How long can bath bombs be stored?

Quick Answers

Bath bombs can usually be stored for 9-12 months if kept in proper conditions. The shelf life depends on ingredients, storage temperature, humidity, light exposure, and packaging. Lush bath bombs last approximately 14 months. Handmade bath bombs may last 6-12 months. Refrigerating bath bombs can extend their shelf life for up to 18 months.

What are Bath Bombs?

Bath bombs are compact balls composed of baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, essential oils, colors, and botanicals. When placed in water, bath bombs fizzle and dissolve while releasing fragrance, bubbles, and skin softening ingredients. The carbon dioxide released from the citric acid and baking soda reaction makes the bath water effervescent. Bath bombs transform ordinary baths into moisturizing and aromatic spa-like experiences.

Typical Bath Bomb Ingredients

Baking Soda

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) reacts with citric acid to produce carbon dioxide bubbles when activated by water. Baking soda balances pH, soothes skin, and acts as a cleaning agent.

Citric Acid

Citric acid provides the acid component that reacts with baking soda in bath bombs. It controls pH balance and provides fizzing action.

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) help soothe sore muscles, reduce inflammation, and soften skin in bath water. Epsom salts also enhance relaxation.


Cornstarch thickens the bath bomb mixture so it can be molded into shape. It also helps control moisture and gives bombs a smooth texture.


A small amount of water hydrates the bath bomb ingredients so they bind together during mixing. Too much moisture can cause bath bombs to fall apart.

Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils provide pleasing aromas like lavender, eucalyptus, rose, and mint in bath bombs. Some oils also offer therapeutic benefits.


Pigments add dynamic colors and visual interest to bath art. Common bath bomb colorants include cosmetic mica powder and liquid food coloring.


Many bath bombs feature botanical add-ins like dried flowers, petals, leaves, and herbs for aesthetic appeal, texture, and natural aromas. Common botanical elements are rose petals, lavender buds, and chamomile flowers.

Carrier Oils

Luxurious carrier oils like sweet almond, coconut, apricot kernel, and avocado oil help moisturize and soften skin when absorbed during bathing. These oils also provide thickness to aid binding.

Shea/Cocoa Butter

Rich shea or cocoa butter melts when added to warm bath water to provide extra skin conditioning. These ingredients are emollients that seal in moisture to hydrate skin.


Cosmetic clays offer detoxifying and mineralizing benefits. Bentonite and French green clay draw out impurities from the skin. Kaolin clay delicately exfoliates dead cells and stimulates circulation.

How Are Bath Bombs Made?

While recipes vary, bath bombs are relatively simple to make with some basic ingredients and equipment. Here are the basic steps for handcrafting bath bombs:

1. Prepare equipment and workspace.

Bath bomb production requires items like mixing bowls, measuring cups, whisks, molding containers, witch hazel spray bottles, and personal protective gear like dust masks and gloves. Protect surfaces from colorants with paper or plastic sheeting.

2. Assemble dry ingredients.

Measure out baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, clay, and dry botanicals. Sift and whisk together to eliminate clumps.

3. Mix in colorants and fragrance.

Add liquid or powder colorants a few drops at a time until desired shade is reached. Next incorporate a couple teaspoons of essential oils or fragrance for scent.

4. Spritz with witch hazel.

Lightly mist the mixture with witch hazel while stirring with a whisk. This helps bind the ingredients.

5. Mold into shapes.

Carefully pack the damp mixture into bath bomb molds, cavity molds, or silicone molds. Allow 10-15 minutes of drying time before carefully removing bombs from molds.

6. Detail and set aside to dry.

Roll trimmed bath bombs in ingredients like dried botanicals, mica, or glitter to coat the surface. Set bombs in a single layer on wax paper for 12-24 hours until completely hardened.

7. Package finished bombs.

Place dried bath bombs individually into cellophane bags or sleeves. Or arrange multiples in jars, plastic containers, or boxes for gifting sets.

How Long Do Bath Bombs Last?

