Introduction: How To: Make a Bath Bomb

Picture of How To: Make a Bath Bomb

Having a soak in a warm bath is a great way to relax and unwind, but what would make it even better is if you added a DIY handmade bath bomb and turned it into a luxurious spa treatment creating a relaxing and harmonious environment to make you feel truly pampered.

Now a days luxuries like bath bombs can be expensive, so the next best thing is to make your own. Making bath bombs is fun and easy, you can make the basics or get creative by adding yummy fragrances, therapeutic essential oils and gorgeous skin softening agents such as dead sea salts, butters, oils, petals and multiple colours.

There are some ingredients that can be sourced right from your kitchen but if you are adding more specialist ingredients try your health food store or purchase from a supplier of ingredients for bath and body products. Check out this great recipe and step by step tutorial on how to make your own DIY bath bombs. You will impress yourself your friends and your family and they make great gifts that are loved by children and adults alike.

Step 1: Equipment You Will Need

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Kitchen scales

A large mixing bowl

A hand sprayer containing clean cold water

Some latex or vinyl gloves for sanitary and protective purposes, you should always wear gloves when making bath bombs as the citric acid will sting if it gets into cuts or scratches.

Eye protection is advised as fine powders can be very irritating to the eyes.

A Dust mask is advised as the fine powders can be irritating if breathed in.

A Sieve to remove any lumps from the mixture if required.

Suitable moulds to shape the bath bombs - If you can’t get your hands on a spherical mould there are many other options like ice cube trays, muffin trays, disposable shot glasses, chocolate moulds etc. Just hunt around your kitchen and I am sure will find something suitable.

Step 2: Ingredients

300g Bicarbonate of Soda

150g Citric Acid

5 – 10 ml Fragrance or Essential Oil of your choice

5 ml Carrier Oil of your choice, such as Sweet Almond Oil, Grape seed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil.

Colour- Most food colouring can be used or any water based or powdered colour from a supplier of ingredients for bath and body products.

If you are a beginner its worth remembering that smaller bath bombs are easier to make than big ones as the big ones tend to crumble more easily, whereas the smaller ones are more robust.

Start off with a small batches first until your confident, also remember that the weather conditions can effect bath bombs, if its humid or raining when you are making them then you need to use less water in your mix or it will start fizzing and you will end up with a bubbling heap, Its trial and error but you will get the hang of it.

Step 3: Measure Ingredients

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Measure out the bicarbonate of soda and the citric acid into the mixing bowl, sieving if necessary and thoroughly mix together.

Step 4: Add Fragrance

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Add the carrier oil and fragrance or essential oil into mixture. Most essential or fragrance oils will not cause the mixture to fizz, but some citrus oils can, so if this happens, mix in quickly.

Do not mix fragrance and essential oils together its one or the other.

Step 5: Separate Mixture

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If you are making a multi-coloured bath bomb now is the time to separate your mixtures into separate bowl before you add the colour. I am making a triple coloured bath bomb here so I have split it into 3 lots.

Step 6: Add Colour

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Now add the colour, if you are using liquid food or cosmetic/soap colours, add in drops until you have achieved your desired shade. Mix rapidly with your hands before the mixture has a chance to fizz.

If using a powdered colour, simply add a little bit at a time and mix until you have your desired shade

Keep mixing until you have a consistent shade throughout the mixture to avoid 'spots' especially when using powdered colours. I find the best way to mix is using the apple crumble technique, where you continually rub the mixture in-between your fingers.

As the mixture gets wetter do not leave to stand or it will slowly start to set, you need to work quickly after this point.

Step 7: Add Water

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Spray a mist of water onto the mixture a tiny bit at a time, then mix and work the mixture continuously to avoid it fizzing! Be careful not to add to much water, aim for a consistency where the mixture is still a bit crumbly but starts to just hold together when slightly squeezed in your hand.

The only way I can describe the texture is a bit like making a sand castle with slightly damp sand.

Step 8:

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Fill and compress the mixture into your moulds. If you're using a two-part spherical mould, then slightly overfill each half of the mould, and then press them together tightly. Don't twist, just press. Wait a few minutes then lightly tap the mould to release one half of the bath bomb mould and leave to set in the other half of the mould for around 20 minutes.

Step 9:

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Remove the bath bomb(s) from the mould and leave them to dry for a couple of hours in a warm, dry place. I like to place my bath bombs on some folded bubble wrap or a nest of wood wool. It seems to help them dry better, and stops the spherical ones from getting flat on the bottom.

Step 10:

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And there you have it, your own super duper handmade bath bombs! Just drop one into a hot steaming bath and enjoy!

Remember the fresher the bath bomb the more it will fizz, If you are not packaging your bath bombs then store them somewhere dry.

I package mine in shrink wrap which keeps them fresher for longer. I have added some photos of how I have packaged my other bath bombs to give you some ideas.

I have also uploaded a short video of how the bath bomb fizzes in the water.


fiberartsy (author)2014-02-20

I love homemade bath and body products! Will give this a try :)

PurpleKnitter (author)fiberartsy2015-05-11

you must try! They are so easy to do.

Great, show me some pics when you have done them :)

VitricHearts (author)2017-12-30

I'm curious; if I wish to add flower buds and such, do I add them in after adding food colouring and prior to adding water, or during the moulding stage, adding them to the mould before adding the mixture?

sandracrawn (author)2017-10-10

i have tried bath bombs they keep cracking, i was told do by weight not by cups ets/ does this matter? i wanted to try slsa is there a recipe that someone has in weights, with this thank you

rf3141 (author)2016-02-24

Initially I had the fizzing problem. Couldn't get it right. On the suggestion of my wife (she's a chemist) I started using distilled water. Her hypothesis was that much depends on the hardness of the water used. In case you live in an area where the water is hard (it was in my area).

