Having been invented around the year 2000, bath bombs have become a global phenomenon but you may wonder what they are and what they do. Let’s take an in-depth look at what bath bombs are.
Bath bombs have tightly packed dry ingredients that react when introduced to water. Combined with surfactants for bubbles, oils for scent, and colors, bath bombs are the go-to relaxation product for the bathtub. Invented in 1989, they are an alternative to a bubble bath for sensitive skin.
Read on for more information on what bath bombs are, what they do and where to get them.
Where did Bath Bombs Come From?
Bath Bomb history is well documented, from its invention in 1989 in a small seaside county in England.
Lush, the inventors, and the first global explosion of the product continue to this day to sell millions upon millions of bath bombs as well as other products, every year.
Sales are not slowing down. Lush themselves sold 21 million bath bombs alone in 2018** and whilst they still dominate the market, such is the demand that there is room for sisters Caroline and Isabel Bercaw to introduce and build another global bath bomb brand in Da Bomb.
Bath Bombs share their birth year with..
- The World Wide Web.
- The 1st Episode of the Simpsons.
- GPS satellite was first launched into orbit.
- Nintendo GameBoy released.
- The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Taylor Swift.
Who Invented Bath Bombs?
The invention of bath bombs is credited to Mo Constantine. Co-Founder of the LUSH Brand. Rightly the most famous bath bombs on the planet.
LUSH is based in Poole, Dorset in the UK and have been since the beginning of time. (Well, bath bomb time at least)
With over 400 LUSH stores worldwide; 80+ in Britain, and outlets as far afield as Australia, Japan and America, you could say Mo’s original thought has ‘exploded’ somewhat!
Originally conceived as an alternative to salts and bubbles, bath bombs are kind to the skin and create a spa-like ambience at home.
The first bath bombs remain as popular today as they were when first detonated in public in the 1990’s.
Bath Bomb Evolution
But there is always evolution, right?
Now you can experience kaleidoscopic colors thanks to bath bomb embeds, Smaller creations of color or scent, or anything in your imagination placed inside the bath bomb. You can enjoy the slow release of seaweeds, non-plastic glitters, and all manner of other bath-time treats.
Multi-layered bombs are now considered ‘Bath-Art’ and with the advent of Do-It-Yourself creators coming up with endless new bath bomb concepts the range and choice of bath bomb products available has never been so great.
The DIY bath bomb recipe community is awash with brand new ideas and experiments daily. more and more people are making DIY Bath Bomb Recipes at home and learning how to adapt them to personal needs, or ingredient availability
LUSH has inspired a generation of bath-time scientists, craving the ultimate bath bomb experience.
What do Bath Bombs Do?
You have seen bath bombs, you have certainly smelled them if you have been up close in a store, so what is it that bath bombs actually do?
Bath bombs contain ingredients that are designed to react together when placed in water, and specifically your bathtub. They create a small chemical reaction that makes the bath bomb fizz and spin in the water, releasing scents, softeners, and color to prepare a spa-like experience for you at home.
Good bath bombs will begin to fizz, foam, and disintegrate in your tub upon contact with the water.
Whilst doing so, the bomb releases essential oils to soften your bath water and skin whilst filling your senses with calming, spa-like aromatic scent.
Bath Bomb variations will release other ingredients like [organic] glitter, seaweed, fruit peels, petals and even popping candy, [more of that later].
Some of the newer inventions may have a message tucked away until dissolved. A bit like a fortune cookie.
Having little surprise gifts or messages hidden in the bath bomb is great for romantic gestures or more. There are bombs available that might be best suited to couples bath sharing and the adult section of the vendor’s outlet!
What Shape are Bath Bombs?
Usually found to be spherical in shape around 2.5-3 inches in diameter and/or 5oz, bath bombs will also be found in various other guises. Imagine smaller variations and then different shapes and sizes.
There is even a cloud-shaped bath bomb with multi-colored mini bath bombs inside that emanate rainbow colors after a while. Cute and not comparable with glitter adorned black and gold skull shapes exuding deep red color across a sweet vanilla scent.
Really, you can buy or make bath bombs in any variety of shapes, styles, colors or scents today.
You’ve already seen rainbow colored Unicorn Poo bath bombs further up the page.
What are Bath Bombs Made of?
Whatever the shape or size, bath bombs are made using the same base ingredients that produce the characteristic fizz and bubble when added to bath water.
