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.
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
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.
marie! just thought i’d let you know i think your blog is great. it is so cool that you make so much stuff yourself and i love reading about it! (in the most non-creepy way of course.) 🙂
you are the coolest gal marie! i love reading your blog! i really miss walking to your room on the second floor at pond, and smelling all the wonderful baking you did. i am very happy i know such an awesome girl! and i am so tempted to try one of your projects one day soon. maybe during my reading week!
What a wonderful idea and I can’t wait to try it. I love homemade stuff.
Thanks for sharing.
LOVE the idea of putting the oil in them. You sure have some great items posted! Thank you!
Adding some oil sure helps with dry winter skin—just be careful not to go overboard or you’ll end up with a greasy tub 😉 haha!
Marie, Thanks to you and Lorraine for being huge mentors to me and my brand and all the wonderful formulation growth, tips and lessons. As my business grows I wanted to reach out and say gratitude, special lady! Keep inspiring!
Thanks for the recipe! Going to make these to add to Xmas gifts 🙂
I love supplementing my Christmas gifts with homemade goodies as well 🙂
Lovin’ the ease of the recipe and the savings. May make these in several scents as gifts! Thank you!
Great idea, I definitely give these as gifts and they’re a hit!
I love the pretty color & the inspiration you give me 🙂
Thanks, Linda! I look forward to hearing what you come up with 🙂
This looks like a pretty fun and affordable idea, thx
I can’t wait to make these! Thank you so much for the recipe!
You’re very welcome, Jessie! I sure was excited to discover that I can make bath bombs at home.
These sound great!!
Excellent! Thank you!
OMG !!! I love these !!! I’m so glad I can make them now…Thank you Thank you Thank you !! 🙂 I’ll be making these for friends and family !! 🙂
Thank you !!! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!
You can also use WitchHazel in place of the water in the spritz bottle, it evaporated fairly well and has less of a reaction with the citric acid and such when addind moisture to the mix. I would start with 2-3 spritz to the dry ingredient mix (if needed) and go from there. Once you can fist it and it holds form, your good to go.
Hope this helps.
Thanks, Mariah! I think I’ve read this before but I’ve never tried it. I wonder why it doesn’t react as much as water… hmm?
Just found you through Herbs & Oils World. I feel so much gratitude for all the time you spend sharing all your knowledge and research with all of us. I too am looking for ways to eliminate chemicals from our lives. I will be using a lot of your recipes. Thanks again for all your time.
Thank you, Sue! You’ve given me the warm fuzzies 🙂 I’m thrilled that you appreciate all the time I sink into my blog, it’s certainly become a big part of my life as I strive to share awesome things with you every week. If you’re ever looking for a chemical-free solution to a problem, please let me know—I’m always looking for things to write about! Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it 🙂
cant wait to try these out,i love your site 🙂
Thanks for reading, Hayley! Homemade bath bombs are super awesome because they’re so cheap you can enjoy them all the time 🙂
I will have to try this…the only thing I have missing…is the essential oil….
This will be fun! I’m glad I found this site!
Have fun with it! Making your own bath bombs is super fun, just be conservative with the colours—I’ve definitely made big messes in my tub by accident with these 😛
Awesome I love them too! Thank you I will be making them this week.:)
Have fun! How did they go?
you can use those round balls that colored knee highs
came in….just spray each half with pam and then put together for a perfect round fizzy.
Awesome idea! Thanks, Catherins 🙂
Hello! One question- what did you use to color yours? Did your EO already have an orange tint? Food colors would start the reaction since they’re water based I’m guessing. Any thoughts on how I could make colorful ones?
I generally just use a wee bit of iron oxide, and that’s never caused me any problems (except for pastel coloured rings in my bathtub, lol). If you wanted to use liquid dyes, I’d recommend just adding a drop or two of the dye to your pre-existing liquids… I mean, you’re adding water already, might as well sneak it in there, right?
Mmmm yes. Nice! Thank you!
