Minty DIY Bubble Bath Recipe For A Glorious Soak

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Let’s be real, if I could live in my bathtub I probably would. It soothes my aches and pains and just makes me feel great.

I’m using a 50/50 surfactant ratio for this bubble bath recipe. This may seem like a lot of surfactants, especially when compared to many of the DIY shower gels or body washes I’ve made in the past. But as it’s going to be diluted in a bath full of water, so it’s not really an issue.

a diy bubble bath

Ingredients In My DIY Bubble Bath Recipe

Surfactants

I’m using cocamidopropyl betaine because it has an amazing flash foaming ability and is mild on your skin. It has some great cleansing and conditioning values as well, but it’s a thin surfactant so you don’t get that nice thick bubble bath texture and the bubbles don’t last as long. So we need to use another surfactant to boost its power. 

Step 2: Weigh out the coco glucoside and add the essential oils, stir slowly to prevent foaming

Lauryl glucoside has some brilliant foaming capacity and adds body to the bubble bath. As with all of the surfactants in this recipe, it’s totally accepted in natural skincare.

Lauryl glucoside can come in different forms depending on where it comes from and how it’s been stored. If its liquid then you can use it as it is, if it’s crystallized or in the form of a paste, then you’ll need to melt it first. 

Decyl glucoside is similar to its lauryl glucoside cousin, due to its mildness and ability to thicken your bubble bath. It also produces long-lasting foaming bubbles and has some good solubilizing power. This will help the essential oil blend with your water-based ingredients.

Cosmetic Gum And Humectant

Step 3: Add the xanthan gum

We are using xanthan gum to thicken the bubble bath in this recipe. While our co-surfactants will lend some thickness to our bubble bath, it still isn’t quite enough. And because we cannot just add xanthan gum to the recipe on its own, we’ll be using glycerine to help dissolve it first. 

The glycerine also offers some excellent moisturizing properties to your bath, leaving your skin feeling soft and moisturized afterward. Glycerine is a humectant, which means it draws moisture to itself. This helps to keep skin moist and supple.

Essential Oils

Essential oils make amazing bath oils on their own

The essential oils give this homemade bubble bath a wonderful minty scent with a hint of exotic ylang-ylang. That’s not all they do, of course. 

Peppermint essential oil can clear the mind and help with any aches and pains you may have. The ylang-ylang is great at lift your mood, too. Everything you need for a relaxing pamper session in the tub. 

Notes

  • Glucoside surfactants are mild but have a high PH so this will need to be adjusted before and after adding the preservative. We can do this naturally by adding a few drops of lactic acid or with a citric acid dilution. See step 6.   
  • As this product contains water we will need to use a preservative to protect it from microbial growth. A broad-spectrum, water-based, high PH tolerant preservative is best for a soap-based rise off product like this bubble bath. Liquid Germall Plus at 0.5% or Plantaserve P (Saliguard PCG) are both excellent choices as they can tolerate a PH level of around 8 or 10.
  • Using the preservative your homemade bubble bath should last around 9 months
My best diy bubble bath

How To Make Bubble Bath At Home

When I'm looking forward to a nice long soak in the bath, I want lots of lovely bubbles that last for ages. So I decided to indulge myself and design a homemade bubble bath recipe that has exactly that. 
4.25 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 200 grams
Author: Angela Wills

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you buy via the links here I may earn a small affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine your glycerine and your xanthan gum. Xanthan gum works as our thickener in this recipe. Without it, you will have a super runny liquid that isn't at all easy to use.
    It's important to combine the glycerine and xanthan. This is because your cosmetic gum cannot be added directly to your liquid soap, otherwise you are left with an end product that has lumps of unmixed xanthan gum… Trust me this isn't a good look.
    20 grams Glycerine, 2 grams Xanthan Gum
    step 1: Combine the glycerine and xanthan gum
  • Now we can weigh out surfactant. If the Lauryl glucoside is paste-like or crystalized, weigh this out first then warm it until it has melted. I do this in the microwave it only takes a couple of seconds (literally). Then, add them all together.
    If you are using any essential oils, you'll need to add them to the surfactant now.
    While surfactants are great for producing lovely bubbles, They will also act as a solubilizer for any ingredients that are not water-soluble. As we're not producing an emulsion (like in a lotion) or using lye to bring about a chemical reaction, your essential oils will separate from your liquid soap without doing this.
    When you add anything to your surfactant, it's important to mix it in very slowly. While you are unlikely to produce lots of bubbles at this point, it is still possible to bring about foaming with vigorous stirring. So be careful and stir gently.
    40 grams Cocamidopropyl Betaine, 40 grams Lauryl Glucoside, 1 gram Peppermint Essential Oil, 0.4 grams Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil, 20 grams Decyl Glucoside
    Step 2: Combine your surfactants and add your essential oils
  • Next, add your surfactant (or surfactant/essential oil mixture) to the glycerine and xanthan. Stir it in well, but gently for the same reason we just discussed.
    Step 3: Combine the glycerine/gum mixture with your surfactants/essential oils
  • Its time to add our distilled water. Pour this very slowly and stir gently as you do. It's more important to stir gently now than at any other point. When surfactants are exposed to water, they will foam much more easily.
    80 grams Distilled Water
    Step 4: Add your distilled water and stir slowly
  • As your stir, your liquid soap will begin to resemble… well, liquid soap! Once it has achieved this level of thickness and all of your ingredients are thoroughly combined, you can go ahead and add any liquid soap dye you wish to use.
    Step 5: Add your liquid soap dye
  • Now we can test the PH of the product to ensure that it is an effective range. You’re looking for a PH of between 4-6. If, when testing, you find it is outside this range, we can make use of a PH modifier to alter the acidity of the product.
    If it is too high (which it normally is) you can bring it down adding a few drops of lactic acid.
    Or you can also bring it down with a little diluted citric acid solution. Mix 10% citric acid with 90% distilled water.
    If you are unsure how much PH modifier to add, only add a very small amount (say a drop of lactic acid or citric acid) and then test the PH of the product again. Repeat this until you reach an appropriate PH of between 4-6. The first time you do this, you may feel that you are using too many ph strips but expericance will reduce this going forward.
    PH Modifier
    Step 6: Check the PH of your soap, you need it to be between 4-6. Use a PH modifier if needed
  • Now its time to add the preservative. Once you have added the preservative and blended it in, you will need to retest the PH and bring it down if needed as you did in step 6. This may seem a bit of a pain but its best to get it right and you will develop a sense of how much Ph modifier to add with experience.
    1 gram Preservative
    Step 7: Add your preservative and test the PH once more
  • Last but not least, you can transfer it to a PET plastic bottle that has an airtight lid. I like to use a pump bottle for something like hand soap or body wash. However, a pouring bottle might be best for something like a bubble bath.
    If you have used essential oils in your recipe then it is vitally important that the bottle is made of PET plastic. This is because essential oils will rapidly degrade ordinary plastic, which causes the plastic to leach into your product. While you can use glass or aluminum bottles, I find that PET plastic works well here as you can squeeze the bottle if needed.
    8 oz PET Plastic Bottle
    Step 8: Trasnfer to a PET plastic bottle

