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DIY Bath Bombs WITHOUT citric acid or cream of tartar + VIDEO tutorial

DIY Bath Bombs WITHOUT citric acid or cream of tartar + VIDEO tutorial

With this easy step-by-step recipe tutorial you can make your own bath bombs without citric acid powder easy and cheap at home! A fun activity for a rainy day or when you’re bored during the summer months.

I don’t have kids, but I can imagine this is a fun sensory play activity, as they can help you make the bath bombs and then watch them fizz away!

“Where do I find citric acid?”

It’s probably one of the most asked questions here on The Makeup Dummy.

Citric acid powder has been a staple ingredient in all of my bath bomb recipes so far. It’s a key ingredient to get the fizzing experience bath bombs are known and loved for. Combine it with baking soda and a bath tub filled with water and you have a guaranteed fizz party in your bathroom.

So surely a bath bomb without citric acid powder must be impossible to make?

Well …

How To Make Bath Bombs WITHOUT Citric Acid Powder

As ‘scary’ or scientific as Citric acid might sound, it is actually a natural compound found in different food items. Like lemons! And that’s why this easy bath bomb recipe is made with a common and cheap household favorite: lemon juice.

How To make DIY Bath Bombs WITHOUT citric acid or cream of tartar using lemon juice instead! Tutorial by The Makeup Dummy

This quick tutorial is perfect if you want to start making bath bombs RIGHT NOW and don’t have any citric acid lying around. I toooootally get it, trust me!

Watch the short video-tutorial I made here so you can easily follow along with each step. In case you’re wondering, the video can be watched without sound. So even in a noisy setting you can easily follow along.

Lemon juice does contain other natural components besides citric acid, like water. The citric acid you get from lemon juice is relatively small and diluted because of the water, but it’s there all right.

Even though these bath bombs won’t fizz as enthusiastically as their citric acid counterparts, they do the job. Drop one in your bath water to disperse the lovely smelling essential oils and release the skin soothing baking soda.

To make these bath bombs at home you only need a few common kitchen ingredients. Everything else is optional.

The base of this bath bomb recipe is very similar to that of a regular bath bomb tutorial. The fizzing reaction that occurs when you drop a bath bomb in your bath water is the result of baking soda reacting with the citric acid as they dissolve.

Since we’re not using pure citric acid powder in this tutorial, the base is simply: baking soda + lemon juice.

Ingredients You’ll Need

The full ingredient list for this tutorial is:

  • baking soda – Get it here
  • coconut oil – Get it here
  • lemon juice

You can leave the coconut oil out of the recipe, as it will weigh the bath bomb down and create less fizz.

I recommend adding the coconut oil if you want to add essential oils as well, since the oil will help safely disperse the essential oils in the bath water.

Optional ingredients are:

  • essential oils – Get it here
  • decorations or coloring – I used dried lavender buds and cake sprinkles – Get it here

Essential oils are very powerful and should be used with caution. If you’re making this recipe with kids or want to give them as a gift, I recommend leaving the essential oils out.

Dried flowers, herbs or citrus zest are great alternatives to give your bath fizzies a natural scent!

Don’t forget: if you like this DIY than don’t forget to put a pin on it!

Did you know you can make bath bombs without citric acid powder and without cream of tartar? The citric acid in this DIY tutorial comes from lemon juice! Follow the easy step-by-step tutorial to make your own, with your kids or to make as a gift!

These bath bombs turned slightly yellow as they dried because of the lemon juice. If you don’t want this, you can choose your own color by adding a few drops of food or soap colorant to the mixture.

To help you find the ingredients you need for this tutorial for bath bombs without citric acid I’ve added links in this post to places you can find them online.

I’m part of the Amazon affiliate program so I get a small commission when you buy something via these links. For me it’s a win-win and I spend that money to make more bath bomb tutorials for you ? But feel free to Google the ingredients to find your own or buy them from local vendors in your area!

And the best part of this tutorial: the instructions for these bath bombs without citric acid powder could not have been easier.



How To DIY Bath Bombs with lemon juice and WITHOUT citric acid or cream of tartar Tutorial by The Makeup Dummy
Yield: 6 bath fizzies

Bath Bombs without Citric Acid Tutorial

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy peasy lemon squeezy

Follow this easy step by step tutorial to make your own bath bombs without citric acid powder or cream of tartar. All you need is lemon juice!


