Categories: Bath Bomb Recipes

Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH

It’s the hardest thing to figure out for a new bath bomb maker…how do you make a bath bomb float like LUSH?  Why don’t any of the online recipes make bath bombs float like LUSH?

Two ingredients Make them Float!

The first one is called SLSA (Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate), and you may have it on hand if you are a frequent bath bomb maker.

Get coarse SLSA at Amazon

The other ingredient is Coco Betaine (Cocomidopropyl Betaine).  Both of these ingredients are natural bubbling agents made from coconuts.

Buy Coco Betaine at Amazon

Coco Betaine is very inexpensive and this 500g bottle from Amazon Prime will last you a long time.  In addition, you can also use it in our bubble bar recipe.

How do I know this will make them float?

Seven years of bath bomb manufacturing & I hacked LUSH’s recipe.

Oh, yes I did.

If you look at LUSH’s large floating bath fizzies, they are using Lauryl Betaine and Sodium Laureth Sulfate together in their formula.

Cocamidopropyl betaine and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate are the perfect ingredient hacks because both are natural,  affordable, widely available and make bath bombs float like LUSH!

Floating Bath Bomb embedded with Fizzy Frosting.

Still don’t believe it?  Watch this video.

The video below shows multiple bath bomb designs using our master recipe.

You can use this recipe to make any shape, size, or color. Then, you can embed smaller fizzies in the fizzy to make it spin and shoot out colors. It’s your playground.

Make a Bath Bomb that Floats like LUSH!

Recipe author: FizzButter

Yield: 15 large Wilton hearts. Prep time: 15 minutes


Dry Ingredients (Plus Fragrance)

Wet Ingredients

  1. Before you Begin!

  • Think of this mixture in two parts: DRY INGREDIENTS and WET INGREDIENTS.
  • DO NOT add any wet ingredients to dry ingredients until you are instructed!
  • It is a good idea to wear gloves and a mask when making any bath treats.

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients Plus Fragrance together

  • Put the dry ingredients in a bowl in this order: citric acid, SLSA, baking soda.
  • Add fragrance.
  • Mix together gently.
  • Set these ingredients aside.

  1. Mix Wet Ingredients Together

  • Next, take your Wilton Color and dissolve it in a very small amount of the water (just enough to make it liquid).
  • Once the color is dissolved, add the rest of the water and the Coco Betaine.
  • Stir gently.
  • Set this aside.

  1. Get Ready to mix wet and dry ingredients together

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Once you add water to the dry mixture the clock is counting and you need to get it mixed and molded quickly.
  • Get another mixing bowl and put approximately 1/3 of your dry mixture in it.
  • Set aside the rest for your dry mixture until the next round of molding.
  • Now, carefully add 1 TBSP of your color/water mixture and start mixing gently. You will see it foam slightly where the water is added. Get that foam/liquid mixed evenly through your dry mix.
  • Do not overmix. Just mix it to where the water is all through the dry mix.
  • Next, make sure you have added enough water. Take a handful of mixture in your fist and squeeze. When you open your hand does the mix stay together or does it fall apart like dry sand?
  • Test the consistency. Does it hold it’s shape without being sticky to your hand. Yes? You are ready to mold.
  • No? Mix in a LITTLE more water. Do the squeeze test.

  1. Mold your floating Bath Bombs

  • As long as your wet to dry ratio is right, molding should be easy.
  • Quickly mold your bomb by pressing your mixture into your mold. Unmold after a second or two (you shouldn’t have to leave these in for them to stay together.)
  • Place unmolded bath bombs on 18 x 26 sheet pans lined with wax paper.
  • You may get sticking in the corner of your mold after a few uses. This is normal and it doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong. For example, in a heart shape, the point at the bottom of a heart my try to stick after you have used the mold a few times. For that reason, it is good to have a few more clean, dry molds handy for backup.

  1. Cure your floating bath bombs

  • Bath bombs cure best from 60-80 degrees. In fact, the cooler, the faster and better they cure. Do not put them in a high humidity area as it could cause pimpling on the surface of the fizzy.
  • Never cure your bath bombs in direct sunlight, high temperatures or high humidity.
  • Package your bath bombs after they have cured for 48 hours. Even if they look dry on the outside, there is probably still moisture in the middle, especially on larger fizzies. Ultimately, if you package them too early it may degrade the fragrance or make it smell funky. It can also effect the composition of the fizzy by making it slightly soft. Don’t do it.

