DIY bath bombs without citric acid acid are a great homemade bath bomb recipe for kids. These bath bombs turn a boring bath time routine into a fun experience for girls and boys.
Learn how to make and customize this easy 3-ingredient funfetti bath fizzies with sprinkles, color, and essential oils that are safe for children.
Included is also a pretty version for adults that is decorated with dried flowers and great for those who react sensitive to citric acid.
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DIY bath bombs without citric acid
Can you make your own bath bombs without citric acid? Absolutely! My goal for this homemade beauty recipe was to create DIY bath bombs without citric acid for kids and use simple, natural ingredients that you most likely already have at home. I also wanted bath bombs with excellent fizzing performance and that work just as well as regular bath bombs.
My recipe makes bath bombs that are light and float on the water surface while they dissolve. It’s fun to watch them fizzle away, and your kid could touch and play with the fizzing bath bomb.
How do bath bombs work?
Before we get to the recipe, let’s briefly talk about how bath bombs work and what causes bath bombs to fizz and dissolve in the tub. The main ingredients in most bath bombs are baking soda and citric acid.
The reaction between citric acid and baking soda is what makes bath bombs fizz. When these materials come in contact with water, they create a fizzing reaction and produce carbon dioxide in the form of bubbles.
Why a homemade bath bombs recipe without citric acid?
If citric acid is needed to start this reaction, why would you make bath bombs without it? There are a couple of reasons to make bath bombs without citric acid. Citric acid may not be available in your area or too expensive, could irritate sensitive skin, or you just don’t have it at home and still want to make bath bombs.
But just in case you ever wondered where can I buy citric acid for bath bombs? – I order mine usually online.
I know people also google things like “How to make bath bombs without baking soda” or “bath bombs no baking soda.” In this case, you may prefer one of following homemade bath products, which are all free of citric acid and baking soda:
- Lavender Bath Salt
- DIY Floral Bath Creamers
- DIY Himalayan Salt Bath Bombs
- Bath Bomb Favours
- Relaxing Bath Oil
- DIY Rose Bath Truffles
Benefits of bath bombs without citric acid
The benefits of DIY bath bombs without citric acid are:
- no citric acid
- easy and quick to do
- made with 3 cheap pantry staples – no expensive or potentially harmful materials need
- produce a great fizz
- fun and safe for kids and small children
- perfect for casual crafters
I have never worked on and tested a beauty recipe more thoroughly than this fizzy bath bomb recipe. I prepared the recipe 10, yes ten, times. I tested baking soda vs baking powder, a liquid carrier oil (sweet almond oil) vs a hard butter (cocoa butter), short vs long drying time, different ingredient ratios and various add-ins.
Drawbacks of bath bombs without citric acid
These DIY bath fizzies aren’t in any way more difficult to create than any other homemade bath bomb recipe. But there is one drawback of making bath bombs without citric acid. Citric acid hardens and stabilizes bath bombs.
Bath bombs made without citric acid are softer and crumblier compared to bath bombs made with critic acid. So, handle the bath bombs carefully and don’t expect them to dry rock solid.
For these reasons, I don’t think this is a professional bath bomb recipe suitable for commercial purposes. I know that crafters sometimes look at blogs for inspiration to make bath bombs for sale, but these bath bombs better suited for personal use.
Are homemade bath bombs safe for kids?
This bath bomb recipe is safe for kids!
What do I need to make bath bombs without citric acid?
Leaving out citric acid means we have to find a substitute for this ingredient. But what can I use instead of citric acid in bath bombs? While you can replace citric acid with lemon juice, cream of tartar, or buttermilk powder, I found that a combination of baking powder and apple vinegar creates the best bath bombs without citric acid.
You need the following materials for this easy and natural no fail bath bomb recipe without citric acid and cream of tartar. This is also a vegan bath bomb recipe as no animal-derived products are used.
Baking powder is the main ingredient in these bath bombs. Ideally, use an aluminium free product. The bath bombs you see in the photos were made with baking powder form Medley Hills Farm and have a great fizz. Baking powders from Bob’s Red Mill, Rumford, Argo, could also be used but I haven’t tried all of them. I’m Free baking powder also doesn’t contain cornstarch in that is a concern for you.
