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bubble bath scoops recipe

DIY Bubble Scoops: Fragrant Solid Bubble Bath Recipe

October 7, 2021

Find out how to create DIY bubble scoops at home! Bubbling bath truffles generate copious amounts of foam and bubbles and make a boring bath fun and exciting. These cute bath time treats come in two delicious versions, spiced orange and frosted cranberry, perfect for holiday gift-giving.

bubble bath scoops recipe

What are Bubble Scoops?

Bubble scoops look like little ice cream scoops. They are smaller than bath bombs and dissolve into bubbles and suds when they come in contact with water, similar to bath truffles or bubble bars. Homemade bubble bath scoops are made with baking soda and citric acid and often contain a foaming agent like SLSA or milk powder. So they work like a bubble bath, but in solid form.

If you’re interested in making your own homemade bath and body products or need a gift for the Lush lover in your life, then my easy bubble scoop tutorial is for you! I’ll walk you step-by-step through the process, break down each ingredient, and share tips for storing and gifting your DIY bath scoops.

Learn how to make relaxing, fragrant bubble bath scoops with my recipe for solid bubble bath bars scented in cranberry and orange spice below.

how to make bubble bath scoops

Materials for Bubble Scoops

The materials used to make DIY bubble bath scoops are easy to find, and you can order all of them online. If you ever made homemade bath bombs before, you might already have most ingredients at home. Here’s your shopping list for these solid bubble bath bars:

  • Baking soda is the main component of bath scoops. It dissolves in water and releases nourishing oils and scents. For the best results, use fresh baking soda because stale baking soda doesn’t have a great fizz.
  • Citric acid is needed to activate the baking soda and start the fizzing reaction. When citric acid and baking soda harden as they dry, giving you a solid bath truffle.
  • SLSA (Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate) creates amazing bubbles and luxurious foam. It’s derived from coconut and palm oil and considered to be natural.
  • Shea butter holds the bubble scoop mixture together and makes this bath treat incredibly moisturizing.
  • Essential oils lend the bath truffles a wonderful scent. I’ll show you two different fragrance ideas for bubble bars in just a second.
  • Polysorbate 80 is a liquid emulsifier. The ingredient ensures that the shea butter, essential oils, and mica mix with the bath water and make cleanup easy afterward.
  • Mica powder (optional) is an excellent colorant for bath products. I tinted the orange spice bath truffles with orange mica and the cranberry bath scoops with dark red mica.
  • Biodegradable glitter (optional): I love sparkly things and decorated my bubbling bath truffles with glitter for a touch of luxury.

I’ve included the exact ingredient amounts in the how-to card at the end of the post.

orange spice bath truffles recipe

Scent Blends for Bubble Scoops

With fall and the Christmas season fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to create two holiday- inspired scents. Both smell warm and cozy and will turn your bath into a relaxing oasis. You can use them all fall and winter long.

Of course, feel free to scent your homemade bubble bath bars with any essential oils you like and have available. To be sure the essential oils won’t cause skin irritation, limit the total amount of oils you add to 100 drops. I also recommend avoiding any essential oils that are known skin irritants.

And for more festive, cranberry-inspired skin and bath products, have a look at my cranberry chutney lotion bars, cranberry orange soap, cranberry body butter recipe, and cranberry lip scrub. Or try my orange spice tea soap.

diy bath truffles

Tools to Make Bath Scoops

Before getting started, assemble the following equipment:

  • Small saucepan to melt the shea butter.
  • Large and small non-metallic mixing bowls to create the bath bomb mixture.
  • Fine-mesh sieve to remove clumps from the baking soda and citric acid.
  • Spoon or whisk to combine the mixture.
  • Cookie scoop to form the bubble scoops.
  • Cutting board covered in plastic wrap for drying the bath truffles.
  • Nitrile gloves to protect your hands when making solid bubble bath bars.
  • Face mask to prevent inhaling any of the dry ingredients.

how to make bubble scoops diy bubble bars bubbling bath truffles recipe

How to Make Bubble Bath Scoops

I adore bubbling bath melts because they’re super easy to make. It’s one of those projects that looks complicated, but actually comes together quickly and is very beginner-friendly. Be sure to watch the video where I walk you through each step of this easy bath truffle recipe.

