Wanting to jump into making bath bombs at home but not sure where to start? In this article you will find everything you need to know when it comes to making DIY bath bombs as well as some fun ideas to get you started!
Ingredients Needed for Homemade Bath Bombs (And What You Can Swap)
When it comes to making bath bombs at home you will need:
- Bath Bomb Molds
- Baking Soda
- Cream of Tartar
- Pure Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA)
- Citric Acid
- Corn Starch
- Epsom Salts
- Witch Hazel
- Coconut Oil or Shea Butter
- Polysorbate 80
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Essential Oils
What colorants can I use?
There are three types of colorants you can use while making bath bombs:
- dyes: rich in color, water-soluble, pricier, a little goes a long way
- lakes: not as rich in color as dyes, not water-soluble, not oil-soluble
- micas: natural mineral, larger selection than dyes and lakes, not batch-certified but safe to use for bath bombs, not water-soluble, not oil-soluble
How much colorant can I add?
The amount of colorant you use depends on the size of the batch you’re working on. When you first start making bath bombs, use a recipe (like the one we used for the unicorn bath bombs) to get yourself acquainted with portions.
What is an alternative to witch hazel?
A mixture of 99% isopropyl alcohol and water can give your bath bombs the right texture in place of witch hazel.
Best Places to Find Bath Bomb Supplies
What molds are best to use for bath bombs?
I love to use household items like ice cube trays and muffin tins when I’m making bath bombs or shower steamers for my family.
If you’re making bath bombs and want them to be spheres, I really like silicone bath bomb molds. You can also use metal bath bomb molds. My favorite molds are actually these donut molds. They’re SO cute.
How to Pick Out and Use Essential Oils in Bath Bombs
How much essential oil should I add?
The amount of essential oils you should add to your bath bombs depends on the size of the batch. Using high-quality essential oils is important.
Watch this video on how to make bath bombs with essential oils.
Will vanilla discolor my bath bomb?
If you use enough vanilla, especially the real stuff, your bath bombs can have a slight brown tinge to them.
I love to use real vanilla in my soap and bath bomb creations! The scent is second to none.
Problem Solving Hacks for Creating Bath Bombs
Bath bombs are finicky. They react to water, so if you have too much – or too little – you can run into problems. Sometimes you’ll use the same recipe, same process, same everything, and your bath bombs will be crumbly, or soft.
Why Is my bath bomb crumbly?
Your mix may be too wet. If you’re sure the ingredients are measured properly (I recommend using a scale!), check the humidity in the air.
You’ll get the best results while making bath bombs if your environment is at 40% humidity. This means a recipe I use in Arizona, where there’s very little humidity, may not work for you the same way in Hawaii, which has tons of humidity.
You may need a humidifier or a dehumidifier (depending on your area) to take control of the humidity in your bath bomb making environment.
Why is my bath bomb soft?
Like most issues with bath bombs, it comes down to moisture: control the humidity in your environment to prevent your bath bombs from being soft. Your mixture also may have too much moisture, so keep an eye on those ratios.
To make your bath bombs harder, add cream of tartar to your recipe. You can also reduce the amount of liquid you use, or add kaolin clay. If you’re storing bath bombs, do so in air-tight containers so you can keep moisture out.
Why does my bath bomb have a lumpy texture?
Many times, baking soda is the culprit because it clumps easily. Your bath bomb texture being lumpy is most likely because your dry ingredients didn’t fully combine with the wet ingredients. If you’re using essential oils, it’s important to mix even more than usual, so your dry ingredients can be incorporated.
Your bath bomb should feel like damp sand – not too wet, not too dry. If you grab a handful of your mixture, press it together, and it keeps its form, you’re on the right track.
Why is my bath bomb not fizzing properly?
Chances are, you need to increase the amount of citric acid you’re using in your bath bombs if they’re not fizzing. The more oil you use, the less your bath bomb will fizz, so using less oil can also help remedy this situation.
Why is my bath bomb expanding out of the mold?
Bath bombs fizz as a reaction to water, so if your bath bomb is fizzing out of the mold, it came into contact with water or your mixture is too wet. This can be due to moisture in the air, or using colorants or fragrances that contain water.
I add my citric acid last, after incorporating all of my other wet and dry ingredients. This helps prevent issues with expanding and reacting prematurely.
How long should bath bombs stay in the mold?
Leave your bath bombs in the mold for at least 4-5 hours. I usually make mine in the evening and leave them to sit in the molds overnight.
Why are my bath bombs not sticking together in the stainless steel bath bomb mold?
If your bath bombs aren’t sticking together, it’s probably because they’re too moist. Again, check the humidity in your work space.
Have more questions? Here’s a quick video about troubleshooting bath bombs!
How long do bath bombs last?
The shelf life of bath bombs is about 6 months, depending on ingredients used. Bath bombs don’t really expire, but certain ingredients can become rancid. If you use one past its expiration date, your bath bomb probably won’t fizz much. If it’s a long time after, it may not fizz at all.
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