Easy All-Natural Bath Bomb Tutorial December 06 2019, 41 Comments
Unlike soap making (which requires precise measuring and the handling of caustic chemicals), making bath bombs is super easy and a wonderful DIY project to do with kids. They also make a great gift.
Once you have the basic recipe down, you can customize until your heart's content. Add ground herbs and spices for color, perhaps even bio-glitter!
For this basic recipe, all of the ingredients can be purchased at the grocery store.
-Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
The main ingredient of this recipe is Sodium Bicarbonate, a naturally occurring salt, as known as Baking Soda. Baking Soda also has deodorizing and antibacterial properties. You can find this in the baking section.
Not something everyone has on hand, but it is necessary for the fizzing reaction. You can find Citric Acid in the canning section of the store.
-Non-GMO Corn Starch or Arrowroot
Corn starch provides the silky feel that we all love from bath bombs. I like to use an organic non-GMO corn starch in my recipe. Arrowroot is also an option, but doesn’t leave the same silky feel.
Epsom salts contain minerals and can help relax muscles, but you can also use sea salt or even basic table salt.
Oil helps bring the dry ingredients together and offers skin softening properties. I like almond oil because it is absorbed quickly into the skin. It’s readily available in the health and beauty section of most stores. You could also use coconut oil (but you’ll have an extra step of melting first) or even olive oil, but I find it a little more oily than I like. If you want to get extra fancy you could use argan or cocoa butter.
-Isopropyl Alcohol/Witch Hazel/Water
I use 99% isopropyl alcohol because it doesn’t react with the sodium bicarbonate and it evaporates quickly. However, alcohol can dry too quickly and cause cracking. Witch hazel is another great option. You can even use water, but it will create some fizz. Play around and figure out what works best for you.
Use your favorite essential oils or make them scent-free. Just make sure you are using child-safe EO blends if they are for kids or you are giving them as gifts. Personally, I really like the relaxing blend of Lavender and Eucalyptus.
-Bath Bomb Recipe-
- 1 cup of sodium bicarbonate/baking soda (about 1 cup)
- ½ cup citric acid
- ½ cup salt (sea salt, Epsom salt or even table salt)
- ½ cup corn starch (arrowroot powder can work also)
- 2 TBSP of almond oil (coconut or olive or whichever oil you have on hand)
- 2 tsp 99% isopropyl alcohol (or witch hazel or water or any combo) plus more in a spray bottle
- 2 tsp essential oil
Other Equipment Needed
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Stainless Steel Bath Bomb Molds
- Spray Bottle
Bath Bomb Instructions
- Combine dry ingredients (baking soda, citric acid, salt and cornstarch) in a large bowl and mix until well combined and there are no lumps.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil, alcohol and essential oils and mix well.
- Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well with hands (gloves are a good idea). Mixture should hold together when squeezed; without crumbling. You may need to add slightly more alcohol; I recommend using a spray bottle. Repeat until you reach the desired consistency.
- Fill each half of the mold, lightly packing until it's overflowing. Press the halves together firmly. Lightly tap the mold and gently pull it apart to remove the bath bomb. Let the bath bombs dry for 24 – 48 hours. An alternative is to leave the bath bombs in the mold for 24-48 hours before removing.
Having problems with this recipe? Brambleberry has a great article on Bath Bomb troubleshooting.
Side note: Make sure your packaging is not airtight as any remaining moisture will continue to create a chemical reaction between the baking soda and citric acid and produce carbon dioxide gas. I left mine in a Ziploc bag once and the loud POP! in the middle of the night just about scared me to death!
We made this cute snowman bath bomb using the basic recipe and painting on his face with activated charcoal and mica powder. Just mix the charcoal/mica with a little bit of isopropyl alcohol to make a paint.