How to Make Bath Bombs (Simple Recipe)

How to make bath bombs with a few simple ingredients

There is something incredibly relaxing about a warm bath, and these homemade salt bath bombs take the relaxation up a notch!

Bath bombs have skyrocketed in popularity lately with thousands of options available. Kids an adults love them and while they can cost up to $9 each to buy, you can make a whole batch for just a couple of dollars!

Bath Bombs- Natural DIY Version

Homemade Salt Bath Bombs RecipeWhen I was younger, I loved bath bombs, but avoided them as I’ve gotten older because store bought versions typically contain artificial ingredients such as dyes and fragrances.

These homemade bath fizzies are a great solution! Made from nourishing sea salt or epsom salts, alkalizing baking soda and fizzing citric acid with a nourishing oil and vanilla base.

These can be packaged for a great gift or made countless ways for relaxing baths anytime! 🙂

A Great DIY Project for Kids

Some DIY beauty recipes (especially homemade soap) require precise measuring and handling harsh chemicals such as lye, so they aren’t a great to do with children around. These bath bombs are completely opposite and are an amazing project to undertake with kids.

They are simple to make with kid-safe ingredients and are completely versatile. Let the kids think of ways to mix up the scents, colors, and other customizations.

Ingredients You’ll Need…

Bath bombs only take seconds to make, so it is important to have the ingredients on hand and measured before you start. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples in many homes, but make sure you have these on hand:

Baking Soda

The backbone of this recipe is alkalizing baking soda. It is a necessary complement to the acidic citric acid and part of the fizzing reaction. I order food-grade aluminum free baking soda from here.

Citric Acid

The more obscure ingredient in this recipe that a lot of people don’t have on hand is citric acid. It is necessary for the fizzing reaction that makes bath bombs feel like bathing in champagne. I order natural citric acid by the pound from here.

Corn Starch or Arrowroot

Corn starch provides the silky feel that we all love from bath bombs. I usually use organic corn starch powder in this recipe. Arrowroot also works but doesn’t provide quite as silky of a finished product.

Salt, Oil and Liquid

These are all very versatile and you can pick any combination that you have on hand. You’ll need some kind of:

  • Oil: Pick a simple oil like olive oil, almond oil or coconut oil or get more fancy with sea buckthorn oil, argan oil or apricot oil.
  • Salt: Stick to basic salt or take it up a notch with epsom salt or another favorite salt option.
  • Liquid: Basic water works, but I also love using organic witch hazel for some extra skin soothing.

Scents and Colors

This is where the options get endless. Use your favorite essential oils, add dried herbs or make them scent free. You can even add some natural dyes to change the color.

Other Equipment

These are easy to make with measuring cups and your hands, but for a fancier and more uniform product, it helps to also have:

Bath Bomb Ingredients

Instructions: How to Make Bath Bombs

  1. Combine dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, citric acid, and cornstarch) in a large bowl and mix well until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, witch hazel and vanilla extract and stir well. Add essential oils if using.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients a few drops at a time. Mix well with hands (wear gloves if you have sensitive skin). Add powdered dried herbs if using.
  4. Mixture should hold together when squeezed without crumbling. You may need to add slightly more witch hazel if it hasn’t achieved this consistency yet. I recommend using a spray bottle with additional liquid to evenly add.
  5. Quickly push mixture into molds, greased muffin tins or any other greased container. Press in firmly and leave at least 24 hours (48 is better) or until hardened. It will expand some and this is normal. You can push it down into the mold several times while it is drying to keep it from expanding to much. Using the metal molds will create a stronger and more effective final bath bomb.
  6. When dry, remove and store in air tight container or bag. Use within 2 weeks.

Bath bombs are a great way to relax in the tub after a long day of dealing with kids, cooking, and all the other activities that motherhood entails. If you’ve never tried them, I highly encourage it, as it’s one of my favorite things to do at the end of the day.

Ever made your own bath bombs? What scents and herbs would you use? Share below!


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Reader Comments

  1. I add lavender (of course), vetiver and orange e.o. in my fizzies. My daughter has autism and the Epsom salt baths and e.o.s make her calm. The orange isn’t necessarily calming but it’s her favorite!

    • Don’t be too worried about the official aromatherapy uses of certain oils. There are some rules of thumb but science shows us that a lot of the claimed aromatherapy benefits are just not necessarily true. Instead, aroma is linked to memory, so if the smell of orange reminds your child of happy, relaxed times, then it will have a relaxing effect on her. For me as an Australian, the smell of volatile oils like citrus and eucalyptus reminds me of hot summer days when the oils start to evaporate from the leaves so it’s a much more relaxing scent than it might be for someone who didn’t have those childhood experiences. 🙂

      • Ooh interesting. Thanks for sharing. A sweet orange is one of my favorites. It litterally makes my mouth water. Ha!

