How to Make a Homemade Bath Bomb

Like 54 dollars’ worth of product for less than 10 bucks. Awesome??? Awesome.

I am a bath freak. I take baths at least once a week (sometimes I come home from college JUST TO TAKE BATHS) and it’s always a big deal of candles, incense, bath salts, classical music, face masks, hair masks, and, most important…bath bombs. My ritual costs a lot of money, though, because I’m such a Lush fan (they sell wonderful bath bombs—my favorite is Phoenix Rising), so I decided to learn how to make my own at home. This recipe is super easy and affordable and makes nine bombs. Most of Lush’s bath bombs go for about $6 apiece, so by making your own you’re getting like 54 dollars’ worth of product for less than 10 bucks. Awesome??? Awesome.

Ingredients you’ll need to make a basic bath bomb:

• baking soda (I used this kind.)
• citric acid powder
• Epsom salt (Any mineral salt or bath salt will do, but this one costs, like, $1.)
• water
• any light vegetable oil (I used extra-virgin olive oil.)


• food coloring
• essential oils (I used sandalwood and Tahitian vanilla.) Make sure the ones you get are skin safe; some are just meant to be burned in an oil burner.

Other stuff:

• a whisk
• two small mixing bowls (preferably glass)
• a big mixing bowl (also glass if you can help it)
• a measuring cup and measuring spoons
• a plastic mold for the bombs (This can be a Christmas-ornament mold, a cut-open tennis ball, a plastic Easter egg. I used empty heart boxes I found at the dollar store where I found my essential oils.)

How to do it:

Step One
Mix the dry ingredients according to this ratio: two parts baking soda, one part citric acid powder, one part Epsom salt. (I used two cups, or 16 ounces, of baking soda; one cup of citric acid; and one cup of Epsom salt.)

Step Two
In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. I just kind did whatever to be honest—none of these ingredients is essential, anyway. I added two or three teaspoons of essential oils to about three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, then added about a teaspoon of water (be careful not to add too much water or your bath bomb will fizz into oblivion before it’s even fully formed!).

Step Three
Using a whisk, slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry mix, one teaspoon at a time. If you pour too much in too quickly, it will start fizzing. If your mixture starts to fizz, add dry ingredients to the fizzing parts to stop the chemical reaction. Add a few drops of your food coloring at this point, whisking all the while. Blend everything really well. Your finished mixture should have the consistency of slightly damp sand and should squish in your hands without crumbling (if it doesn’t, add more wet or dry ingredients as needed).

Step Four
Now for the molds! Grease the insides of your molds with a single drop of vegetable oil. Then overfill your molds with your damp-sand-y mixture. Really pack the stuff in and squish it down. At first I closed the molds completely, but I soon realized that that made it harder to get the bath bombs out, so after that I just used the tops as a press, to pack the product down into the mold.

Step Five
Take the bath bombs out of the molds by flipping the molds over and lightly squeezing their sides.

Step Six
You don’t want these to fizz out at this point, so lightly tap them with a paper towel to soak up some of the dampness, then let them dry out for a while. I stick mine in an airtight container in the shade for a few days.

There you have it! Bath bombs, easy and cheap. You should probably use these within six months; the oils might go stale after that.

Once you’ve mastered the basic mix of citric acid powder, baking soda, and salt, you can add lots of stuff—your own personal blend of essential oils/fragrances, pressed flower petals, glitter, whatever. Maybe even a bomb within a bomb (INCEPTION). Play around—it’s super fun, and watching the bath water change color is really exciting. Happy bathing! ♦


  • KinuKinu May 24th, 2012 7:12 PM

    OHHHHHH, I AM SOOOO READY FOR THISSSS, I AM EXTREMELY EXCITED, OH YESSSS!!!!! Just a few more supplies and I’m gonna do this.*diva time*

  • Whatsername May 24th, 2012 7:16 PM

    I just have to say, your nails are amazing.

  • AnguaMarten May 24th, 2012 7:16 PM

    genius! totally trying this.

  • brynntheredonethat May 24th, 2012 7:17 PM

    Awesome tutorial! Love it.

    You should also do a tutorial on how to do your nails like you have them here.

  • TAUA May 24th, 2012 7:23 PM

    Where can you buy citric acid?

    • Anaheed May 24th, 2012 7:31 PM

      We got it from Kalustyans ( but I bet you could order it from Amazon or get it from pretty much any Indian grocer.

  • Jamia May 24th, 2012 7:25 PM

    I LOVE these. I blow too much of my $$$ at lush. Gotta try this. Thanks Arabelle! PS. Hot nails!

