Winding down at the end of a long day in a big tub of bubbles is hands down, no contest one of the best ways to relax your body and mind. But what is up for debate is whether that $50 bottle of fancy bubble bath is really that much better than our super-easy DIY recipe. Intrigued? Brewing up your own blend of scents and healing oils affords you the opportunity to customize your soak sesh to your exact preferences. Plus, isn’t it nicer knowing exactly what you’re submerging your body in? Here’s a step-by-step guide for homemade bubble bath.

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How to Make Homemade Bubble Bath Because You’re Fancy (*and* Thrifty)

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

To make your own homemade bubble bath, you’ll need the following items:

  1. Liquid castile soap
    Unlike your typical hand soaps that are made with animal fats or synthetics, castile soap is formulated exclusively with plant-based oils. Named for the Castile region of Spain—where the soap originated—you can find castile soap made with coconut, palm, hemp or jojoba oil, to name just a few. We like Dr. Bronner’s unscented version or Quinn’s pure organic.

  2. Water

  3. An essential oil
    Essential oils are the compounds extracted from plants that contain their scents and flavors. They’re also typically important to the plant itself and used within it to fend off infection and heal wounds. We follow the plant’s lead and harness its very “essence” for ourselves come bath time. 

  4. Solubilizer (aka your emulsifier)
    A solubilizer (like this $10 organic option from Amazon) is your emulsifier, because as we remember from grade school, water and oil don’t mix. Other effective, but not quite as powerful, alternatives for a solubilizer are glycerin (found in your local craft store or you can order it here) and coconut oil (like this one).

  5. A bottle to shake it all up in
    We like this one because it’s easy to control how much you’re dispensing and it has easy-to-read measurement markings, but check out these embossed glass bottles if you’re looking for a prettier, more gift-worthy option.

Step 2: Pick an Essential Oil (If You Want)

While it’s not necessary for cleansing suds, adding an essential oil to your elixir transforms your regular ol’ bath into an aromatic, physically healing, at-home spa. Your olfactory system (aka sense of smell) is directly tied to the emotional center of your brain, so when you catch a whiff of something tied to a happy memory—like the way fresh cut grass makes you think of summer—your body releases feel-good and relaxing chemicals. The best essential oils for an aroma-filled, relaxing experience are lavender, vanilla and jasmine, but if you’re not a big fan of smells, stick with less-potent options like rosemary, eucalyptus or thyme. 

There are lots of oils to choose from, but here’s a breakdown of some of our favorites.

  • Lavender: Best for relaxation and calming
  • Peppermint or chamomile: Best for sore muscles
  • Juniper: Best for muscle spasms and tension relief
  • Lemongrass or arnica: Best for joint inflammation relief
  • Rosemary or eucalyptus: Best for allover pain relief from bruising or injuries

Step 3: Mix It Up

Pour equal parts water and castile soap into your bottle (about ½ cup to one cup of each, depending on how big your bottle is). Add ¼ cup solubilizer and about 10 drops of your desired essential oils, if using. Close the bottle and shake it up.

Step 4: Close the Bathroom Door and Enjoy

Pour half a cup of your homemade bubble bath mixture over the water running into your tub. Grab a glass of wine, submerge and relax.

Ahhh, much better.

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