Basic Bath Bomb Recipe

If you are new to making bath bombs and want to give them a try, here is my favorite basic bath bomb recipe. There is no perfect recipe for making bath bombs because it all depends on where you live. You might need to modify it depending on your climate and humidity level where you live. (I’ll have more blog posts soon on how to modify recipes for dry and humid climates.)

Ingredients

  • Baking Soda – 1 cup (250 grams)
  • Citric Acid – ½ cup (100 grams)
  • Cream of Tartar – 1 tablespoon (12 grams)
  • Kaolin Clay – 1 tablespoon (3 grams)
  • Corn Starch, Tapioca Starch or Arrowroot Powder – 1 tablespoon (10 grams)
  • Avocado Oil – 1 teaspoon (5 grams)
  • Polysorbate 80 – 1 teaspoon (5 grams)
  • Scent – 7 grams
  • Color

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups/spoons or digital scale
  • Hand mixer
  • Spatula
  • Mold
  • Face mask, gloves and hair net
  • Spray bottle with binder (I use a 50/50 blend of alcohol and water)

Step 1: Measure or weigh all the dry ingredients into your mixing bowl. In another container (a small measuring cup works well), measure or weigh all the wet ingredients and mix them together. If you’re using a butter in place of the avocado oil, be sure to melt it first.

Step 2: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and immediately start to mix. If you let it sit, it will react and fizz.

Step 3: Blend the mixture using a hand mixer or a stand mixer. I haven’t found that the powders jump into the air when mixing. If you’re concerned, you can cover the bowl with a towel as you mix.

Mix for about a minute. This helps to break up clumps and aerate the mixture. You can also break up any clumps using your hands if needed. Remember that oil clumps in your mixture can cause warting, so be sure to break them up.  

Step 4: Add your coloring (if you’re using one) and mix using a hand mixer to disperse. I used a pinch of Batch Certified Yellow 5 Lake and Blue 1 Lake to get this nice sea foam green.

Step 5: Test your mixture to see if it’s ready. It shouldn’t be ready yet, but I want you to feel it and see how it looks at this stage.

To test your mixture, grab a handful of mixture and squeeze it to compress. Note the results. Does it stay compressed or does it fall apart? If your mixture is anything like mine at this point, it will crumble easily and won’t hold its shape. (I tested and took the pic before adding my color.)

Too crumbly and not sticking together.

Step 6: Wet the mixture to get it to the correct consistency for molding.

Wet your mixture using a fine-mist spray bottle of binder. Spray five times, then test again. Because your spray bottle will vary from mine, I can’t tell you exactly how many sprays it will take. Test often to not over-spray. 

The mixture feels like lightly damp sand, not like wet sand, which would be too much moisture.

Holding together and not crumbling.

I like to test mine by tapping it with my thumb. It should stay together and not break apart easily. Some makers hold the clump of mixture in the air  (maybe 10-12 inches) and drop it into the bowl. If it stays together, it’s ready.  

The drop test.
It stayed together!

This really is the hardest part! If you can get this part down, you can successfully make bath bombs!

Here are some tips:

  • Test your mixture often to not over-spray. Spray five times and then test it. Not ready? Spray another five times. You’ll soon know how much it takes and can spray more between testing. Don’t overdo it when first starting.
  • Use a fine-mist spray bottle to have better control and dispersion of the spray. Don’t use a huge plastic spray bottle from the cleaning aisle at the supermarket. Those will spray too much.
  • If you do add too much moisture, you can add a bit more baking soda and/or citric acid to dry it out. 

Step 7: Now that your mixture is the perfect consistency, it’s time to mold! You can use any type of bath bomb mold that you like. If you are new to making bath bombs, hard plastic molds tend to be easiest to use. Pack your mixture tightly, pressing down firmly.

If you’re using these plastic tray molds, you can actually let your bath bombs sit for about 10 minutes to harden a bit. This will help them unmold without any issues.

Finished bath bombs!

If your bath bomb crumbles or breaks during unmolding, simply mix back into the batch and start over with molding.

Step 8: Allow your bath bombs to dry 12-24 hours before packaging.

Happy Bath Bomb Making! -Amanda Aaron

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