How to Make Bath Bombs with Essential Oils

Learning how to make bath bombs with essential oils is relatively easy. Take dry ingredients like citric acid, baking soda, and Epsom salts, then slowly add your wet ingredients, like oil and rosewater.

This creates a crumbly texture that holds together when pressed into a mold. Perfume them with essential oils and color them with natural powders or liquid colors to vary their appearance and fragrance. They can either be oven dried or left to dry naturally.

Is sensitive skin an issue for you? Me too! Come and learn my tips, tricks, and alternatives, like baking powder and apple cider vinegar, so you can enjoy the fizzy fun too.

Discover how to adapt recipes so children can join in the fun too. Delight them with simple inclusions for maximum impact and drama.

How do Bath Bombs Work?

Bath bombs are beloved the world over. The explosion of fizzing and fragrance taps into our childish side somehow. Dreamily running our fingers through the fizzy trails leaves a richly fragranced bath.

Bath bombs ingredients can vary widely, but generally, they tend to have the same two ingredients that create that wonderful fizzing chemical reaction that we all love so much when they come into contact with the water. These are baking soda and citric acid.

Just yesterday, my husband was introduced to the effect baking soda, and acid can have, in this case, white vinegar. I was canning and dutifully washing my green beans in water, baking soda, and white vinegar. As soon as he poured the white vinegar into the water and baking soda, it fizzed up and made him jump. He was not expecting it; I just stood there, chuckling.

It is just the same reaction you get in your bath bomb, baking soda + citric acid + warm water = an explosive fizzing reaction from the chemical reaction and release of carbon dioxide gas bubbles.

Salts are often added to the recipes, as these are well renowned for soothing aching muscles. So too, are fillers like cornstarch. This can be where problems happen because the ratios must be just right. If too much is added, you’ll lose the fizzing. More on that later.

Coloring and fragrances are almost always added, and you know by now that I’m going to be advocating the best in natural alternatives to avoid any synthetics and unwanted chemicals.

We will have you making the most amazing fragranced bath bombs you have ever used, so join me and learn how to make bath bombs with essential oils.

Also Read: How to Make Bath Scrubs With Essential Oils

Best Essential Oils to Use in a Bath Bomb

If you are a beginner and unsure where to start selecting essential oils for your bath bombs, let me help you. I have selected some of my favorites based on fragrance intensity, tenacity, ease of use, and therapeutic benefit.

For more information on the intensity and tenacity of essential oils, check out this article on How to Make Perfume With Essential Oils.

1. Grapefruit Essential Oil

Zingy, zesty, and perfectly fruity, just the thing for a bath bomb to bring you to life.

2. Lavender Essential Oil

A popular oil with a great scent profile. Perfect for inducing feelings of relaxation and is an absolute all-rounder.

3. Peppermint Essential Oil

Want a bath bomb to enliven your senses and rejuvenate your mind and those aching muscles? This has to be your go-to essential oil.

4. Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Perfect for a bath bomb to bring your senses to life, bursting with fresh, zesty fragrance and a perfect oil to uplift you.

5. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Notorious for its all-around healing properties, this oil is wonderfully blended with other essential oils. Lending a strong green France to the blend.

6. Vetiver Essential Oil

I have been using this a lot in my late-night bath recently and highly recommend trying it for better sleep; mine is much improved. Its deep, earthy, and musky scent lends a magical and mysterious air to your bath bomb.

7. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

This is the perfect oil to use when you feel a bit stressed. I use it in my bath to bring my blood pressure down daily. It has a wonderful, heady, fabulous exotic fragrance envelopes you in luxury. Perfect for a bath bomb to finish the day.

Also Read: How to Make Facial Toner with Essential Oils

How to Make Bath Bombs With Essential Oils


    • Measuring spoons/cups
    • Mixing spoons
    • Selection of medium-sized bowls
    • Medicine dropper
    • Small spray bottle - or a plant mister
    • Muffin tray or bath bomb two-part molds


Note: buy a bit extra because you will make mistakes in this project.

