Homemade Bubble Bath
Homemade Bubble Bath
Confession: I never gave my little boy a real bubble bath until a few months ago.
The reason behind that is quite simple actually; I couldn’t find a true sensitive skin bubble bath that would work for him! It seems like all bubble bath you find on the store shelves either contains some kind of chemicals or dyes, or is just too expensive to work into our budget.
I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me sooner to make my own!
A true “store-like” bubble bath is hard to make. Mostly because the reason that they bubble is due to the chemicals they contain, usually sodium laurel sulfate. Not good. So a homemade Bubble Bath isn’t perfectly the same, but good enough to do the trick! I tried a few different things before I settled on the mixture below. We like it because it’s “unscented” and perfect for sensitive skin. If you’d like a little something extra you could always pick up one of the scented castile soaps, such as peppermint or citrus.
Homemade Bubble Bath
What You Need:
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/4 cup Castile Soap (Where to Buy)
- 1 ounce Vegetable Glycerin (Where to Buy)
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil (Where to Buy) (Optional, do not add if you want more bubbles)
Mix all ingredients together. You may need to warm up the coconut oil for it to get to it’s melting point in order to blend it in with the mixture. Run the amount desired under your tub faucet into your bath tub to produce bubbles! (Don’t add the coconut oil if you want more bubbles as the coconut oil is more for a soothing soak quality.)
This mixture makes a little over half a pint (about 12 ounces). I store mine in a pint Mason jar with a reusable plastic storage lid in the bathroom by the tub.
For my mixture I used the unscented Baby Mild castile soap, but as I mentioned above, you could also use a different kind for more scent. Essential oils can be added as well (although make sure to follow precautions as some can irritate the skin) for added aromatherapy benefits. Make sure to shake the jar just a bit before using as the coconut oil likes to settle on the top.
Find even more fun DIY Projects here on Little House Living! And if you are interested in making my homemade wash cloths as shown in these pictures, all I did was use my basic Crocheted Dish Cloths pattern and used a soft yarn found in the baby yarn section.
Have you ever tried to make homemade Bubble Bath? What is your favorite scent or essential oils to add to a bath?
I just want to let you know how much I appreciate you and your website. I read your entry about, what I refer to as “human beasts”. And I always think to myself how horrible it must be to live their lives and think the thoughts they do in their minds. Well..like the saying goes “the more people I meet the more I love my dog ” :). Keep up the great work.
This looks wonderful! I often use bath soaks with lavender and eucalyptus oil for stuffy noses… I must try this recipe to add some bubbles to it! Thank you for sharing it! Love your blog, by the way!
Hmmm, I may need to try that bath soak mix for my currently stuffy nose!
I confess, it was the washcloths that caught my attention first. Can you tell me which yarn you used and where you got it? I *HATE* the Sugar-n-Cream cotton… but haven’t been able to find anything else for washcloths. Was the yarn a cotton mix?
I have some of the yarn here because I’m actually making more right now, it’s called Bernat Baby Blanket yarn. It’s a rather large yarn and really soft and puffy.
haha! I was going to ask exactly that question! Acrylic dries faster than cotton but IDK why I never though to use puffy baby yarn for a squishy soft wash cloth. 🙂
I just bought a roll this afternoon and can’t believe how quickly they work up. I’ve never NOT used cotton, so when I shower tonight I’m going to see how it works. I hope it’s ok, as they are so soft! Hubby has been making fun of me all night, because I’ve been rubbing it against my cheeks while I watch the Olympics…
Thanks! I have a little boy with sensitive skin. This should help as he likes ‘bobos’. For the record, I really appreciate your site and have tried several things. Thanks!
I hope he enjoys this, my little guy’s skin breaks out from just about anything so this is a fun little treat for him!
Merissa, I am sorry to hear that anyone would say rude or offensive things to you. Why are they reading and commenting if that is all they want to do. Again, I am sorry that you had that experience. I just wanted to say that I grew up on a farm/ranch also. Do you know where Prairie, ID is? We had to learn to be very frugal, we grew up poor, but we were happy, we did’t know we were poor. Thanks for being here for us “hicks”.
