Is there anything sadder than a still, tepid bath? Probably not. A proper soak in the tub requires some oomph in the water. Some scented oils? Absolutely. Some bubbles? Even better. But for a truly next-level bath, you’ve gotta toss in a bath bomb—a scented ball of bathtub joy that fizzes when immersed in water, distributing essential oils and gentle bubbles throughout the tub. Bath lovers are going crazy for the hyperpigmented, loud-colored (and often pricey) bombs at specialty bath-and-body stores, but the bombs are actually easy, safe and cost-effective to make at home. Our recipe is, well, the bomb:
1 cup baking soda
½ cup citric acid
½ cup cornstarch
¼ cup coconut oil (melted)*
10–20 drops essential oil (try lavender, rose, lemon, sandalwood or chamomile oil)
Silicone molds, snap-together dome molds or paper cupcake liners
Food coloring (optional)
1. Combine the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda, citric acid and cornstarch.
2. Combine the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil and essential oil.
3. Combine the wet and dry. Working very, very slowly, whisk a bit of the oil mixture into the dry mixture, avoiding lumps and too-wet spots. The texture should resemble damp sand; if you need to, add water a drop at a time. If you’re using food coloring, add 4 drops to the mixture and stir to combine; increase the drops by 2 until you reach the desired pigment.
4. Mold them. Press the mixture into the molds, packing them tightly. Make ’em solid!
5. Dry. Let your bombs dry in their molds overnight. Then, pop them out of the molds and let them dry another 24 hours before storing in an airtight container—or popping straight into a steamy bath!
*SHOWER VARIATION: Want to make a shower bomb (otherwise known as a shower tab or fizz)? Skip the coconut oil to avoid any slips in the shower, and use a mold with a flat side so the bomb will stay put.