Bath Bombs Made With Polysorbate-80

Group of bath bombs

Do you love the fizzy and fragrant bath “bombs” sold in stores?  They are actually super fun and easy to make yourself!  You can customize them with any skin safe fragrance/essential oil you like, and can even add colorants, if you like.  And thanks to the basic chemistry of the fizz created by baking soda and a weak acid, you get a delightfully fizzy reaction when your creation hits the water.

All in all, bath bombs take about half an hour to craft, and usually take a few hours to dry.  (Larger bath bombs take longer to dry fully than smaller bath bombs.)

Here is a basic recipe for bath bombs made with fragrance/essential oil and Polysorbate-80. Polysorbate-80 serves as an emulsifier which helps it to disperse oil in your tub and enhance the “staying power” of the essential/fragrance oils in your bath bombs:

Dry Ingredients

4 cups baking soda

3 cups corn starch

2 cups citric acid

Wet Ingredients

1/3 cup polysorbate-80

2 cups sweet almond oil or other liquid carrier oil

20-30 drops essential/fragrance oil

1.Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl using a whisk.

2.Mix the sweet oil thoroughly with the polysorbate-80.

3.Add in a few drops of essential or fragrance oil at the very end, if you wish.

4.Mix wet and dry ingredients together.

5.Once the texture is like wet beach sand you would use to build a castle, gently pack your molds with the mixture.  (Empty clear Christmas ornaments make great bath bomb molds, as do animal-shaped beach toys and soap molds!)

6.Let each mold sit for a couple of minutes, then gently unmold them onto a surface.  (If they are stubborn about unmolding smoothly, put them in the freezer for five minutes and then try unmolding them).

7.Let the bath bombs dry overnight; put them on a baking try in an oven set to “warm” or heated only by the pilot light to speed the process.

8.Use one medium bath bomb per bath and enjoy!!