But why baking powder instead of baking soda? What’s the difference between the two? Both are leaving agents. Baking soda has only one ingredient, pure sodium bicarbonate, and only works in conjunction with an acidic ingredient. In bath bombs, this is usually citric acid.
Baking powder, on the other hand, is a mix of sodium bicarbonate, an acidifying agent, and a drying agent (often starch).
I tested the recipe with baking soda, but these bath bombs didn’t produce a great fizz. They simply sank to the bottom of the tub without dissolving properly. So, I don’t recommend to substitute baking powder with baking soda in this DIY.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used to start and enhance the fizzing reaction. This type of vinegar is relatively mild, widely available and inexpensive. You can find it in the supermarket and may already have it in your pantry. I used this gluten-free apple cider vinegar from Bragg. A don’t worry, the finished bath bombs won’t smell of vinegar. Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for citric acid/vinegar as well.
Sweet almond oil
A light carrier oil is the third, essential ingredient in this easy homemade bath bomb recipe. Use a light oil such as sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, fractionated coconut oil, or avocado oil. It’s important not to exceed the amount of oil indicated in the recipe. Too much oil will slow the fizzing reaction.
Hard butters and oils that are solid at room temperature are too heavy for bath bombs without citric acid and only hinder the fizzing reaction. Tab the following links if you’re interested in making different bath bomb recipes with coconut oil, shea butter, or cocoa butter.
Optional ingredients for a bath bomb recipe for kids
This homemade bath bomb recipe can be customised with essential oils, colours, and other additives to create great bath bombs for children.
How to make bath bombs for kids with essential oils
Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent plant extracts that carry many health benefits. When formulating bath bombs for kids, it’s important to a) choose essential oils that are safe for a child and b) only use a small amount diluted in a carrier oil.
The following essential oils can also be used for a natural bath bomb recipe for sensitive skin.
When buying essential oils, make sure to buy only pure, undiluted, and organic essential oils. Avoid products labelled as “fragrance oils.”
Babies and toddlers
Don’t use any essential oils for babies younger than 6 months. The skin of babies is very sensitive, and it simply isn’t necessary to risk irritation. For bath bombs for toddlers don’t add the essential oils to the bath bomb mixture. Instead, apply 2 to 3 drops essential oil directly on the bath bomb before use.
Children under 10
The following essential oils are considered safe for children from ages 5 to 10:
I used vanilla oleoresin and cacao absolute to give these funfetti bath bombs a cake-like fragrance.
The information above is not intended as medical advice of any kind. If you have medical concerns, please consult with a physician or health care provider to discuss the safe use of essential oils in your individual situation.
Without adding a dye, the bath bombs will simply look white. I used liquid soap colorants from this set to tint the bath bombs. To color the bath bombs with mica powder and Polysorbate 80, follow the tips in my milk and honey bath bomb recipe.
I chose pink and blue, you could use your kid’s favorite color to make the bath bombs unique for your daughter or son. If you add other additivities, for example, colorful sprinkles, it may not be necessary to use a colorant at all.
Can you use food coloring in bath bombs? You could but I don’t recommend it. Food colours aren’t formulated to be used in beauty products and the topical use of food colours can lead to skin irriation.
I added different types of sprinkles to make the bath bombs fun and colorful. Some of the sprinkles will float on top of the water and are fun to play with. While most sprinkles dissolve after a while, some clean up may still be needed afterwards.
Dried flower petals are a beautiful alternative to decorate bath bombs without citric acid for adults.
Tips and tricks
Are you excited to create bath bombs now? Good! Read on to learn tips and tricks on how to make the best bath bombs without citric acid.
For convenience, I’ve included measurements in grams, ounces, cups and tablespoons. For the best result, I recommend using a digital scale to weigh out the ingredients to get precise amounts.
Mix baking powder and carrier oil
Sift lumpy baking powder. Then add the carrier oil of your choice. The oil clumps at first. Keep incorporating and blending until the lumps are gone and the consistency is even throughout. The oil doesn’t cause a reaction with the baking powder, so add all of it at once.
