Bath bombs are amazing, because they can make any bath extra special. When you drop them in your warm bath, they fizz, releasing nourishing body oil into your bath, and pleasant aroma into the air. Sure you can get bath bombs from Lush (for about $8 a pop), but you can also make your own for a fraction of that price. Although most bath bomb recipes use citric acid as an ingredient, you can make DIY bath bombs without citric acid.
I’ve posted several easy DIY bath bomb recipes that use citric acid, including a simple recipe for oatmeal bath bombs (great for the most sensitive skin), and another recipe for DIY natural bath bombs. Both recipes use citric acid as an ingredient. But citric acid might not work for everyone, because some people are allergic to it. For them, exposure to citric acid could be problematic. So for people who are sensitive to citric acid, DIY bath bombs made without citric acid might work much better. This simple recipe uses cream of tartar, also known as potassium bitartrate, instead of citric acid.
Cream of tartar is white and powdery. It’s an acidic byproduct formed during winemaking. People use cream of tartar to make meringue pies, meringue cookies, snickerdoodle cookies, and angel food cakes. Because it’s acidic, meaning it has a low pH level, cream of tartar is a good substitute for citric acid. So you can use cream of tartar to make bath bombs.
DIY Bath Bombs without Citric Acid
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Yields: about 4 bath bombs without citric acid, weighing 3 to 4 oz each.
Ingredients for DIY Bath Bombs without Citric Acid
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- Baking Soda – 1/2 cup. I use Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.
- Cream of Tartar – 1/4 cup. I use McCormick Cream of Tartar.
- Arrowroot Powder – 1/4 cup. I use Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch / Flour.
- Pink Himalayan Salt – 1/4 cup. You can try Spice Lab’s Coarse Himalayan Pink Salt. Sea Salt, or Epsom Salt will work as well. But if you don’t use Himalayan pink salt, your bath bombs won’t have pink sparkles.
- Liquid Carried Oil – 2 tablespoons. I use rose petal infused sweet almond oil. You can use another carried oil, like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, or jojoba oil.
- Bath Bomb Molds – I use Norpro meatball tong. This is my favorite bath bomb molding tool.
How to Make DIY Bath Bombs without Citric Acid
(1) Mix all the dry ingredients: baking soda, cream of tartar, arrowroot powder, and pink Himalayan salt. Be sure to mix the dry ingredients very well. I like to use a silicone whisk to do the job.
(2) Add carried oil to the mixed dry ingredients. I use rose petal infused sweet almond oil, because I like to have rose petals in my bath bombs. (Learn how to make herbal infused oil.) Another carried oil, like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, or jojoba oil will also work.
(3) Mix the dry ingredients and carried oil very well. I usually mix the ingredients using a silicone whisk for about 5 to 10 minutes. When the mixture looks like wet sand, it’s ready to go into a mold.
(4) (Optional) Add 10-15 drops of essential oil. Some of my favorite pure essential oil are: lavender essential oil, orange essential oil, geranium essential oil, and bergamot essential oil.
(5) Mold the bath bombs. I use a Norpro meatball tong.
To form the perfectly shaped bath bombs, you have to pack the mixture into the tong or mold as tightly as possible. When using a meatball tong, I scoop up as much of the bath bomb mixture as I can. I then pack and press more bath bomb mixture through the hole on top of each half of the meatball tong.
(6) Finally, unmold the bath bombs after about 30 seconds. To unmold, be sure the tap the tong or mold. The vibration from your tapping will release the bath bombs from the tong or mold.
(7) Let your bath bombs dry for about a day. During this drying period, they will harden, and become less likely to crumble and break.
That’s it! This is an easy recipe for bath bombs without citric acid that are great for people who are allergic or sensitive to citric acid. Cream of tartar is a good substitute for citric acid, but it’s not a perfect substitute. This is because the pH level of cream of tartar does not match that of citric acid. I don’t think there is a perfect substitute for citric acid when it comes to making frizzy bath bombs.
What does that all mean? It means that bath bombs made with cream of tartar do not pack the same level of fizz as those made with citric acid. Bath bombs made with cream of tartar do fizz in a warm bath, but not for as long and not in the same level of intensity as bath bombs made with citric acid. Some people use lemon juice instead of citric acid. But bath bombs made with lemon juice have very little to no fizz. If you want to make bath bombs without citric acid, cream of tartar, rather than lemon juice, is definitely a better substitute for citric acid.
So will you be giving this recipe a try? As always, if you like the recipe for bath bombs without citric acid, please remember to pin it or share it!