Do you need a way to relax after a long day? When it comes to that time of the day, maybe you have a white noise machine or even a neck massager, but is there anything better than a nice, steamy bath? This can always melt away the stress as soon as you sink into the tub. Bath bombs are the way to elevate this experience, providing amazing colours and scents, creating a spa experience! You can always purchase these from stores, but they can be costly.
The good news is that you can enjoy all the feel-good factors of a bath bomb without blowing your budget by making them at home! Making a bubbly bath bomb couldn’t be easier, and it’s also so much fun to make! It takes only 10 minutes of hands-on effort, and when you’re done, you’ll have a whole batch of spa-quality homemade bath bombs you can use yourself or give away as gifts! Keep on reading to find out how to make your own and turn your bath time into a paradise of colour, great aromas and a feeling of relaxation and fun! Let’s dive—or better soak–into it!
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How do bath bombs work?
The part that makes them fizz is the same as a soluble aspirin tablet: sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. Bath bombs can have a wide range of ingredients, including food colouring, bath salts, fragrances and many other components. There are, however, some key ingredients that you’ll find in most homemade recipes: baking soda and citric acid. Wondering why this is? When you mix baking soda and citric acid and then put them in water, a chemical reaction happens. This reaction produces lots of bubbles, which you see when the bath bomb dissolves in the water. The bubbles making the water so bubbly are made of carbon dioxide gas.
Cornstarch is another ingredient that is often used in homemade bath bombs. This can act as a dry “filler”, and you can mix it with reactive baking soda and citric acid. Changing the amount of the filler affects how bubbly the bath bombs turn out. You don’t notice the sodium citrate since it stays in the solution, but the carbon dioxide bubbles out as a gas, helping the bath bomb break up. That way, the perfumes, detergents, and oils that make up the rest of the bath bomb mix with the bathwater.
Step-by-step guide: How to make DIY bath bombs
If you love bath bombs but don’t want to spend too much money on those fancy store-bought bath fizzies, you can quench your skin-moisturizing thirst by making your own bath bombs at home! The making process is simple, needs only a few ingredients, and will leave you soaking in relaxation. Follow our step-by-step guide to find an easy DIY bath bomb recipe!
What you’ll need
These are the bath bomb ingredients you’ll need. Keep in mind, that using them makes 4 to 8 small bombs or 2 large ones.
- 120 ml powdered citric acid
- 1 cup baking soda (240 ml)
- ¾ cup cornstarch (180 ml)
- 1/4 cup Epsom salts (60 ml)
- Food colouring, several drops
- Essential oils, several drops
- Water or olive oil to dampen
- Large mixing bowl
- Whisk or mixer
- Spray bottle
- Bath bomb moulds
- Airtight container
Step 1: Gather all your ingredients
When you are making your own bath bomb, the best thing is that you have complete control over what is going into them. So gather all the ingredients you’re going to need and have them handy near you.
Step 2: Combine the powders
In your large non-reactive mixing bowl, add citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch. You may use your hands, a whisk, or a mixer to incorporate all these dry ingredients together. After stirring the other ingredients together, you may measure in 1/4 cup (60 ml) of Epsom salts, but this is optional.
Step 3: Add a bit of water or oil
Use the spray bottle to dampen the mixture lightly. Add just enough water so that the dough is compatible, and avoid adding so much that it becomes bubbly, or you must start it over. After spritzing the mixture 2 or 3 times, use your hands to give it another stir. It should hold its form when you press it together. If it doesn’t, add a bit more moisture and try again.
Step 4: Pour in your essential oils and food colouring or colourants
When you can mould the mixture easily in your hands, add a few drops of the oil and food colouring to your liking. You may mix multiple scents and colours to make a unique combination. Feel free to use your favourite ones, but some suggestions are lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus. Lavender and peppermint are fragrances well-liked for relaxation, and eucalyptus is popular for sinus relief and added energy.
Also, mica powder is a common colourant used in bath bombs. 3-5 drops of this or food dye should be just fine. It’s better to purchase skin-safe, liquid ones, which you can find in soap making suppliers.
Step 5: Press the mixture into the moulds
Press the bath bomb dough into dome moulds or a mould with rounded edges. If you want to use a two-part spherical mould, you should slightly overfill each half of it and then press them together tightly. To prevent cracking, you should use a lot of pressure to compact the mixture firmly into the moulds. If you want to make smaller and alternative bath bombs, you can use silicone candy moulds, ice cube trays, plastic fillable Easter eggs, cookie, cupcake or muffin trays.
