Bath bombs are fizzy, fragrant, and fun additions to your bath time. They can create a relaxing spa-like atmosphere, moisturize your skin, and soothe your senses. Plus, they are easy and inexpensive to make at home with a few simple ingredients.
In this article, you’ll learn how to make bath bombs from scratch, what ingredients and tools you need, how to customize them with different colors, scents, and additives, and how to store and use them safely.
What is a Bath Bomb?
Bath bombs are spherical or shaped mixtures of baking soda, citric acid, and other ingredients that fizz and dissolve when dropped in water. They release carbon dioxide gas bubbles, creating a fizzy sensation on your skin. They also release oils, fragrances, colors, and other additives to enhance your bathing experience.
Bath bombs were invented in 1989 by Mo Constantine, one of the founders of Lush Cosmetics¹. She was inspired by the fizzing action of Alka-Seltzer tablets and wanted to create a similar effect for bath products. She experimented with different combinations of ingredients until she found the perfect formula for bath bombs.
Today, bath bombs are popular worldwide and come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and scents. You can buy them from stores online or at home with simple ingredients and tools.
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Bath Bomb?
The basic ingredients for making bath bombs are:
- Baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda): This is the main ingredient that makes bath bombs fizz. It reacts with citric acid when wet to produce carbon dioxide gas.
- Citric acid: This is a natural acid in citrus fruits. It acts as a preservative and helps lower the pH of the bath water, making it more acidic and less harsh on your skin.
- Epsom salt (also known as magnesium sulfate): This mineral salt helps soften the water and relax muscles. It also adds some texture and weight to the bath bomb.
- Cornstarch (also known as cornflour) is a starch derived from corn. It helps bind the ingredients together and gives the bath bombs a smooth and silky feel.
- Oil: This liquid fat helps moisturize your skin and hold the bath bombs together. You can use any oil suitable for skin care, such as coconut, olive, almond, jojoba, or grapeseed.
- Water: This liquid helps activate the fizzing reaction and moisten the mixture. You only need a small amount of water, as too much can cause the bath bombs to fizz prematurely or crumble apart.
- Essential oil or fragrance oil: This concentrated liquid adds aroma to the bath bomb. You can use any essential or fragrance oil safe for skin contact, such as lavender, rose, lemon, vanilla, or peppermint.
- Food coloring or soap dye: This liquid or powder adds color to the bath bomb. You can use any food coloring or soap dye safe for skin contact, such as natural or synthetic colors.
These are the basic ingredients for making bath bombs, but you can add other optional ingredients to customize them according to your preferences. Some examples of optional ingredients are:
- Dried flowers or herbs: These natural plant materials add visual appeal and extra scent to the bath bomb. You can use any dried flowers or herbs safe for skin contact, such as rose petals, lavender buds, chamomile flowers, or mint leaves.
- Glitter or mica powder: These shiny materials add sparkle and shimmer to the bath bomb. You can use any glitter or mica powder safe for skin contact, such as cosmetic grade glitter or natural mineral mica.
- Oatmeal or milk powder: These dry ingredients nourish and exfoliate the bath bomb. You can use any oatmeal or milk powder safe for skin contact, such as rolled oats, colloidal oatmeal, or powdered milk.
- Clay or kaolin are fine powders that add detoxification and cleansing to the bath bomb. You can use any safe clay or kaolin for skin contact, such as bentonite clay, French green clay, or white kaolin clay.
What Tools Do You Need to Make Bath Bomb?
The tools you need to make bath bombs are:
- A large mixing bowl: This is where you will combine the dry ingredients for the bath bomb. You can use any large mixing bowl that is clean and dry, such as a glass, ceramic, or metal bowl.
- A small spray bottle: This is where you will fill it with water and spray the mixture to moisten it. You can use any small spray bottle that is clean and dry, such as a plastic or glass bottle.
- A whisk or a fork: You will use this to stir and mix the ingredients. You can use any whisk or fork that is clean and dry, such as a metal or wooden utensil.
- A measuring cup or a kitchen scale: You will use this to measure the ingredients accurately. You can use any measuring cup or kitchen scale that is clean and dry, such as a plastic or glass cup or a digital or analog scale.
- A mold or a cookie cutter: You will use this to shape the bath bomb. You can use any mold or cookie cutter that is clean and dry, such as a silicone, plastic, or metal mold or cutter. You can also use your hands to shape the bath bombs into balls or other shapes.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Make Bath Bomb
Now that you have all the ingredients and tools, you can start making bath bombs. Here are the steps to follow:
- In a large mixing bowl, add 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of citric acid, 1 cup of Epsom salt, and 1/2 cup of cornstarch. Whisk or fork them together until well combined and no lumps remain.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of essential or fragrance oil, and a few drops of food coloring or soap dye in a small bowl or cup. Stir them together until well blended.
- Slowly drizzle the oil mixture over the dry mixture while whisking or forking continuously. The mixture should start to clump together and resemble wet sand.
- If you want to add any optional ingredients, such as dried flowers, glitter, oatmeal, or clay, sprinkle them over the mixture and whisk or fork them in.
- Fill a small water bottle and lightly spray the mixture while whisking or forking it. Be careful not to add too much water, which can cause the mixture to fizz and lose shape. The mixture should be moist enough to hold together when squeezed in your hand but not too wet or sticky.
- Pack the mixture firmly into your mold or cookie cutter of choice. You can use one large mold or several small ones, depending on the size and shape you want for your bath bombs. You can also use your hands to shape the mixture into balls or other shapes.
- Tap the mold gently on a flat surface to release the bath bomb. If it doesn’t come out easily, you can use a spoon or knife to loosen it gently. Place the bath bomb on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper to dry.
- Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you use up all the mixture. You should be able to make about 10 to 12 medium-sized bath bombs with this recipe.
- Let the bath bombs dry for at least 24 hours in a cool and dry place. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, heat, or humidity, affecting their quality and shelf life.
- Once the bath bombs are completely dry, you can store them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag for up to six months. Keep them away from moisture and heat sources.
How to Use Bath Bomb Safely
To use your homemade bath bombs, simply drop one into a tub of warm water and enjoy the fizzing action and aroma. You can add candles, music, and a good book for a relaxing spa-like experience.
However, before using your bath bombs, make sure to follow these safety tips:
- Test your bath bombs on a small skin patch before using them in the tub. Some ingredients may cause allergic reactions or irritation for some people. If you experience any redness, itching, burning, or swelling, do not use the bath bombs and consult your doctor.
- Do not use bath bombs if you have cuts, wounds, infections, or skin conditions. The ingredients may aggravate your condition and cause more harm than good.
- Do not use bath bombs if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical conditions that may affect your skin sensitivity or blood pressure. Some ingredients may interfere with your hormones or medications and cause adverse effects.
- Do not use bath bombs more than once a week. Using them too often may dry out your skin and disrupt its natural pH balance.
- Rinse your tub thoroughly after using bath bombs. Some ingredients may leave residues that stain your tub or clog your drain.
Bath bombs are a great way to pamper yourself and enjoy a relaxing bath. They are also fun and easy to make at home with simple ingredients and tools. You can customize them with different colors, scents, and additives to suit your preferences and needs.
Following this step-by-step guide, you can create bath bombs that fizz, smell, and look amazing. Just remember to use them safely and store them properly. Have fun making and using your homemade bath bombs!