What is that saying about kissing a lot of frogs before you meet your prince? Yeah, well, I feel the same way about DIY bath bombs! In a recent attempt to make some ultra-relaxing bath bombs, I was (unpleasantly) surprised at the number of useless recipes out there. Every recipe I tried ended up looking bumpy and not at all pretty—that’s if they even came out of the mold at all!
Let’s just say that’s not the case with these babies, thanks to a secret ingredient that guarantees perfect bath bombs every time. Here’s how to make your own.
How to Make Successful DIY Bath Bombs
My issue: if I’m going to invest in a few bottles of citric acid and take the time to lovingly hand craft something, I want it to actually turn out. I’m not going to discuss the number of batches I attempted (I just can’t go there—it’s still too soon). So, I’m simply going to share the recipe that actually worked, so you won’t have to make the same mi$$takes I made.
The silver lining: this bomb recipe is, well, the bomb! Thank heavens for the girls over at A Beautiful Mess, because when they get it right, they get it right! These bombs released easily from the mold, dried quickly enough (I left them out overnight), and were still pretty to look at after letting them sit out for a few days. The end results were exactly as I expected a DIY bath bomb to be.
Here’s how we made ours:
- 4 oz. baking soda
- 2 oz. corn starch
- 2 oz. citric acid
- 2 oz. Epsom salt
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon essential oil
- 1-1/4 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1–2 drops natural food coloring (optional)
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk well, removing any clumps.
In a small measuring glass (preferably one with a spout), stir together the wet ingredients and add food coloring if you desire.
Add in the liquids slowly. (I didn’t use a measuring glass with a spout, but you should! It will be much easier to control the amount of liquid as it goes in.) Stir the liquid into the dry mix as you go, and try to keep the fizzing and bubbling to a minimum.
Once you’ve added all of the liquid into the dry mixture, you’re ready to fill your molds. If you find the two sides of your bomb aren’t sticking together, or your bath bombs fall apart when you remove them from the mold, you might need to add a tiny bit more coconut oil to your mixture and start the molding process over again.
Remove the bath bombs from the mold, place them on parchment paper, and allow them to dry overnight. Once dry, wrap the bombs individually in plastic, or store in a container until you’re ready to use them.
There you have it! Perfectly pretty DIY bath bombs that don’t crack, bubble, or contain Kool-Aid (yes, unfortunately, that recipe is floating around out there, too.)
Bath Bomb FAQ
I left my bath bombs in the mold overnight, and now I can’t get them out. What should I do?
Your bath bombs should pop right out of the mold almost immediately after making them. If left to harden in the mold overnight, you might have trouble getting the mold off altogether—thanks to the coconut oil. If that happens, aim a warm hairdryer at the mold for several seconds to slightly soften the coconut oil, and the mold should release.
Why do my bath bombs start fizzing as soon as I add the wet ingredients?
The teaspoon of water used in this recipe can kick off the fizzing reaction and cause your bath bombs to swell. It’s usually not a problem if you add the wet ingredients slowly enough, but for whatever reason, some people experience a bigger fizzing reaction than others. Either reduce the amount of water in the recipe or skip the water altogether and add an extra teaspoon of coconut oil.
Why does my bath water feel oily after using these?
At room temperature, the coconut oil in these solidifies and helps hold the bath bombs together. But when you drop ’em in a hot bath, the oil melts and gets released into the bath water. Since oil and water don’t mix, the oil floats on top of your bath water, nourishing and moisturizing your skin.
How can I keep my bath bombs from cracking as they dry?
When filling your mold, it helps to over-fill it a bit and press the sides together as tightly as you can. You can also try adding a little more coconut oil.
If all else fails, try adding 1 teaspoon kaolin clay per cup of dry ingredients. Kaolin clay absorbs moisture and may help your bath bombs hold their shape batter.
Do I need to purchase bath bomb molds, or can I use things I already have?
You definitely don’t need to buy bath bomb molds if you don’t want to. You can use empty plastic craft ornaments, muffin tins, plastic Easter eggs, the bottoms of empty plastic bottles (just cut off the tops), silicone baking cups, ice cube trays, you name it.
Can I use citrus oil in my bath bombs, or will it cause my skin to burn when I go outside?
Citrus oils can cause photosensitivity issues if you’re not careful [source], but that shouldn’t stop you from using them altogether. When using citrus essential oils in bath products, dilute them with a neutral carrier oil, such as almond, jojoba, or argan oil, and only use a few drops at a time. Also, make sure to wear extra sunscreen or long sleeves next time you go outside.
Looking for more ways to spice up your next bath?
Why not give some of these a try:
- 12 DIY Ingredients for Soft Skin, Detox, and More
- Sanity-Saving Lavender Bath Salts
- Nourishing Rose Milk Bath for Parched Skin
No-Fail DIY Bath Bombs
- Medium bowl
- Measuring cup
- Mold (plastic Easter eggs, muffin tin, plastic craft balls, etc)
- Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk well, removing any clumps.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup (preferably one with a spout), combine the wet ingredients and add food coloring if you desire.
- Add in the liquids slowly. (I didn’t use a measuring glass with a spout, but you should! It will be much easier to control the amount of liquid as it goes in.) Stir the liquid into the dry mix as you go, and try to keep the fizzing and bubbling to a minimum.
- Once you’ve added all of the liquid into the dry mixture, you’re ready to fill your molds. If you find the two sides of your bomb aren’t sticking together, or they are falling apart when you remove them from the mold, you might need to add a tiny bit more water to your mixture and start the molding process over again.
- Remove the bath bombs from the mold, place them on parchment paper, and allow them to dry overnight. Once dry, wrap the bombs individually in plastic, or store in a container until you’re ready to use them.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.363