With proper storage, most bath bombs will remain effective for 9-12 months past their manufacturing date. Shelf life varies based on several factors:


Bath bombs made with natural ingredients like sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, cornstarch and botanicals tend to have a shorter shelf life of 6-12 months. Synthetic preservatives can prolong shelf life.

Storage Temperature

Cool, dry conditions are ideal for bath bomb storage. Heat above 76°F will shorten shelf life. Refrigeration at 40°F can extend life to 18 months. Do not freeze bath bombs.


Moisture is the enemy of bath bombs! Exposure to humidity makes bombs lose their fizz and fall apart faster. Store in watertight packaging or controlled climate.


Light exposure can cause bath bomb colors to fade over time. Storing bombs in dark, opaque containers helps preserve color.


Airtight packaging prevents moisture absorption and keeps bombs fresher longer. Leave bombs wrapped until use. Simply pushing plastic wrap against the bath bomb surface helps block air exposure.

Storage Temperature Estimated Shelf Life
Room temperature (68-72°F) 9-12 months
Refrigerated (40°F or below) 12-18 months
Hot climate (Over 76°F) 6-9 months

Signs Bath Bombs Have Expired

Watch for these signs that bath bombs have surpassed their prime:

Loss of scent

Fading or lack of fragrance means the essential oils have oxidized. Toss scented bombs once the aroma is no longer detectable.

Change in texture

A grainy or crystallized exterior means ingredients have separated. Discard bath bombs that feel gritty or hard.

Altered appearance

Noticeable color changes, white spots of dried citric acid, powdery surfaces, staining, or mushiness are problematic.

Lack of fizz

Outdated bath bombs lose their impressive fizz and bubble action in water. Fizzless bombs should be discarded.

Mold growth

Discard any bath bombs displaying fuzzy mold. This signals excess humidity exposure during storage.

Signs of Expired Bath Bombs
Lack of fragrance
Grainy or crystallized texture
Color changes or white spots
Loss of fizz and bubbles
Visible mold growth

How to Store Bath Bombs

Follow these tips to help bath bombs maintain quality and achieve maximum shelf life:

Cool, Dry Location

Find a storage spot away from heat sources and humidity. Aim for an ideal temperature around 60-72°F. The refrigerator is great for prolonged storage.

Opaque, Airtight Container

Block light in containers like solid plastic bins, metal tins, or darkened glass jars. Ensure containers seal tightly to prevent moisture entry.

Low Humidity Levels

Use moisture-absorbing silica gel packs inside containers to keep humidity below 60%. Monitor with a hygrometer.

No Sunlight Exposure

Prevent light damage by storing bath bombs in an enclosed cabinet or closet. Never leave bath bombs on a sunny bathroom shelf!

Raised Surface

Keep containers off concrete garage or basement floors which can transmit moisture. Set on shelving or wood pallets instead.

Individual Packaging

Wrap each bath bomb in plastic wrap, cellophane bag, or sleeve to protect from air and humidity onceopened.

FIF0 Rotation

Adopt first-in-first-out inventory management to use older products first. Label bath bombs with manufacture dates.

Optimal Bath Bomb Storage Tips
Cool, dry location 60-72°F
Opaque, airtight containers
Low humidity below 60% RH
No direct light exposure
Raised off concrete floors
Individually wrapped
First-in-first-out rotation

How To Make Bath Bombs Last Longer

Employ these strategies to prolong the shelf life of homemade or commercially purchased bath bombs:

Add Preservatives

Incorporate preservative ingredients like vitamin E, rosemary oleoresin, or grapefruit seed extract which act as antioxidants.

Eliminate Unnecessary Oils

Limit carrier oils which can turn rancid over time. Instead use moisturizing botanical ingredients.

Use Optimal Binders

Play around with binder ingredients and ratios like witch hazel, liquid oils, polysorbate 80, and coconut milk to find the ideal adhesive base.

Adjust Ingredient Ratios

Lessen moisture absorbing components like sea salt and epsom salt. Increase baking soda and cornstarch proportions.

Use Artificial Fragrances

Synthetic fragrance oils maintain scent longer than natural essential oils. But artificial scents lack therapeutic benefits.

