These DIY bath bombs are easy to make and inexpensive. They make a great gift for anyone who loves baths, like your mother, grandmother or best friend. These tea infused bath bombs include loose tea blood orange tea which adds a lovely scent and makes them perfect for relaxing and soaking in the tub.
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Bath bombs are very popular right now and making your own is a great way to make a gift for someone special!
Chemistry of Bath Bombs
I teach chemistry, so I find this interesting even if no one else does! Bath bombs create their fizzing action through a simple acid base reaction, very similar to what happens when you combine baking soda and vinegar. In the case of bath bombs citric acid combines with baking soda which causes a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide, which causes the fizzing. The other ingredients in the bath bombs, like oil, sea salts and tea, are released when the acid base reaction occurs and they permeate the water and add fragrance and help moisturize your skin.
Homemade Bath Bombs
So why make your own homemade bath bombs? Cost is obviously one of the main reasons. I’ve bought bath bombs at Lush for my daughters for Christmas and they are EXPENSIVE. At Lush the cheapest bath bombs cost $6 and most of them cost more than that. So if you have daughters who love to soak in baths or love it yourself learning to make your own is cost effective.
Additionally it is just fun. When you make your own you can experiment and try different scents and colors and just generally let your creative side take over. These bath bombs are made with blood orange tea, so they are orange, but you could use other kinds of tea, or use essential oils, or add plants like lavender and rose petals. The possibilities are endless. My daughters and I enjoy making beauty products like these bath bombs and peppermint sugar scrub. Making stuff together is a great way to bond with kids!
Supplies for Making Bath Bombs
Some of the supplies for making bath bombs are easy to find at your local grocery store and some will take a little planning to get. Here is a breakdown of the ingredients and where to find them.
Ingredients You Probably Already Have
Baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil, tea and rubbing alcohol are things you can pick up at any grocery store. If you want Blood Orange tea like this recipe uses you might not find it everywhere, but you can use any kind of tea you like. Next time I want to use Green Hibiscus tea.
This recipe calls for dead sea salts, which are probably easiest to order online. You could also substitute Epsom salt or sea salt if you don’t have dead sea salt.
Minera Natural Dead Sea Salt, 5lbs Bulk – Fine GrainROOIBOS TEA – 4 Ounce of Tea ≈ 60 servings – Delicious Vegan Caffeine Free Non-GMO All Natural Flavors Assortment of Loose Leaf Tea – Hot or Iced –
Less Common Supplies
Citric acid is also available at most grocery stores and it is found with the canning supplies. However it will be much cheaper to order it online. I’d have to buy two of the tiny bottles my grocery store sells to make this recipe.
The next ingredient is polysorbate 80, which will make your bath bombs bubblier and easier to clean up. It helps the coconut oil disperse evenly in the bath water and prevents the mica from sticking to the side of the tub. You can buy a bottle of this online and have enough to make bath bombs for all your friends.
Optional but Nice to Have Supplies
The next ingredient is a color. I recommend using a soap colorant or skin safe food colorant. You can use regular food coloring but it might stain the tub if you add too much. You can also skip the color although it does make it more fun!
The last thing you need is a mold. It is easiest to make bath bombs in a stainless steel mold. You can also use ice cube trays, silicone molds, muffin tins or even just shape them by squishing them with your hands. If you are planning to make lots of homemade bath bombs to give as gifts purchasing a stainless steel mold will make it easier, but it isn’t necessary.
12 Color Bath Bomb Soap Dye – Skin Safe Bath Bomb Colorant Food Grade Coloring for Soap Making Supplies, Natural Liquid Soap Colorant for DIY Bath Bomb Supplies Kit, Slime, Crafts – with InstructionsStainless Steel Bath Bomb Molds Professional Extra Large 3.34
How to Make Tea Infused Bath Bombs
You can find a printable card below with all the instructions and measurements. Here is a step by step description of how to make DIY bath bombs with pictures.
Mix the Dry Ingredients
Mix the Wet Ingredients
Next, add the coconut oil. This binds all the ingredients together, so your homemade bath bombs don’t crumble and fall apart. Then add the polysorbate 80. You may need to use your hands to break down any lumps and make sure everything is mixed in.
The mixture is perfect when it holds together when you press it into your hands and feels like wet sand.
Add the Color
Add 1-2 drops of the orange colorant. Mix well and then continue to add the color, one drop at a time, until you think the color is perfect.
Mold the DIY Bath Bombs
Putting some tea on the outside of bath bombs makes them look pretty. Add a bit of the tea into one side of the stainless steel mold. Gently fill the mold with the bath bomb mixture until the mold is overflowing. Fill the other side of the mold with the mixture and press molds together and grind to remove excess mixture.
Gently tap each side of the mold to release the bombs. Allow to dry a minimum of 24 hours. If your climate is humid or cold, allow an additional 24 hours. My rule of thumb is that when it is hard to the touch, they are ready for the tub!
How do I Store Bath Bombs
The acid base reaction of the bath bombs starts when they are exposed to moisture. So the key thing is to keep them dry. They should be put into air tight containers or stored in zip top bags. It is also best not to store them in the bathroom, since that tends to be the most humid room in the house.
Homemade bath bombs should last for 6 months or so. The citric acid will start to lose its potency over time. They won’t go bad, but as time goes on they will fizz less.
DIY Bath Bombs
These tea infused bath bombs are very relaxing to use and make excellent gifts. You can make them around the holidays and give them to your daughters, friends, neighbors, aunts and grandmothers. This would also make an excellent project for a spa birthday party for teen or pre-teen girls. Or you can just keep them for yourself and enjoy a nice relaxing bath when you need to get away from your family for half an hour of peace and quiet!
- Stainless steel bath bomb molds
- Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
- 1 large mixing bowl
- In a large mixing bowl, add the baking soda, citric acid, dead sea salts and cornstarch. Whisk dry ingredients together.
- Add 3 1/2 tablespoons of the blood orange tea. Mix well.
- Add the coconut oil.
- Add the polysorbate 80. Mix well. You may need to use your hands to break down any lumps and make sure everything is mixed in. The mixture is perfect when it holds together when you press it into your hands and feels like wet sand.
- Add 1-2 drops of the orange colorant. Mix well. Continue to add 1 drop of color until you achieve the color you like.
- Add a bit of the blood orange tea into one side of the mold. Gently add the bath bomb mixture until the mold is overflowing. Fill the other side of the mold with the mixture and press molds together and grind to remove excess mixture.
- Gently tap each side of the mold to release the bombs. Allow to dry a minimum of 24 hours. If your climate is wet or cold, allow an additional 24 hours.
- Store in air tight container.
Number of bath bombs made will vary depending on the size of your molds.