Add a touch of luxury to your bath with this easy-to-make recipe for Foaming Bath Salts in your favorite color and fragrance!
Foaming bath salts are much easier to make than a bath bomb or even a bubble bar but that doesn’t mean they’re any less enjoyable.
You get all the benefits of a relaxing soak with the added fun of foamy bubbles! Adding fragrance oil or essential oils will make your bath even more enjoyable.
Learn how to make Basic Scented Bath Salts
These foaming bath salts make great gifts and unlike some other bath and body recipes that need to set for a few days, they’re ready for use immediately!
This is great for people like me who never know what day it is and usually figure out they need a gift on the way to the party.
Foaming Bath Salts Ingredients
The majority of ingredients in this recipe are easy to find, you might even have them already! The secret ingredient, the powder responsible for the foam, is readily available on Amazon.
You can use SCI or SLSA, both are skin-safe surfactants and basically, they create bubbles when agitated.
You can even split them 50/50 for a foamy bubbly bath! That’s what I did for this batch because why not?
These powders are very fine so make sure you’re wearing a tight-fitting mask when measuring them out. No matter how careful you are the dust will go airborne and you don’t want to be breathing it in.
The only other ingredient you need is Epsom Salts. But that’s going to give you pretty boring bath salts so you might as well add some color and fragrance.
For color, you can use mica powder or liquid soap dye. Do not use candle dye for bath and body items!
For this batch, I used a bronze mica pigment, a generous 1/4 teaspoon mixed into the Polysorbate and fragrance oil. The color is a bit mottles because it seemed to stick better to the foaming powders than the salt but I think it’s prettier that way anyway.
If you want to make scented foaming bath salts you can use skin-safe (do you notice a theme here?) fragrance oils or essential oils.
I used a bit of Toasted Coconut from Candle Science for this batch, my mom is a huge coconut fan and this will make a great gift for her!
If you decide to add any oils, you should add Polysorbate 80. It sounds scary but it’s just an emulsifier that allows the oil to combine with the water (same thing egg yolks do in homemade mayonnaise) which helps keep your tub from turning into a slip and slide.
Mix the fragrance oil and your color into the Polysorbate 80 before mixing it into your dry ingredients. That way you can get everything uniformly mixed and it’s easy to see where the liquids are clumping thanks to the colorant.
My favorite sources for fragrance oils are Nature’s Garden and Candle Science. Make sure you pay attention to the information, both of these sources sell oils that can only be used in candles!
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The easiest way to mix all of your ingredients without making a huge mess is inside a sealed gallon-size ziplock bag. It helps keep all the loose powders together and just makes the process neater.
The surfactant powders are incredibly fine and it’s impossible to mix them into the salt without it going all over the place.
Don’t try to squeeze out all of the air, having a little cushion in the bag helps when you’re mixing everything up.
You can store the finished bath salts in the bags or pour them into a glass jar for a classier display.
I love using the glass jars from Dollar Tree, they hold a decent amount and seal really well so you don’t have to worry about getting bath salts all over your counters.
You can also funnel the finished bath salts into plastic ornaments for a quick, cheap, and fun gift! If you go this route make sure you’re using ornaments with a twist top.
Measuring vs Weighing
When you look up bath salts recipes almost all of them require weighing ingredients over measuring. It’s much, much more precise to use a scale.
At the same time, not everyone has a kitchen scale and that shouldn’t be the only thing to stand in your way from making your own bath supplies!
Unlike cosmetics or edibles, you have a lot of wiggle room before you get into unsafe territory. The most dangerous (more like irritating) ingredients you’ll be using are the fragrance oils.
For example, if you check the IFRA certificate above you can see that the maximum usage level for a Nature’s Garden White Tea & Bergamot fragrance oil is over 50%. At that point, your bath salts would be bath soup.
The maximum use levels are different for each fragrance oil so make sure you check it out to stay on the safe side.
- 4 cups Epsom Salts
- 1/2 cup Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI)*
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Fragrance or Essential Oil (about 50-100 drops)
- 1/2 teaspoon Polysorbate 80
- Optional - Mica or Liquid Soap Dye
- Gallon Sized Bag
- Small Paper Cup
- Combine Fragrance Oil, Mica, and Polysorbate 80 in a small cup
- WEARING A MASK add the Epsom salts and SCI to the gallon-sized bag
- Pour in liquid ingredients, seal the bag, and squish around until the color is uniformly mixed into the salt
- Allow the bath salts to sit for several hours so the salt can absorb the oils
- Leave in the bag or transfer to an air-tight container
- Add a cup of foaming bath salts to a warm bath and swish to get thick foamy bubbles
Polysorbate 80 is an emulsifier that allows the oil and the mica to combine with the water instead of floating on top
*For larger bubbles use SLSA or combine both to make a bubbly, foamy bath salts
Check out my DIY Bath & Body page for more ideas or start here: