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! ♦