How to Make Bath Bombs at Home

Bath bombs are a fun, therapeutic addition to any bath and are loved by adults, teenagers, and even kids! They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and scents to make your bathing experience fun and enjoyable. Today, in this article, we’re going to focus on how to make bath bombs at home.

Some of our favorite bath bombs are from Beluga Bath Company. The Beluga Bath Company uses all-natural ingredients and donates proceeds to whale conservation! The Beluga Bath Co. also offers nautical gift boxes for their ocean-themed products, delivering them right to your door. In addition to partnering with Ocean Alliance to save whales, they also promote self-care, sustainable living, and support small businesses. When you shop with Beluga Bath Company, you can relax knowing you are taking care of yourself and your planet!

If you are interested in learning how to make bath bombs at home, we have put together a DIY guide! Get creative by making your own homemade bath bombs and customize them with your favorite colors and scents. In this post, we will go over what you need to make a bath bomb, including supplies, basic ingredients, and custom additions for a little bit of extra flair! We will walk you through the process of making bath bombs step-by-step, with tips and tricks from our team.

Supplies

  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Food scale
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk or Baking Paddle
  • Sifter
  • Mixing bowl
  • Bath Bomb Mold
  • Spoon
  • Spray/Mister bottle

Ingredients Needed for Bath Bombs

Base Ingredients

The two main ingredients in any bath bomb are what creates the chemical reaction that takes place in your bathwater.

  • Baking Soda & Citric Acid - Making up the foundation of a bath bomb, these two are a match made in heaven. The pH level will neutralize in water, releasing carbon dioxide. This is what results in the fizzing of a bath bomb. If you are allergic to citric acid, there are recipes that replace it with cream of tartar, although you may not get the same fizz effect and it can be more costly.

Fillers

Many generic bath bombs contain only simple base ingredients, but the benefit of DIY bath bombs is that you can use “filler” ingredients that add pizazz to your bathing experience!

  • Epsom Salts - Epsom salts, which are commonly used in baths and soaks, consist of a mineral named magnesium sulfate. Epsom salts draw moisture and can make drying a bath bomb very difficult. However, they add many benefits to bathing!
  • Cornstarch- Cornstarch is a great alternative to using tricky Epsom salts. It gives the bathwater a silky. smooth feel and you can easily pick it up at your local grocery store!
  • Arrowroot Powder- For those with corn allergies, arrowroot powder is a common alternative to cornstarch. It is a starchy powder coming from Maranta arundinacea, a tropical plant.

Hardeners

Hardeners in a bath bomb recipe will help make your bath bomb rock hard. Although a harder bath bomb won't necessarily change your bathing experience, it will certainly make sure all of your hard work doesn’t go to waste and keeps your final product intact

  • Kaolin Clay - Also known as kaolinite, this is a soft clay common to beauty products. Additionally, it can help to harden and add structure to your bath bombs. One thing to note is that clays absorb moisture, so if you live in a dry climate, you may find your recipe needs more wet ingredients to balance it out.
  • Cream of Tartar - Cream of tartar is also a great hardener in bath bombs, although much more expensive. You can choose to use clay, cream of tartar, or even both in your recipe!

Carrier Oils

All bath bombs can benefit from using a carrier oil to help safely infuse essential oils into your bathwater. Although these fragrant oils offer many aromatherapeutic benefits, you can not use them directly on the skin due to their potency. Therefore, carrier oils are added to help ensure safe practice when using essential oils. There are MANY options for carrier oils, so which you choose to use is entirely up to personal preference. Here are a few of the more popular choices when it comes to making bath bombs at home:

  • Coconut Oil - Coconut oil is relatively inexpensive and easy to find. It also has many benefits for the skin, especially for those with sensitivities. However, coconut oil is solid at room temperature and needs to be melted prior to adding it to your recipe, unless you choose to use fractionated oil
  • Olive Oil - Olive oil is convenient to use because you likely already have it in your kitchen! Olive oil is also known to help with acne and is high in Vitamin E.
  • Almond Oil - Almond oil is hypoallergenic and gentle on most skin types.
  • Avocado Oil - Avocado oil can help moisturize and protect your skin.
  • Jojoba Oil- Although more expensive, jojoba oil is great to use in bath bombs as it can help with acne, eczema, and psoriasis. 
  • Shea butter- Shea butter reduces inflammation and is very moisturizing. Like coconut oil, it is solid at room temperature and needs to be melted prior to adding it into your recipe. 

Essential Oils/Fragrance Oils

Essential oils or fragrance oils are often added to bath bombs for aromatherapy purposes. Essential oils are exactly what they sound like—extracts from the natural essence of plants! Some of the more common essential oils in bath bombs include lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are manufactured. These are best for synthetic scents, such as dessert fragrances.