Notes

With a preservative, this DIY bubble bath should last around 9 months
homemade bubble bath & loofah soap gift

So, that’s how to make a bubble bath at home. As you can see, it’s way easier than you might think! I just love how many bubbles I get when using this in the tub. It also smells amazing, soothing my mind, and lifting my mood.

You can totally customize this bubble bath recipe to your heart’s content. Don’t like this color? Change the liquid soap dye.

My Basic DIY Bath Bombs

After lots of research & experimenting, I now have the best bath bomb recipe ever. I’ll show you how to make bath bombs that contain luscious oils and wonderful exfoliating salts for your skin, along with citric acid for that fabulous fizz.

Author: Angela Wills

Title: Founder and Author - Savvy Homemade

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

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 (16 Comments)

  1. Hi, I was wondering how many 300ml bottles this solution would make at the 1x and 3x quantities approximately?
    Thanks

    Reply
  2. Hi,

    I was just wondering if magnesium flakes could be added to this recipe? And if so when would this be added?

    Thanks so much

    Reply
    • Hi Terra,

      What an interesting idea! I can imagine it would be wonderful in a bath bomb. Replace some of the Epsom salts to make room, and also make sure your flakes aren’t too big. You might want to crush them a bit. Otherwise you might have bits of it sticking out of the bath bomb.

      Reply
    • I don’t see anything in the ingredients list that would be incompatible with magnesium chloride. However, it would probably change the viscosity of the liquid, maybe drastically. Depending on your desires, that might be a good or a bad thing. It calls for experimentation to see what the outcome would be using various amounts. I’d dissolve it in the water before mixing with the other ingredients.

      Reply
  3. Hi angela, thank you for your recipe. I’ve tried making it 3 times down to the exact measurements and just can’t get a thick consistency. They’ve all turned out watery. Any tips ?4 stars

    Reply
    • Hi Jennifer
      Sorry to hear you are having issues with this! For me it was very thick, so I will make it again just to be sure there are no mistakes. In the meantime can you email me a full list of the ingredients you are using to angela[at]savvyhomemade.com. I should also say that it does thicken more over time.

      Reply
    • Hi Maureen,

      Absolutely! You can substitute the essential oil for whatever fragrance oil you enjoy, like for like.

      Reply
      • Hi Angela.

        I’ve been trying to make this for a little while but I’ve been using a bubble bath base from Mystic moments (which contains SLS & CDE)

        500mls base
        18ml jojoba oil
        2mls fragrant oil
        0.5mls dye

        However when I come to mix the base and the oils after 24 hours the oil is splitting from the base.

        Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

      • Hi Nic,

        With such a small amount of oil, you would think the surfactants in the base would handle all this. But oh well! Consider adding a few mls of Polysorbate 80. It’s not all that natural, but works wonders in bath products for solubilizing oils.

        However, when I was studying formulation many years ago, we made plenty of ‘shake before use’ products. You know the ones. If this is just for yourself, you could just shake well before use? This will get the product to stick together long enough for your bath. Just be careful getting in and out of the bath as the oil may make the bath a little slippery.

  4. Hi There can you add any butters or oils to make it a little more moisturising like shea butter and if so at what step would you add it and in what amount?

    Reply
    • Hi Chikaya I have no experience with doing this myself but I think that you probably could. You would need to do some experimentation. I would go for oils rather than cosmetic butters.

      Reply
  5. Hello,
    just a question , this recipe sounds wonderful but I noticed that you have added essential oils. should a emulsifier be added first to prevent separation due to the fact that oil and water do not mix????

    Thanks
    Anne3 stars

    Reply
    • Hi Anne,

      No, it wouldn’t be needed in this case. The amount of oil being added is very small and so is not needed here.

      Reply
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