Out of all the natural body products that are disgustingly overpriced, bath bombs are pretty much the worst. My mother got me hooked on them long before my allowance could actually cover or justify a $5 one-time fizzy bath treat, so I hoarded them like they were made from microscopic fireworks from Mars. Then, when I started getting into all sorts of natural body type stuff, it occurred to me that these effervescent lumps of glory probably weren’t as mysterious as they seemed.

Tangerine bath bombs

I was right. Cool. I like it when that happens. It turns out that bath bombs are nothing more than a (mostly) dry (and better smelling) version of that baking soda (USA / Canada) & vinegar volcano we all made in third-grade science. HELLS YES.

Homemade Bath Bombs

2 cups baking soda (USA / Canada)
1 cup citric acid (available online or at your local health food store)
1 cup epsom salt
2 tbsp liquid oil (I like sweet almond or walnut, but canola will work)
A spoonful or two of cocoa butter (USA / Canada) (optional)
Essential oil of choice
Distilled water, as needed

1/4 cup measuring cup, for moulding them
Silicone spatula
A spray/mister bottle

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Melt the cocoa butter (USA / Canada) together with the liquid oil, add the essential oil once you’re done heating them, and add to the dry ingredients. Mix.

Now, to add the water. Adding the water will, of course, start the reaction. This is why we’re using a spray bottle—to distribute the smallest amount of water over the largest area possible. Spritz and stir, spritz and stir. If it starts to fizzle, stir like mad to overwhelm the water with dry mix. Every so often, grab a handful of the mixture and see if it will hold together. Don’t add too much water! If you do, they’ll react as they dry and use up all their fizz before you draw a bath.

Once they’ll hold together, press the 1/4 cup measure full, let set for a few seconds, and then upend the cup and tap the bath bomb out onto some wax paper. Repeat until you’ve used it all up. Let the bombs dry for a few hours, turning halfway through.

Store somewhere cool, in a plastic bag so they don’t absorb water from the air. Use within a month.