Vanilla Chai Tea Exfoliating Bath Bombs

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These homemade bath bombs help exfoliate away dead skin while you relax and soak in the bathtub. 

Three homemade bath bombs on a turquoise towel

Lush bath bombs have become really trendy over the last few years. However, you can make your own fun fizzies for a fraction of the price of store bought and get really creative with the ingredients.

In this easy bath bomb recipe, I use a chai tea leaves blend because tea leaves can also help to gently exfoliate dead skin. By adding them to your homemade bath bombs, you’ll get a nice gentle exfoliation while you relax and soak in the tub.

When it comes to bath bomb ingredients, I don’t usually use polysorbate 80 in my recipes. I’ve had a lot of people ask for a recipe that won’t cause the colorant to stick to the side of the tub though, and you need polysorbate 80 for that. You can add polysorbate 80 to other DIY bath bomb recipes where you want the same effect.

If you’ve been wondering, adding polysorbate 80 to your homemade beauty projects is also how to make bath bombs without citric acid. While citric acid has its own benefits, some people are sensitive to it. So substituting polysorbate 80 for citric acid in bath bombs is an easy way to get more fizz in your tub too.

If you like DIY bath products, check out my moisturizing Mojito Coconut Oil Bath Melts tutorial.

Three homemade bath bombs on a turquoise hand towel

Exfoliating Vanilla Chai Tea Bath Bombs

Learn how to make homemade bath bombs that help exfoliate dead skin while you soak in the bathtub.
5 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup powdered buttermilk
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon polysorbate 80
  • 2-3 drops gel food coloring - flesh or light brown
  • 4 tablespoons Chai Tea - (about 4-6 tea bags)
  • Rubbing alcohol - in a spray bottle


  • Bath bomb molds
  • Large mixing bowl


  • In a large mixing bowl, add the baking soda, powdered buttermilk and cornstarch. Whisk dry ingredients together.
    Dry ingredients for bath bombs without citric acid
  • Add the coconut oil. This binds all the ingredients together, so you bath bombs don’t crumble when you touch them! Next, add the polysorbate 80. This helps the coconut oil disperse more evenly in your bath water, makes the bath bombs bubbly and prevents the colorant from sticking to the side of the tub.
    Ready to add coconut oil to dry bath bomb ingredients
  • Add the colorant to the bath bomb mixture.
    Gel food coloring being added to bath bomb mixture in glass mixing bowl
  • Mix everything together thoroughly. You may need to use your hands to break down any lumps and make sure everything is mixed in. The mixture is perfect when it holds together when you press it into your hands and feels like wet sand.
    Food coloring mixed evenly into bath bomb ingredients
  • Mix in the Vanilla Chai Tea.
    Vanilla chai tea leaves added to bath bomb ingredients in large bowl
  • Add the mixture to the bath bomb press until they are slightly overflowing. Fill the other side of the mold with the mixture.
    Bath bomb mixture added to two halves of a stainless steel bath bomb mold
  • Press molds together.
    Pressing the filled bath bomb mold halves together
  • Grind molds together to remove the excess mixture.
    Grinding stainless steel bath bomb mold together to press and remove excess mixture
  • Gently tap each side of the mold to release the bombs. Allow to dry a minimum of 24 hours. If your climate is wet or cold, allow an additional 24 hours. My rule of thumb is that when it is hard to the touch, they are ready for the tub! Store in an airtight container until ready for use.
    What homemade bath bombs look like after being removed from the bath bomb press


How to Use a Bath Bomb

Keep away from water until ready to use. Put the bath bomb in warm water in your tub. Then sit back, relax and enjoy its wonderful benefits for skin. 

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