      • Wow?!You need to read Robert Tesserand’s Book-Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. There absolutely is scientific data that proves that the chemical makeup of Essential Oils affect the human body in different ways. I would by get into specifics but please know that Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils are two completely different things. Essential oils are very concentrated and powerful, certain ones can cause miscarriages in pregnant women and sone can slow the respiratory system in children. Yes it is true that smells in general can bring back good or bad memories and feelings but do not for one second think that Essential Oils are just for Aromatherapy.

    • Can you leave the fizzy in the container for like 20mins than take it out and leave it to dry?? If not please tell me alternatives instead of leaving it for 24 hours. Btw they are about egg size,I’m making than as gifts for tomorrow!! If u have an answer please tell me ASAP!!!!!

      • No. Unfortunately you cannot. They need a long time to dry. The larger you make them the more time they will need.

        • I have put mine in the oven with just the light on to dry them out a little faster without losing all the aroma.

      • I remove mine from my mold immediately and leave them to dry on parchment. After a couple of hours, I package them and store them. Be careful of humidity and moisture in the air, it can cause your bombs to explode (react early). Have fun!

      • I’m just learning how to make bath products, and enjoy your recipes. I have a loved one thats has an allergy to citrus. She even breaks out with fresh citrus fruits. She realized this when she was going to school for massage therapy. Is there an alternative to using citrus acid in the recipes?

        • I’m not sure. Is your loved one allergic to citric acid or to a different component of the citrus?

          • Look for epson salts with other oils added. Like Mint or other scents she likes.

        • From what I have read, you can use half the amount of cream of tartar instead of citrus acid. Hope this helps.

        • You might consider using other fruit acids. Malic acid, comes form apples. Glycolic acid from sugar cane, tartaric acid from grapes. I don’t know enough about the bath fizzies to know whether or not any of the other fruit acids would work, but might be worth trying.

      • Luv the Recipe I love your blog and im only 11years old!

        • I am right there with you, Claudia. I love this website too, and I’m only twelve!

          • Same I’m 13 and looking for a better alternative than Lush’s bath bombs, they leave my skin feeling weird.

    • I have not been able to find a bath soap recipe on this sight, am I missing it?

  2. Hi! I’m new here and love your site!

    A couple of quick questions about this awesome project:

    Where did you get the wonderful flower molds that you used?

    Also, why should these be used within 2 weeks? Shouldn’t they have a longer shelf life? Or is it that they will just keep expanding?


    • I have that mold too. I got it at Amazon. It’s the Freshware Mini Rose.

      • Thanks!

        Now if I could just get some info about the shelf life! The ingredient list doesn’t seem that it would only have a 2 week shelf life. Maybe if you use water instead of witch hazel, but other than that….

        • They will last indefinitely, but will lose some fizzing ability after time. Since I”ve only managed to keep them two weeks without using them up, this is as long as I can vouch for the shelf life personally…

          • Hi Katie,

            Hope you are doing fine,
            I have 2 queries here:
            (a) wanted to know if bath bombs are safe for eyes. In my country mostly people take bath with bucket and mug But not in tub. So the water used on the rest of the body would be used for face also.
            (b) why do we use epsom salt at all? and if it is not used then what challenge we would face?
            Please share your insight for this.

          • Hi I don’t think the bath bombs are safe for eyes and it’s only meant for the tub not a bucket and mug. Epsom salts is just for relaxing I’ve seen many other recipes without Epsom salts just type in homemade bath bombs without Epsom salts and you should find a lot of recipes

  3. This sounds great! Is there a reason it has to be used in 2 weeks? If not using water will it keep longer?

    • I just haven’t kept them without using them for longer than that, so I can’t personally vouch that they last longer and didn’t want to give false info (though I am testing to see how long they last) I do know that the citric acid will lose its fizziness eventually…

      • Because not much can grow in such a salty environment, any issue is likely caused by the bath-bombs picking up moisture from the air. Storing them in an air-tight jar (canning jar) or zip-lock bag with either silica beads (available at craft stores for drying flowers) or rice will extend the ‘life’ of the fizziness.

        Note that if you have a septic system rather than being connected to city sewer, don’t use these too often. Too much salt in a septic tank may kill the bacteria that process the stuff that drains into the tank causing failure. A new septic leach field is very expensive!

