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.



Yield: 6 bath fizzies

Bath Bombs without Citric Acid Tutorial

Bath Bombs without Citric Acid Tutorial

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!

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


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.

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

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


  1. Anon 29 November 2016 at 04:30

    A little misleading, “without citric acid” but you use lemon. Could be good to point out, in case someone is allergic to citrus!

    1. Criesta 7 February 2017 at 21:08

      The point is not to use the powder.It is not made with “citric acid”.First there r many recipes out there with citric acid and other things,so if you ready & find you are allergic to something don’t make it…Simple. Don’t get mad at her if you can’t read before you make it.

      1. nawnawisasav 13 February 2017 at 04:14

        haha preach

    2. Florida Mom 17 December 2017 at 21:56

      The concern with the Citric Acid you can buy in powdered form is A.) It isn’t available at standard stores and isn’t in most pantries, and B.) It is actually manufactured using Black Mold, as in the toxic stuff people avoid at all costs. Citrus allergies would most definitely still have to avoid this one!

      1. Mel 13 January 2019 at 18:39

        When I sprayed the lemon juice it immediately started to fizz. Is this suppose to happen? How do I stop it from happening?

        1. The Makeup Dummy 14 January 2019 at 18:56

          Hi Mel, I’m not sure what happened there. My guess is that the lemon juice has been diluted too heavily with water. I would try a different brand of lemon juice. What could also help is to add cornstarch to the mixture, but the end result will fizz less.

    3. Morgan 2 April 2019 at 07:30

      Actually, Anon, commercial citric acid is usually derived from corn, not citrus fruit. I have a corn allergy and have reacted to citric acid, yet I’ve been able to consume lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges safely.

  2. hayley 19 December 2016 at 19:36

    nice gr\ift for my teacher

  3. em 12 February 2017 at 00:46

    How many bath bombs does each batch make?

    1. The Makeup Dummy 17 February 2017 at 18:53

      It depends on your mold but I made about six bath bombs with this recipe.

  4. Anonymous 26 February 2017 at 19:23

    Any other things I can use besides coconut oil? I don’t have any in my home, and don’t want to go get some from the store.

    1. The Makeup Dummy 26 February 2017 at 20:42

      Any oil should work, like almond or olive oil.

  5. anonymous 2 March 2017 at 20:28

    Is the essential oil needed because ur using lemon juice? Will it just smell like lemons?

  6. dhfgjfhhj 22 March 2017 at 17:37

    what could you use to replace essental oil. also can you use lemon juice from the bottle?

    1. The Makeup Dummy 23 March 2017 at 18:11

      You can leave the essential oil out, or use vanilla extract or other flavoring. And yes, you can use lemon juice from a bottle 🙂

      1. Coral Cullum 20 December 2017 at 01:26

        Can you use store bought lemon juice?

        1. The Makeup Dummy 20 December 2017 at 08:07

          Yes, you can!

  7. Jiya 25 March 2017 at 07:42

    Is there anything I can use other than baking powder? If so, what are they and will they make the bath bomb as good as with baking powder.

    1. The Makeup Dummy 2 April 2017 at 15:23

      You need baking soda for this DIY because it reacts with the citric acid in the lemon juice and that’s how they fizz. I added links to the ingredients so you can order some online if you want!

  8. Areej 12 June 2017 at 06:32

    Can i put food colouring into it ?

    1. The Makeup Dummy 31 July 2017 at 18:25

      Yes, you can! 🙂

  9. Jessica 31 July 2017 at 01:10

    Wait in the video do you spray all the lemon juice? I only did how many sprays I saw in the video. Did I mess up?

    1. The Makeup Dummy 31 July 2017 at 18:22

      Yes, I used all of the lemon juice for these bath bombs. I didn’t want the video to be too long so I only show a couple of sprays. I understand how that can be confusing. As long as they harden they can be used. But the more lemon juice you use, the more they will fizz.

      1. Carolina 1 November 2018 at 18:22

        How long can they be stored? I am thinking of making a batch of these for my students holiday goody bags.

        1. The Makeup Dummy 1 November 2018 at 19:49

          Hi Caroline, what a great idea! These however won’t last as long as regular bath bombs made with citric acid or cream tartar, as the lemon juice contains water. So for Holiday gift bags I would opt for these espom salt bath bombs or bath bombs made with cream of tartar instead. Good luck!

  10. Jessie 7 November 2017 at 15:19

    Can I use sweet almond oil?

  11. Maddie 7 December 2017 at 22:39

    Can I use regular cupcake liners as a mold?

    1. The Makeup Dummy 10 December 2017 at 14:23

      Yes you can Maddie!

      1. jess 30 December 2018 at 02:11

        5 stars
        you are nice 🙂

  12. emma 13 December 2017 at 23:47

    can i use a dropper instead of spray bottle?

    1. The Makeup Dummy 14 December 2017 at 11:29

      Yes! Just make sure to stir well between each drop

  13. Camille 21 December 2017 at 23:13

    Can I use olive oil instead of coconut oil?

    1. The Makeup Dummy 22 December 2017 at 08:54

      Yes, you can Camille! 🙂

  14. Megan 5 February 2018 at 01:14

    Can you use vegetable oil instead of coconut oil

  15. Brielle 13 March 2018 at 14:15

    Yes you Can Megan, I treid and it works well

  16. noys 1 April 2018 at 04:15

    How much bath bombes would it make if I used cupcake liners as my mold

  17. annai 22 April 2018 at 17:51

    How can you speed up the process of drying? i need these today.

  18. Kadence 14 May 2018 at 02:33

    They work really well and my mom loved it!

    1. The Makeup Dummy 14 May 2018 at 08:02

      I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Pingback: 14 Best DIY Lush Inspired Bath Bombs Anyone Can Make - The Thrifty Kiwi

  20. Andrea 30 November 2018 at 15:54

    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…

    1. The Makeup Dummy 9 December 2018 at 20:42

      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!

  21. Kassidy Elkins 12 January 2019 at 22:33

    How many does this recipe make?

    1. The Makeup Dummy 14 January 2019 at 18:57

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

  22. Syd 11 May 2019 at 18:05

    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.

    1. The Makeup Dummy 11 May 2019 at 21:21

      Thanks for the tips, Syd!


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