There's nothing quite like dropping a bath bomb in the tub and watching the color fill the water. It's easy to get the same experience with handmade ones. Learn how to use Liquid Crystal Dyes, micas, and natural colorants below!
Liquid Crystal Dyes
We designed these with bath bombs in mind! They're highly-contentrated liquid colorants made with FD&C dyes, glycerin, water, polysorbate 20, and a preservative. They're ready right out of the bottle - you don't need to dilute them.
The dyes are easy to use too. First, mix all your other ingredients together. Add 3 drops of the colorant and use your hands work it in. It can take a few minutes to get everything fully incorporated, so be patient. Add a few more drops from there if you like.
Liquid Crystal Dyes are made with an emulsifier called polysorbate 20, which helps prevent staining in the tub. However, it doesn't hurt to add more polysorbate 80 to your recipe. That helps both the color and any oils mix into the water instead of sitting on top. Start with about 0.2 ounces per pound. Shop bath bomb making supplies here.
These are a popular option because they mix in easily and there are plenty of colors to choose from. Just add them right to the dry powder and stir. Start with about 1/8 teaspoon and go from there. Keep in mind, the more color you add, the more likely it will stain the tub. We recommend using no more than 2 teaspoons of mica per pound of bath bombs.
You can also use them to paint on bath bombs. Mix 1 part color with 3 parts 99% isopropyl alcohol. Test the consistency on a paper towel and adjust as necessary. Then, use a fine-tipped paint brush to add details.
We recommend polysorbate 80 for these as well, as micas are oil based and can transfer to the tub or your skin.
You can use clays and other natural options for your bath bombs. They add a rustic hue and they help the bath bombs hold their shape. Treat them the same way as micas - start with 1/8 teaspoon in the dry powder and mix well.
Clays naturally absorb moisture, so you may need to add extra oil or witch hazel to get the right molding consistency.
Keep in mind, when you add clay you're essentially creating mud in the water. It will cling to the tub and your skin. You can add polysorbate 80, and it also helps to wipe down your tub before use so the clay doesn't stick to any residue.
Not recommended for bath bombs
Pigments don't work well for bath bombs. They don't mix in well and they can leave streaks of color on your bathtub and skin. We also don't recommend Lab Colors. They don't have an emulsifier like the Liquid Crystal Dyes, so they can stain the tub.
Ready to get started creating your own bath bombs? Find project inspiration here!