Why & How To Make Homemade Bath Bombs (+ my five favorite scent options!)
Learn what tools and ingredients you'll need when learning how to make homemade bath bombs as well as why DIY bath bombs are much better than store-bought (especially these headache-relieving DIY bath bombs). And while homemade bath bombs are easy to customize you can also check out five amazing ways to scent your DIY bath bombs.
What You're In For
Learning how to make homemade bath bombs is an amazing skill to have in your back pocket! DIY bath bombs are great for:
- calming the kids before bed
- a morning activity/craft to do with pre-teen
- saving money
- homemade gifts
Not only are DIY bath bombs easy to make but you're giving people you care about the opportunity to pamper themselves if you use them for gifts.
DIY bath bombs also means that you can customize them and unique to each person you gift to.
Confession: For a long time, I hated homemade bath bombs- seriously! For some reason, I couldn't get them to hold together. They crumbled, they didn't fizz or something else went wrong with them.
Learning how to make bath bombs at home was not something that came easily to me. They were almost as bad as the epic fail of DIY sugar and soap scrubs. There were a lot of bad batched. A lot.
And being the frugal person I am, I refused to throw out the bad batches which left me with a jar of "random bath bomb fails" I would spoon into my bath. Since I don't take a whole lot of baths this jar really just hung out in my bathroom for way too long 😛
Since then, I've figured out a few essential tricks when it comes to how to make bath bombs and the perfect homemade bath bomb recipe.
I now have one core formula (below) I use when making DIY bath bombs and teaching my friends how to make homemade bath bombs though I'm sure there are lots others! What I really want to share with you is the biggest tricks I've learned so you know how to make bath bombs at home easily.
Quick Tip: if you're just getting into DIY beauty or skincare products give the blog post "Everything You Need To Know About Making DIY Products" a read. It solves a lot of questions and is a great starting point for beginners!
Aside from the fact that DIY bath bombs are far cheaper than store-bought, they're also better for your body!
Store-bought bath bombs are often loaded with fragrance and dyes. These ingredients can cause a slew of harmful effects most commonly talked about are hormone disruptions.
Since companies don't need to disclose ingredients in "fragrance" it really leaves us open to absolutely everything.
Learning how to make your own bath bombs means that you're in control of the ingredients and thus, your health. It's always worth it.
Especially since the term "natural" isn't as regulated. This is exactly why I created a list of natural baby products I used personally because so many of us are confused (and rightly so) as to what is actually healthy!
The ingredients you use in your homemade bath bombs are important. The ratios also took me a long time to figure out.
The list of ingredients below not only helps keep the bath bombs similar to a detox bath but they also ensure maximum fizz.
- 1 cup baking soda
- ½ cup citric acid
- ½ cup Epsom salt
- 2 tbs almond oil
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon mica
- 3 teaspoon witch hazel
- 20 drops essential oils (for adults)
- Small spray bottle with water
Here's where you can grab a roundup list of my favorite products (and brands) for DIY beauty products and where to buy them.
I use mica for coloring because it's a natural mineral and I love the color it brings out! It's only fair to warn you though that it does leave a nice shimmer in your bathtub. This means you'll probably want to scrub the bath ring afterward or shortly thereafter.
Truth be told, I only do this when I make them for someone else. For myself, I normally don't color them at all. Or, I just use pink salt (like in these heart-shaped DIY bath bombs) to give a bit of shimmer.
You'll notice I also use almond oil. I find this helps hold the bombs together and also gives a little moisture to your skin! But again, warning: be careful getting out of the bath because the tub might be a bit slippery.
Lastly, witch hazel. This ingredient has a ton of uses but for homemade bath bombs I find it helps the essential oils really bind to the bombs creating a more potent smell.
A quick tip on molds! You can use any silicone mold for bath bombs (muffins, hearts, minis). The circle ones I bought I got locally so I don't have a link for them (womp womp) but they're similar to the medium size on these ones here.
Lastly, if getting them into the molds is freaking you out, keep in mind that making the mixture and simply portioning it into jars for a gift is amazing too! Jars make cute homemade gifts and this way people can scoop as much or little as they like.
When it comes to essential oils for bath bombs, this is a tricky spot. Obviously, you can opt not to scent them at all. However, more often than not the scent is what makes the bombs!
After far too much research, I choose to use a dilution rate of 10 drops of essential oils to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. This is roughly a 5% dilution rate (this website states you can use up to 20 drops per tablespoon). So while this would be alright for adults, it’s not something I’d recommend for kids.
