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:
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.