How to: Homemade Bath Bombs
Our Little Princess is just like me; she likes a good project. So when it became a sensation to make your own bath bombs at home, I rationalized it a couple ways:
- Cheaper than those dang LOL balls (which we ended up buying anyways)
- I can benefit from these decadent bath time goodies myself (albeit with interruptions and/or an audience)
- I was avoiding the slime craze at all costs (didn’t work; we got there eventually)
I started researching for the best and easiest recipes for these little fizzy orbs of delight, and was quickly sucked in by the Lush-like colors scents. Truth be told, I would love to run my own up-scale bath products shop, but I don’t think that is in the cards. (A girl can dream, though!) So many different beautiful colors and scents and bubbles! Oh my!
So, we set up the “Bubble Lab,” complete with all the things to run a successful small business out of our basement. My main goal: Recoup my initial investment as we had several epic fails. It worked, too! Bath bombs are huge right now, and we even figured out how to shove a little dinosaur into an egg mold for a fun little bath-time discovery. We had a lot of mommy/daughter fun with these little creations.
It is also a great learning activity as well since the kids are learning about chemical reactions and recipes, some basic business/econ skills and following directions (Haha! Even I laughed at that last one.)
Buying bath bombs outright can add up quickly, and the fun only last for moments, so without further ado, I give to you the recipe and process that we found worked the best for us in order to enjoy both the process of making them and using them.
- Bath bomb molds (a few in different sizes is fun; I prefer the metal ones)
- measuring cups/spoons
- place to make a small mess that isn’t too humid
- citric acid (1/2 cup)
- baking soda (1 cup)
- corn starch (1/2 cup)
- epsom salts (1/2 cup)
- almond oil (2 Tablespoons)
- food coloring (a few to several drops depending upon what shade you want)
- essential oils (20-30 drops total of the scents you like)
- water (3 teaspoons)
*This makes about 6 of the medium size bath bomb molds in the link above. Size of bomb obviously affects how many you get. Feel free to double the recipe to make more!
Mix up the dry ingredients first in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients separately. SLOWLY pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a gloved hand. If you pour the wet stuff in too fast, it will cause the chemical reaction that makes the bomb fizz when put in water, so you want to avoid that as much as possible. The mixture/dough/whatever you want to call it should be the consistency of fresh snow – the kind that makes a perfect snowball. It shouldn’t be too wet, and if it is powder-like, it might be too dry. This is the part that is tricky – finding the perfect consistency. I won’t lie… it was kind of frustrating. But, keep in mind, even disintegrated bath bombs will fizz and smell good, so you can always decide that they are “bath salts” if you feel the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
You can add in more scent or coloring if you want. If you’re feeling super adventurous, you can divide the mixture in half before you put the coloring in and then make the bombs multi-colored. The world is your oyster. Kick up your heels and go crazy with your creativity. Some people add things like lavender or sea kelp to theirs. I don’t because something touching my foot in the tub elicits fear; not relaxation. But, to each her own I suppose.
Once the mixture is ready, pack both halves of a bath bomb mold (slightly over-packed). Press the halves together and then carefully pull them apart to reveal a perfectly round, colorful and fragrant bath bomb. Place it gently on a not-too-hard surface to “cure” for 24 hours at least (I used a hand towel with wax paper on it to cushion the bombs as pictured here).
After the 24 hours is up, if you don’t use them right away, be sure to put them in a plastic bag to preserve the scent. I bought some favor baggies on Amazon and tied them with a ribbon, but I think separating them in sandwich baggies would be fine as well. Store them in a dry and non-humid environment so they don’t disintegrate before use. You also want to watch where you’re making them and letting them cure as they are affected by humidity easily. We experimented with a de-humidifier (this project really snowballed quickly, can ya tell?), but really if you make them somewhere dry, you’ll be fine.
For kids, I love the cotton candy scented oil, and my own personal favorite to add to different bombs is Vetiver. I tried some skin safe vegan dyes that worked well, but food coloring will work too (I had zero issues with staining). My favorite essential oils came from P&J Trading. Once they have set for 24 hours, feel free to plop them into the tub! Be careful … they can make your tub/shower slick!
- Total investment: ~$100
- Bath bombs made: A Shit Ton