Alright, here are the simple steps for how to make bubble scoops:

Melt the shea butter

Put the shea butter into a small saucepan and heat over low flame until the plant butter is completely melted. You can also melt the shea butter in the microwave instead of on the stovetop. Set aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Mix the Polysorbate 80 and essential oils

In a small beaker or mixing bowl, stir together the Polysorbate 80 and essential oils or fragrance oil. You may see streaks of essential oils, which is fine. Once the shea butter has cooled, add the Poly 80 mix. Stir until well distributed throughout.

Sift dry ingredients

Sift the baking soda, citric acid, and SLSA into a large glass mixing bowl to remove lumps. Stir in the mica powder.

Tip: SLSA is a fine, airborne powder and quite unpleasant to inhale. Be sure to don a face mask when mixing the dry ingredients to protect your airways. And don’t forget to put on your nitrile gloves because citric acid can damage nail polish.

Make bath scoop mixture

Pour the liquid shea butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon. Then knead the mixture with your hands until everything is well combined and has the consistency of cookie dough. The mixture should stay together when you press it in the palm of your hand.

DIY bubbling bath truffles

Form bubble scoops

Load up the cookie scoop with mixture. Using your fingertips, firmly press the mixture into the scoop. The scoop must be packed, and the mixture is compacted properly to achieve beautiful bath scoops. Lose or too little mixture will result in crumbly bath fizzies.

Release the bubble scoops onto a lined cutting board or tray. Using a board allows you to move and transport the product. The bubble scoops are delicate at this point, so handle them carefully. Optionally sprinkle with biodegradable glitter.

Let dry

Let the bubble scoops harden at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. Once hard, package and store them in an airtight container.

Tip: The scoops will solidify within a few hours in cool and moderately warm conditions. However, hot temperatures can hinder the sea butter from hardening properly. In this case, cover the scoops with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. You don’t want to store them in the fridge any longer than that because the moisture will dissolve them.

bubble scoop dissolving in water

How to Use Bubble Scoops

You have two options to use bubble scoops:

  • Dissolve: Simply throw a bubble scoop into the bathwater and watch it dissolve. This technique is like using bath bombs.
  • Crumble: You can also crumble the bubble scoop under the running tap as you fill the tub with water. I prefer this method because it creates more foam and bubbles.

One to two bubble scoops should be enough for a bath.

How to Store Bubble Scoops

Homemade bubble scoops will dissolve if they’re exposed to moisture, so store them airtight. I like to keep mine in a food container or large mason jar.

If stored correctly, bubble scoops will last for at least 1 year.

cranberry solid bubble bars

Tips for Gifting Solid Bubble Bath Bars

Bubble scoops are an adorable homemade Christmas gift idea. They are super easy to produce, and the materials are relatively affordable. If you have a lot of recipients, double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch.

For gifting simply, put the bubble scoops into a mason jar and decorate with a piece of ribbon or twine. Add a gift tag, and you have an adorable Christmas gift. For more inspiration, check out my collection of DIY holiday gifts that look store-bought, homemade winter gifts, and this handmade Etsy gift guide.

Bubble Scoop FAQ

If you’ve never made solid bubble bath bars, you may have a few questions before you get started. Here are answers to the most common questions for making this fun bath product.

Do I need cornstarch or cream of tartar for bubble scoops?

No. Unlike other bubble bath recipes, my version works without cornstarch and cream of tartar.

orange spice bath scoops

Can I make bubble scoops with coconut oil?

No, I don’t recommend it. The melting point of coconut oil is lower than shea butter, and the bath scoops won’t set up well.

What does SLSA do in bubble scoops?

SLSA (short for Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate) is a popular foaming agent for bath bombs, soaps, and fizzes. The material reacts with water and produces suds and bubbles. Without it, the bubble bars would simply fizzle away without much foam.

Is SLSA safe?