I don’t know where that is, I’ve only been to Idaho once, but I love the town name!
Is this bubble bath soap safe to use on kids newborn & up?
It should be fine. I would for sure use food grade glycerin for young kids especially.
Thank you fir all that you do and post. I am going to try this for my grandchildren who loves bubbles. Also am going to look for the yarn for the washcloth. Don’t know why I never thought of making my own washcloth because I have made the disclosures for years.
I enjoy your blog Merrisa. Don’t let the bad guys get you down. It must just be envy or ill will, and it will only double back to them. As for your wonderful bubble bath, I have a question. Do you think it might irritate UTIs. Because we have that tradition unfortunately of catching urinary tract infections and have been avoiding bubblebath’s for that reason.
I think this should be safe for those that suffer with UTI since there are no chemicals or preservatives. It’s something I don’t have much experience with though so I’m not 100% sure.
Dishcloth..darn auto correct.
Have you tried other oils? Which worked or didn’t work? Thanks
I’ve only tried olive oil and that works as well. The idea behind the oil in this recipe is just to add some moisturizing qualities to the bath so most oils would probably work.
I can’t wait to try this. My little ones don’t get to have bubble baths because I refuse to buy chemical junk, so this is going to be a great treat.
I’m also thinned skinned and you know I hope you find a way to let go of the hurt. I think you are amazing and always remember some people just love to cause trouble and hurt wherever they go. YOU are not the problem! Hugs and keep doing what you do.
I’ve never given my son a bubble bath either for the same reasons you didn’t. He’d love it though! thanks for the recipe!
THANK YOU!! My daughter and I have been looking for a recipe for bubble bath! She has eczema and cannot use the commercial stuff I feel guilty but its so rough on her skin. Thank you, thank you!
Kerry & Isabella
Thanks for the Bubble Bath! I love to take them and have been avoiding them recently because of the chemicals in all the multiple bottles I have!
Don’t let the haters win. Keep doing what you are doing and laugh at their pitiful little lives.
People like you are fun to find on the internet so keep your head up, and carry on!
Thank you so very much for sharing your recipe! One thing though, I would put it in an empty soap bottle (squeeze type) rather than a glass jar. A glass jar could slip out of your hand should your hand be damp while picking it up. In a plastic bottle, a child can squirt his or her own bubble juice in the bath.
Good tip. I plan on pouring mine into another container I have that held soap as soon as it’s empty 🙂
Hi-Just came to your blog via another one that I follow. The title caught my attention and I have read a bit of your posts. Wonderful blog you have here and congratulations on all that you have shared. I know about unkind comments as I experienced them a few years ago with a blog I was doing. I was so hurt, as you mentioned as well, but I took my blog down. Regret that now and determined to start back blogging. Your experience has given me renewed confidence. Keep up the good work!
Once again Marissa, you’ve come up with a winner in this recipe. Thanks for caring and being a friend to all us who really appreciate the effort and love you put into your blog.
Well I absolutely love your page. I always look forward to seeing what you are posting. I love all the do it yourself recipes. You just keep going …your doing a wonderful job!!!!
I just took a bubble bath using this recipe. No bubbles ( maybe I did something wrong ), but it still was wonderful. My skin is soft and I love lavender. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
It definitely has to be put under the running water for it to bubble up. Maybe that was it?
I also had the same problem… made this for my daughter tonight and added about 3 oz (added an ounce at a time thinking we just needed more?) and it never bubbled.. I added mine under the running water too?
Thank you for this. I am 62 and have a horrible Winter dry skin eczema that has my back skin inflamed red. So, my skin is sensitive right now it has never been my entire life. I hope someone can post a home bath mixture other than expensive essential oils that they have discovered. The dermatologist and general practice new are telling me to use anti-histamines, Ceptaphil lotion, steroid cream. Been going since Start of January 2014.