The base ingredients consist of bicarbonates and acid in the right composition as to release sodium citrate and carbon dioxide in a reaction when water is introduced to the mix.
Quite simply the ingredients are not out of place in the cupboard under the kitchen sink.
Basic Bath Bomb Ingredients
These volumes will make around 4/5 good sized bath bombs.
- Baking Soda [8oz]
- Citric Acid [4oz]
- Sea Salt [4oz]
- Cornstarch [4oz]
- Oil [Olive Oil is fine] 2 tablespoons
- Water 3 teaspoons
That’s it, although the above will give you the fizz and the cornstarch will provide the silky softness it won’t provide a lot of fun.
Here is where you add the fun stuff and your imagination is your only limitation to the scents and look of your DIY Bath Bombs
- Essential Oils for your aromas – 30+ drops will do
Finally, you can add things like seaweed, fruit peels, bio-degradable glitters, and any manner of things.
As your bath bomb making skills are perfected and you master getting the mix and consistency right and your bath bombs pack and dry well, you can consider getting more adventourous with adding Embeds.
Embeds can make your bath bomb a ton more fun, with more colors, scents, and surprises from message to sexy gifts.
Just remember that whatever you add will potentially be going down the plug-hole so keep it environmentally friendly.
Can I Make My Own Bath Bombs at Home
You absolutely can make your own bath bombs and in fact, the DIY bath bomb trade is a booming one.
There are huge facebook communities of like-minded bath bomb DIYers, sharing recipes, tips tricks, and secrets on how to create the perfect bath bombs at home.
There are literally thousands of different bath bomb recipes out there, but if you are looking at beginning to make your own bath bombs you should start off with simple DIY recipes.
Getting the mix just right and ensuring it is neither too dry or two wet is a fine balance, whilst also consiering that it is water that set off the fizzing reaction and you dont ant that too early.
So start with really simple DIY bath bomb recipes and you will soon build up your making skills and be ready to take on the more adventurous concoctions you will come across.
No one loves making and using bath bombs more than the kids.
If nothing else, making bath bombs at home with the kids is a great time consuming and exciting craft to get your children involved with.
They will have a great time planning what colors, smells and other treats are included and will be thrilled to see the final product, not to mention finally being able to just in the bathtub with their own bath bomb.
The range of color products you can use is endless, and there is not a child out there who doesn’t love glitter. At BBG I will only recommend non plastic glitter for eco reasons, but be aware that whilst here are glitters designed specifically not to stick to your bathtub
Best Way to Use a Bath Bomb
The clue is pretty much in the name and they are designed for the bathtub. They don’t work particularly well in the shower, although there are derivatives designed for scent release in the shower which is covered in this guide.
This is a short guide, for a more in depth guide to preparing for the ultimate bath bomb spa experience, including setting the bathroom up, the right music, as well as much more including what to use after the bath, take a look at my ultimate guide on how to use a bath bomb here on site.
- Fill the Bath Tub.
- Set your lighting – candles are perfect.
- A little mood music perhaps.
- Drop your bath bomb in the water.
- Enjoy the release of the fragrances and maybe colour.
- Drop yourself in the water, lay back and relax.
Admission time. After writing that, I had to fill the tub and grab a bomb. I couldn’t resist. And for your information, it was a coconut milk and vanilla explosion. Bliss!
What do Bath Bombs do to Your Skin?
What bath bombs will do to your skin will depend on where you buy your bath bomb or what ingredients you use when making your own.
Bath bombs were designed and invented as an alternative to bubble baths that could be irritating to sensitive skin. But also maintain the relaxation properties of bath salts whilst introducing more subtle essential oils and butters to smooth the skin while soaking.
Depending on the ingredients, and we are talking only natural and safe ingredients here on the Bath Bomb Guide, they do the same as any bath, with bubbles, salts or softners.
A product like SLSa is often added to create more foam in the bath. As a surfactant its real job is to place moisture between a surface [your skin] and any grease, grime or dirt adding to the cleaning property of your bath bomb
SLSa is easy to buy if you are considering making your own DIY bath bomb recipe with SLSa
Super Bubbly and super clean!
The same oils are generally to be found in bubble baths and lotions and in bath salts. They are present to soften the water and the skin and in general will be no more irritating than the products you find on the supermarket shelves.