For kids, I’ve heard it recommended anywhere from 5-20 drops of essential oils for bath bombs. So, I prefer to err on the lighter side. When not in the bath, normally a safe dilution would be 0.5-1% of essential oils to carrier oils. When it comes to homemade bath bombs for kids, I go for 8 drops in total. In my bath bombs for kids, there’s only 1 tablespoon of oil. You can definitely use more if you feel comfortable!
I never used to think twice about essential oil dilutions. However, being around Lea Jacaobson has made me think twice about what I use and how. My advice? Do your research.
This is where I always stumbled and failed: I could never for the life of me get the bombs to hold together! The always crumbled, I could never get them out of the molds and was left with a jar or crumble or very little fizz.
While the above ingredients do make it better here are a few other crucial tips:
- When mixing the wet ingredients into the dry, mix for longer than you think.
- I used to just kind of throw it all together. But if you spend two solid minutes mixing you will notice a damp like consistency which helps hold the bombs together.
- They won't stick in the bowl and will seem kind of dry but when you press down hard you should notice them get firm. Mix really well and they hold together better.
- Also- the flip. If you're using basic silicone baking molds you can forget this. But if you're making the big round balls, getting the two pieces of the ball together without the contents pouring out can be tricky.
- You have to hold them both sideways and then mash them together. if you try to flip one on top of the other it won't work. Sideways, then into each other. And move fast.
Update: a reader let me in on a secret that she adds the citric acid after the wet ingredients so she's not scrambling and worrying about fizz. Honestly, this is an AMAZING tip.
Only fill your mold halfway. Then, using a silicone spatula, firmly press the mixture into the mold as hard as you can. Spray the top of each bomb ever so lightly with water and repress. Then, fill the mold the rest of the way and repeat (press down, sprat, press down).
You can see a better example of this technique if you check out the in-process images in these stress-relieving bath bombs.
I find I need the double press down or they crumble. There's also a fine line on how much water to spray. 1-2 squirts in a small bottle is perfect. Any more than that and you begin to lose your fizz as the citric acid reacts with the water.
I can't stress enough.. press down firmly.
You want just enough water that it helps them bind and you notice them look somewhat firm. Any more than that and it's too much.
Why Homemade Bath Bombs Are Awesome
As I mentioned above, when you get them right, DIY bath bombs make a really lovely and thoughtful gift (especially these mini ones for kids!) because you can personalize both the color and the scent.
Bath bombs in a spa store run anywhere from $3-7 Canadian per bomb- which is ridiculous!
Learning to make bath bombs allows you to personalize your gifts and is beyond cheaper to do so. Plus, most of the ingredients in bath bombs are also part of a detox bath so the bombs can be really effective!
Of course, getting your of the bath is the perfect time to slather up with some homemade lotion! But if DIY lotion isn't your thing, you have options.
Primally Pure is my go-to for all-natural beauty products for when I'm too lazy to make my own (or for ones I suck at like deodorant). The reason I love them is that they use ingredients I can both pronounce and purchase - which is hugely important to me. The blue tansy face cream has truly become an addiction 😉
Now into the fun stuff.. scent!
As I mentioned it's extremely thoughtful to give someone a bath of DIY bath bombs made specifically for them. Below are three of my absolute favorites essential oil blends when it comes to bath bombs
These bath bombs are perfect if you need to relax after a long day and get some rest. They help ease both your body and your mind into a relaxed state and prepare you for sleep.
- 10 drops lavender
- 15 drops chamomile
- 5 drops breathe (DoTerra specific blend)
This blend promotes happiness, clarity and calming properties which will help ease away tension.
- 8-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 8 drops grapefruit
- 12 drops orange/citrus
- 5 drops chamomile
- 5 drops clary sage
Perfect if you need a bit of happiness sprung your way. These bombs make you feel light, energized and content.
- 10 drops citrus bliss essential oil
- 5 drops wild orange
- 5 drops lemongrass
Energizer Bath Bombs
These oils have been shown to release tension, stress and boost your alertness they also help to give your mood a bit of a boost.
- 15 drops lemon oil
- 5 drops peppermint oil
These bombs promote relaxation, help relieve tension, and help you slowly relax and unwind.
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
Don't forget to pin these tips on How To Make Bath Bombs!
Learning how to make bath bombs at home is one of the easiest, most cost-effective homemade gifts you can make for family and friends. They're simple, pretty, and best of all.. perfectly unique to the individual. Whip up batches of different scents and show your friends how well you know them- everyone needs a bit of pampering!