In addition to getting a body clean, bathing offers much-needed time for relaxation and renewal. Soaking in a warm tub helps a person de-stress and unwind, eases and soothes sore muscles and revitalizes the skin.
A bath bomb—a ball that fizzes and bubbles when it’s added to the bath—can help accentuate these benefits.
How do bath bombs work?
Baking soda is moderately alkaline with a pH of 9. An aqueous solution of citric acid (occurs naturally in citrus fruits) has a pH of 2–3. Combined in water, these two ingredients create a fizzy, bubbling release of energy that disseminates essential oils, moisturizers or other therapeutic agents from the bomb into the bath.
Bath bombs can be good for your health
- Aids relaxation and de-stressing
- Helps clear the mind of worries and cares
- Helps soothe sore muscles
- Supports skin smoothness and suppleness
The benefits of homemade bath bombs—SAFE and PERSONALIZED
When you make your own bath bombs, you control ingredient quality. Natural bath bombs:
- Are free of artificial fragrances and dyes
- Contain no harsh chemicals that might irritate the skin
- Utilize pure essential oils to offer the benefits of aromatherapy
- Can be customized for dry or sensitive skin
Bath Bomb Recipe
- 1 cup baking soda
- ¾ cup citric acid
- ¾ cup Epsom salts
- 4 T fractionated coconut oil
- 1 T water (best if in a spray bottle)
- About 10–15 drops of Lavender essential oil
- 2-inch metal molds
Follow these steps for best results.
- Combine soda, acid and salts in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- In a small bowl, mix essential oils with coconut oil.
- Slowly add the oil mixture to the soda/acid/salt mixture. If it seems too dry, spray it with a hint of water.
- Stir slowly with a spoon until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Fill both sides of your mold and press the sides together firmly. Close tightly.
- Remove from mold and leave out overnight to dry.
- Wrap in cellophane or an air-tight bag to protect the bath bomb against moisture.
- Makes about 3 bombs
- Place one bomb into a tub full of warm water for bubbly action and soothing fragrance.
Bath Bomb Recipe
- 10 oz. baking soda (generous cup)
- 4 oz. citric acid (1/2 cup)
- 3 drops Cedarwood essential oil
- 6 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops Lemongrass essential oil
- 10 drops Rosemary essential oil
5–8 drops green/blue food coloring (optional)
- Combine 10 oz. baking soda and 4 oz. citric acid in a bowl until well mixed.
- (Optional) Add up to ¼ teaspoon green food coloring, and mix until the color is consistent throughout the mixture.
- Add the essential oil blend. Quickly mix until well combined.
- Spray a little water at a time to the mixture to form “dough.” Shape the mixture to form a ball. Do not use too much water. You want it just wet enough so it’s doughy.
- Press dough into 2-inch metal molds and let it harden for 30-60 minutes. Then remove and let them dry in the open.
Bath Bomb Recipe
- ½ cup citric acid
- ¾ cup corn starch
- 8 oz. baking soda (just less than 1 cup)
- 4 oz. Epsom salts (just more than ½ cup)
- 3 Tablespoons oil (hempseed, almond, fractionated coconut, olive, grape seed or avocado oil)
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 20–30 drops of essential oils
- Food coloring (optional)
For optimum results, follow these steps in order.
- In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients thoroughly with a whisk until well blended.
- Put the wet ingredients into a small jar (like an old jam jar) or container with a tight lid and shake to mix well.
- Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. (Keep stirring the wet blend with a spoon until it’s all added.) Stir new mix well until it looks and feels like damp sand and will take shape as you squeeze it.
- Press the mixture into your 2-inch molds. Pro tip: Rub a little cooking oil on the inside of the mold before adding the mixture.
- Remove the bombs from the molds and wait for them to dry a few hours or overnight. Do not wrap them too soon or the packages will pop open.
NOTE: Depending on essential oil strength and purity, you may want to adjust levels of the oils you use. Some essential oils should never be used in the bath (e.g. oregano, cinnamon) as they are too strong.
Experiment with your own blends. Substitute your favorite oil into a recipe. Write down your best ideas and things you learn for sharing!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which are the best essential oils for bath bombs?
Fragrance is a matter of individual taste. But many people enjoy using some of these essential oils for bath bombs: Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Orange, Rosemary, Lemon, Thyme, Rose, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang and Tea Tree.
Popular pairings include:
- Lemon & Orange, Lime & Mandarin—Who doesn’t love refreshing citrus?
- Peppermint & Lavender—Relax the mind and soothe muscles simultaneously!
- Lemongrass, Rosemary and Thyme—Earthy and warm
- Lavender & Eucalyptus— Relaxing and uplifting. Make your own home spa day!
How long will my bath bombs stay “fresh”?
Most bath bombs still work well after six months. But citric acid does lose some potency over time, meaning your bomb may lose some “fizz.” Also, essential oil aromas will decrease, especially if the bomb is not tightly wrapped or at least stored in an airtight container. Oil ingredients in your bomb (coconut, olive, apricot kernel, etc.) have their own freshness timelines. Olive oil lasts up to 2 years, while apricot kernel oil may begin to degrade at six months. Coconut oil usually lasts more than a year.
What’s the best way to store my DIY essential oil bath bombs?
Most people wrap their bath bombs in cellophane or plastic wrap to minimize exposure to air and prevent the essential oils from fading. You can also store them in an airtight container or glass jar with lid. For best results, store in a cool, dry climate (away from a bathroom or kitchen or any source of steam). If you live in a humid climate, wrap your bath bombs and store them in an airtight container.
Why do my homemade bath bombs develop cracks?
Bath bombs can crack if they are exposed to moisture or humidity during the drying process. They can also crack if they dry too quickly. Avoid putting them near a heat source like a heat vent or warm stove/oven or dishwasher. In some climates, it may be best to make bath bombs during the fall or winter when the air is typically drier.
How do I make essential oil bath bombs for sensitive skin?
Here’s a good rule to follow: if you don’t know what the ingredient is, you probably don’t want it on your skin. Avoid chemicals. Stick to natural products. Also, avoid the stronger essential oils. Lavender is the safest one to use.
Are there special bath bomb recipes for dry skin?
A moisturizing oil like coconut, almond, grape seed, avocado or olive oil will help soothe and moisturize dry skin. Use approximately 3–4 tablespoons per bath bomb.
Can you make homemade bath bombs for babies?
Making a bath bomb for babies or toddlers requires cutting back on both the essential oils and any food coloring in your recipe. Be sure to choose ingredients that would be least irritating to new and sensitive skin. Should you notice any skin discoloration or irritation during bathing time, remove the child from the tub and rinse and dry the affected area immediately.
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