If you enjoyed my homemade bath salts, you will love these DIY 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.
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 bath bomb recipe ever.
The feedback has been so good on this recipe I decided to build my latest course on it, & you can save $20 this week, learn how to make bath bombs your friends & family will love!
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!
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 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.
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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 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 Homemade 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.
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 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 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 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
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- 2 cups Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
- 1 cup Corn Starch
- 1 cup Citric Acid
- 1 cup Epsom Salts
- 4 tsp Sweet Almond Oil (or Apricot Kernal)
- 4 tsp Fragrance Oil (or Essential Oil)
- 2 tsp Distilled Water
- A few drops of Liquid Soap Dye (or food coloring)
- 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 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.
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More Homemade Bath Bomb Ideas
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 do I 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 do I 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.
Discussion (83 Comments)
In your course, you mention in passing that this recipe isn’t good for using with mica pigments for color. Why is that? Is there anything I can do to adjust the recipe so mica colors will work better?
Yes, we tested polysorbate 80 and mica in all of our recipes and just couldn’t get it to work in our basic formula. We’ve come to the conclusion that it’s likely the cornflour that is the problem, as it causes lumping in the bath. You end up with these lumps of mica and cornflour stuck to your skin as you exit the bath.
Hope this helped!
Hi , i am so excited to try your recipe. I am going to get all my ingredients today and start. is it possible to use tartaric acid if one cant get citric acid?
I haven’t experimented with tartaric acid, so can’t say for sure. However, I will say that citric acid is usually pretty easy to get hold. Who is your regular supplier?
This ingredient is used widely in the food industry, so It’s likely you’ll be able to get it somewhere like amazon (if you’re comfortable using them).
I tried this recipe as well and found it very dry. When compared to some of your other recipes it appears maybe the almond oil amount should be tablespoons instead of teaspoons?
I haven’t had any problems with this recipe so far. If you find it a little dry, you can spritz the mixture with some witch hazel or rubbing alcohol to moisten it a little.
The problem is if you add too much liquid I find they end up sticking in their mold and go a bit soggy as they harden – which eventually leads to a crumbling bath bomb within a few weeks.
I have found that citric acid is usually on the shelf with canning products.
Yeah, I’ve picked up some bath bomb and soap making ingredients in the gorcery store from time to time. But I try to buy mine in bulk from soap suppliers online as it tends to be less expensive. This includes my oils too.
I do this because the oils and citric acid in grocery stores are likely food grade. Food grade is a higher ‘grade’ than cosmetic grade because it requires extra steps (e.g. using a metal detector at the end to ensure no small bit of factory machinery has made it into the product) which can drive up the price. Cosmetic grade is ideal for our use, and ins’t necessarily lower in quality. Also saves me a lot of time, too! 😀
Hi, i tried this recipe for the first time. It went fine!! Thank you, but i found my shape a little bit abnormal.. It had a nodule when i was drying it. Any suggestion where should i put my Bath Bomb to dry it?
Thanks in advance!
I always leave my bath bombs somewhere dry at room temperature. I’ve found warmer environments can cause sweating (which will lead to nodules or water warts as they call them) and wet environments will damage the fizzing capabilities but also cause them to crumble after a while.
Ultimately I’ve found experience is the best way to get the perfect bath bomb. While you bath bombs might have a few nodules, they will be absolutely lovely in the bath so you should definitely consider this a win for yourself!
Hope this helps!
Hi! I attempted this recipe with my kids but because I didnt have enough essential oil I used additional almond oil to replace that ingredient…but they fell apart. Is there something i could use instead of fragrance or essential oil that would do the trick. They fizz really great though from the chunks we used!
This can happen when you’re experimenting with substitutions. It seems like your mixture was too dry. I would add a little more almond oil than you used, just to help them stick together. Alternatively, you can use a few spritz of Witch Hazel or Rubbing Alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) to moisten the mixture before it goes into the molds.
Hope this helps.
I tried making these (my first attempt at bath bombs) and unfortunately they didn’t work very well for me. They were pretty crumbly coming out of the mold (I used a bath bomb press) and didn’t stick well to themselves. Do you happen to know what might have gone wrong, or was using the press the part that I shouldn’t have done? I measured everything very precisely with a scale as well as cup measure so I’m not sure what step I could have messed up on. Afterwards I tried adding a bit more oil but I still didn’t have much luck.
Sometimes depending on where you are bath bomb mixture can crack. I would up the amount of liquid oil, just to get it to hold together well.
Made your bath bombs 🙂
I’ve have made them before and this is by far the best recipe and instructions!!
Even more impressive, are your photos, tutorials, and clear concise instructions.
I truly appreciate the time you have taken to create such an informative and beautiful
site . The amount of bath products and variations is fantastic. Thank you for sharing.
I can’t wait to try out all of your recipes.
Hi Bonni, Thanks so much for your thoughts, it’s great to get such positive feedback, as it makes sharing what we do so worthwhile!
Hello! Just made my first batch of the basic bath bombs. They looked amazing to start with! But are now looking a bit wet and bubbly and some look like they’re starting to fall apart. I only made them a few hours ago though. Is this normal? They’re gifts for my daughters teachers so hoping they’ll be okay! Any advice greatly appreciated! Xx
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 by half.
I am wondering if I can leave my bath bombs in the plastic container for Xmas ..?
Yes that would be fine.
Most recipes for bath bombs call for 8 to 10 drops of essential oil into the mixture. Your recipe is calling for about 400 drops (4 teaspoons). Is your essential oil mixed with a carrier oil? I hope to try your recipe today and need clarification. Thanks so much.
This is quite a large batch, making 8 large bath bombs. If you only used 10 drops it would be around one drop per bath bomb which would be pointless.
We only have 16g of essential oil in this recipe which works out at just over 1%. And remember that the oils are then dispersed in a bath that has a lot of water, so this volume is quite safe.
This recipe is luxurious and heavily scented, and it’s tried and tested personally me. Many people have made it without any complaints, but you can absolutely reduce the fragrance if you want. For example, you could half the amount of essential oil or fragrance oil, and it would still smell great 🙂
Hope this helps
That makes sense. Thanks so much Angela!
Hi! I’m wanting to start making bath bombs for my kids and grandkids and stop paying $6-$8 per bath bomb in stores. I wanted to know which oil you recommend for bath bombs besides sweet almond oil since it can be used for those who have a tree nut allergy. Thank you for any advice and thanks for the amazing posts and detail in them
Honestly, you can use any oil you like. I’d try whatever oil you have laying around, providing it doesn’t have too strong of an odour. Maybe even try olive oil. Nevertheless I’ve had a lot of success with wheat germ oil in my bath bombs.
Or you could try some of my other bath bomb recipes here on my blog. Some doesn’t require liquid oil at all, and instead use cosmetic butters.
Grape seed oil is very gentle and not much scent . I use it in homemade essential oil face cream