Step 6: Let the bombs dry
Let the bath bombs dry, by leaving them in the moulds for at least 24 hours. It’s best to place them in a cool, dry area away from moisture at room temperature. If the bombs still feel slightly damp after 24 hours, you should remove them from the moulds and let them air dry independently. The result should be that the mixture feels like damp sand.
Step 7: Store the bath fizzies
When your bath bombs no longer feel damp to the touch, remove them from their drying area and store them in an airtight container. Prevent premature fizzing by keeping them away from moisture. You can now enjoy them in your next bath time! Keep in mind that since homemade bath bombs don’t have any preservatives, it’s best to use them within a few months.
Fun DIY recipes to mix it up
Now that you’ve got the basics down feel free to experiment with recipes and different ingredients. You may switch up the fragrance oil blend for a new scent or add other carrier oils, like olive oil, jojoba, coconut oil or sweet almond oil, to the dry mixture for a moisturising twist. Here are 5 ideas to spark some creativity in your bath bomb making:
- Woody aroma: If you opt for a woodsy scent, use 11 drops of clary sage oil, 2 drops of organic Palo Santo oil, and 7 drops of organic sandalwood oil per hedges.
- Relaxing aroma: For a cosy vibe, use 15 drops of sweet orange oil, 4 drops of frankincense oil and 1 drop of organic clove oil.
- Floral aroma: Floral scents can help with stress relief and better sleep. For a floral mix, add 1 drop of ylang-ylang oil, 4 of geranium rose oil or drops of atlas cedarwood and 15 drops of organic lavender oil. You can also add dried petals or lavender to the mix to make your bath a zen experience.
- Deeper clean: For a purifying soak, add a little charcoal powder to the mix. Charcoal adds a bit of artistry to the tub by turning your bath quite dark, giving you more of a moody experience.
- Colourful: You may change the colour of your bath by adding natural dyes, like annatto (sunset orange colour) or chlorophyll (bright green pigment). Make sure to add only a few drops into the mixture to avoid accidentally dyeing your skin or bathtub.
Extra tips and warnings
Here are some extra tips and warnings to have in mind while following our DIY bath bomb tutorial. Follow them so you’ll have the best results and avoid starting your project from the beginning.
- You should be careful not to add your wet ingredients, witch hazel or essential oils too quickly. Stirring slowly is necessary since too much liquid can cause the bath bomb to start fizzing in your bowl.
- When it’s all ready to go, you should grease your moulds lightly with oil before packing in the mixture. This will allow the bath bombs to slip out more easily once they’ve hardened.
- When it comes to how long they last, keep in mind that they have a shelf life of around 6 months. Citric acid may lose a bit of its strength over time, especially if you leave it exposed to air.
- Finally, you can place a few herbs or flower petals at the bottom of the mould before packing in your mixture. That way, you can decorate the bath bomb’s surface rather than having the petals released when it fizzes in the tub.
- You can wrap your bomb with fabric. The ones that include flower petals can get stuck in the tub after you drain the water out. To prevent this from happening, put the bath bomb inside a nylon stocking or a small cloth bag. Once your bath is fully dissolved, all you have to do is empty the bag or recycle it.
How to use a bath bomb
Wondering how does one use a bath bomb? Find here all you need to know to make your bath bomb experience better, bigger, and fizzier!
- Plug your bathtub and fill it with water. It’s your time to relax, so make sure that it is comfortable for you, making the water as shallow or deep as you like, with the right temperature for you. Once you’ve filled the tub to your liking, turn the water off.
- Put your bath bomb in the water. It will start to bubble and fizz, allowing all the beneficial oils, salts, and butter to be released into the bathwater.
- Get into the tub while the bomb is still fizzing, or you can wait until it has finished.
- Sit back, relax and enjoy your bath. You can also use it for sinus relief and aromatherapy.
- After you are done, get out of the tub, step off on your bath mat and consider rinsing off in the shower. Although this is not necessary, if you used a coloured bath bomb, consider taking a shower and rinse the oils and butter off your skin.
- Clean the bathtub with a cleaning sponge or brush and scrub the dye residue away.
Bath bombs are great to use, can be great gifts, or you can even display them as an air freshener in a pretty dish in your bathroom. You can save a lot of money by making your own at home. All you have to do is to follow the instructions given above. The result will be that you’ll have a bath bomb as luxurious as the ones you can buy but without the premium price tag! Are you ready for a relaxing and refreshing bathing experience?