How to Make Safe Homemade Bath Bombs Using Baking Soda, Citric Acid, and Oil
Bath Bombs as Gifts
Bath bombs are easier to make than you may think. Not only are they easy, but they make fabulous gifts for anyone in your life that enjoys a quick "spa" treatment at home! They can quickly be personalized for each recipient on your list How great is that?
You can add your own signature and make them much more personal by adding essential oils, food coloring, gift wrap, and personalized labels. How you wrap and present them is limited only by your creativity and imagination.
Gift bags with bows, colored tissue paper, or colored cellophane make them look professionally wrapped. I also consider the scents my loved ones like and try to include them in their bath bombs to make each one personal and thoughtful.
Lavender, orange peel, sandalwood, and eucalyptus are really nice for scents (add slowly, a little goes a long way). I love the essential oil sets from Eden's Garden, which are easy to find on Amazon or their own website. Doterra essential oils are also fantastic! Both companies offer generous selections of oils that can be used for many for bath bombs and about a million other things.
DIY Bath Bomb Recipe
This project takes about twenty minutes to complete and yields approximately five bath bombs. You can follow this recipe easily at home, and you may already possess some of the necessary supplies.
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 cup citric acid, available at your local health food store
- 2 teaspoons massage oil (or see next item)
- 2 teaspoons essential oil and 2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil
- a few drops food coloring (optional)
- Spray bottle of witch hazel (binding agent)
- 60 mm two-part plastic ball mold/other mold
- 10% corn starch (optional as a binding agent)
- Mix the citric acid and baking soda in a large bowl (add 10% corn starch if you are using it). Mix these ingredients well. you can use an electric mixer if you have one.
- Add in 2 teaspoons of scented massage oil (or the 2 tsp essential oil/coconut or olive oil). The scent is personal, so start with a small amount and add more until you get the desired scent. Add food coloring if you are using any, and continue to mix this together well.
- The next step can be a bit tricky because you don’t want your bath bomb to start fizzing. Start by adding a couple of fine mist sprays of witch hazel to your mixture and mix more again.
- Continue spraying until the mixture begins to clump in your hand when squeezed (It takes multiple sprays, but how many will depend on your local climate). You'll start to get a hang of the consistency with a little practice.
- Fill one half of your mold and pack it tightly. Be prepared for the balls to expand. It's best to use a meat-baller or other round shape about 1.75 OD, no larger. Alternatively, you can ball them up by hand and lay them on parchment paper and they will flatten like fun fizzy frisbees.
- Fill the other half of the mold and place them together—don’t snap together. Slightly overfill each half. When you push the two halves together they will become a ball. You want them to bind together as well as possible.
- Gently remove the ball from the mold. If you have any problems with the ball coming out too easily, dump the mixture back into your bowl, add a few more mists of witch hazel (carefully), mix well, then try again
- Place on parchment paper or wax paper and allow to dry. The balls really don't need to sit for long—a few hours should set them well enough. How long it takes them to set will depend on their size. I've made huge ones that I've let dry over-night.
- Decorate, place on display, or use and enjoy!
Tips and Suggestions
- Add flower petals to the mix when making.
- Blue or green food coloring gives the tub water a nice color.
- Suggested oils to use include coconut, jojoba, and olive.
- Add Epsom salt granules for an exfoliation experience.
- For fun "kid" bath bombs, add surprise tub toys into the center of each ball when binding them together.
- When wrapping for gifts, consider themes. Wrap to look like an actual bomb, a bowling ball, or the globe.
- As you master your recipe, experiment with different mold shapes. Try Easter eggs, cubes, heart shapes, or other seasonal/holiday variations.
Alternative Recipe for Foaming Reaction
If you want your balls to foam instead of fizz, use this recipe but follow the same instructions as above.
- 10 parts baking soda
- 5 parts citric acid
- 2 parts sodium lauryl sulfoacetate*
- Witch hazel
*Note: this is not the same as sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl ether sulfate.
You're now ready to enjoy your bath bombs or package them as special gifts! Run a hot bath, light some candles, maybe add some mood music, drop a bomb in the tub, get in, and relax! The fuzzy bubbly feeling feels very nice near sore feet or just bubbling through the water.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Rebecca