    • Citric acid (Look in the canning aisle)
    • Baking soda
    • Cornstarch
    • Water
    • Vegetable oil
    • Natural food coloring liquids or powders x2. Beetroot, carrot, and spirulina powders are good options 
    • Essential oils selection

Optional Ingredients to Add to Your Bath Bombs: 

    • Epsom salts
    • Pink Himalayan salt (Choose well-ground)
    • Sea salt 
    • Do not use table salt as it has anti-caking agents added

Note that the recipe amounts given in this activity are for approximately filling one large muffin cup, but this greatly depends on the exact size of the cups in your muffin tray.

You can double or triple the recipes to make additional bath bombs.


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (or its lowest setting) since you use a muffin tray to dry your bath bombs. Always assist children when using the oven.

Now, just a note before we begin. You must be careful how much liquid you add to your dry ingredients. Please hear me on this. It can go from perfection to ruination in less than a drop.

The ingredients can be expensive, and if you get carried away, you will be simply standing there watching your beautiful bath bomb fizz away in front of your eyes on the kitchen counter. (If this happens, tip it into a jar quickly, leaving the lid off until it stops fizzing. You can still benefit from the ingredients by listing them in your next bath, saving it from going completely to waste).

Have all your things in hand and set out ready in front of you because you need to work fast at the mixing stage.

In A Bowl, Mix The Following:

    • 1 ⅓ tbsp. of citric acid
    • 2 ⅔ tbsp. of baking soda
    • 2 tbsp. of cornstarch
    • 2 tsp of your choice of salts. (Epsom, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, or a mix of all three).
    • ½ tsp of your colored powder; use beetroot powder, spirulina, or carrot powder. (Do not use Turmeric - it might seem like a good idea at the time, but your bath will be yellow, and so will you. Ask me how I know this! Cue eye-roll.)

For extra dramatic explosion and fizz - add more citric acid and baking soda and reduce or omit the cornstarch altogether. Cornstarch is a filler to bulk up your ingredients and reduce the cost, although it also gives a lovely, luxurious silky feel to the bath bomb.

You have a choice here, and it depends on what you prefer, but I like to add my essential oils to the powdered mix because I can control how much scent I want and stick within safety data usage guidelines. Also, often, when you add it to the liquid mix, a fair bit can be left over and wasted…and what is the point of that? Don’t waste your expensive ingredients unnecessarily. 

Try it both ways, and see what you prefer.

In A Second Bowl, Mix The Following:

    • 1 tsp vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp water
    • 2 drops of liquid food coloring if not added colored powders
    • 15 drops of essential oils. (Unless you have added them already into the powdered ingredients).

If Your Bath Bombs Keep Failing - Reduce the Water in This Mix

Be sure to thoroughly wash and dry your mixing spoons and droppers when moving between the different ingredients and colors.

At this point, you can either use a medicine dropper or a small spray bottle. I prefer a small spray bottle that dispenses a really fine mist.

Now, you need to be careful how much liquid you add and gauge it very carefully. You also need to be ready to mix it quickly.

Spritz your dry ingredients or dispense with your medicine dropper one drop at a time.

Your mixture will fizz; simply take the back of a spoon, push it down to stop the fizzing process, and work the damp powder through the rest quickly and thoroughly. Keep adding the liquid until your mixture starts to look crumbly and will start to come together when pressed, and it will hold itself in shape.

Once it does this, you have enough liquid. Don’t worry if you have liquid left over. Best to err on the dry side rather than a wet soggy mess happening.

Getting this bit right really is the challenge. If it goes wrong, tip it all in the jar and start over again from fresh. Don’t give up! Every time, you just find another way NOT to do it, and you WILL find that perfect sweet spot. It does take practice to get it right, so don’t expect to do it perfectly the first time.

Molding Your Bath Bombs

Take your muffin tray or bath bomb mold and oil the cup/mold very lightly with vegetable oil - use the medicine dropper to dispense just one drop if that is easier.

Fill the muffin cups or bath bomb mold with the mixture and press down well with the back of a spoon; you want a nice dense mix, so press down well, packing it tightly.

Once filled, place your muffin tray in the oven, turn the oven off, close the door, and leave them for at least 45 minutes. Once cooled, remove them very carefully from the muffin cups.

If you have a bath bomb mold, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Many are plastic and not suitable for use in an oven. Some silicone ones do allow this, though, so read the instructions that come with it.