  4. Just made these and they smell wonderful. I was curious if breathing in the citric acid can cause harm during pregnancy. I don’t know what came over me but took a big whiff after I added the wet mixture to the dry and it really tingled my nose. I am such a paranoid pregnant lady 🙂

    • Essential oils should not be used in the first trimester, and not all are safe in pregnancy (Citrus and peppermint are fine though).

  5. I just pressed my fizzies into molds. I hope they turn out well, I used coconut oil instead of olive oil, witch hazel and water. I also doubled the quantity of vanilla extract and added it to my epsom salt beforehand to let the moisture evaporate off, I did this a couple of days ago in preparation. So far my fizzies have not reacted at all and smell really good. I’m going to wait the whole 48 hours before popping them out of the molds and then it will be testing time.

    • Where is the best and most affordable place to get the molds?

      • I use silicone cupcake pans as molds. The candy ones work great to make cute little molds as well.

  6. My favorite oils to use are lemongrass and lavender. They smell amazing together! You feel relaxed but not sleepy like some EO’s make you feel. That’s also my favorite scent when I make goat milk soap. Everyone raves about it, even my teenage boys who think I’m crazy for making everything I can naturally and trying to make our home non toxic.
    Of course there are other blends I like and use for different purposes, this just happens to be my favorite.

    • how many drops of each oil do you add?

      • I’d really like to know that too!

        • I tried 10 lavender and 10 lemongrass. Next time I will do less–a bit too strong

    • Kathy, would you be willing to share your soap recipe? I haven’t tried goat’s milk yet. Still looking for that perfect recipe.

  7. I had some major problems while making these and I’m trying to figure out what happened! First these expanded so intensely I lost probably half the batch. They were growing by the minute and if I didn’t push them down every half hour they would overflow out of the molds. After two days and several overflows I tried taking them out of the molds and they fell apart. I’m waiting to use one still and hoping they even fizz. Any suggestions on what could have gone wrong? I followed measurements and ingredients exactly. Thanks so much. They smell amazing so I’m going to use the crumbles myself instead of giving as gifts.

    • This is happining to me as well I keep pushing it down and it just seems to be making it crumbly did you ever find out cause I am thinking to wet but I followed the recipe to a T maybe next time I will add the witch hazel last 🙂

    • Mine will just not stop expanding and I forgot them this am and they are on the table around the containers!!

      • Put the water and or witch hazel in a spray bottle and sprayed in a little at a time. spray a little then mix..spray a little then mix. Just until you can squeeze some in your hand and it clumps.

    • Try adding the citric acid last, then spray lightly with the witch hazel. Nice trick I learned to keep the acid from reacting. Also i only use about a teaspoon of melted coconut oil, plus the oils/fragrance. I add a touch of mica for color. Then Add the acid last, then mist with the witch hazel, and only a few squirts. Her amount of liquid is way too high for these.

    • I had this problem today too. Almost all the material oozed out and I couldnt keep the molds closed. I will try adding the liquid little by little but also wonder if altitude has anything do with it. Normally in baking we have to half the leavening agents but I didnt for this. Does the amount of baking soda at high altitude make any difference in something like this?

  8. I would love to make these as favors for my baby shower. I plan on using my mini muffin tins but what would you grease them with? Would coconut oil be a good choice?

  9. Before I try to make my own bath salts, I would like to ask a question about some bath salts that I already bought awhile ago. Is Village Naturals Therapy bath salt natural and organic? Or does it contain any harmful chemicals? I have about 5 containers of it, but I don’t want to use it if it’s truly harmful. I couldn’t really understand some of the ingredients, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions, without more information. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Just google the ingredients.

  10. How do I get the bombs to dry? Twice now they seemed to be drying ok and then foamed overnight. I kept them in the moulds. How soon should they be taken out of the moulds? The humidity was at 40% both days, so I don’t think it could have caused them to activate…

    • You have to take them out of the molds within 15 minutes or so or they won’t dry properly.

  11. Are they safe for my daughter to use who just had a c section?

    • You are not really supposed to submerge the scar for a good long while, so right now maybe not, but later definitely.

  12. Would you still recommend using the vitamin c before you add the bath fizzies or is the salts enough in this case for chemicals such as chlorine?

  13. Has anyone figured out how to prevent them from overflowing everywhere yet?

    • Nope combatting the same problem now! I just gave up and used them to clean my toilets 🙂

      • add the citric acid last, then mist with witch hazel. Her amounts of liquid are quite high. I only use about a teaspoon melted coconut oil, plus eo/fragrance, and a few squirts of witch hazel.