Add essential oils and colorants (optional)
For bath bombs with essential oils and color, stir the essential oils and/or soap colorant in the carrier oil. This ensures that the essential oils/color is evenly distributed throughout the bath bombs.
Mix in apple cider vinegar
Next, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and be very quick and vigorously to incorporate the vinegar. This step is crucial: you will see a reaction where the vinegar comes in contact with the baking powder. The fizz dies down once everything is stirred together, but you must be fast.
Test the consistency
The bath bomb mixture should feel like damp sand. The mix is perfect when you press a small amount in the palm of your hand and drop it back into the mixing bowl, and the lump holds together. In case the mixture is still too dry to keep its shape, spritz with isopropyl alcohol until you have the right consistency.
Now add any additional ingredients you want to have in the bath bombs. Half a cup of sprinkles looks cute for kids, while a quarter cup of dried flower petals may be more suitable for adults. When adding sprinkles or petals don’t over-mix as these ingredients can bleed and lead to discoloration.
How to mold bath bombs
Don’t pack and press the mixture tightly into the sides of a two-part mold as the mixture will stick to the mold, and the bath bomb can break in half when you try to unmold it.
Instead, loosely overfill both parts of the mold with a generous amount of mixture. There should be a high heap of mixture in each piece. Then press both halves firmly together and brush off any excess. Also, don’t twist the mould.
Another tip is to clean the mold after each use or use a new mold for every bath bomb. Even small mixture residue in the mold can make it more difficult to get the bath bomb out.
I don’t recommend using a silicone mold for this project. Bath bombs without citric acid can easily crumble and break when you try to release the from the silicone mold.
Unmold the bath bombs
I don’t recommend to leave the bath bombs in the mold as they won’t dry. You can unmold them immediately after filling and pressing the mold together. First, tap the mold on all sides with the back teaspoon. Take off one half of the mold, turn the bath bomb around and then remove the other side.
Bath bombs without citric acid are delicate, so handle them carefully. If a bath bomb crumbles, simply use it as bath fizzy powder.
The drying time isn’t necessary, the bath bombs can be used immediately. I tested a few bath bombs fresh out of the mold, and they fizzed away beautiful.
How long can I keep bath bombs without citric acid?
Bath bombs without citric acid have a shelf life of a month.
How do I store bath bombs without citric acid?
The bath bombs must be stored in an airtight container in a dry, cool place away from heat and sunlight. High humidity can cause a premature reaction and
More bath bomb recipes
If you like this relaxing bath bombs recipe, you might also like some of my other relaxing bath ideas:
- rose petal bath bombs
- lavender bath bombs
- aromatherapy bath bombs
- milk and honey bath bombs
- pink Himalayan salt bath bombs
- lavender bubble bar scoops
- eucalyptus bath bombs
- Epsom salt bath bombs
Over to you!
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This bath bomb recipe was first published in 2019 and has been updated with new content in July 2022.
Do you find that the vinegar irritates any of the little ones’ skin?
Hi Marisa! No, it’s safe to use. You’ll only need a small amount of vinegar, which will be fully neutralized by the baking powder diluted in the bath water. Happy making!
Hi I was wondering if I could substitute the almond oil for vegetable oil?
Hi Keira! Yes, that should work fine. Happy making!
Hello! These bath bombs are adorable! Is there a way to do these with some citric acid and baking powder to make them more firm? I bought a lot of baking powder (not soda) and citric acid to make birthday bath bombs with toys inside for birthday goodie bags. Thanks for your help!
Hi Gigi! Yes, here’s a formula with baking powder and citric acid:
This is what you’ll do:
We also have other bath bomb recipes that use citric acid and dry rock solid. They are made with baking soda, but you can substitute baking powder and they will be perfect.
If you need more guidance, please let me know. I’m happy to help you out!
I have a question about the both bombs made without citric acid. Why is the self life only good for a month?
Hi Kristy! These bath bombs are more fragile and delicate than regular bath bombs and don’t hold up as long. Plus, the vinegar loses its potency over time. That being said I’ve had these bath bombs for 6 months+ and they were still fine to use.
I apologize if this has already been asked, but could this be used as a foot soak? I am doing a spa party for my daughter’s birthday and was thinking I could use this recipe, but not mold it. I did see another poster asked about quantity and you replied 5-7 bombs, but, if I were to use as a foot soak, would it make enough to do 6-8 pedicures?