I love all your cleansers, lotion and potion recipes. Thank you. Do you have an ebook available for purchase where they are all in one spot?
I don’t yet but there are some projects in the works 🙂
is there a substitute for the glycerin? it makes me itch
I’m not sure there would be a sub for glycerin in this recipe, that’s what helps it create the bubbles. Sorry! Maybe someone else has some thoughts…hopefully they will comment!
Vegetable glycerin should not cause problems, or so I have heard. Glycerin can be derived from other sources, though, so that could be the problem
I didn’t have any bubbles either… BUT I think it may be because you used Dr. B which isn’t real castile soap (it has other oils in it besides olive) so it lathers a bit more than the soap I make. My girls had silky skin though for sure. I am going to try the recipe with less castile soap and more coconut oil.
I just used this bubble soap and there is not even one bubble:( I made sure I measured correctly, did I miss something ?
Thanks! And love what you do!
Hmmm, I”m not sure why it isn’t working for anyone! It works great for me…I may have to look into this more.
I had the same problem. I tried it and measured everything exactly but unfortunately I only got a few bubbles in the beginning and then none at all 🙁
My daughter and I were just talking last night about finding a more natural bubble bath recipe. Perfect timing! We will give this a go today. Thank you for your blog, we have used many of the recipes and love reading it. It has had a great impact on my 11 year old daughter, who is discovering that not everything needs to come from a supermarket!
I don’t care for the smell of coconut. Is there another oil I could use but get the same results?
You should be able to use any other kind of oil (olive, jojoba, almond, ect) and get the same results.
Thanks for sharing. As I read your post I can’t agree more. My kids have yet to have a bubble bath. I finally realized I should make my own and found your recipe. Can’t wait to go get some ingredients.
I tried the homemade bubble bath receipe and was very disappointed. I realize it will not be the same bubble experience as chemical brands however there was zero bubbles. I ended up dumping in all the jar from one receipe as I was waiting and waiting for more bubbles.
I would describe this receipe as a soft skin soak instead. The castille soap I had on hand was peppermint. The bathroom smells Devine. The kids skin is so soft due to the coconut oil and glycerine I’m guessing.
Do you gave HARD water where you are? I do could that be the difference in the bubble experience ? If so any recommendations? Thanks
I’m still trying to figure out why my recipe gives us bubbles but doesn’t seem to work for anyone else. We do have very hard water, I pour the bubbles under the running water and then swish it around to make the bubbles.
I didn’t see this question so please forgive me if it really has be asked and answered. How long does this keep? I’m thinking of starting a business and making products such as these. I’m just wondering if I were to make some ahead of time, like if I were going to sell them at a fair or flea market of something like that. Thanks.
Most products like this will last several months to a year. I would use filtered water in this to make it last longer.
We didn’t get any bubbles either, but I think it does make a nice addition to the bath. We have pretty hard water too. The only thing I can think of is that I shook it too hard so there were bubbles in the jar?
I made this tonight and no bubbles! Maybe the coconut oil prevents the bubbles? Did you use the liquid coconut oil, or the solid? And 1oz of glycerin – is that weight or volume (or does it matter)? I added lavender and the kids smelled nice, and felt soft (from the coconut oil).
