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I Tried Making Homemade Bath Bombs To See If They Stand Up To Store-Bought Ones

Angie Verike LittleThings writer by Angie Verike
Angie is a writer that loves animals, travel and good food. She also loves discovering all things exciting as she globe-trots around the world.

Taking a nice hot bath is scientifically proven to relax not only your muscles but also your mind, according to Physioworks.com. Add a glass of chilled white wine, a couple of candles and a quality bath bomb, and I couldn’t think of a more luxurious way to spend the night. Seriously, with all of those components present, I can stay in the bath for hoursBut finding bath bombs that match your skin type and smell like your personal heavenly ambrosia can take some time, effort, and money — which is a tall order for most people.

That’s why I decided to try making homemade bath bombs to see if they were just as effective as the store-bought ones. After all, it can’t be that complicated, right?

What motivated me most into trying this experiment is that I can handpick my own ingredients and use my favorite scents. By making my own bath bombs, I can choose the oils and salts that benefit my skin, and select the smells that bring a smile to my face. After all, the only thing better than a bath is a personalized bath.

Scroll down to see how my experiment turned out!

What Are Bath Bombs?

Holding up plate of homemade bath bombs
Andzelika Verike for LittleThings

Bath bombs are basically a tightly packed mixture of dry ingredients that react dramatically when placed in contact with water. Thebeautybrains.com’s cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller likens the reaction to an Alka-Seltzer tablet in a glass of water —sodium bicarbonate in the bomb reacts with the citric acid to release carbon dioxide gas. Less scientifically, bath bombs are nice smelling orbs that react with the water in your bath to turn it into a wonderland of colors and scents.

Other than the visual and sensual effects that will raise your spirits, bath bombs are actually pretty good for your skin. Almost all bath bombs contain some sort of salts and essential oils, and, depending on what kinds are used, those can nourish, moisturize and soften the skin.

The base ingredients in almost all store-bought bath bombs are the aforementioned citric acid, baking soda and cornstarch. Aside from those, different oils can be added (almond oil, coconut oil, etc.), depending on the kind of nourishment your skin requires — essential oils can also be added. The last and optional ingredient that goes into bath bombs is anything that you may want for visual effect: flower petals, food coloring, lusters, etc.

Common Ingredients In Bath Bombs
Epsom Salt

Epsom salt
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Epsom salt is very good for skin and muscles. Its properties exfoliate the skin while naturally increasing the blood flow in your body and relaxing tired or cramped muscles. According to WebMD, it can help everything from muscle aches to bruises to swelling, and taking a hot Epsom-salt infused bath is the ideal way to absorb its benefits. But like everything that you introduce into your wellness routine, make sure that you research it thoroughly before using it.

Coconut Oil

Open coconut oil jar with spoon
Andzelika Verike for LittleThings

Coconut oil is another magical substance for your body, inside and out. As Healthline.com explains, coconut oil is a great moisturizer for dry and tired skin. It can also protect hair from damage — not to mention, it smells gorgeous. But make sure you do your research thoroughly and test it on your skin to make sure it reacts well.

Lavender

Lavender epsom salts
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Lavender scent/oil has been used as a relaxant and a stress reliever for thousands of years. Ancient Romans recognized its effectiveness when combined with a hot, relaxing bath. Dermatologist Gary Goldfaden, founder of goldfadenmd.com, says that lavender can even be used to treat and sooth wounds. With its natural anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, lavender oil is a great addition to a homemade bath bomb.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus epsom salts
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Eucalyptus scent/oil is a very effective natural remedy for clearing airways and lungs. As organicfacts.net states, eucalyptus oil is an excellent remedy for lung congestion, blocked sinuses, and even asthma.

DIY Bath Bomb Recipes

Ingredients that make these bath bombs good
Andzelika Verike for LittleThings

After spending some time on the internet researching the main ingredients that go into bath bombs, I settled on making two different ones. I made both of those bath bomb recipes to suit my specific scent preferences and skin needs — I even named them myself!

DIY Bath Bomb Recipe 1: The Flower Garden

Flower garden homemade bath bombs
Andzelika Verike for LittleThings

This homemade bath bomb recipe is supposed to be summery and smell like a garden.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup citric acid
  • ¼ cup of lavender epsom salt (or unscented Epsom salt and 20 drops of lavender essential oil)
  • 4 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of red food dye
  • 2 tsp of water
  • Handful of fresh or dried flower petals of your choice

Step 1

Adding baking soda to bowl
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Add the baking soda to a clean and dry bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.