Hi Erin! Yes, you could use it as a bath soak and the quantity should be enough for 8 pedicures. If you plan to use it as a loose powder, omit the apple cider vinegar. My pink Himalayan salt bath bombs or lavender bath salts would also be great for a foot soak for girls. I hope this helps and please let me know in case you have another question. Happy making!
Mine crumbled right away and I couldn’t get them to stay together even after spritzing them with alcohol like suggested. And when I dropped a piece into water it didn’t fizz. What am I doing wrong?
Hi there! I’m sorry that you had an issue. The bath bomb crumbling right away means that your mixture is probably too dry. Try to slightly increase the amount of apple cider vinegar and spritz the mixture with more alcohol. The mixture should hold its shape when you press it together in the palm of your hand. If it doesn’t stay together, add more alcohol.
Baking powder reacts well with water. However, baking powder loses its potency overtime so be sure to make the bath bombs with fresh baking powder.
I hope this helps and please keep me updated!
I tried this recipe with apple vinegar and love it although a bit crumbly it didn’t really matter. . Shower melts are something my friend loves as she can’t get in a bath. Is there a recipe without citric acid for these that I can try for her? May be this recipe would work in mold as shower melts or to crumbly ?
Hi Daphne! I’m happy to hear you like this recipe. Bath bombs without citric acid crumble more because citric acid makes bath bombs solid. I’m afraid the mixture might be too crumbly to form shower melts, but you can still give it a try. And please also see my response to your question on the shower melt post.
Does this recipe really call for baking POWDER? If so, I assume it’s because the cream of tartar supplies an acid. If that is the case, what is the ratio of baking soda to cream of tartar for the baking powder in the recipe? (I make my own baking powder, so I would need to know.) Thanks.
Hi Loni! Yes, this recipe uses baking powder. Your assumption about cream of tartar is correct. Usually, bath bombs contain baking soda, but I found baking soda to be too weak to react without citric acid present. I chose baking powder as it more affordable and more accessible compared to pure cream of tartar, at least where I live.
You can make the bath bombs with 1 1/4 cup baking soda + 3/4 cup cream of tartar.
I hope this helps and please let me know how your bath bombs turn out!
Do you have to use sweet almond oil or can I use coconut oil or olive oil?
Hi there! You can you any liquid oil you have available, coconut oil and olive oil are fine. Happy making!
Thank you so much! You responded so quickly!
Hi, since these are on the crumbly side of bath bombs, would it be able to handle a tiny toy packed into it? My toddlers love bath bombs and they’ve received a few bath bombs that have a tiny surprise in them.
Also, thank you for the extensive post!!! It was a bit long, but in a good way!!! Very informative and helpful.
Hi Amanda! I’m glad you found this post helpful. If you want to hide toys inside, I would suggest on of my other bath bomb recipes, like these milk and honey bath bombs or these Epsom salt bath bombs. These bath bombs are suitable for kids and will hold a surprise much better. Please let me know in case you have another question and happy making!
Hello. I have tried doing this recipe a couple times and it always crumbles. When I put it in the cookie cutter and take it out it doesn’t hold or in measuring cups. Can I add water or witch hazel?
Hi Hanna! Yes, bath bombs without citric acid are crumblier than regular ones. I don’t recommend adding water or witch hazel as they will dissolve the mixture. Instead, replace the sweet almond oil with melted shea butter or coconut oil. This should help keep the mixture together.
So I made the Bath bombs (didn’t try them out yet) and they worked really nice. But the problem is that it’s extremely crumbly, like it’s still the same as when I made it 2 days ago. Like I used balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider, and made it way smaller so could have added slightly the wrong proportions of stuff. I also added regular food colouring instead of a soap die, and a cooking “aromat” (from Polish, don’t know English name XD, probably just normal flavouring) that smells real nice.
But I don’t think it would really matter, and I’m happy to find the smell of the vinegar went away after leaving it over night.
ALSO, I didn’t have a mould, so I used an eggcup and put a thin plastic foil inside so there wouldn’t be a problem with getting out.