  14. I plan to use a 6 star ceramic mold I found at Michaels. Would 1 star be too much per bath?

  15. Can I use these with my little ones? I have a 2 year old. Would it be safe to use in his bath?

  16. My 6.5year old daughter and I have made these as gifts for Christmas from her. Turned out great! We used a gingerbread mold since they’re going to be Christmas Gifts from her. We did encounter some expending but I am wondering if we were putting to much in the molds, Making a second batch and going to try putting less in at first and see how we make out. For the first batch I just kept on it for a few hours pushing them back into the mold as they expended and eventually the expending slowed down and I was able to leave them over night with out worries. Ours took about 48hrs to fully dry before removing them from the molds.
    Thanks for all the great ideas Wellness Mama!!

  17. I was excited about this project but it really is impossible to keep these things from expanding by the minute. I had to sit there and push them down constantly which prevents them from drying. Giving up:(

    • Do NOT overfill the molds!

      I cut the recipe in half. This helped a lot with the massive expansion. I just removed all of the extra junk that was oozing everywhere and set it aside. I let the part I set aside dry. I have a few misshapen lumps. I just used those for myself. I’m not too concerned about how they look. I gave the portions that stayed in the molds as gifts.

      I also think that the molds I got were too deep. I think now that a candy mold might be better than a soap mold. They might dry faster. I had to let mine set for three days as opposed to two. And now that I look at the photos I do think my mold is a lot thicker than what Katie is using.

      I hope this helps! It seems like a lot of people were having issues with them growing out of control.

    • Don’t give up. It’s an art that requires practice. First, I don’t use witch hazel or water… I found my bombs to crack from it. I use rubbing alcohol 91% or more. The smell evaporates right off. You are adding too much liquid to your dry ingredients. Put it in a spray bottle and spritz one to two sprays at a time, then check your mix. That is your only problem. I have mastered the art of using only additives for moisture (olive, almond, coconut oils etc. EO’s) so I have no liquid in mine at all. KEEP PRACTICING and once you have YOUR recipe down you will love this activity!

  18. If I put them in the oven, would they dry faster? Or would that ruin them?

    • hm… It would depend on how low the heat was, I think. You’d need it to be really low.

    • DO NOT attempt to put these in the oven to dry out faster. I did, at ovens Lowest setting (like 200 degrees) and all of the goop was out of molds and grew like crazy, the bottom of the oven was covered 15 minutes after baking/drying. Though mine didn’t activate after initially mixing and packing molds, after warming in attempt to dry out in oven, the coconut oil melted and started the very large reaction. The good part was the mess cleaned out well, and oven smelled nice. I saved the rest, dried it out and called it bath sand. Still smelled nice and was great in the tub, but there was no fizz.
      Tried the recipe again, WITHOUT the oven. Did slightly less liquid, packed molds, let them dry in a few hours took them out of mini muffin tin. These did not rise unlike other attempts, and they were the most fizzy results.

    • I have dried mine in the oven with just the light on.

  19. not sure if this is asked already but would adding cream of tartar help preserve it longer? I want to give some as gifts but don’t know if people will use up what I give them in two weeks as recommended.

    Totally love your site. Thank you so much for passing on your wisdom and knowledge to us.

  20. Isn’t citric acid made from GMO corn? Why would you want to bath in that?

    • Sara Waters
      Did you say you used coconut oil instead of the olive oil AND instead of the which hazel and water? If so how did they turn out?

    • No citric acid is made from lemons

      • No, most all citric acid is now made from GMO corn, as she said.

    • Yes, it is. You need to get NON GMO, ORGANIC citric acid. It IS available. I get mine here, as it is a local store for me, and I can pick it up at their storefront. They are wonderful people, and I love their products. Not affiliated, but just LOVE them!

  21. I hope you get this since this post was so long ago. I have a 3yo boy who refuses to potty train. I stmbled across on Amazon some sort of tablet that rhe kod can drop in the potty and it turns colors when they pee on it. My first rjpught was your toilet and bath fizzies. Since I don’t necessarily need to clean my toilet a dozen times a day 🙂 do you think there’s a way to make a tablet like this that would hold shape but not nessearily be as strong? I’m gping to experiment on my own, but thought I’d ask someone who has already played with these! My older kids are girls…they were so much easier! 😉 TIA

    • Good thought… Maybe just make them in smaller molds? Let me know if you try it how it works…

  22. doesn’t citric acid have msg in it. Can I ask your thought about eating any product that contains citric acid which so many organic products do. I have read that some citric acid can have msg in it.