Colorants

There are many different options for coloring your bath bomb. Here are some of the more popular:

  • Mica Powder - In its natural form, mica is a sparkly stone. For aesthetic uses, it is ground down into a shimmery powder. When used as a bath bomb colorant, mica powders may be either synthetic or natural, depending on other additives. Mica powders are best known for coloring bath bombs and providing a flair of color to bathwater.
  • Batch Certified Lakes - Lakes are synthetic powders. They break down in oil to produce bright, vibrant colors. You will want to make sure your lakes come from a reputable supplier as they require FDA certification and only some are safe for bath bomb-making.
  • Water-Soluble Dyes - These are a special type of powder dyes that require “blooming” to activate. Blooming is the simple process of adding the dye powder to water. Water-soluble dyes will often look a different color in dry powder form but will activate with water and turn into their real color. With these types of powders, a little goes a long way, making them easy and affordable to use! However, since water-soluble dyes need water to activate their color, you must be careful when balancing the amount of water added directly into your bath bomb mix. Once your dye is bloomed in water, add it to your pre-measured baking soda and mix it thoroughly. Let your baking soda dry overnight before using it in your recipe. This will dye your baking soda ahead of time and limit or avoid the use of water in your recipe. If you are using multiple colors, you will want to divide your baking soda accordingly and dye them separately. 
  • Natural Dyes - For a more natural bath bomb, there are many colorants you can use to dye your bomb. Beet powder, spirulina powder, hibiscus powder, coffee grounds, activated charcoal, or turmeric powder are some common options.

Polysorbate 80

If you are familiar with bath bombs, you may also be familiar with the ring some of them leave behind in your tub! This is generally due to the bath bomb not containing enough polysorbate 80! Polysorbate 80 is an emulsifier, which means it not only helps to evenly distribute your ingredients and colorants in the water but can also cut back on slippery residue.

Binders

Binders are what you use to keep your DIY bath bomb mix moist. This helps to hold your mix together as you mold your bath bombs. A spray or mister bottle is recommended as even one spray too many can ruin your mix!

  • Water + Rubbing Alcohol
    Water and rubbing alcohol are commonly used as binders. Some recommend water, rubbing alcohol, or a combination of half and half. 70% rubbing alcohol is most common as it will eventually evaporate as your bath bomb dries. Water can also be very useful but is trickier to apply as too much water will activate your batch. 
  • Witch Hazel
    Some bath bombs will use witch hazel as a binder because it has many skin benefits. Adding witch hazel can be tricky because, like water, it can activate your mix prematurely if not added properly. 

Additives: Besides the basics, have a little fun and add more decorative ingredients to your bath bombs! Here are some ideas:

  • Flowers - Rose petals, lavender buds, and eucalyptus leaves are all popular floral additions. You can use these to decorate the tops of your bath bombs or hide them in the middle for a lovely surprise!
  • Foam and Bubbles - Some ingredients—such as coconut milk powder, buttermilk powder, and sodium laurel sulfoacetate—can add more foam and bubbles when you include them in your bath bomb!

The proportions of your bath bomb recipe should follow these percentages:

Ingredient

Percentage of Recipe

Baking Soda

50%

Citric Acid

25%

Fillers

8%

Hardener

5%

Carrier Oil

2-5%

Essential or Fragrance Oil

1-3%

Polysorbate 80

1-4%

Binder

1-3%

Colorant

(optional)

Additives

(optional)


Choosing a mold

The number of bath bombs your recipe makes depends on both the size of the recipe and the size of the molds. For starters, a stainless steel sphere mold between 2-3 inches can be the easiest to use. Spheres are the most common shape and they can be found online or in-store. To put it into context, a recipe with 1000g of dry ingredients will make about 7 bath bombs at approximately 6oz each, using a 2.5-inch sphere mold. To save yourself time and money, try your first few recipes on a smaller scale of 2-4 bath bombs without any fancy additives. This will allow you to test out different batches and compare them until you perfect your own recipes!

How to Make Bath Bombs at Home: Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Use the scale to measure out all of your dry ingredients in ounces or grams.
  2. Sift and combine all dry ingredients (except citric acid) into a mixing bowl. You can use a mixing paddle, hand mixer, or stand-up mixer for bath bombs!
  3. Next, use a scale to measure out all of your wet ingredients.
  4. Slowly add your wet ingredients to your bowl of dry ingredients and mix as you go.
  5. Then, slowly add your citric acid to the mix.
  6. After combining all of the ingredients, test your mix by squeezing a clump in your hand and dropping it from a few inches above your mixing bowl. If it stays intact, your consistency is most likely ready! Your batch should feel like damp or wet sand.
  7. Take your bath bomb mold and add your bath bomb mix to each half. If you like your bath bombs smooth, do not overflow the molds with mix. If you like your bath bombs with a “Saturn ring” (small convex ring around a round bath bomb), which is most popular, overfill each half of the mold.
  8. Put the two halves together and press tightly! Some of the mix will fall off, and that’s ok. Smooth out the edge of the bath bomb, where the halves meet.
  9. Tap the outside of the mold with a hard object to loosen the mold. Remove one half of the mold and then the other half.
  10. Finally, you have your first bath bomb!
  11. Place your bath bomb in a safe place to dry for up to 48 hours. If you live in a humid climate, you will likely need a dehumidifier to properly dry your recipe.
  12. After 48 hours, your bath bombs should be ready to handle and use.
  13. Store your bath bombs in an airtight container. The shelf-life of bath bombs ranges from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the quality of your ingredients.
Do not get discouraged if your first, second, or even 40th batch does not turn out perfect! Every little variable, from climate, light, to ingredients can make a huge difference in your results. Bath bomb-making is not easy but can be a lot of fun and we are here to help!

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