a nice firm press with the molds. If they still crack, try adding a little bit more liquid to the mixture (we’re talking a few mls more, not much) little by little.

      Reply
      • I live i a humid area and I have found that if I decrease the epsom salt since the magnesium sulfate attracts moisture it seems to help them cure a bit better and not crumble.

        Reply
      • My 7 year old and I are making these right now… so far we have like 20 diy bath bombs (mix of small and medium.) We used lemon essential oil and coconut oil because that is what we had on hand and so far so good.

        Reply
        • Hi Amanda,

          That’s great! I love that you’re getting your little one involved. I always think bath bombs especially make great bath time fun for kids of all ages. I personally love the smell of lemon essential oil, and coupled with the nourishing qualities of coconut oil sounds absolutely delightful! Keep having fun!

          Reply
  11. I’ve seen recipes that require finely grained Epsom salts. I can’t find a place to buy it so will try a blender. Any experience with this? I think the bath bombs will be a lot smoother, not grainy. Stay tuned????

    Reply
  12. Wow Fantastic !

    Ive been trying to get my homemade bath bombs right for a couple of months and every recipe I have followed they didn’t go together (the 2 halves properly) I gave your’s a go this afternoon and made 16 perfectly round bath bombs, thank you

    Reply

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