Yes, SLSA is perfectly safe to use in skincare products. SLSA has acquired a somewhat negative reputation of being irritating, and some people prefer to avoid it. The reason being that SLSA is often mistaken for SLS, another foaming agent that is irritating and harsh on the skin.

Can you make bubble scoops without SLSA?

Yes, you can make bubble scoops without SLSA! Simply replace it with the same amount of milk powder. Any milk powder will work, for example, cow milk powder, goat milk powder, yogurt powder, or coconut milk powder for vegan bubble scoops.

solid bubble bath recipe holiday gifts ideas

Yield: 15 bubble scoops

Bubble Scoops Recipe

bubble scoops recipe solid bubble bath bars

Learn how to make my easy bubble scoops recipe for an aromatic bath time experience. If you're all about having spa days at home, then these DIY bubbling bath truffles are a must try. These solid bubble bath bars create tons of foam and bubbles, just like your bottled bubble bath -- but more fun! These bath time treats come in two delicious versions, spiced orange and frosted cranberry. So, they're perfect both for enjoying a delightful evening of self care as well as to give as homemade holiday gifts.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

Bubble Scoop Mixture

  • 1 1/2 cups / 300 g / 10.5 oz baking soda
  • 1 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz citric acid
  • 1/2 cup / 60 g / 2 oz SLSA (Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, can sub for same amount milk powder)
  • 1 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz shea butter (see note below)
  • 2 tbsp Polysorbate 80

Orange Spice

  • 60 drops blood orange essential oil
  • 30 drops winter spice essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp orange mica powder
  • rose gold biodegradable glitter (optional)

Frosted Cranberry

  • 80 drops frosted cranberry fragrance oil
  • 2 tsp dark red mica powder
  • red biodegradable glitter (optional)

Tools

  • Digital scale or measuring cups and spoons
  • Large and small glass mixing bowl
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Cookie scoop (mine had a 4-teaspoon capacity)
  • Spoon or whisk
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Face cover

Instructions

  1. Put the shea butter into a small saucepan and heat over low flame until the plant butter is completely melted. You can also melt the shea butter in the microwave instead of on the stovetop. Set aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. In a small beaker or mixing bowl, stir together the Polysorbate 80 and essential oils or fragrance oil. You may see streaks of essential oils, which is fine. Once the shea butter has cooled, add the Poly 80 mix. Stir until well distributed throughout.
  3. Sift the baking soda, citric acid, and SLSA into a large glass mixing bowl to remove lumps.
  4. Stir in the mica powder. 
  5. Pour the liquid shea butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon. Then knead the mixture with your hands until everything is well combined and has the consistency of cookie dough. The mixture should stay together when you press it in the palm of your hand.
  6. Load up the cookie scoop with mixture. Using your fingertips, firmly press the mixture into the scoop. The scoop must be packed, and the mixture is compacted properly to achieve beautiful bath scoops. Lose or too little mixture will result in crumbly bath fizzies.
  7. Release the bubble scoops onto a lined cutting board or tray. Using a board allows you to move and transport the product. The bubble scoops are delicate at this point, so handle them carefully. (Optionally sprinkle with biodegradable glitter.)
  8. Let the bubble scoops harden at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. Once hard, package and store them in an airtight container. 

Notes

Tip: The scoops will solidify within a few hours in cool and moderately warm conditions. However, hot temperatures can hinder the sea butter from hardening properly. In this case, cover the scoops with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. You don’t want to store them in the fridge any longer than that because the moisture will dissolve them. 

Tip: SLSA is a fine, airborne powder and quite unpleasant to inhale. Be sure to don a face mask when mixing the dry ingredients to protect your airways. And don’t forget to put on your nitrile gloves because citric acid can damage nail polish. 

Cranberry Fig Bath Truffles for DIY holiday gifts

More Solid Bubble Bath Recipes

Making your own bath products is a fun and rewarding craft. For more ideas, check out the following projects:

I hope you love my easy recipe for making scented bubble scoops for homemade gifts. You can discover more bath and beauty recipes for a relaxing spa day at home by following Soap Deli News on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Or subscribe to my newsletter.

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