Bath bombs are expensive, so I thought, “I can make them at home!” But it wasn’t that easy. There are a ton of different recipes for bath bombs, and some have very unusual ingredients that aren’t easy to find locally. I decided to try some out to give as gifts (and enjoy myself), and learned a lot along the way. As a result, here is my ultimate guide to making bath bombs at home.
You can buy nice clear bags online, or even the clear gift bags at your dollar store, or use a zip lock bag.
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Here are some of the things I tried and didn’t think worked too well:
- One formula mixed in 1 cup of coconut oil. My first thought was that would be a great moisturizer for your skin! I put this formula into the bath bomb molds I bought, but they wouldn’t come out. And then I worried how greasy my tub would get with the coconut oil. These were dense and oily bath bombs. I did learn that a little coconut oil does help keep the bath bombs hard, and less fragile, when the coconut oil has cooled. That’s how I ended up with 3 teaspoons of melted coconut oil in the formula.
- In my attempt to make rose bath bombs, it called for dried rose petals. I thought I had a great idea, but not so much. I picked some roses out of my garden and put the petals in the mixture. Well, the citric acid and baking soda mixture reacts to moisture. The “dried” petals contained some moisture; they released moisture for days! The bath bombs didn’t dry nicely, but with air holes near each petal. Also, I realized petals and other beautiful things added to the bath bombs make a huge mess to clean up in the tub. Not something I want to do after a relaxing bath!
- As for coloring your bath bombs, there is liquid dye for beauty products, and a powder dye. I preferred the powder. It seemed to mix in better, and gave a nice tone. Don’t use food dye – I’d be afraid it would dye my skin!
- If you have a choice, make the bath bombs on a dry day. The mixture picks up moisture in the air on a very humid day, making them expand and take longer to fully dry.
- Tricks to using the bath bomb molds – just barely over fill each half of the mold. Press together tightly, and then lightly tap on the counter and very carefully remove one half of the mold at a time. Be very gentle, and don’t touch them until they are dry. So, plan ahead when putting them on paper to dry.
I made orange bath bombs with the orange powder dye, using the coconut oil formula. I used the bath bomb molds, so the shape is nice and regular.
Wild rose essential oils, and this is where I decided I could just pick some roses from my garden and add to the mix. Not a good decision, as the moisture in the rose petals created lots of the air holes in the finished product.
Grapefruit essential oils, and these I put in the silicone cupcake wrappers. When they were dry to touch, I took them out of the wrappers and put them on wax paper to finish drying. It was a very humid day, and they kept growing! So lesson learned, bath bomb making is for a nice, dry day.
Eucalyptus and lime essential oils, and the liquid cosmetic dye. This time I used an ice-cream scoop, and put them into cupcake papers. But it was hard to get the mixture out the of ice-cream scoop. To make a nice bath bomb, the mixture needs to be packed, and then it didn’t come out nicely. The smell is lovely with this mixture of oils!
Then I tried calming lavender essential oils. After trying molds, cupcake tins and silicone wrappers, I decided to just make a ball with my hands, the easiest method. And I kinda like the rough look – I think people will know I made them myself! I used the powder dyes, but didn’t use enough. After using the powder dye on the orange bath bomb, I didn’t add as much this time – should have added more!
I was happy with the lavender, and decided to make one more batch in this series of bath bombs — a rosemary mint essential oil with green powder dye. I made them a little smaller than the lavender bath bombs, and think this is the right size — about the size of a lemon or lime.
Here are my successful bath bombs made in a bath bomb mold. Once I got the hang of it, they were fairly easy to mold — but it took several times. If you are having difficulty getting the mixture to stick, add just one or two more sprays of witch hazel and try again. But don’t let it get too wet.
I’ve got plenty of bath bombs for me for a while, and some for gifts. They were really easy to make, once I found a formula that I like!
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