DIY Bath Bombs Tips & Tricks!

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In this post, I will give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own bath bombs! This homemade bath bomb recipe is easy to prepare and super fun! Create a spa-like experience with a nice warm bath, a glass of wine and homemade bath bombs! This fun bath bomb project contains easy-to-find natural ingredients that come together for a luxurious bathing experience. 

Big jar with bath bombs

Have you ever had a DIY attempt where everything went wrong and what was supposed to be easy turned into a two day ordeal? That’s how it went with learning to make my own bath bombs. First I wasn’t prepared with the ingredients and I didn’t have enough citric acid. Then I didn’t have enough cornstarch. After that, I quickly found out that I had bought the worst molds! I remade and remade handmade bath bombs 3 times! Let’s just say, you’ve learned a lot of do’s and don’ts! I hired my daughters help because they are home in the summer and so between the three of us, we got the bath bombs and we have all the tips and tricks so you can make the perfect bath bomb without trial and error!

The science behind bath bombs:

The two ingredients you must have for making your own bath bombs are citric acid and baking soda. A chemical reaction takes place between these two ingredients and you should have both. All other components are not 100% necessary.

According to Live Science–

Effervescent bath bombs are about the chemical reactions that occur when baking soda and citric acid come into contact with water, Wood Black told Live Science. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has the chemical formula NaHCO3. In water, baking soda dissolves quickly, and positively charged sodium (Na +) dissociates away from negatively charged bicarbonate (HCO3-). [Goopy Science: How to Make Slime with Glue]

Meanwhile, citric acid also dissolves, with one hydrogen ion (H+) separated from the rest of the molecule, according to Wood-Black. Then, this positively charged hydrogen from citric acid and negatively charged bicarbonate from the baking soda mixture, soon undergoes a series of reactions. One of the end products is carbon dioxide (CO2). Because carbon dioxide is a gas, it forms tiny bubbles in the bath water, creating a cool fizz.

To make bath bombs, you should use one part citric acid and two parts baking soda . For example, if you use 1 cup of baking soda, you will need half a cup of citric acid. 

Also, for every 2 cups of dry ingredients add about 1-2 teaspoons of liquid. In this bath bomb recipe, you should add the liquid by checking it slowly for the right consistency. You just want to wet the mixture so that the powder sticks together. However, don’t worry if you have a lot of fluids – just add more baking soda! 

Other DIY Bath Bomb Ingredients:

Epsom salt is a natural ingredient that can be added to your bath to absorb minerals and eliminate toxins. 

The cornstarch  in a bath bomb slows the reaction between baking soda and citric acid. By binding to baking soda as well as citric acid, cornstarch slows the rate at which both dissolve. Cornstarch prolongs the action of the bath bomb. Bubbles can go on for 2-4 minutes instead of a few seconds!

Bath bombs on a white background

I made 3 different batches with different combinations of essential oils, different colors, and different dried herbs. I added lavender buds to the purple bombs and chamomile flowers and rose petals to the yellow bombs. You can sprinkle the herbs on the bottom of the mold so they are visible on the finished bomb or you can mix them into your own mixture so it will be a surprise once it makes it into a warm bath!

Just remember that whatever you put in your bath bomb has to go down the drain!

Be creative and add your own personal touch! This simple bath bomb recipe would make a great gift!!

You may be interested in a body oil recipe for your own body firming. It’s the perfect after-shower body moisturizer!

