Bath bombs are a bath product that says “luxury.” That’s part of what makes them so fun to make, whether they’re for yourself, for gifts, or for sale! And they’re pretty easy to make, too! But there are some essential ingredients and equipment you’ll need to make sure that your bath bomb project is a success!
Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid
This one is the most important! It’s what makes your bath bomb fizz! There’s a chemical reaction when you mix an acid (citric acid, in this case) and a base (sodium bicarbonate), and this results in lots of bubbles and helps your bath bomb dissolve in your warm bath. Mixing them together in a powdered form stops that reaction from happening until your bath bomb hits the water. Be sure to eliminate clumps from these powders before mixing to make sure both are evenly distributed throughout your bath bombs. You can do this by pushing the sodium bicarbonate through a mesh sieve, and breaking up all clumps in the citric acid by hand if it won’t fit through the strainer!
Fragrance is part of the decadent experience of bath bombs, and some smells can actually make you feel better! The best way to add fragrance to your bombs is to use fragrance oils or essential oils.
Essential oils are extracted from plants. These oils have strong fragrances so make sure to not add too much. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out! Essential oils offer soothing, natural fragrances to make your bath a real treat!
For a wider range of fragrance options, there are also fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are artificial, so you can make scents and scent blends that aren’t available as essential oils. Want a bath bomb that smells like tobacco and bay leaf? We can make that happen!
For more information about fragrance oils and essential oils, read our article, Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils.
Colors are part of the fun of bath bombs! It’s totally okay to leave your bath bombs a natural color, but if you want to add an extra little something, color is a great way to go.
There are a few ways to add color to your bath bombs. Using a dry color, like micas, helps make sure that the chemical reaction doesn’t start early! Just pick the color you want and add it in when you mix the dry ingredients together.
You can also use liquid colorants in your bath bombs! Liquid Crystal Dyes are perfect for bath bombs; they’re highly concentrated, and you only need a few drops to color a batch of bombs! Less liquid means reducing the risk of the baking soda and citric acid reacting early.
Colors can coat your skin or the inside of your tub. To prevent this, you can add Polysorbate 80. This emulsifier helps the color mix in with your bathwater, making staining less likely!
You can add a little bit of salt to your bath bomb mix! Why? Salt baths have been thought for centuries to be good for the skin and sometimes for soothing aches and pains! Sea salts contain trace minerals from the body of water that they were harvested from. Sometimes, this can make the salt different colors!
epsom salts are also nice in the bath. They’re not like table salt; instead of sodium chloride, it’s magnesium sulfate. This salt releases magnesium and sulfate into your bathwater when it dissolves. Some people swear by it to ease muscle aches.
Oils are what’s going to moisten your bath bomb powder so that it can be molded and keep its shape! Remember, we want to limit the water based ingredients that we use, so using oils prevents the baking soda and citric acid from reacting too early!
A little bit of oil in your bath bombs can make the water feel luxurious and can even help soothe your skin. Skin friendly oils like coconut oil can make your skin feel smooth and moisturized when you step out of the bath.
If you find that your bath bomb mixture isn’t holding together like you need it to (it should have the consistency of wet sand, and hold its shape when pressed), here’s a little trick; use witch hazel! Not only is witch hazel popular in toners and other skin care products, it’s a must for making bath bombs.
Because witch hazel is made with alcohol, it evaporates quickly, reducing the chance that it will make your bath bomb mixture fizz. To moisten your DIY bath bomb mixture with witch hazel, spritz the mixture with one hand and mix with the other. Doing this helps prevent the witch hazel from sitting in one spot too long and also helps make sure that it’s well incorporated.
To learn more about witch hazel in homemade bath and beauty products, check out our article!
Molds help you pack your bath bomb mixture tight enough that it will hold together when it dries, and also gives it an appealing shape!
We recommend molds without a lot of fine detail; sometimes the powdery mixture won’t hold those details and you may not be satisfied with the results. Instead, opt for molds with simple shapes and large details.
We offer plastic molds that double as packaging (to keep your bath bombs nice and dry!) and silicone molds with some extra pretty designs. We also have a great reusable stainless steel sphere mold.
With these items in your collection, you’ll be prepared to make beautiful and luxurious bath bombs at a moment’s notice! We have a range of bath bomb projects to help get you started, and a selection of DIY bath bomb supplies. If you want to save a little time, or if you’re totally new to bath bombs, we even have bath bomb kits, ready to use.