Reduce Color Intensity

Pastel hues hold up better over time than brightly saturated colors which can morph with light exposure.

Incorporate Kaolin Clay

Kaolin clay’s absorbency helps minimize humidity effects. Its silkiness also improves bath bomb longevity.

Avoid Problem Ingredients

Prevent mold growth by avoiding ingredients like flower petals, freeze dried botanicals, fresh produce, and chocolate which decay.

Do Bath Bombs Expire?

Yes, bath bombs do eventually expire and should be discarded once they surpass their shelf life limit. Expired bombs lose potency, scent, appeal, and fizzing action. Using degraded bath bombs also poses health risks:

Skin Irritation

Stale bath bombs can cause skin redness, itching, and burning wheninactive ingredients make direct contact with skin. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.

Eye Inflammation

Old bombs may crumble prematurely while in the tub, spraying citric acid and bath bomb fragments into eyes and causing painful chemical burns.

Respiratory Issues

Inhaling dust and particles from expired bombs during manufacturing can irritate airways. Wear a mask when handling aged bath bombs.

Mold Exposure

Using a visibly moldy bomb puts you at risk for exposure to harmful mold spores which can cause respiratory infections and allergic reactions when inhaled.

Bacterial Growth

Outdated bath products may harbor dangerous levels of bacteria like pseudomonas, staphylococcus, and klebsiella which can lead to skin infections or sickness when used.

While the risks are low, it’s recommended to err on the side of caution and throw away dingy bath bombs past their prime and enjoy freshly made bombs for the best bathing experience.

Can You Fix Expired Bath Bombs?

No, there is no way to safely restore degraded bath bombs to full potency. Attempting bath bomb revival poses potential health hazards and is not recommended:


Adding more moisture to a dried out bath bomb will activate mold growth. Do not wet or rehydrate old bath bombs.

Scent Refreshing

Attempting to overwhelm faded scents by adding more oils will throw off the ideal ingredient ratios.

Coating Cracks

Sealing cracks and holes with adhesive ingredients can trap moisture and bacteria inside bombs.

Melting and Remolding

Heat damages ingredients and accelerates spoilage. Melting bombs into new molds is not advised.

Crushing into Powder

Using powdered bath bomb in homemade recipes masks aged ingredients and provides false results.


Heating stale bath bombs in the oven can burn ingredients and concentrate additives to hazardous levels.

For best results, always start fresh by making a new batch of bath bombs rather than using outdated ones. Discard expired bombs in the trash rather than down the drain to prevent plumbing clogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Lush bath bombs last?

Lush bath bombs typically maintain freshness for 12-14 months when properly stored. Lush uses all vegetarian ingredients and no preservatives in their bath bombs.

Do bath bombs expire if never opened?

Yes, even unopened bath bombs have a limited shelf life. Ingredients will gradually degrade over time due to oxidation and climate factors. Avoid storing bath bombs for longer than a year.

Can you freeze bath bombs?

Freezing is not recommended for bath bombs, as the temperature change and moisture can activate ingredients prematurely. Refrigeration is a safer method for extending shelf life.

How can you tell if a bath bomb is old?

Signs of aged bath bombs include lack of scent, grainy texture, color changes, lack of fizz, powdery surface, mold growth and staining or mushiness.

Should bath bombs be stored in the fridge?

Refrigeration between 35-40°F can effectively prolong the shelf life of bath bombs up to 18 months by preventing premature moisture absorption.

Can you use bath bombs after the expiration date?

It’s not recommended to use bath bombs past their expiration date, as the ingredients and scents will be degraded and skin irritation could occur. Best to discard expired bombs.


When properly stored away from heat, light, and humidity, most bath bombs will retain their moisture, fragrance, and fizz for approximately 9-12 months past the manufacturing date. Certain ingredients and conditions can shorten or extend a bath bomb’s shelf life. Keep bath bombs in a cool, dark place to get the most enjoyment out of these soak-enhancing treats before making a fresh batch. Discard any bombs that lose their visual appeal, aroma, or bubbles. With some simple storage measures, you can relax knowing your bath bombs will last until you are ready to drop them in the tub for some self-care.

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