But overall, I love the recipe, and the idea with dried flower petals is just great :D.
Hi Zywia! I’m happy that you’re enjoying this DIY. Bath bombs without citric acid are softer and crumblier compared regular bath bombs because citric acid helps to harden bath bombs. When you form the bath bombs, be sure to compress the mixture tightly. Using balsamic vinegar, food coloring, and cooking flavor shouldn’t be a problem. I hope this helps!
Hi, it can result with epsom salt too? I see the others recipes has epsom but yours not, why?
I want do this with my kids at school, thank you!!!
Hi. The bath bombs will hold better without Epsom salt. Still, if you wish to add Epsom salt you can do so, I’d use 1/4 cup. Happy making!
HI Thanx for this great recipe, just wondering, I don’t have moulds,, can I just make balls with my hands ?
Hi Karen! You can certainly try to form them with your hands but I think the mixture might be to crumbly to hold. You could also press the mixture into cookie cutters, let dry for a day and then carefully lift the cutters. I hope this helps!
Hello ! Ive read and read but I have been having trouble Trying to keep my bath bombs afloat and with more fizz I have a 2 year old and she loves them lol but I want to make them as a bath bomb as I can ! Any tips will help …. and your website helped a lot thanks so much for this !
Hi Kiara! I’m happy to hear that you find this post helpful. As these bath bombs are made without citric acid, they have less fizz than regular bath bombs. If you want a stronger fizzing reaction, try these foaming bath bombs or these milk and honey bath bombs. You can also try my lavender bubble scoops with are super easy.
what could i use instead of almond oil?
Hello Emma! Instead of almond oil, you can use another light carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil.
Can distil vinegar be used instead of apple vinegar
Hi, Sabrina! Yes, you can use distilled vinegar.
hi , i was wondering how many this quantity makes as i am thinking of making these with our preschool children for mothers day gifts
Hi Kerri, the recipe makes 5 to 7 bath bombs depending on the size of your mould. If you are interested to make bath bombs for Mother’s Day, check out my lavender bubble scoops and peppermint bubble scoops. These recipes are even easier for children to make and and make beautiful presents. You can easily customise the colours and scent, too. xx
Hello! This looks like such a great recipe! I have sensitive skin and citric acid and lemon juice irritates me very much. I am looking to make my friends care packages, and I realize you said these can be crumbly. I was wondering if I put them in bags then wrap them in bubble wrap if they would survive being shipped. (They don’t live very far from me)
Hello Brielle! I’m glad you find this recipe helpful. I think these bath bombs are too delicate for shipping. I don’t want you to go create the bath bombs and then be disappointed because they didn’t hold up. Here are a few ideas what you could do:
If you have a chance to drive to your friend’s house and leave the care package on their doorstep that would work fine. Be sure to wrap each bath bomb in plastic wrap.
Another idea is to put the bath bombs into fillable plastic ornaments, which offer more protection.
Please let me know in case you have another question and happy crafting!
Hello, I was wondering if I could substitute the apple cider vinegar for lemon juice?
Hi Jade! I tried lemon juice when I developed the bath bomb recipe. It works to some extent but not as well as the vinegar.
If you try it, please let me know how it goes for you!
can we use Bicarb of soda instead of baking powder ?
Hi Mariana! Yes, you can use baking soda/bicarb of soda instead of baking powder but the bubbling reaction will be less.
Hi! How do you put in the apple cider vinegar without it making a reaction?
Hi Lori! I added the vinegar gradually and whisked the entire time. The trick is to mix the vinegar with the dry ingredients as fast as possible.
These look like so much fun! I love the confetti sprinkles you used. They remind of a birthday cake!
Thank you, Rebecca! I had funfetti cupcakes in mind when I came up with these bath bombs.
Hi I am 12 and I made these for my mom she loved them and i did subsitute the apple vinegar for lemon juice but it still worked great! Thanks for this awesome recipe!
Hi Mimi! That’s great! Thank you for trying our DIY.
Thank you for this recipe! My daughter has sensitive skin, and the citric acid definitely irritates it. She loves bath bombs though, so this is a great recipe.
Thank you, Cari! This recipe is suitable for sensitive skin and I hope your daughter will enjoy these bath bombs.