Get Lavender Essential Oil at Amazon

Troubleshooting your Floating Bath Bomb

Have I added too much water?

You can tell if you added too much water because it will really stick to your hand and you will see your mixture visibly rising out of shape. i.e., you put it in the mold and it sticks so bad, you can’t get it out and it puffs out of shape.

If this has happened, work a little dry mix through it and see if it settles down.

Your target wet to dry ratio is just enough water to make it all stick together and no more.

One final note, if you start to cure your fizzies and they lose their shape and flatten on the bottom, you have added too much water. Large round shapes are the hardest to perfect and any flat design will be easier for a beginner.

Have I used enough water?

If the mix is sandy and doesn’t hold together enough to mold, it is likely you need to add a little bit of water. Be careful to just add a little at a time.

Have I under mixed my wet/dry mix?

You can tell if you under mixed if you get warts on your bath bombs as they sit and cure. It usually shows up very fast. You usually cannot redo them at this point, so just let them cure and use them anyway.

Pro Tip

2 cups of baking soda = 1 pound.
2 cups of citric acid = 1 pound.
Keep this in mind when you need to reorder raw materials.

More information on molds

You can use any kind of metal or milky way plastic mold with this recipe. However, it doesn’t work as well with a silicone mold.

Buy Heart Molds at Amazon

We used a Wilton Heart mold on the yellow hearts and a Milky Way Chrysanthemum mold on the aqua colored flowers with gold shimmer.

TIP:  Mix mica or shimmer with rubbing alcohol and you can paint or stencil your bath bombs!  Or, just dust with shimmer for an adorable touch!

See the amazing selection of shimmer colors at Amazon

Just keep in mind, the less intricate the detail and the fewer sharp corners the better final results.  Also, a flat bottom design like this is easier than a large round one for a beginner.

Floating Bath Bomb made with Milky Way Chrysanthemum mold and dusted with gold shimmer.

Pro Tip

Because of the bubbles, this bath bomb will not be moisturizing like our Butter Bath Bomb Recipe.

Got bath bomb making questions?

Use the blue comment button below and I will answer all questions.

Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH
Average rating:
6 reviews
by Jane on Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH

Hey, this recipe sounds amazing, but any chance you could tell me the UK equivalent to these measurements?

by Clarice on Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH

The bubbles are amazing. I had trubble getting them out of tho mould, did I put too much or to little water?

by Tisha on Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH

My daughter and I had the best time making these for her slumber party gift bags! Thank you so much!

by Macy on Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH

I made these last night with the heart cutout and they turned out great. Please post the frosting recipe soon!

by Shirley on Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  I have tried to figure out this for a long time!

by Nancy on Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH

Yes! Yes! These were great. The only tricky part is the water. You start to get the feel for the mixture. It's fun to make, too.

View Comments

  • Thank you for the suggestion! I never realized how much more effective SLSA is compared to poly 80... I've never had trouble with it leaving a ring around my tub, but just comparing SLSA and poly 80 in a small mug, the SLSA works perfectly while the poly 80 leaves vibrant, foamy clumps around the rim every time.

    The poly 80 does give the bath bomb a slower fizzle out though. Maybe I'll use them together still for the nice lingering foam they make, or just replace the poly 80 with coco betaine when it gets here.

    • If you want to slow the fizz down, you can adjust the ratio of baking soda to citric acid. Increase the amount of baking soda to get a slower fizz.

      Start with a 10% to 20% increase...and do a little test. I always make notes as I go.

      BTW, it's so much fun to hear about your testing.

        • I believe witch hazel merely adds cost to your product, without adding any real benefit. But, you can likely replace the water 1:1 with witch hazel. I would not use alcohol, though.

  • Hi,
    I just made my first fizzy bath bombs. I love the foam!

    I got problem with getting the bombs from the molds. Do you think I over worked or had too much water?

    I had some trubble understanding the recipe. Do I use one part wet ingredients to 1/3 of the dry ingredients?

    • This applies to this recipe only:

      On getting out of the molds: was it a very intricate design? If so, sometimes that can be an issue.

      On water: If the bombs were rising out of the molds and grow, grow, growing, it is for sure too much water.

      When it is exactly right, it is just enough water to make it all stick together. And, the mixture feels kind of like taffy. It feels unusually cold, too. Be sure you use cold water because it will stick less.

