Learn how to make homemade bath shots! Bath shots are a lovely self-care treat, packed with wellness and skincare benefits. DIY bath salts in test tubes are quick to craft and great beauty recipe for beginners. This all-natural bath soak with essential oils is also an affordable handmade gift idea.
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What are bath shots?
Bath shots or bath salt shots are a mixture of different salts, dried botanicals, and other good-for-your-skin ingredients, packaged in test tubes or small jars. Usually, they are a single-use product, meaning one tube is enough for one bath.
DIY bath shots are an absolute treat for your mind and body. The botanicals and essential oils will infuse the water with a comforting scent, and the combination of salts will relax tired muscles.
They also make gorgeous spa gifts, beautiful wedding favours and are the perfect addition to any bath gift sets. I find them especially useful when you need lots of small and inexpensive gifts, for example, to treat the ladies in your office, book club, or bible study group.
Making homemade bath shots is a fun group activity, think ladies’ craft night. You sit around the table, enjoy a drink, and chat while filling pretty bath salt in test tubes.
Creating a DIY bath soak is also a great project to get your kids involved. Let them select different materials and then allow them to assemble their tube. It’s a lot of fun and will give them a sense of accomplishment.
Bath shots are popular on Etsy, but I haven’t seen an in-depth tutorial on how to make bath shots and decided to do just that.
Materials to make bath salt test tubes
You can create bath shots with a wide selection of materials. The combinations are endless, and the bath shot recipe can easily be varied. Try using:
- salts: I could go on and on about the benefits of salt baths, but I will just say that taking a salt bath is incredibly relaxing. Sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, black Lava salt, Red Hawaiian salt, French gray sea salt, or Epsom salt are just a few of the options you have. This bundle of 4 salts gives you nice variety for a small price. It’s also fun to create different textures by switching between coarse and fine salts.
- botanicals: Dried flowers and herbs give bath shots rich textures and scents. They infuse the water with a lovely fragrance and look ethereal floating on the surface. Dried rose petals, rosebuds, lavender, cornflower, calendula, peppermint, or chamomile are just a few of the many botanicals you can use to make herbal bath salts. I found this bundle which has a great assortment of botanicals.
- powders: Milk powder, honey powder, colloidal oats, spirulina, and fruit powders add additional skin-loving qualities to the homemade bath shots. I’ll show you how to make milk bath shots down below.
- essential oils (optional): Naturally fragranced essential oil bath salts are absolutely lovely. I have listed a few essential oils recipes for bath salts below. I want to mention that essential oils are optional in this natural bath salt recipe and can be omitted.
- colourants and dyes (optional): Use micas, liquid soap dye, or food colours to customise your herbal bath salts. I didn’t for my bath shots, but you totally have the option.
Think of these ideas as suggestions rather than a fixed recipe. Bath shots can range from very simple, made with just a few affordable ingredients, to luxurious where lots of different materials are combined.
Ingredients I don’t recommend for bath shots
There are 2 ingredients that I don’t recommend for bath shots: dead sea salt and magnesium flakes. Both materials are very absorbent. They draw moisture from the air and melt, which will water down the shots and can even lead to mould.
I love preparing homemade bath soak recipes, and part of the fun is coming up with creative bath salt packaging ideas. And bath salts in tubes is as adorable as it gets.
For bath shots, you want to find small, single-use containers. So, leave the big mason jars in the cabinet and check out these ideas:
- tubes with screw caps: Test tubes with screw caps are the most popular choice for how to package bath shots. They come in various sizes, making them an excellent option for wedding favour bath salts. If possible, choose glass tubes over plastic.
- test tubes with cork topper: Glass vails with cork toppers are a very sustainable and eco-friendly bath salt packaging idea. One thing to note is that the cork topper can fall off. So may want to secure it with ribbon, twine, or tape if you plan mailing bath shots to a friend.
- spice jars with bamboo lids: I also love spice containers with bamboo lids as bath salt jars. They pack a little more product than test tubes and have the perfect size to create a spa gift set.
- small bottles: These adorable bottles would also make decorative bath salt containers
How to make bath shots
Once you have gathered all your materials and packaging containers, then assembling the homemade bath shots can be done in 3 easy steps:
Mix salts and essential oils
Add your salt of choice into a small mixing bowl. 1/3 cup is a good amount to start.
If you use more than 1 type of salt, add them into different mixing bowls to keep them separated.
Drip up to 10-12 drops of essential oils on the salt and mix with a small spoon. We don’t use an emulsifier in this recipe, so you want to make sure that the salt and oils are very well combined.
If desired, use mica or another colourant to dye the salt crystals.
Fill the test tube
Next, start packing your test tubes or jars. Use approximately 2 teaspoons of each ingredient you want to incorporate.
A small jam funnel works great to fill salt and powdery ingredients into the tube. Chunkier materials, such as rosebuds or calendula leaves, are best added with a small spoon.
For beautiful DIY test tube bath salts, mix and vary the textures and colours. I usually start with a layer of salt, then added a layer of botanicals, continue with another salt, and so forth.
It’s important to pack the test tube tightly to ensure each layer stays put. If you fill the test tubes loosely, the different layers will mix up. I used a test tube smaller in size to push down and compress some of the floral layers.
Of course, you don’t have to create distinct layers and can simply fill the tubes in any fashion you please.
Continue adding products until you reach the rim of the tube. I always press the top layer down with my fingertips and add some extra product so that my test tubes were well packed.
Screw on the cap or insert the cork topper and your homemade bath shots are ready. Now, how easy was that?
Decorate your bath salt gifts
This step is optional, but a good way to give your bath shots a unique touch and create beautiful bath salt gift sets.
We have created printable labels, which you can either stick on the caps or at the side of your container. Scroll to the end of the post to download the free labels.
Finally, feel free to jazz up your bath salt containers with additional embellishments, for example, twine, a bow, a tiny dried twig, or whatever else you have at hand.
Essential oil blends for bath shots
For this easy bath salts recipe, I opted for simple, nonetheless intricate 2-scent blends.
- fresh: 7 drops eucalyptus + 5 drops lavender
- floral: 6 drops rose absolute + 4 drops geranium
- calm: 7 drops vanilla oleoresin + 4 drops ylang ylang
- cozy: 5 drops sweet orange + 5 drops copaiba
- vibrant: 7 drops patchouli + 5 drops steam-distilled lime
How to use bath shots
There’s nothing much to do than fill your bathtub with warm water, sprinkle the content of a tube into your bath and enjoy.
Please take caution when entering and leaving the tub to ensure you don’t slip.
The salts and powders will dissolve in the bathwater. However, plant materials, such as dried flowers and leaves, don’t not. To protect your drains from clogging, I recommend putting a fine-mesh drain cover over the plughole when you empty the tub to catch them.
Here are my top tips for how to store bath salts:
- Store your homemade bath shots in a dry place and away from direct sunlight.
- Ensure that the bath salt containers are tightly closed. Even a little moisture can result in a soggy, mouldy product.
- A cupboard or closet is a good place to stow DIY bath salts.
- Room temperature is okay.
If stored correctly, homemade bath shots can be stored almost indefinitely. Salt doesn’t really spoil, and dried florals are fine for years.
Essential oils will evaporate over time, which you can easily remedy by adding a few fresh drops.
However, dried milk and fruit powders do expire eventually. So, you should expect milk bath shots or bath salt tubes with fruit powder to last 1 year.