Okay, it’s official – I’m obsessed with handmade bath bombs! We posted our ‘best bath bomb recipe’ tutorial last year, but I’ve been making so many different types recently (mostly for friends and family) that I just had to share one of my favorite recipes. These mini milk bath bombs are just the thing to turn boring baths into a luxury diy spa treatment!
While I love bath bombs (probably a bit too much), I do find they can be outrageously expensive to buy. Especially the super high-quality ones that I’m now far too accustomed to. If, like me, you just can’t justify such an expense anymore then why not make your own bath bombs instead?
We all need a little pampering, especially now during these last few cold months. So why not take this opportunity to learn how to make bath bombs? I promise you, you’ll thank yourself the next time you’re soaking in the tub.
I’m using a new ingredient that up until a couple of weeks ago I had never used in a bath bomb before; whole milk powder! This, coupled with the gorgeous shea butter, should leave you feeling ultra soft from head to toe!
I couldn’t resist tying in some kind of tea angle as well, simply because I just love to drink tea! Earl Grey is usually my go to and it has such a lovely, fragrant aroma that I just had to make use of it here.
I am aware that you wouldn’t ordinarily add milk to a cup of earl grey tea but like I said, that the smell just gets me every time so I had to use it for my milk bath bombs. Besides, if you wanna put milk in your earl grey, go ahead! Don’t let the snobs put you off.
Watch How To Make Bath Bombs
Before you make the milk bath bombs take a few minutes to watch a short video on basic bath bomb making, the process is the same.
Supplies For The Handmade Milk Bath Bombs
Let’s take a look at what we’ll need these bath bombs.
- 200g Bicarbonate of Soda
- 100g Citric Acid
- 22g Epsom Salts
- 20g Cream of Tartar
- 18g Whole Milk Powder
- 8g Polysorbate 80
- 16g Shea Butter
- 4g Earl Grey Fragrance Oil
- A quality Earl Grey tea like this Superb example by Mountain Rose Herbs or this Earl Grey Tea From Amazon (lose leaves or good quality tea bag)
- Rubbing Alcohol (at least 70%) in a mister
- 1 inch Bath Bomb Mold
- Pestle and Morter
- Greaseproof Paper
This recipe should produce 9-10 (I got about 9 and a half) mini bath bombs. You can use a 2 inch bath bomb mold, which should give you about 4 or 5.
Notes on Ingredients:
- The whole milk powder and the shea butter are the magic ingredients here that will leave your skin feeling ultra soft! Make sure not to get skimmed milk powder, as this just isn’t nearly as good. You absolutely can substitute the shea butter for whatever hard cosmetic butter you have, or prefer to use. Mango or Cocoa butter are excellent substitutes here.
- The polysorbate 80 is a surfactant, which will aid in foaming when you throw it into the bath. This is the first time I’ve actually used a surfactant in a bath bomb before and will definitely use one again in the future.
- As for the earl grey tea, I would suggest using loose leaves unless you can get hold of a good quality tea bag. Cheaper tea bags often contain leaves that have been shredded/ground much too finely to get that aesthetic on top. Although we will be grinding some of the tea ourselves with a pestle and mortar so that we can add it to the bulk of the mix as well. The tea I used also had beautiful flecks of purple petals, which look gorgeous on top!
- You can substitute the tea for whatever type you’d prefer, Mountain Rose have several other options. However, you’ll need to have a think about the fragrance. I chose earl grey simply because it has such a beautiful, distinctive aroma. Green tea fragrance oil is widely available, so you could give that a try with some lovely loose green tea leaves (and perhaps a pinch of powdered green mica).
- It’s important to use rubbing alcohol with a very high alcohol content. I wouldn’t use anything below 70%, as you risk setting off the citric acid in the bowl rather than your bath. But we’ll talk more about this a bit later.
- I recommend testing your citric acid before you use it, just to make sure that it’s still active and nothing happened to it during shipping or storage. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to make a bath bomb with citric acid you’ve unknowingly stored improperly, just to find out that they won’t fizz!