Step 2

Mixing in cornstarch
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Add the cornstarch to the same bowl and mix well.

Step 3

Pouring epsom salts into mixture
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Add the Epsom salt to the bowl and mix well again. (Or, if you’re using natural Epsom salt and lavender essential oil separately, add both in slowly now)

Step 4

Adding citric acid to mixture
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Lastly, add the citric acid and mix it all once more. Make sure there are no lumps.

Step 5

Step 5
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Gently pour your petals into the mixture and give it a soft stir with your hands. Be careful if you have any cuts in your hand as the citric acid can make them burn a little.

Step 6

Adding coconut oil to bowl
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Once the dry ingredients are mixed well, add the coconut oil and work it in thoroughly.

Step 7

Dropping in food coloring into bowl
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Pour the red food dye in bit by bit, and mix it all again. Make sure you keep stirring continuously as you pour the liquid so that you stop the fizzing as soon as it starts.

Step 8

Slowly adding water to bath bomb mix
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Add a teaspoon of water bit by bit, just like the red food dye.

Step 9

Pressing bath bomb mix into muffin tin
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Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, start putting it into the muffin tray. Make sure to pack the mixture tightly layer by layer so that it sticks well.

Step 10

Hitting bottom of pan to release bath bombs
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After 10-15 minutes, flip the muffin tray upside down onto a cutting board. You may need to do some banging on the tray so that the bath bombs fall out.

Step 11

Resting bath bombs on cutting board
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Leave the bath bombs to dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 12

Putting bath bomb into bath
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Fill up a bath and drop your homemade creation in the center of it. Enjoy the smells and the petals.

Conclusion On The Recipe

Results of flower garden bath bomb
Andzelika Verike for LittleThings

The next day my “Flower Garden” bath bombs looked more green/grey than red. I probably should have put more food dye into the mixture. Apart from that, the shape held up and the smell was good.

When dropped into a filled bathtub, the bath bomb fizzed but only a little bit. The red food dye made the foam seem dirty brown, which was not a good look. The coconut smell was really present though, and the flower petals looked beautiful floating around the bath.

The water was definitely oily, which is very good for the skin. After all, the moisturizing effect was what I was going for. However, I couldn’t really smell the lavender that much.

Next time I would try adding a little bit of lavender essential oil too, just to make sure that the coconut scent doesn’t overpower the lavender. I would also skip the red food dye altogether.

DIY Bath Bomb Recipe 2 - “The Ocean Breeze”

Ocean breeze bath bomb
Andzelika Verike for LittleThings

This homemade bath bomb is supposed to have refreshing eucalyptus and coconut scents — and turn your bath blue.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup of Citric acid
  • ¼ cup of Epsom salt with the extract of eucalyptus (or you can use unscented Epsom salt and 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil)
  • 4 tsp of Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp of blue food dye

Steps

Pressing ocean breeze bath bomb mix into muffin tray
Andzelika Verike for LittleThings

Combine the cornstarch, citric acid and eucalyptus Epson salt in a bowl, just as steps one through four in the first recipe specified. Pour the blue food dye in bit by bit, and continuously stirring so the mixture doesn’t fizz. 

Pack the mixture in the muffin tin, turn out, and let sit just like steps nine to 11 said in the first recipe.

Test It Out

Dropping ocean breeze bath bomb into bathtub
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Fill up a bath with hot water and drop the blue bath bomb in. Ideally, it should fizz and have a coconut scent.

Conclusion On “The Ocean Breeze” Recipe

Blue bath
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As soon as the blue bath bomb touched the water, the fizzing took off in full force. It was a beautiful view, especially after seeing how it didn’t quite work out with the previous bath bomb.

The coconut scent took over the whole bathroom, which in turn overpowered the smell of eucalyptus – pretty sad. The blue food dye also made no difference on the water, but I didn’t expect it to anyways.

Just like my previous homemade bath bomb, “The Ocean Breeze” made the bath water really moisturizing for the skin, which was my main goal. But next time I would try to add a little bit of eucalyptus essential oil too to increase the scent’s power.

So what did you think? If you want to try these homemade bath bombs yourself, please SHARE with your friends so they can join in on this fun craft!