DIY Bath Bombs: Make These Simple Bath Bomb Recipes In Your Kitchen
Bath bombs are delightful indulgences that can elevate a basic bath to a special self-care experience. But bath bombs can sometimes feel too special (or expensive) for regular use.
Good news: once you have the right ingredients, making bath bombs yourself is quite easy. Read on for simple bath bomb recipes, tips on making your own, and ideas for variations.
What Are Bath Bombs?
If you’ve never seen a bath bomb,think of it as an oversized Alka Seltzer for your bathtub. Ingredients vary, but most bath bombs are made from a simple combination of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and citric acid. On top of that, the sky’s the limit with additional ingredients.
Many bath bombs contain ingredients like flower petals, pigments, glitter, epsom salt, and essential oils. Each additional ingredient comes with its own benefits, either aesthetic or therapeutic.1 If you mix your own DIY bath bombs, of course, you can customize these ingredients to get exactly what you want.
How Bath Bombs Work
When you drop a bath bomb in a tub of water, there is a reaction between the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and citric acid. This releases carbon dioxide gas, which causes the bomb to break apart.
When the bath bomb breaks apart in the water, it releases the salts, oils, colorants, and fragrances inside the bomb. This release creates fun bath fizzies, bubbles, and swirls of color that many people love.2
Are Bath Bombs Good For You?
You’re likely wondering if bath bombs are good for you and your skin. The answer is; it depends. Some store-bought bath bombs contain irritants that can affect your skin’s pH or irritate it.3 You’ll want to steer clear of bath bombs with unnecessary preservatives or irritants, especially if you have sensitive skin.
On the other hand, bath bombs that use safe, high quality ingredients can be great for your skin.
- Bath bombs that use essential oils, like rosemary and peppermint, may help with muscle aches and pains.4
- Creating a relaxing bath with a bath bomb might help ease feelings of stress, tension, and anxiety.5
- Bath bombs that use certain essential oils, like lavender, may support quality sleep.6
- Sodium bicarbonate and citric acid are both cleansing agents that can help clean and deodorize the body.7
- Ingredients like coconut oil can help moisturize skin.8
- Self-care has many benefits, like helping you feel relaxed, refreshed, and optimistic about the future.9 If bath bombs encourage you to take the time for self-care, you may experience all of those benefits.
To control your bath bomb’s ingredients, you may want to make homemade bath bombs, as these can be catered to your exact needs. You pick the essential oils and additional ingredients, and leave out everything you don’t want. DIY bath bombs are fun to make and they will likely save you money, too.
A Simple DIY Bath Bomb Recipe
Here’s a basic recipe for making DIY bath bombs at home.
Ingredients For The Bath Bomb Mixture
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup Epsom salt (optional)
- 3/4 tsp. water or witch hazel (witch hazel helps the ingredients stick together, but may be irritating for some skin types)
- 15-25 drops essential oils of your choice
- 2 tsp. oil (jojoba, sweet almond, olive, or liquid coconut oil all work here)
- Natural food coloring (optional)
- Wax paper
- A mold of your choice, like muffin tins, candy pans, or bath bomb molds
Instructions For Making Homemade Bath Bombs
1. Add all of the dry ingredients (baking soda, cornstarch, and the optional Epsom salt) to a large mixing bowl. Leave out the citric acid for now.
2. Pour your liquid ingredients (essential oils, carrier oil, water, and optional food coloring) into a jar with a top. Close the jar and shake it to combine the mixture.
3. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Use your hands to combine them.
4. As you combine the ingredients, pour in the citric acid. There may be a slight fizzing reaction. Your DIY bath bombs should be the consistency of wet sand at this point.
5. Mash the DIY bath bomb mixture into your molds, pushing it down tightly with the back of a spoon to ensure you fill the mold completely.
6. Remove your DIY bath bombs from the mold and place them onto wax paper to dry. Let them dry completely for a day or two before you use them.
7. When you’re ready to use your DIY bath bomb, fill up your tub, pop it in, and enjoy the burst of fizz and aroma.10
- If your mixture is too dry, you can add witch hazel or oil to moisten it. If your mixture is too wet, add more dry ingredients to balance the texture.
- You may want to slowly add wet ingredients a little bit at a time so your mixture doesn’t get too wet. A spray bottle can help with this.
- Once you’ve added the citric acid, take care not to add any additional water, otherwise the bath bomb can start falling apart.
- After you remove the DIY bath bombs from the molds, you can use the back of a spoon to smooth the seams.11,12
Ingredients To Experiment With When Making DIY Bath Bombs
The recipe above will give you a classic bath bomb you’ll likely love. But the beauty of making your own bath products is the ability to customize the ingredients to make it distinctly yours. Here are some ideas for “extras” you can add to your own simple bath bomb recipes.
To change up the scent and therapeutic benefits of your DIY bath bomb, simply use different essential oils. Here are some popular options:
- Lemon: cleansing, uplifting, stress relief
- Peppermint: energizing, relieves muscle aches
- Lavender: calming, eases tension
- Rose: calming, eases anxiety
- Tea Tree: cleansing, supports immune function13
You can also substitute the oil you use. This will give you a different scent or different benefits for your skin, depending on what you use. Here are some options:
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Argan oil
- Rosehip oil14
Mixing in different dry ingredients can be a fun way to achieve different colors and textures in your DIY bath bombs. Here are a few ideas:
- Biodegradable glitter
- Dried flower petals
- Dried herbs
- Epsom salt
- Dry pigment
- Powdered mica for color15,16,17
- Liquid food coloring (go for natural food coloring)
- Witch hazel
- Vanilla extract
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter
Ideas For Creative Homemade Bath Bombs
Need more inspiration? Here are a few ideas for DIY bath bombs you might love.
- Coffee and cream: add espresso powder and powdered milk.
- Pumpkin spice: add orange food coloring and pumpkin spice fragrance.
- Rose bath bombs: add rose petals and rose essential oil.
- Pearl sheen: press rose, gold, and teal pearl mica to the outside of the bath bomb.
- Milk and honey: add honey and powdered milk.19
As you can see, the options are endless. If you have a favorite scent or color, you can capture it in your very own DIY bath bomb. Once you’ve settled on a combination you love, relax and enjoy a nice moment of self care. If you’re feeling generous, you may want to share with your friends, too. Bath bombs make great gifts.