Finally, something the internet and I can agree on: Lush bath bombs. I may never understand the world wide web’s obsession with “hacking” spherical lip-balm containers, or creating “galaxy” frappucinos, but bath bombs? Bath bombs, I understand.
What’s not to love? They’re loaded with skin-softening ingredients and intoxicating fruity scents, plus there’s just something inexplicably fun about plunking them in the tub and watching them fizz and swirl around…
So fun, in fact, that Lush has a cult-like following (they call themselves “Lushies”), with thousands of Instagram posts dedicated to “bath art”, and thousands of Youtube “bath bomb demo” videos; the most popular of which garnering upwards of 4 million views.
The first time I tuned into one of these videos, I assumed there had to be more to it than what the title suggested.
I was wrong.
Millions of “Lushies” are tuning in to watch a faceless camerawoman drop the bomb into her tub, and give real-time commentary as it dissolves. Some aspiring bath bomb videographers even film an underwater perspective using a Go Pro! Not only does the internet love using bath bombs, they love watching other people use bath bombs.
On second thought… maybe I don’t love bath bombs *quite* as much as the internet does.
But I liked them enough to try my hand at making them myself, and I’m quite happy with the end result.
These DIY bath bombs aren’t quite as colourful as Lush, and they won’t dye your bath water to the point of total opacity (be weary of tutorials claiming to be “the exact recipe Lush uses!” by the way), but I promise they’re still fun, fizzy, and smell amazzzzing. Bonus? They’re way cheaper to make than to buy! Yay!
Special thanks to my friend Kathleen for helping me create these! We encountered a few hiccups along the way, which I’ll mention during the steps to ensure you don’t fall victim to the same issues!
What You’ll Need:
- Glass mixing bowls
- Spray bottle (optional)
- Something to shape your bombs! *Special moulds can be purchased online or in craft stores, but you can also use kitchen items like cookie cutters, silicone ice cube trays, or muffin tins!
- 1 cup citric acid OR 1/2 cup cream of tartar
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 tea bag orange tea (we’re using Tetley Orange Bellini)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Small amount of water, preferably in a spray bottle
- ~25 drops sweet orange essential oil
- ~20 drops soap colourant
Citric acid was tricky to find. It’s usually located with either spices or canning equipment. Cream of tartar was located in the bulk section. Essential oils can usually be found alongside supplements/homeopathic products. The soap colourant is from Micheal’s. Of course, all of these items could be purchased online if you don’t feel like searching around.
I noticed a LOT of bath bomb recipes calling for food colouring. I personally chose to steer clear of food colouring due to the risk of staining not only my skin/hair/nails, but also my bath tub! I read a couple tutorials that even said “Will not stain your tub… but if it does, wash with a bleach-based cleaner”
I say we just avoid that altogether and use a product that’s actually meant to go in the bath: soap colourant!
Of course, after using any bath bomb, rinse your skin and bathtub with clean water to wash away any residue.
Lastly, in case you thought that soaking in a mixture mainly comprised of baking soda was weird, it’s actually recommended right on the box! Who would’ve thunk?
- Combine citric acid or cream of tartar with baking soda and loose tea; mix well.
- Slowly add coconut oil, essential oil, and soap colourant, stirring constantly with the whisk. Note: How many drops of oil and colourant you add is really up to you. Using more dye will result in a darker bath bomb and more vibrant bath water.
- Once thoroughly mixed, carefully spritz with water and combine using either the whisk or your hands. Continue to slowly add moisture until the mixture is able to hold it’s shape when you squeeze it. Note: A lot of recipes we read said you may need “less water than you think”, so we went really easy on water the first time around and ended up with crumbly, messy bombs. In our experience, the safer bet is to add enough water that the mixture can easily hold its shape, and allow to dry for a longer period of time. Keep in mind that adding too much water at once will cause the ingredients to react and fizz prematurely. (Womp womp)
- Tightly pack mixture into moulds. If you’re using a “3D” shaped mould like a ball, be sure to overfill both sides of the mould before firmly pressing them together. Note: We originally attempted “egg” shaped bombs using plastic easter egg capsules, but these cracked in half as we attempted to release them from the moulds (even after letting them dry.) It’s especially important to create the right wet/dry ratio when using 3D moulds so they retain their shape and don’t crumble apart. If you’re a newbie, I highly recommend starting with a more basic shape.
- Let dry overnight for best results! Best if used within a week as the bombs will lose their “fizziness” over time.
Good luck, and enjoy!