  • christinachristina May 24th, 2012 7:29 PM

    none of it is really ESSENTIAL except for ESSENTAIL oils. hahahaha do you see what i did there oh man

  • willow May 24th, 2012 7:30 PM


  • Clairedances May 24th, 2012 7:49 PM

    I love the whole idea so much but can I get super off topic and comment on how amazing your nails are? I love the design so much! Could you possibly do a DIY on it? Thanks!

  • Starboardd May 24th, 2012 7:57 PM

    This is awesome!

  • lorobird May 24th, 2012 8:00 PM

    Ok everyone is saying it, but YOUR NAILS!!!!!! OMG

    The tutorial is fab as well. Really going to try this, you can basically do the mix you like instead of going through the shop trying to find the perfect one (I am very particular with smells). Thanks!

  • Yellie May 24th, 2012 8:03 PM

    I must confess i have a huge crush on Arabelle <3

  • Liz Armstrong May 24th, 2012 8:42 PM

    Hello, AWESOME. I’m talking to your nails and this recipe.

  • Emilie May 24th, 2012 8:45 PM


  • Hayleyandflora May 24th, 2012 8:59 PM

    I would be so tempted to eat it.

  • Mags May 24th, 2012 9:00 PM

    This is awesome! I had no idea you could even make bath bombs yourself!

  • laughinguacamole May 24th, 2012 9:02 PM

    nails… so lovely amazing DID YOU DO THOSE YOURSELF. Bath bombs are da bomb, by the way. But… you already know that. Obviously.

  • teenager May 24th, 2012 9:48 PM

    WATTTT this is stellar!
    after a long day this sounds heavenly… and looks delicious, despite being totally inedible

    • Hayleyandflora May 25th, 2012 12:37 AM

      It looks like candy! Hehe. It’s like, “my crazy obsession with eating bath bombs.” wait that gives me an idea… Make an edible bath bomb!!!! It must be possible. Somehow.

  • wildechick May 24th, 2012 11:03 PM

    Despite the absolute AWEsomeness of your homemade bath-bombs, your nails trump the awesomeness :) they are AMAZING!

  • Susann May 25th, 2012 12:34 AM

    Now I’d love to make some bath-bombs! Great recipe :)

  • Caden May 25th, 2012 12:50 AM

    This is freaking cool. I’m going to make some for all my friends :).

    Caden x

  • Adrienne May 25th, 2012 1:05 AM

    This is absolutely perfect for taking a stress-free relaxing bath after finals week!!!

  • fullofangrybees May 25th, 2012 9:33 AM

    stop it with your nail polish. it is TOO CUTE. tutorial on that, please & thanks.

  • Krista May 25th, 2012 12:54 PM

    I am so excited right now.

  • Motherfunker May 25th, 2012 3:09 PM

    eee so cute! such a fun little DIY, definitely going to give it a go :-)

  • Kathryn May 25th, 2012 7:39 PM

    I LOVE THIS! So excited right now.
    Where do you buy essential oils?

    • Arabelle May 26th, 2012 6:07 PM

      you can get them at the dollar store actually

  • Leticia May 27th, 2012 10:11 PM

    Are the essential oils you used diluted in a carrier oil, such as jojoba? To use two or three teaspoons of a pure essential oil would be far too much and likely irritating to the skin, especially on one’s nether regions. Perhaps you could clarify, and maybe mention something in the recipe for people unfamiliar with oils : )

  • AliceTheObsessedCrafter May 28th, 2012 2:23 PM

    I agree that lush bathbombs are pretty expensive- but worth it for the massive explosion of bubbles and colour!

  • Thebonnie May 28th, 2012 9:28 PM

    Could you do a milk and honey bath bomb? For skin hydration? Or maybe a cocoa butter bath bomb!

  • mollyes June 6th, 2012 2:16 PM

    I really loved this recipe, but I had a hard time finding any citric acid in my town and I really didn’t want to order any off of the internet. So, I looked around online and found that you can use cream of tartar as a substitute for the acid, which is much easier to find, and I even had some already. I promptly used one of my new bath bombs the same day I made them and it worked great! Thanks Rookie!

    • kaylafay June 6th, 2012 3:21 PM


  • Miko June 10th, 2012 6:40 PM

    Great recipe it sounds so simply! I cant wait to try it:)

  • GlowintheDark June 11th, 2012 6:57 AM

    AHH. Late but I obsessed over this for days, got citric acid powder off of ebay, and now I have bath bombs. They are blue-purple and smell like lavender and I can’t even bring myself to use them. Thank you, Arabelle! :D

  • songofthebat June 14th, 2012 2:09 AM

    could you do a diy for those awesome nails??

  • argpirate June 14th, 2012 12:42 PM

    Are your nail always this awesome?! O.O