How to Make Bath Bombs Without Citric Acid

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eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this tutorial.

Bath bombs leave your bathwater cleansing, soothing and delightfully fizzy. However, boutique bath bombs can be expensive and include a fizzing ingredient called citric acid that can be harsh on your skin. It's easy to make on your own using ingredients found at the grocery store, and you can omit the citric acid. This recipe calls for cream of tartar, which, when combined with baking soda, will give you the same fizzy results.

Image Credit: Jessica Begum

Watch the video tutorial

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups baking soda

  • 1 cup cream of tartar

  • 6 tablespoons Epsom salt

  • 4 mixing bowls

  • Large spoon

  • 1 tablespoon each of dried lavender, chamomile, rose, calendula and rosemary (optional)

  • Essential oils in peppermint, wild orange, lavender, calendula and rose (or preferred scent)

  • Coconut or olive oil

  • Spray bottle filled with water

  • Silicone ice cube mold, size large (optional)

Image Credit: Jessica Begum


  • This recipe yields eight large 2-by-2-inch bath bombs when using the large silicone ice cube mold. However, any type of mold will work. Regular ice cube trays, muffin tins or even rounding the bath bombs with your hands will make beautiful shapes.
  • The recipes makes four different types of bath bombs: Lavender Chamomile, Calendula Orange, Rosemary Peppermint and Rose. If these scents don't appeal to you, get creative with your own recipes. All you need to do is add different essential oils and omit the flowers. You can also include food coloring to tint them a different color.

Step 1: Combine Dry Ingredients

Combine the baking soda, cream of tartar and Epsom salt in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Image Credit: Jessica Begum

Step 2: Separate into Four Bowls

Once the dry ingredients are throughly mixed, separate them equally into four mixing bowls. Each bowl should contain slightly more than 3/4 cup. If you want to make one large batch of a single scent, skip this step.

Image Credit: Jessica Begum

Step 3: Mix the Different Recipes

Mix a single recipe in each of the four bowls. Or, if making one large batch of a particular scent, simply quadruple the recipe in a single bowl.

  • Lavender Chamomile​ for a calming bath. Combine 1 tablespoon dried lavender, 1 tablespoon dried chamomile, 20 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 teaspoons of coconut or olive oil.
  • Calendula Orange​ for a healing bath. Good mix for light rashes or rough skin. Combine 1 tablespoon dried calendula flowers with 15 drops of calendula essential oil, 10 drops of wild orange essential oil and 2 teaspoons of coconut or olive oil.
  • Rosemary Peppermint​ for a clearing bath. Good for clearing clogged sinuses and soothing tight muscles. Combine 1 tablespoon dried or fresh rosemary leaves, 15 drops peppermint essential oil and 2 teaspoons coconut or olive oil.
  • Sweet Rose​ for a conditioning bath. Rose oil conditions the skin and will leave you feeling silky smooth and smelling sweet. Combine 1 tablespoon dried rose petals, 20 drops rose essential oil and 2 teaspoons coconut or olive oil.
Image Credit: Jessica Begum
Image Credit: Jessica Begum


Remember, whatever you put in your mixture will end up in your bath and down the drain. Keep twigs and leaves out of the mixture, and crush large petals when necessary. You can also place the finished bomb in a cheesecloth pouch before placing it in the bath to contain the flowers, or simply omit them all together.

Step 4: Add Moisture

Once all the ingredients are throughly combined, test the mixture by squeezing a small amount in your hand. If the powder easily compresses together without separating, it is ready to place in the molds. However, if the mixture crumbles apart, add a single spray of water at a time until you can compress it into a ball. You shouldn't have to add more than five sprays of water.

Image Credit: Jessica Begum
Image Credit: Jessica Begum

Step 5: Press into the Mold

Now pack the mixture tightly into the silicone molds. Each one of the four mixtures will fill two cubes perfectly, filling a total of eight cubes.

Image Credit: Jessica Begum


You can add dried flowers in the molds before you add the baking soda mixture to give the bombs a flowery decorative top. This technique is great if you are giving the bath bombs as a gift. Or, you can garnish the finished bombs with a sprig of rosemary, orange peel or a dried rosebud.

Image Credit: Jessica Begum

Step 6: Allow to Dry in the Mold

Leave the mixture in the mold for 24 hours to dry.

Image Credit: Jessica Begum

Step 7: Remove from Molds

Once the bath bombs have dried for 24 hours in the mold, carefully remove them and allow them to air dry undisturbed for another 24 hours. Then, drop one in your bath and enjoy the fizz!

Image Credit: Jessica Begum