If you have sensitive skin we recommend exercising the same caution with bath bombs as you would with any other bath products. Cease use if you find they irritate or do not agree with you.
In the main though, you will find them beneficial to your bath time experience. Not just your skin but accompanied by a sensory overload of colour, fragrance and enjoyment whilst laying back and letting the stress of the day melt away in a crumbly fizz.
Will a Bath Bomb Stain my Bath?
Depending on the ingredients, there will almost certainly be a residue of colour or oil around the tub. Much in the same way as you would get a ‘tide-mark’ with a normal bath.
Simple cleaning with your normal bathroom detergents will remove any residue that is simply more visible due to the colouring of the bomb.
If you are making your own DIY Bath bombs you might want to look into how to stop the bath bomb from leaving a color residue on the bath by using additional products in the recipe. I go into how to stop your bath bombs staining your bath elsewhere on site.
A good quality bath will not be permanently damaged with a normal bathroom cleaning routine.
Can a Bath Bomb be Reused?
In a word. No!
Once you’ve popped that baby in the bath or got it wet in any way, science and nature take over. Once any moisture gets to the bicarb and citric acid mix, you can’t fight nature.
You may find that a whole bath bomb is a bit much.
If you are on a budget and want it to last longer, simply take a serrated knife and carefully cut your bath bomb in half.
You have now enough for two baths.
Store your bombs away from moisture
Make sure you store your bath bombs in a dry place away from any source of moisture
You don’t want the chemical reaction to begin until your ready to be a part of it!
We would also advise not buying and storing bath bombs for lengthy periods.
The fresher the better!
Bath bombs begin to oxidise as soon as they are produced, meaning the longer time before bath bombs are used, the less fizz you will get.
The less fizz, the less the release of the fragrances and nice stuff. You may end up with undissolved lumps in the bath you’ll have to pick out later.
Treat your bath bombs like a fresh piece of fruit. The fresher the better!
Will the Bits in my Bath Bomb Block the Drain?
Generally the bits and pieces you find in bath bomb will not be large enough to block your drains, so you should have no cencerns in that regard.
Some petals and dried flowers in bath bombs can be quite large but generally will be prevented from entering the drainage system by the drain hole in the bathub.
Use a Bag to Prevent Drain Blockage
One way of avoiding even having to clear the drin hole after using a bath bomb is to use a fine net bag to place your bath bomb in.
You will certainly lose a little bit of the thatre of the product this way, but you can ensure to catch all those little bit you may eb worried about, going down the drain and simply emtpy the bag when the bath is done.
Are Bath Bombs Organic?
Not all bath bombs are organic but they are becoming available in greater frequency these days and are clearly labelled as such.
If you want to know if a bath bomb you are looking to buy are Orgnic or not they should be clearly labelled with the ingredients also clearly listed.
There really isn’t any reason why you should buy a bath bomb that isnt organic these days and if you want to make your own organic bath bombs at home, you can easily find organic ingredients readily available on the Internet or on Amazon.
Are Bath Bombs Vegan?
Not all bath bobs are vegan but you can find Vegan products if you need to.
Equally, again, as with organic ingredients, you will be able to source vegan compliant ingredient to make your own vegan bath bombs
Related Bath Bomb Articles
If you have discovered bathbombguide through landing on this page from google, you will be pleased to discover there are a host of articles that you should also find interesting.
In addition to the links throughout this article, you may find the following posts of interest.
Bath Bomb History
Want to know more about the birth of bath bombs and the general history of a product that was only invented in recent times.
The bath bomb history information will maybe surprise you with some interesting facts you don’t already know
DIY Bath Bomb Recipes
I have a whole section on bath bomb recipes. I look specifically at bath bombs recipes when you might be missing an ingredient or if you want to avoid certain ingredients. These are the most popular DIY recipes on site
- With and without Epsom Salt
- Recipe with SLSa
- Recipe with Lemon Juice
- Recipe with Coconut Oil
- Recipe with Shea Butter
- Recipe without Cornstarch
- Recipe with Cream of Tartar
Bath Bomb Molds You Have at Home
Before you buy molds to make your own take a look at this bath bomb mold guide. You might be surprised to find you have more than several options sitting at home
Bath Bombs for Sensitive Skin
Wondering if your skin will be friends with bath bombs. Generally, you should be fine given that bath bombs were invented as an alternative to bubble bath liquids that could irritate. Take a look at which bath bombs are good for sensitive skin.