How To Make Bath Bombs
Step 1: Weigh and combine your dry ingredients in a large bowl. You’ll want to add your a few pinches of the earl grey here as well, although it’s best to grind it up a bit in a pestle and mortar first.
In a smaller, heatproof bowl (Pyrex beakers or jugs are a good choice) weigh out your polysorbate 80 and the Shea butter.
Step 2: Use a water bath to melt your butter into the surfactant (hence the necessity of a heatproof vessel). You could use a microwave if you wish, but only bursts of about 3-5 seconds at a time.
While you wait for it to melt (should take about 15 minutes if using the water bath), weigh out your fragrance oil.
Step 3: Once the butter has melted and combined into an oily liquid, remove from heat and add your fragrance oil.
Then, go ahead and pour the oil mix into the main mixing bowl that contains your dry ingredients.
Step 4: As soon as you add the oils, give the mixture a thorough mix. I like to use the tips of my fingers to rub the ingredients together. You should find the mixture holds together like a damn (but definitely not saturated) sand.
You want to work quickly here so you get as much time to mold your bath bombs as possible.
Step 5: Now it’s time to mold! But right before, give your mixture a couple of sprays with the alcohol. This should give it a bit more liquid to help it all hold together. Don’t let the smell concern you, it won’t be present in the finished product.
Next, add some of the loose tea to the bottom of one-half of your molds. Be careful not to add too much, and don’t use any of the tea we ground up to add earlier. The leaves should look like little sticks poking out of the top, and too many will be overwhelming.
When you’re happy, fill the mold with the bath bomb mixture, covering the tea. You’ll want to fill the other half of the mold as well. Make sure you really pack it in. Then, force the two molds together with significant force. We really want them to fuse together, which can require a fair bit of pressure.
Now turn the mold upside down so that the base mold (the one without the extra tea leaves) is on top. Then, gently remove the base mold and carefully set the base of the bath bomb onto a sheet of greaseproof paper/baking parchment. Then, lift the top mold off, revealing the lovely tea aesthetic underneath.
If at any point the bath bomb crumbles, it could be that you’re taking a little too long and letting your mixture dry out. Just give it a couple more sprays of the alcohol to get it back to a more stable consistency.
Step 6: Leave your handcrafted bath bombs to dry overnight. Be careful where you leave them, though. I find the kitchen or bathroom is totally unsuitable, as they can become too damp of an environment for them to dry. Somewhere warm and dry is perfect.
As your bath bombs dry, you may find they start to feel a little spongy. This is normal. Just try to leave them alone as best you can, as you’ll easily leave a thumbprint if you aren’t careful. Your handmade bath bombs may require a little longer to dry on very wet or humid days. If you know you live somewhere very humid, allow for extra time to dry.
Final Thoughts On Making Bath Bombs
So there we go, your new go-to tutorial on how to make bath bombs. It really shouldn’t take you very long to whip these up for you to enjoy, gift or even sell! Handmade bath bombs can sell for a pretty penny, and they’re excellent additions to any bath and body market stall or online store. They look absolutely lovely, especially if you can get some good quality tea for the topping.
- The first time I made these, I used a lower quality tea on top which was completely ground. While the bath bombs worked and smelt fabulous, I found the top to be rather unsightly. Almost like someone had used my bath bomb as an ashtray! Don’t make this mistake as well.
- I would like to try using a different tea next time, just to see if I can get as good of an aesthetic with a different variety. Like with so many of my crafts, I totally recommend you take this recipe and make it your own. Prefer to use chai? Give it a go! I’m sure it’ll smell and look divine!
- The key to this craft is working quickly. I’ve made many bath bombs in the past, and the main problem I’ve had is getting them to stick together when you put them in the mold. I found that if you work efficiently you should be fine, but at the same time try not to rush as you need a steady, gentle hand when trying to get them out of the damn molds.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing this DIY, but I’m sure you’ll have much more fun making them yourself! Go ahead and let me know how you got on in the comments section below. I’ll also try my best to answer any queries you may have. We’d also love it if you would like and follow us on social media, too!