This is a very nice bubble bath recipe! I have used this myself often. I am a home soap maker and got started selling bath products in a high end British soap shop and I am well aware of a few things here. I’m not saying any thing to be rude or disrespectful. First of all Glycerine doe not promote bubbles, it is a
Humectant, it draws in moisture from the air, so when using any soap that contains Glycerine, it works best when you allow your self to air dry..you get more moisture into the skin. Castil soap is usually made from Olive Oil. Coconut Oil is always in a semi solid state, not a true oil, it has a very low melting point,which is basically room temperature. Sodium Laural is an organic derived additive that is used in most anything that foams, it can be derived from Coconut Oil or Olive Oil. All of that being said…usually “any” bubble bath or shower gel or bar soap that foams and makes lots of bubbles is drying to the skin…oils retard the bubbles, so if you have a product that says it is moisturizing & foaming, it has an extra amount of a foaming additive in it. Also the amount of foam or bubbles that you get greatly depends on your tap water or if you have a water softener. Bubbles usually don’t work very well in hard water, you get way more in soft water, but it is usually full of salt, that’s why it is “not” supposed to be connected to your drinking tap! A rule of thumb is, usually the more a product moisturizers your skin, the less bubbles it will make…and hard water has nothing to do with that. It is also not a good healthy idea to allow a little girl to soak for a long time in bath water with any thing in it…that’s a medical fact. It can cause infections, even in tiny baby girls…I found this out the hard way! I have also found another way of making lots of bubbles…hold your fingers under the tub faucet when filling the tub…put the bubble bath in first & start the water put you fingers under the stream to make a spray & you get mounds of bubbles…if you don’t mind holding your fingers under the water until you fill it as much as you want. Bubbles also don’t last when you start to use the bath soap! When I was a child I remember my mother always giving me a bar of Dove ….the bubbles always lasted and lasted. I asked her why, she said it was made from detergent. I also remember that it was the most drying soap I had ever put to my body…it made my skin itch, so I did not take many baths with it and have never used it since. Not even sure if it has been improved or not over the years, but it was always supposed to be moisturizing, but it sure made the bubbles last! And last but not least….this is a nice bubble bath recipe! If you have problems of not enough bubbles, maybe you added to much of the oils to it. But don’t give up, any kind of soap product making it trial and error for a long time!
Thank you for sharing all this info! Maybe it answers why I get bubbles in my water…we haven’t had it tested to see how hard/soft it is but it makes sense that it makes a difference.
Thank you for your kind answer! I too had all kinds of problems with making bubbles in my bath water & my kids bath water & believe it or not …it took my “plumber” brother to explain the water situation. Every where you go the water is different…every thing in the water can effect all sorts of things…especially Bubble Baths! While I do enjoy a nice bubble bath, I have found it very nice & relaxing just to make my bath products out of Epsom Salts & Sea Salts & a combination of some light oils & it does make for very soft skin….but you have to clean the tub out right away because it gets slippery! Where I live now, it is almost impossible to get good bubbles!:)
I love a good epsom salt soak too 🙂
It’s possible that the amount of minerals in the local water is causing it not to bubble.
I also didnt get many bubbles from this recipe. I added it under the running water just like I do for the store bought stuff but it only made a few bubbles that had disappeared by the time my daughter got in the bath. We have very hard water but the store bought bubble bath has always worked pretty well. Would adding more glycerin help any? I love your site and have enjoyed a lot of your other recipes!
I would leave out the coconut oil and maybe add a bit more glycerin.
Yes, Sandi is right on–making a bubble bath with a true soap is very difficult, next to impossible, because of the way that soap interacts with the minerals in the water. Also, like you said, glycerin does’t lather. We all think of glycerin as in “glycerin soap” but glycerin soap isn’t truly a soap–it’s glycerin and a bunch of stabilizers and detergents. True soap is made by reacting oils with an alkali such as lye or potash. This reaction creates a new substance that we know as soap. It is considered a surfactant (a substance which decreases the surface tension of water, thus allowing bubbles) however, it’s just not going to act like a synthetic detergent in foaming up with the slightest agitating and dissolving cleanly in the water. (The soap formula will leave your water milky and may leave soap scum.) I’m not dissing soap (in fact we make them) but there are some limitations that it does have.
I guarantee you the reason the soap-based recipe works for one of you and not others is water “hardness”. A common test for “hardness” in water is to see how many drops of a standard soap solution it takes to produce foam when shaken in a small sample of the water. A bathtub full is a LOT of water, and the amount of soap would have to be enough to completely “soften” it, which for most of you would be an impracticable amount and make a fairly irritating bath. If the soap you rinse off yourself in a bath stays lathery when it hits the water and doesn’t turn into scum, then a soap-based bubble bath could work for you; otherwise, not.