      Unless, you had major cracks after cure, I do not think it was over-working.

      I find the milky way molds did not stick much (unless I used too much water or they are very intricate). And, I would cut out the mold so I could hold one mold easily in my hand and pack it with the other. I found metal molds to stick a bit more.

      On the recipe, it is 1/3 of the mix to 1 TBSP of liquid. However, due to your climate and mixture, it may be slightly more so use that as a base and increase it, if necessary. Once you find the perfect amount of water.....weigh and record. Then, use that amount every single time. You can do that with the wet AND the dry. You will nail it every time after that.

    • No.

      We experimented with corn starch but it can make your bath bomb softer, shorten it's shelf life, and it usually doesn't add any benefit to the product.

      We used corn starch only in the fizzy frosting recipe because without it the frosting will flatten out right after it is piped.

  • Hi there! I need to make my bath bomb spin and I see in your frosting recipe you mention we can use left over frosting as an embed to achieve just that. Thing is, I won’t be carrying the frosting product. So what do you suggest I do? Also, does the embed need to be placed in a particular way? And I really wanna thank you sincerely for all of the valuable content you are sharing with us, you’re truly a Godsend.

    • You have to create 'imbalance' somehow in the bomb. One way you could do it add some kind of air pocket to one side (hence, the fizzy frosting on this cupcake
      Or, another way would be to make your batch fizz at different speeds. If you are using two colors...on one color use more citric acid and decrease that same amount of baking soda (this will make it fizz faster).

      Next, if you try to use the two colors in a way that will make your form 'unbalanced' you have a better chance for spin (think about how your shape will float in the water and make the colors work against each other). Example, let's say you had a flat airplane could make one wing red and one blue...each one would fizz at a different speed because you have different citric acid ratios in each mixture!

      Some shapes are harder to make spin. You have to experiment a bit and think about shape when you design this fizzy.

  • Good afternoon,
    I love this website, it has helped me out a lot! I have an incredibly large project underway and would truly benefit from your insight. I've seen you say you are willing to help people with their recipies and I was hoping I could contact you more directly to discuss mine more thoroughly.
    Thank you for the site again and I look forward to hearing from you.

    • I don't find it necessary to weigh ingredients with the butter bomb recipe because it is very forgiving! However, weight would make the measurements more precise. Maybe, you could use weight measurements if you have problems with the recipe.

  • I love making these so much, however my bombs keep cracking. ive tried packing the molds (metal) and not packing them and its still happening. they dont look cracked when i first set them down but theyre cracking during the drying process. any suggestions?
    thanks so much!

    • It sounds like it may be one of two things: overworking the mix or too much water.

      First, too much water is pretty easy to will also cause flattening on the bottom, or over-rising.

      If that is not happening, it's most likely overworking. But, how does it get over-worked?

      The most common way the mix gets over-worked is if you have to re-mold due to sticking. So, if you have to re-mold your bath fizzies, each time you increase the chance for cracking. This does cause the kind of cracking you are talking cracks after it dries. You can also mix it too long but that is not as likely.

      There are a couple other random times I've seen cracking (less common):
      1) I cured in a very warm room in direct sunlight (it caused a 90% cracked disaster).
      2) Once, I saw shea butter from a bad supplier cause cracking our butter bombs.

      Oh, and packing tighter is generally better than packing loose.

      I hope that helps.

  • Hi! I'm looking forward to trying this recipe out but can only find SLES (in liquid form) at a reasonable price (SLSa powder is outrageously priced here).

    I know I can sub in the SLES and combine with the baking soda the day before I make the bath bombs, but I'm not sure on quantity. 1 cup of liquid SLES seems like it would be WAY too much moisture. Any ideas?

    • Ellie, I don't recommend doing that unless you have a lot of experience with the ingredients because you may end up wasting your money on rejected bath bombs.

      Also, I believe your fizzy will be less bubbly. If you only use a liquid bubbling agent, you won't be able to use as much as you would if it were dry (because it will ruin the whole batch just like if you use too much water).

      If you are mixing in the day before to get it to dry out...that could be interesting. It's fun to experiment so just write down what you do and record the results. I always take pictures, too.

  • This and Make a Bath Bomb float like LUSH article has
    helped me a lot, is very well written, I'm glad I found it.

    :) Kiss you all!


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