If you cannot put it in the oven, leave it to dry for 12 hours in the mold and then remove it gently and with care from the mold and allow it to harden for at least 48 hours before using.

Also Read: How to Make Face Moisturizer With Essential Oils

DIY Essential Oil Bath Bomb Recipes

These are some of my favorite bath bomb recipes I have formulated over the years. I have had all of my old notebooks spread across the table just to find the ones I felt worked most effectively and gave the best results. Making them relatively foolproof - given that you follow the instructions above precisely.

For your ease, I am sticking to one basic mix and varying the colors and fragrances.

I have already provided the information above on how you can tweak the recipe to suit you.

Basic Bath Bomb Mix - Makes Several Large Ones
Dry Ingredients Wet Ingredients
Citric Acid Baking Soda Salt Mix Cornstarch Natural powdered color*
Rose water Avocado Oil Essential oil mix
1 ⅓ Cup 2 ⅔ Cup 1 Cup 2 Cup 1⁄4 Cup 6 tsp 6 tsp Up to 100 drops maximum

*(or you could use 2 drops of liquid food color mixed with the wet ingredients instead).

Essential Oil Mixes For The Most Effective Bath Bombs

Fairy Dust
Use a purple/pink colorant like beet powder
Ylang Ylang
(Cananga odorata)
Rose Geranium
(Pelargonium asperum var roseum)
(Lavandula angustifolia)
Vanilla Absolute
(Vanilla planifolia)
(Citrus paradisi)
20 drops 20 drops 10 drops 10 drops 30 drops
Citrus Twist
Use an orange colorant like carrot powder
(Citrus reticulata)
(Citrus latifolia Tanaka)
(Citrus paradisi)
(Zingiber officinale)
30 drops 20 drops 10 drops 20 drops
Blissful Dreams
Use a dark purple colorant like blackcurrant or blueberry powder
(Lavandula angustifolia)
(Origanum majorana)
(Vetiveria zizanoides)
50 drops 30 drops 15 drops
Tropical paradise
Use a green/blue colorant like spirulina or kale powder
If you want to get adventurous, you could split your basic mix into two, color one bowl green and one bowl pink, and then marble the two colors together
(Cymbopogon flexuosus)
(Citrus paradisi)
(Cananga odorata)
Vanilla Absolute
(Vanilla planifolia)
(Pogostemon cablin)
Palo Santo
(Bursera graveolens)
Black Pepper
(Piper Nigrum)
10 drops 20 drops 20 drops 15 drops 15 drops 5 drops 15 drops

How to Make Bath Bombs For Kids

We all know how sensitive kids' skin can be, so we must be careful in our formulations for children. I have changed this recipe to include fewer powdered acids and more fillers and appropriately reduced the essential oil ratio.

I would not recommend using this recipe for any children under 3.

If your child has very sensitive skin, I urge you to think twice before letting them use products like bath bombs containing citric acid: experiment instead with bath salts, cornstarch, and a bit of baking soda. You won’t get the same sort of fizz, but you can activate it with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, for example.

Kids love adding ingredients like dried rose and calendula petals and watching them rise to the water's surface; sometimes, this distracts from the fact that they are a little less fizzy.

Also, I have used edible glitter in bath bombs because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE glitter, but I have very sensitive skin. Edible glitter is my go-to for bath bombs that will delight and indulge the child in me! Kids love the glitter, splashing and watching it trail and glint through the water.

If you make a bath bomb with natural petal inclusions and edible glitter, they will need to be used up within a couple of months, as they are more prone to molding.

I have even made bath bombs with tiny little rubber ducks in the middle, and once they finish fizzing, the weeny duck just pops up and magically appears. An absolute delight EVERY time. What would your child like? (Pick something that will float, though).


See what works for your child, what they enjoy most about bath bombs, and what ingredients they can use that will care most for their delicate skin. They will be thrilled to have a bath bomb designed just for them. A real treat!

Basic Bath Bomb Mix for Children over 3 years of age - Makes several
Dry Ingredients Wet Ingredients
Citric Acid Baking Soda Salt Mix Cornstarch Natural powdered color*
Rose water Avocado Oil Essential oil mix
1 Cup 2 Cup 1 ½ Cup 2 ½ Cup 1⁄4 Cup 6 tsp 6 tsp Up to 25 drops maximum

*(or you could use 2 drops of liquid food color mixed with the wet ingredients instead).

