With their relaxing scents, beautiful colors and mesmerizing bubbles, bath bombs are the ultimate way are to turn a normal bath into a luxurious experience. However, some retail for up to $20.

If you don’t want to spend retail prices for bath bombs, you’re in luck: You can easily make your own bath bombs that are just as decadent as high-end versions.

Ready to indulge in some serious pampering? Read on to find out how you can make bath bombs for your tub.

What Are Bath Bombs and What Are They Made Of?

Bath bombs are dry, hard-packed mixtures of carbonates, fragrance and other ingredients. When they come in contact with water, they start to fizz and break apart, releasing fragrance, colors and skin-conditioning ingredients in the process.

Wondering exactly what bath bombs are made of? Turns out that the ingredients of bath bombs are simpler than their colorful appearance might suggest.

All bath bombs use two key ingredients to get their fizzing properties: Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and citric acid, which are also two of the main ingredients in effervescent antacids like Alka-Seltzer.

Most bath bombs also contain a combination of ingredients designed to enhance your sensory experience, such as:

  • Colorful pigments.
  • Essential oils and/or other fragrances.
  • Luxurious oils.

Once those ingredients are pressed into a ball (or any other shape), the result is a fun and colorful bath bomb.

How to Make Your Own Bath Bombs

Want to make your own bath bombs for a fraction of the retail price? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup baking soda.
  • ½ cup of citric acid.
  • ½ cup of cornstarch or kaolin clay.
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite moisturizing oil (like coconut, almond, argan or olive oil).
  • Molds of your choice.

Then, you can gather some fun additional ingredients to enhance your bath time experience, such as:

  • 5-10 drops of essential oils or your favorite fragrance.
  • A few drops of vegetable-based food dye.
  • Mica or cosmetic-grade glitter.
  • Dried flowers and/or herbs.

To make your bath bombs, whisk the dry ingredients (baking soda, citric acid, cornstarch or kaolin clay and any shimmer, glitter and dried flowers and/or herbs) together in a bowl.

Next, whisk in the wet ingredients (moisturizing oil and any food dye, essential oils and/or fragrance).

Finally, once you can easily clump the mixture together by squeezing it in your hand, press it firmly into your chosen molds. You can purchase molds from an online retailer, or use any baking molds you already have in your kitchen.

Once secured in their molds, let your bath bombs set for at least 12 hours. If they don’t easily come out of their molds, try gently tapping the outside of the molds with a spoon.

After your bath bombs are set and ready to go, you can store them any way you’d like, whether you keep them in a jar, wrapped in plastic wrap or tied up in gauze pouches.

That’s it! Next time you’re in the mood for an extra-luxurious bath, simply fill your tub with hot water, step in and drop in one of your bath bombs.

Bath Bomb Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to ensure that your DIY bath bombs are the best they can be:

  • Wear plastic or latex gloves while making your bath bombs. This will help prevent your hands from getting stained by any food dye you choose to use.
  • Don’t allow your bath bombs to come in contact with water either while you’re making them or after they’ve set. Even a small amount of water will cause fizzing.
  • Don’t add Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts or other bath salts to your bath bombs: These types of salts act as a humectant, meaning that they attract water. If they attract water during the mixing or setting process, they can cause your bath bombs to fizz prematurely. Instead, wait until you’ve drawn your bath to add the bath salts of your choice.
  • Try not to add too much oil, as doing so can make your bath bombs soft and difficult to set. Start out with two tablespoons, test the mixture’s clumping ability and then add another teaspoon if needed.
  • If you live in a humid area, you may want to cover any of your bath bomb’s exposed surfaces with plastic wrap while mixing, setting or storing the bombs. This will help prevent them from fizzing before you’re ready to use them.
  • To make multicolored bath bombs, divide your bath bomb mixture into separate bowls before adding food dye. Just make sure to add the other wet ingredients before you separate the mixture — if you don’t, it will be difficult to get a consistent ingredient ratio.
  • If your bathtub doesn’t have a mat or non-slip standing surface, add your bath bomb after you’ve gotten in. If you add it before you step in, the oils it contains can cause your bathtub to become too slippery to safely stand on.
  • If you’ve added a large amount of dye to your bath bombs, make sure to give your tub a quick wipe-down after use to avoid staining.

With just a few simple ingredients, you can make and enjoy as many bath bombs as you’d like without breaking the bank. Plus, your DIY bath bombs won’t just be cheaper than store-bought versions — they’ll also be perfectly customized to your preferences and make for much more meaningful gifts.

Whether you want to upgrade your bathing experience or make personalized gifts for friends and family, these homemade bath bombs are for you.