Are homemade bath bombs CHEAPER than store bought bath bombs? I’ll do the math so you don’t have to. How much does it cost to make bath bombs or bath fizzies?
BUY vs DIY Bath Bombs Cost Analysis
In my house, bath bombs are very popular. Ever since I showed my son the magic of bath bombs, he always wants to put a bath bomb in the tub. He’d do it every night if he could, but th retail prices of bath bombs can add up fast – even when you only buy them on clearance! Lately, I’ve been making home made bath bombs so my kids can have the fun of the bath bomb without the sticker shock of retail prices. After all, the ingredients are basic, most of them being supplies I already had at home. However, my out of pocket start up costs felt high! The bag of citric acid, for example, costs $19.99 at Bulk Barn. Was I actually saving money in the long run?
For this comparison, I went to the local mall and went to four different shops to see what kind of options I could find:
LUSH Bath Bombs
WHAT I GOT: The Twilight bath bomb and the Intergalactic bath bomb.
WHAT I PAID: Both were $7.95.
This is the company that invented bath bombs. They have the most variety of bath bombs available and are more of a a specialty shop compared to all the others I went to. There were some bath bombs that were cheaper and some that were more expensive, but this seemed to be the most middle of the road option.
BATH AND BODY WORKS Bath Bombs
WHAT I GOT: I bought two Easter egg themed bath fizzies and one pineapple scented sphere shaped one.
WHAT I PAID: After the discount I paid $8.20 for each of the egg bath bombs, and $7.51 for the pineapple scent one. Average: $7.97 each. These two styles were the only two options available in the entire store, which I was surprised about. I asked the clerk for assistance just to double check if there were more options.
MARSHALLS Bath Bombs
WHAT I GOT: I got a set of Easter bath bombs in a cute gift box.
WHAT I PAID: $9.99, or $1.67 each. I was mad at myself that I bought the Bath & Body Works bath bombs after picking up this set.
Generally, buying an item in a multipack will be cheaper than buying a one-off item.
DOLLARAMA Bath Bombs
WHAT I GOT: I found a box of bath bombs at Dollarama – $4, so one of their premium items compared to their usual fare. I mean, it’s Dollarama. It can go either way with quality for the premium $4 items…
WHAT I PAID: $4.00 for a box of 3. Unit price: $1.33 each!
Let’s see how the DIY recipe compares to these prices.
Now this can get complicated fast with some ingredients having their packages sized in grams or kilograms, others in pounds, but the recipe measurements are in cups, teaspoons, table spoons, and drops – it’s enough to make your head spin!
First, let’s look at the cost of ingredients. I’ll be using my basic bath bomb recipe – you can learn how to make this recipe on my previous bath bomb video. The recipe yields 5 3” bath bombs with a little left over. If your molds are larger are smaller, the amount you can make will vary.
One thing to consider, before we dive too deep, is that product pricing is different all around the world. Also, if you buy ingredients in bulk, you’re usually going to save money due to volume discounts. For the purpose of this analysis, I’m going to be basing this on the prices available on Amazon Canada for non-bulk pricing, at the time of shopping. I’ll provide the prices in Canadian and US currency! I’m not taking into account any additional taxes. These are all pre-tax, pre-shipping cost prices, the same as the bath bomb prices above.
Additionally, some ingredients are cheaper to purchase in store locally compared to Amazon. For example, cornstarch at Real Canadian Superstore is $5.99 Canadian, BUT the same exact corn starch on Amazon was $8.79. You can definitely do some comparison shopping to reduce your costs. Plus Amazon prices fluctuate so much.
Pretending that I don’t have any of the ingredients in my cupboards, it would cost me $75.18 CAD to add these ingredients to my shopping cart. $59.39 USD. But some of the ingredients will stretch farther than others, since they’re all different volumes.
SO LET’S BEGIN THE MATH ADVENTURE to determine the overall cost to make a single bath bomb! How much does it cost to make ONE BATH BOMB?
BAKING SODA – RECIPE AMOUNT – 1 CUP
Most people have baking soda, but if you don’t the 500g or approximately 1 pound box will get you started for your first batch. .
One 500g box will run you $1.47, and 1 cup of baking soda weighed 268g. This means you’ll use 53.6% of the box for a single batch of bath bombs, at a cost of $0.79 per batch.
If you buy your baking soda in bulk, you’ll reduce this price. Highly recommend that you do!
CORN STARCH – RECIPE AMOUNT: ½ CUP
This ingredient is probably in your baking cupboard already too. I weighed out ½ cup of corn starch at 70 grams. One 1000 gram box of corn starch can support 14 batches of bath bombs. ½ cup of corn starch works out to a value of $0.62 per batch.