Not all foaming materials which can be used to make bubble baths and that work regardless of the water (because they’re not actual soap soap) are as irritating as sodium lauryl sulfate (let alone the even harsher sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, whose use in powdered bubble baths got them a bad rep in the 1960s). The site I linked to shows how I put together mild enough foaming ingredients to make VERY foamy (foam so thick it’s lathery, like soap, when the water is splashed enough) baths that were tolerated even by those with a history of urinary or genital irritation from soaps and soap-like materials. It was made of diammonium lauryl sulfosuccinate, lauramidopropyl betaine, and disodium laureth-3 sulfosuccinate. Ingredients like those aren’t something you buy at a grocery store; http://itsallinmyhands.com/2013/04/08/buying_online_cosmetic_ingredients has a good recent compilation of sources of toiletry ingredients.
Or you can study up on the ingredients enough to be able to select the mildest bath foams from their labels in the store or listings online. There are some adequately foamy but very mild formulas out there now based on sugar-fat compounds.
Or you can forget sudsing up the bath water, and instead blow thru a washcloth soaped with actual soap soap, same principle as in a Turkish bath, to cover your children or yourself with heaps of suds that, unlike bubble bath, are strong enough to clean with.
Just to let you know – found a recipe for bubble bath that called for dish soap, egg white and milk or honey (I used both). Made and used on same day though, so dunno what its storage life is. Worked wonders though, and lots and lots of bubbles. I almost was able to make a bubble snowman. XD
Next time try the same dish soap with nothing else. I bet it works at least equally well.
I just had to comment and tell you that my sister’s name is spelled the same as yours! I don’t think she’s come across anyone with the same spelling. Funny!
I just made the recipe for the bubble bath! I added a couple drops of spearmint with peppermint to give a calming, cooling scent. I can’t wait to use it in the tub and try other recipes from your website!
I wanted to say thank you for this recipe. I was looking for a natural cheap alternative to our bubble bath this recipe with out the coconut oil as I want lots of bubbles and do not need the moisture. as we have a good coconut oil based body balm to use after a bath. I am not a hick, a redneck or even a country girl at heart what i am is a poor mother who gladly claims the label tree hugging hippy. so to those judgmental fools who believe diy bath and laundry products is just for the poor country folk it isn’t it is one small way you can help not to pollute the earth. so do a little work and give a hoot don’t pollute at least with your bubble bath.
Yucca is a natural foaming agent. I believe you can get it in powder form. not sure how to extract it from the plant itself but will try looking it up. aloe vera plant as well I think.
I just saw another natural sudsing element. Soap nuts which are apparently actually a berry.
Very neat! I will have to check into those things!
I knew there were certain plants with sudsing agents that native people have used so just googled “natural sudsing agents”.
This sounds very interesting, but if you store it in a mason jar, that means you don’t use all of it at one time. Can you give the amount used in a regular bath tub and the length of time it can be stored before going bad?
I pour just a bit in the lid of the mason jar and run that under the running water so I don’t get water in the rest of the jar 🙂
Hello! We have pretty hard water and when I tried this last night it bubbled for about 2 seconds and then turned the water cloudy. It also left a white residue in the tub and on toys. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!!
Did you add the coconut oil?
No I didn’t, for the more bubbles reason.
Read the comments above (especially mine) & you’ll see you did nothing wrong. This is the expected behavior of soap in a bathtubful of “pretty hard water”.
Can I use this,with my son that has,eczema he loves to play with bubbles but very sensitive in hes skin
I use it with my son who also has eczema. Each one’s skin may react differently though so I would recommend trying a small amount first.
I made this bubble bath with my daughter yesterday. We left out the coconut oil and added some extra glycerin. We doubled the recipe and ended up putting ALL of it in the bath tub, and got no bubbles, despite running the faucet directly onto the bubble solution and even using a whisk to whip the bath water! We have somewhat hard water. So, I’d say unless you have a water softener, this formula isn’t going to work at all!
Sadly this didn’t work at all for us. My 2 year old is left in a bath with no bubbles softly asking “bubbles, bubbles, bubbles???”