I just had the best experience making these, and I put my own spin on it. I added collodial oatmeal, kaolin clay, coconut oil, and a tiny bit of beet root powder mixed in with walnut oil for a pinkish hue. They stuck together perfectly with only 2 sprays of water. I’m so excited to gift these for Christmas! Thanks again Marie!
Wow, I love these ideas, Heather! I have been planning on making more bath bombs in the future, and I will definitely pull out my rather wide selection of water soluble coloured herbal extracts for them next time around 🙂 I got oodles of different red botanical powders (beet, hibiscus, alkanet, rosehip, etc.) to try and make lip stain out of, but they turned out to be totally useless for lip stain. But how brilliant to use them in bath bombs—since they’ll actually dissolve in the water the colour will just wash down the drain, sans mess. Fantastic! Also, clay = awesome in everything 😀
Thanks for reading & DIYing with me!
I love your assortment of botanical powders! I too thought beet root powder would be good for lip stain and soap, and you know how both of those turned out. Not good… But, it worked nicely for these bath bombs. Since we don’t use water until the end, I mixed it with melted organic coconut oil, then I evenly coated the epsom salt with the colored oil. I mixed the other ingredients in slowly after the epsom salts were completely coated. Not that you need directions, lol. As always, I look forward to your future posts 🙂
I must say, out of all the ingredients I’ve collected, botanical powders often end up being the biggest let down. Perhaps I expect too much of them, but they are always rather weak in both the scent and colour categories, and rarely hold up through saponification. Unfortunately I never seem to learn, so I have close to 10 different ones that I must devise other uses for. If nothing else they do challenge my creativity 😛
So I learnt today that you cannot cheat and dry them in the oven! I tried it because it was so humid here they were reacting in the air.
They turn into blobs! Actually they kinda look like little meringues that smell deliciously of sweet orange. 🙂
Ha, how funny! And hey, a lesson learned, right? Perhaps a dehydrator would do the trick?
Most likely a dehydrator would work, but funnily enough I had just lent mine to my Aunty a few days prior after not using it for over a year! Always the way, eh?
They did end up drying out fine with the aircon on to suck the moisture out the air.
Fantastic! And enjoy that humidity on your skin… it’s so dry here I’ve been waking up thirsty in the middle of the night!
Hi, Marie, I just made these a few minutes ago (first time ever making bath bombs) and wanted to ask approximately how much EO you used. I made half a batch (have a birthday tomorrow, where I want to add a homemade touch), and added about a total of 20-25 drops (different oils mixed together) to the liquid oils. Hoping that it’s enough for the scent to remain after drying overnight. What do you think?
Hi Alina! It’ll really depend on which EOs you used as they have different strengths, but it sounds like you probably nailed it for a half batch 🙂 Preferences for scent strength is a very personal thing, though, so see what you think, and adjust as required. Thanks for DIYing with me!
Great blog and thank you for the information. I have two questions I am hoping you can help with. Do you know why they only last 1 month and why the addition of the kaolin clay – what does it do or add to the bombs? Thank you so much.
Hi Beth! In more humid environments the baking soda/citric acid can be triggered by ambient humidity. The bath bombs don’t spoil, they just become less fizzy and end up more like a block of bath salts than anything else. You can help extend their shelf life by carefully wrapping them in plastic so they aren’t exposed to the air 🙂
I don’t usually add clay to my bath bombs so I don’t have to wipe it out of my tub, but I do love clay on the skin (yay for face masks!) for its cleansing and circulation-boosting properties 🙂
Hello, I have a question- do you think the cocoa butter would make the bath bombs more solid? I mean it will make a thick consistency so they won’t break easily(when not in water)..? I love cocoa butter! I was just curious why you use this butter in particular. Thanks! 🙂
Hi Camellia! The sort of “glue” theory was a big part of why I chose cocoa butter when I wrote this up years ago 🙂 In the end the salt and citric acid fuse together really beautifully to make for a sturdy bath bomb, with or without cocoa butter (or any other oil), so it’s not really a structural choice when it comes to oil—just choose something you like 🙂