EPSOM SALT – RECIPE AMOUNT: ½ CUP
I love having an epsom salt bath when I want to relax my muscles. You may also know it by the name magnesium sulfate. ½ cup of epsom salt weighed 126 grams. I converted that 126 grams to 0.28 pounds, which means that you can get 7 batches worth of epsom salt out of one 2 pound container. ½ cup of epsom salt works out to a value of $0.69 per batch.
CITRIC ACID – RECIPE AMOUNT: ½ CUP
This was the toughest ingredient for me to find locally. I ended up buying mine at Bulk Barn, but the price-per-gram on Amazon was much lower than the small package I got. ½ cup of citric acid weighed 115g, or ¼ of a pound, which means that you can get 7 batches worth of citric acid out of the 2 lbs of citric acid. This works out to $1.90 of citric acid per batch.
COCONUT OIL – RECIPE AMOUNT: 2½ TBSP
My coconut oil comes in a 500 ml jar, which is a volume measurement, not a weight measurement. So I used an online calculator to convert 2 ½ tbsp to 36.97 ml. I can use one 500ml jar of coconut oil make 13 batches of bath bombs, at a cost of $0.74 per batch.
WATER – RECIPE AMOUNT ¾ TBSP
Negligible, I’m not going to calculate the cost of water from my sink. 🙃 CHA-CHING $0.00
MICA POWDER – RECIPE AMOUNT: 1 tsp
I bought a variety pack of 50 colours, so that I could try out many different colours. Each package weighs 3 g, and 1 tsp weighs 2 g. It’s an awkward amount left over, so even though you can technically mix the leftovers, for the purpose of calculating the cost of mica per batch of mix, I’m treating one colour packet was one recipe serving size, with the leftovers being bonus powder. 50 packets at $19.99 means each colour packet costs $0.40.
Keep in mind that Mica Powder is OPTIONAL! You can make bath bombs in its natural colour.
ESSENTIAL OIL – RECIPE AMOUNT: 12 drops
This one was tricky, but after lots of googling, it seems like the general consensus is that 1 milliliter of essential oil will yield 20 drops. So if you bought a 30 ml bottle, you should be able to get 600 drops out of it. Since we need 12 drops per batch, you should be able to make one 30 ml bottle last for 50 batches of bath bombs at a cost of $0.30 per batch.
So let’s add up the costs:
Assuming that you don’t have any of the ingredients and you buy the options that I selected, you’d have an up front cost of $75.18 Canadian, or $59.39 USD. For one batch of ingredients, the cost works out of $5.43 Since the recipe yields 5 bath bombs, we’re looking at a recipe cost of $1.09 per batch! You can reduce this cost further by buying quality ingredients in bulk, which typically cost less per unit compared to smaller packages.
So how does that compare with the store bought options I picked up the other day?
Let’s compare where our DIY version sits, remembering that we aren’t buying these ingredients at wholesale or bulk pricing.
Here are our competitors – we’ve Bath and Body Works at $7.97, we’ve got Lush at $7.95,, Marshall’s at $1.67, and Dollarama at $1.33 The homemade option is sitting pretty at only $1.09.
Cost Per Bath Bomb (Canadian Pricing):
Cost Per Bath Bomb (converted to USD currency):
We can make 7 bath bombs for the price of ONE of the Lush or Bath & Body Works ones.
The regular price (before the B2G1 sale) of the Bath & Body Works Bath Bombs were $11.95 each for the eggs and $10.95 for the pineapple scented sphere bomb. These prices feel outrageous to me, when the bath bombs don’t even appear that special.
We can make 10 bath bomb for the regular price of the Bath & Body Works egg bath fizzy.
Ingredients Used for Chart Break Down
I sourced all the products for the recipe on Amazon for the purpose of this analysis, rather than comparison shopping on a variety of sources. Amazon’s prices fluctuate on a daily basis, so prices may go up and down slightly. I’ve included the screenshots of the products with the prices within the video version of this report.
(Please note that the links below are Amazon affiliate links, and if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional expense to you. Thanks for supporting my blog and channel by shopping from my links!)
I’m going to make it a personal goal to improve my bath bomb making to bring them to a Lush level, and I can document the process in a future video if there’s interest. Let me know in the comments if that interests you!
If you’re someone who buys bath bombs regularly and are also somewhat crafty, why don’t you give making bath bombs a try?! The start up cost of the ingredients and the molds may feel like a lot at first, but over time, if you continue making them, you’ll save money in the long run. It’s also SUPER fun. I’ve been enjoying the process of experimenting with different shaped molds, colours, etc.
Have you made bath bombs yet? If not, what are you waiting for?