DIY Bath Bomb Ingredients

What you’ll need to make DIY bath bombs

Materials

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1-1 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 10 drops of essential oil of your choice *optional
  • 2-4 drops food coloring *optional
  • Dried herbs or petals *optional

Tools

  • metal bath bomb molds
  • big bowl
  • Small bowl, cup or jar
  • whisk

instructions

      1. Add baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salt, and cornstarch in a large bowl.
      2. Mix the dry ingredients well.
      3. Melt the coconut oil in a double boiler (fill a medium pot half full with water and heat the coconut oil gently over medium heat)
      4. In a separate small bowl or jar, add the wet ingredients including food coloring and essential oils.
      5. Mix the liquid ingredients well so that the color and essential oils are evenly dispersed.
      6. Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture, stirring all the time. We don’t want the citric acid to be activated by the liquid.
      7. Make sure the final mixture clumps together. Think wet sand. But don’t get too wet! We just want to be able to hold the mixture together when compressed.
      8. Using stainless steel molds, place the mixture in each half of the mold.
      9. Sprinkle the extra bath bomb mixture loosely on top of the molds and press the mixture into the molds together.
      10. Roll the molds and remove them. Press the mold to disassemble the bath bomb for easy removal.
      11. Lay the bombs out on parchment paper and let them dry for 24-48 hours.

bowl of dry ingredients

dripping food coloring into a small jar of liquid

Pour the liquid into the white powder mixture

Hand agglomerated white powder

Hands put the mixture into the mould

Considerations

  • It is important to note that making bath bombs should not be done in a humid environment. This project is not a perfect rainy day activity.
  • The shelf life of bath bombs is 6 months. Citric acid will start to lose its gaseous power after a very long time.

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Mold options:

3 Handmade Yellow Muffin Bath Bombs

Color ideas:

*Always add mica powder to your liquid because inhaling mica can be dangerous.

Scent options:

A jar of bath bombs from the bathtub

Troubleshoot DIY bath bombs:

  • If your bombs are too wet, you can add more baking soda. 
  • If the bomb is falling apart and not staying together, add more wet ingredients. Do this carefully. You can fill a spray bottle with water, witch hazel, or alcohol and spray the mixture to ensure you don’t add too much water.
  • If the bomb deflates, you added too much fluid or you added the fluid too quickly.
  • If the bomb was soft, it was not packed enough or it was too wet.
  • If the bomb has burrs, the wet and dry ingredients will not be mixed well enough.
  • If the grenade cracks in the middle, this means that it was not formed correctly. I heard that if you cut him down and wait 24 hours, he’d be back together.
  • If the bomb sticks to the mould, the mixture is too wet.
  • If the bomb does not float, then most likely it is not dry enough. Bombs can sometimes take several weeks before they float.

Most of the time, you can atomize the bomb in a bowl and modify the mixture. All is not usually lost if you misuse the bath bombs! Don’t get rid of it now!

Alternatives:

Instead of coconut oil, feel free to use olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil, castor oil, etc.

I’d like to omit the cornstarch in the next batch and consider using coconut milk powder instead. Of all that I’ve searched for, I’m sure it will work however, I haven’t tried it yet.

As long as you keep the ratios of liquid to powder and don’t omit the baking soda or citric acid, you can manipulate the ingredients in order to achieve different benefits and reactions from your bombs.

Few bath bomb tricks!

  • Try using castile soap as a liquid for lots of suds!
  • For even more nutrition, use all the oil to your fluid ratio.
  • Take about a quarter cup of hard butter such as cocoa or kokum (dry, not melted). Cover the butter with the baking soda and chop the butter finely, making sure it is covered with the powder. Add it to the dry mixture. Melt butter in a hot bath and give extra nourishment to dry skin!
  • You can separate the batch into several smaller batches, add different colors to each batch and layer the different colors to make a great bath bomb!
  • Use a large spoon to indent the inside of the mold halves, then fill the space with another colorful batch of the bath bomb mixture so that a sudden color appears inside when you use it. 

While I’ve been making bath bombs thanks to the flimsy plastic molds, I plan on buying the right metal molds and trying more. I found a Youtube channel called Creative Bath Lab which is the queen of all things especially bath bombs. She makes the most creative bath bomb of all time!

Like I said, what I thought would be an easy homemade bath bomb project turned out to be difficult and stressful, so I turned to the internet for answers. These posts collect everything you’ve learned. Overall, my daughters and I enjoyed this DIY and can’t wait to earn more!

Go to the comments if you have tips or questions!!

xx, jenny

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