Main ingredients

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice (see notes)

Optional ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 6 - 12 drops essential oils
  • decorations or colorants


  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Spoons
  • Spray bottle
  • Flexible cupcake molds


    1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda in your mixing bowl. Stir the powder with a spoon to break up any lumps.
    2. Optional: If you want you can add 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. This adds moisturizing properties to the bath bombs, but it will also weigh the bath bomb down and make it fizz less. You can use a different carrier oil, like olive oil or jojoba oil, but I like the fact that coconut oil doesn't affect the color of the bath bombs.
    3. Optional: This is also the best time to add a few drops of essential oils, if using. Stir the mixture well with your spoon after each drop. I highly recommend to also include coconut oil in your batch to help safely disperse the essential oils in your bath water.
    4. Pour the lemon juice into a spray bottle. Carefully spray the mixture while you keep stirring the batch between each spritz of lemon juice. You don’t want the mixture to start fizzing in the bowl! If you don't have a spraying bottle at hand, you can also add small amounts of lemon juice using a teaspoon to the batch. Keep stirring the mixture as you're adding the lemon juice.
    5. Don't be afraid to make the mixture wet. Check if the mixture clumps together by pushing it against the edge of your bowl with your spoon.
    6. Optional: If you want to spruce up your bath fizzies with decorations, you lightly sprinkle the bottom of each mold with your decorating item of choice. You can use cake sprinkles as they will also dissolve in your bath water. But for a more natural, fragrant approach I like to use dried flowers or dried citrus zest.
    7. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the mixture in each mold and press down firmly with the back of your spoon. Distribute the mixture evenly between your molds, pressing the mixture down as you go.
    8. Set the bath bombs aside and give them time to dry out. Mine took a full 2 days to harden completely. Pop them out of their molds once they’ve completely dried.


  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice will work best. If you're using store-bought lemon juice, check the ingredient list to make sure it's pure juice and hasn't been diluted with water.
  • The more lemon juice you use, the better they'll fizz. Just keep in mind that the more liquid you add, the longer it'll take for the bath bombs to dry.
  • Alternatively, you can try this recipe with lime juice, orange juice or grapefruit juice. This will of course change the end result, and might affect the amount of fizz you get.
  • These bath bombs without citric acid powder are best used 'fresh', so right after you make them. The longer you wait, the less they'll fizz.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you like it, than don't forget to put a pin on it!

Did you make this project?

DIY Bath Bombs WITHOUT citric acid or cream of tartar using lemon juice! Tutorial by The Makeup Dummy

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Sunday 30th of July 2023

I was so happy to find this tutorial! Where I live it is not easy to access ingredients like citric acid (powder) and buying online/shipping fees are a lot for me. This recipe is wonderful. Thank you so much.


Monday 30th of November 2020

Hi! I was going to give these bath bombs to some friends for Christmas, but i'm not sure it will last that long in a box, do you have any idea how long these will last?

Ina from The Makeup Dummy

Friday 11th of December 2020

I don't recommend keeping these for more than 1 to 2 weeks. If you want a longer lasting bath bomb, you can try one of the easy recipes with citric acid or cream of tartar on my website. You can easily order both of these ingredients online and these bath bombs last about 6 months to a year!


Saturday 11th of May 2019

Thanks so much for this recipe, it worked really well!! For my bath bomb, I added lemon essential oil and lemon zest as well as the lemon juice. I also put in in the freezer, and it hardened after a couple hours instead of a couple days.

The Makeup Dummy

Saturday 11th of May 2019

Thanks for the tips, Syd!

Kassidy Elkins

Saturday 12th of January 2019

How many does this recipe make?

The Makeup Dummy

Monday 14th of January 2019

Depending on your molds, about 3 to 4 medium sized bath bombs!


Friday 30th of November 2018

Do the sprinkles or lavender buds clog one's drain over time? I ground up the lavender buds, but I'm still a bit concerned and probably will forego them next time, to be safe...

The Makeup Dummy

Sunday 9th of December 2018

Hi Andrea, the sprinkles melt after a while. The lavender buds might clog your drains if you flush a lot of them all at once. I've never had issues after using 1 bath bomb. Grounding the lavender buds is a good idea and will definitely help! Adding biodegradable glitter also looks very pretty and can safely be washed down the drain!

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