Essential Oil Mixes For Children’s Bath Bombs:

Always check your essential oil safety data for use with children.

Sweet dreams, little one
Use a dark purple colorant like blackcurrant or blueberry powder
(Lavandula angustifolia)
German Chamomile
(Matricaria chamomilla L.)
Sweet Orange
(Citrus sinensis L)
10 drops 10 drops 5 drops
Unicorns, and Dragons
Use a blue/green colorant like spirulina
(Citrus reticulata)
Sweet Orange
(Citrus sinensis L)
(Zingiber officinale)
10 drops 10 drops 5 drops

As you can see, the sweet dreams formulae are much more suited to nighttime use, and the Unicorns and Dragons are a bit more enlivening and best used during the day.

They are both perfect for your little monsters, and they will have such fun with them, especially if you let them help to design and make them.

Important Questions

Do I Have to Use Citric Acid? 

No, you do not have to use citric acid. Still, the results you will get will be considerably different and far less ‘fizzy’ with the following suggested alternatives:

    • Cream of tartar
    • Lemon Juice
    • Buttermilk powder
    • Apple Cider Vinegar

I recently read a good article where the lady used baking powder with apple cider vinegar to great effect. Still, you need to stir the mix very fast, as it starts the chemical reaction immediately. 

I suggest you try the recipes above when first learning how to make bath bombs with essential oils and get to grips with this process before advancing to this idea.

Is Citric Acid Safe to Use? 

The FDA says that Citric Acid is generally recognized as safe in skin care products, though some experts would like more research done on the subject. Prolonged usage and contact can cause adverse skin reactions.

Bath bombs should not be used daily; stick to once or twice weekly.

While it is considered safe, many skin care experts advise avoiding citric acid if you have very sensitive skin. You could always try a patch test first. More on that in a moment.

Also Read: How to Make Body Butter with Essential Oils

What Can Replace Epsom Salt in a Bath Bomb? 

There are so many wonderful salts and minerals that you can use instead of Epsom salts; my favorites for this purpose are

    • Pink Himalayan Rock Salt: which wonderful for your skin, and I use it all the time for bathing.
    • Sea Salt is also fabulous for your skin.
    • Magnesium flakes: perfect for muscle relaxing and winding down after exercise or a long day.

How Long Can I Store Homemade Bath Bombs? 

Bath bombs tend to lose their fizz after about 6 months, but just because they lose them does not mean they are unsafe to use. You can still use them for up to 12 months.

However, natural inclusions in your bath bomb, like dried petals, do not store well, as they are more prone to mold. Use those up within a couple of months.

Are Bath Bombs Safe for Allergic People? 

I would advise anyone with sensitive skin and allergies to be cautious when using bath bombs, especially those filled with synthetic fragrances, colors, and fillers.

This is why it is a good idea to make your own and control exactly what goes into your bath bomb.

How about doing a patch test? You can always scrape a bit of the powder from the bath bomb, mix with warm water and, do a patch test, leave it for 24 hours to see if a reaction occurs. If all is well, proceed.

However, I would always proceed cautiously, as your patch test might be very often fine, but you still come out of the bath feeling itchy and irritated.

If you are going to make your own, try experimenting with the ratios and use as little citric acid as you can reasonably get away with.

Interestingly though, those with oily skin could benefit from using citric acid.

Final Thought

As you may have realized, reading this article, there is plenty of room for experimentation, tweaking an ingredient here and there to suit you, your skin type, and your children.

Have a go at the basic recipe and work from there. Once you have got the hang of the mixing bit, let’s face it if it is going to go wrong anywhere…it is here! You can then move on to the more advanced ideas, like swapping out baking soda for baking powder and citric acid for apple cider vinegar.

You only have to look online to realize that the variations are almost limitless. Just as long as you work within the safety data limits for the essential oils, the only real limit is your creativity and imagination.

Maybe, as your first attempts explode into being in a fragrant fizz of loveliness, so do your ideas for a dazzling array of variations. You might need to keep a notebook by the bath to record them.

Now that you know how to make bath bombs with essential oils, you will be fizzing to success in no time.

Also Read: How to Make Bath Bombs at Home

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