MommaOphelia (author)rf31412017-10-02

Thank you for the tip, I will try this.

RigoC (author)2017-05-11

These are great and my little girl and I will have fun making them. One question.

Just the citric acid is about $1.35 per bb and Amazon sells 4.5oz bb for $1.99. Am I buying the wrong stuff?

MommaOphelia (author)RigoC2017-10-02

You can purchase citric acid which is used in food canning on I think its less than 4 US dollars for a pound.

VeeC2 (author)2017-07-02

how long can these be stored for,is there anything else that can be used instead of bicarbonate soda as it seems a bit harsh on the skin does it not dry the skin out .thanks

kaylawayla (author)2017-06-19

Hi! I love these! I am just wondering, if I wanted to add SLSA to the mix, would I need to add more of any of the other ingredients? If so, how much do you think? Thanks a ton in advance!

OldEd (author)2014-02-23


I strongly suspect that you mean "bath BALM", rather than "bath BOMB"...

Easy mistake to make - the two words are pronounced almost the same, and the "balm" does fizz a lot...

GraceA41 (author)OldEd2017-05-25

She was correct. It's a "bomb" because when you drop it in the bath,it fizzes. A "balm" is a type of humectant. Different things:)

horsegal1 (author)OldEd2014-02-28

Thats what thier called in Canada 2, bath bombs. :)

Rye Soap Kitchen (author)OldEd2014-02-25

No I did mean bath bomb as that's what we all call them in the UK

Penolopy Bulnick (author)OldEd2014-02-24

I think they are very similar, but bath bombs are a thing too :)

sonal0 (author)2016-10-03

Can i used mica pigment for colors

sonal0 (author)2016-09-30


Very nice and impresive.Can i use mica or mineral powder instead of food color.

Hunterpotion3 (author)2016-08-29

So good works great

divine_lucy (author)2015-08-17

For the swirls did you put the coloring inside the ornament then the powder? They're so cute!

KarenK2 (author)divine_lucy2016-04-16

separate your mix into separate bowls, evenly, (measure it out) before you add your drop of coloring. Then you can make each bowl a different color. Put a bit of each one into your molds. There you go.

_els_03 (author)2016-03-11

where can I get some of the ingredients from: such as the oils and citric acid?

BernieW5 (author)2016-01-15

Are there and replacements for citric acid?

Ellis Fisher (author)2014-03-13

i tried making bath bombs yesterday they seemed to go ok but after a while they sort of fizzed a bit on the outside and look a bit rough. Is there anything i can do to prevent this??

Use less water

Hi Ellis. You may have added a touch to much water which is the usual cause or it could be because the atmosphere was humid. I find its hard work when its raining here in the UK as they either don't hold together or they react like you are saying yours are. Well done for trying it out but don't give up. It takes a few goes to get it right. Just try again but with less water or if it was a liquid color you used maybe use less or try a powdered color instead. The way I test to see if I have added enough liquid to my dry mix is to squeeze some of the mixture in your hand and drop it in the bowl, if it stays squashed together on impact or near enough then that is when it is ready for molding. Hope this helps. Good luck and just message me if you need any more help :)

Elenore Stephons (author)2014-09-15

How long about dose this take?

It depends how many you are making but for a small batch about half an hour.

gill.gallagher (author)2014-11-17

Thanks do much for the tutorial, I shall be making my first batch sooner now x

Great, have fun x (author)2014-12-12

what happens if the bath bombs end up being too wet? I think i added a bit too much oil...will allowing them to dry longer help or is it a lost cause? :( mine stuck together well, but were way too wet i think

Once they get to wet the fizz will reduce drastically so I would probably try again.

forerunneruk made it! (author)2015-01-04

Hi Rye,

Thanks for your instructable, you inspired me.

Here is my effort, which I made as Christmas presents this year :)

Lovely! They look great. Thanka for sharing :)

PurpleKnitter (author)2015-05-11

I used lavender essential oil and silicone muffin moulds. I didn't use a dye. I made 4. About to step into my bath with one of my bombs. It fizzed beautifully!

Thats brilliant news. Thanks for sharing :)

yvettefeltham (author)2015-08-19

How many bathbombs will this make?

divine_lucy (author)2015-08-17

what colors did you choose for your pink ones?

SweetKissxx (author)2015-07-13

Wow that looks so cool! I really want to make some now! :)

ljennings2 (author)SweetKissxx2015-08-14

go for it x

amulder1 (author)2014-02-20 explosions...

No bangs Just lots of fizzing

Ok, I was expectaing something like this:

Thanks and have fun!

Soprych (author)Pierred352014-02-23

You would need a surfactant like Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate to make foam like that. Using SLSa sort of removes it a beginners project

no_one13 (author)Soprych2014-02-24

And SLS Really isn't something you need or want in your products, its not really good for you, they add it just because it happens to make things foam, and that makes people think things work.

Soprych (author)no_one132014-02-24

Well yes it is good advice not to use SLS - sodium lauryl sulfate but that it not what I said. I said SLSa Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate. SLSa doe have a function it, like SLS, lowers the surface tension of water making soap or other detergents more effective. It doesn't make people think it work - it works.

JulzRulzz (author)Soprych2015-04-11

I also make some products with SLSA (widely used). SLSA is the much milder form of SLS which is rarely used anymore.

I agree I have tried sls and it really dries the skin out,not nice stuff!

Wow thats a whopper lol

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Louisa and I am the owner of Rye Soap Kitchen handmade soaps and bath bombs. I love all crafts. I love making ... More »
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