  23. I use oil in place of the water or witch hazel. The oil does not trigger the fizzing and they are very moisturizing!

  24. if you look up other recipes they include corn starch and after they are put in molds they are immediately taken out to dry

  25. This works really great it makes your skin so soft and the kids LOVE IT!!!!

  26. Can we add vitamin c to neutralize chlorine? Ascorbic acid replace citric? I’m trying to turn the children’s detox bath into a bath bomb to make bath night easier. Thanks!

    • Yes. It wouldn’t be as fizzy but it should work to switch in this recipe.

  27. Hi all to are having issues with overflow… I just made mine and was diligent about pressing down continuously for about half an hour. After they overflowed, I’d pull of the extra and put that into it’s own mold. After about an hour it stopped reacting and seemed to be ok. Maybe try that if you haven’t already. They smell wonderful.. though I may have gone overboard with the lavender. I’m going to put the silicone mold in the bedroom tonight to reap the EO benefits. 🙂

  28. I made these exactly to the recipe, and they ended up pushing out of the molds for a good 15 minutes. Finally, I let them go and they stopped at about an inch high out of the mold. After 48 hours they were dry, but when I put them in water, they don’t fizz at all! The end result is hard, crunchy bits that don’t want to dissolve at all in water. They smell great, but aren’t even usable. Any ideas what went wrong? I don’t want to waste the time making them again and waste money on the resources unless I can troubleshoot what happened. Thanks!

    • They reacted early cause of too much liquid. Use a spray bottle and spray 1-2 at a time, then grab a handful of product and squeeze. If it stays together then it’s ready for the mold. If not spritz again. If the mix gets super cold in your hand it may be reacting. You can also keep a 2:1 ration of baking soda and citric acid on hand to sprinkle in and offset the wet ingredients. Keep practicing!!!

  29. As someone who has a normal appetite during the day and then starts having food cravings at night, I don’t want anything in a soothing bath that remotely reminds me of food. That rules out certain florals, citrus, and spices that I use in baking and food preparation.

    Luckily, that leaves me with a lot of other options. I love the smell of juniper and use it when I can find it at a reasonable price. Personally, I don’t like to buy blends that are labeled serenity, joy, relaxation, and other feel-good terms. If I want to blend scents, I do it myself – either by recipe or by experimentation.

    Sometimes home experimenting can be disastrous. I once made some soap and used dried celery leaf flakes from my kitchen pantry as one of the inclusions. The soap felt and smelled great but it left green-brown blobs on my skin that I had to be very careful to rinse off before getting out of the tub or shower. Maybe I should have pulverized them in the blender before adding to the soap mix. I made several bars in the batch, and I was so glad that I hadn’t gifted (or donated them to a non-profit fund raiser) before I tried them myself!

  30. I have eczema so I have really sensitive skin. I’ve always had to be careful what I use because I’ve reacted to a lot of bath products before and never been able to use other bath bombs or bubbles. Are these safe for me to use or is there something different I can do? I’m fine with salts but I’m always unsure with citrus as it could sting loads help please ?

  31. When I make bath bombs for myself, I like to make them “naked”, without any EOs. Then while I’m filling up my tub I drop on my EOs. That way I can customize my scent for each bath and the scent is strong, not dissipating over time. Mine keep fine over 2 weeks, they are just less fizzy but still enjoyable!

  32. WE just mix epson salts (optional magnesium relaxant), sodium bicarbonate and citric acid as dry powder and add to our bath – and add a drop of essential oil to our bath. This doesn’t do the packaged packet – but it does the CO2 bubbles and soft water. So if you want to effect with less hassle – you may also appreciate this information.

  33. Citric acid is no longer produced from citrus fruits. For the massive amounts now used in a wide variety of products, using the fruit in that way would not produce enough for the industry. The name probably comes from the original process from 1890. So the citric acid available now should not be a problem for someone with a citrus fruit allergy.
    More info here:

  34. About how many bombs does this recipe make?

  35. How much mixture makes 1 bath bomb? How many bath bombs would this make?

  36. Hi Wellness Mama!
    Thanks again for a wonderful recipe to try! I am truly grateful for all your information that you share with us to help better our families! One question…I was trying to click on the link to purchase the aluminum-free baking soda that you use, but it was not working. Is there somewhere else in your website that you have the link that I could try?


  37. I followed the recipe and mine fell apart after drying.
    Should I just use oil and not witch hazel/water?

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