Easy DIY bubble bath with essential oil

DIY Bubble Bath (When Mommy Needs A Timeout)

February 26, 2016 by Michelle

This shop featuring DIY bubble bath has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlissfulMoments #CollectiveBias
How to make bubble bath tutorial and recipe

I realized something recently. I’m one person. And there are three people in my family who need me what feels like all.the.time. It’s mentally exhausting at times, and when I keep pushing myself to do all the things I feel like I should do, I crack. I don’t sleep well, I am not patient with my kids, my to do list scares me and I procrastinate, and .,, all the bad things. I know I’m not alone. I posted about it on Facebook this morning, and it’s one of my most commented on posts in awhile.

But life doesn’t have to be that way.

When my kids were younger, I would give them timeouts. They weren’t punishment but time for them to reflect and regroup. I didn’t set a time to them generally, but it was an attitude. “You need to relax. When you’re ready to talk, come over and we’ll discuss this.” That was my general rule, and it worked well for us. So why am I not applying it to myself more often?

I work, I volunteer, I’m the sole chef in my house (and we don’t eat out much so that’s a lot of cooking and cleaning and shopping), I chauffeur, I tutor, I clean… I have all the hats, and by the time the wee ones go to bed, I’m mentally exhausted. Even at 10 and 12, they need me all too often. When I then try to push myself to “just get a few more things done” the process is slow and painful. And I get frustrated with myself that I don’t get more of my own things done. And the cycle perpetuates.

That isn’t the way life should be. I shouldn’t be constantly frustrated with myself that I didn’t do more. And as one friend pointed out to me, my life shouldn’t always be on the back burner. The fact that it can take me two hours to eat my breakfast because people need me when they’re home isn’t reasonable. It’s ok for me to say that I’m taking time for myself and will help once I finish what I need to do. Too often I classify it as what I want to do instead of what I need to do, but when we’re talking about my sanity and happiness and parenting, it quickly becomes a need and not a want.

Needless to say, that’s why I made this DIY bubble bath. It’s my reminder that I have permission to take time for myself, a Mommy Timeout if you will, that isn’t a punishment but the same philosophy I gave my kids years ago – go and mentally recharge and come back when you’re ready. And yes, DIY bubble bath fits into that.

The idea came to me while I was – shockingly – shopping for things to cook for dinner at Walmart the other day. As I pushed my cart through the granola bar aisle, I saw the new Betty Crocker™ Soft Baked Bars. And the angels sang and a lightbulb went off in my head.

Betty Crocker Soft Baked Bars at Walmart


I need to take a timeout after my kids go to bed. I need to give myself permission to do something for myself and not feel guilty that I’m not doing “more” – whatever that means. I need to accept the life I’m living now and not the life I want to live. I grabbed the Betty Crocker™ Sweet Rewards Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar and the Betty Crocker™ Sweet Rewards Caramel Brownie Bar, along with the supplies I needed to make the DIY bubble bath, and I got to work.

Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards boxes and bar

The marketing of the Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards bars spoke to my need to take a timeout and recharge. They’re delicious soft baked bars that are an indulgent treat, yet in a convenient, single serve bar (so I’m being conscious of my indulgences – natch). And obviously, they come in some of my favorite flavors. And I don’t have to make them – they’re just there for me as I give myself permission to take the timeout. Perfect.

Sparkling cider and a Betty Crocker Soft Baked Bar for a mom's timeout

When Mommy Needs A Timeout – How to Take It

I’ve found that there are five keys to the perfect Mommy Timeout. Once the wee ones go to bed, I give myself permission to turn off my responsibilities and take a bath to unwind so that I’m ready and able to do everything I need to the next day. And yes, I have to give myself permission because it’s too easy to feel guilty otherwise.


5 requirements to enjoy a mom's timeout

DIY Bubble Bath. There’s something about a bath that I find so relaxing and indulgent, and that’s what I need. But I have sensitive skin, and I hate putting too many chemicals on it, plus many scents give me migraines. That’s why I create my own DIY bubble bath. Admittedly, without the surfectants (not gonna compromise there), a DIY bubble bath isn’t as deliciously foamy as commercial bubble bath products, but I’m ok with that. It works better in soft water than the hard (very hard) water here we live, but it gives me enough bubbles to make me happy, keeps my skin soft, and the essential oils I add to my DIY bubble bath make me happy.

Easy DIY bubble bath with essential oil

A good book. I’m not good at sitting and doing nothing. It’s a major character flaw, and I recognize that. Fortunately, I love to read, and that relaxes me. I have a stack of books to read at any given time, but often I feel like I’m falling behind, so my bath is the perfect time to catch up on my reading. It’s a triple benefit – I check something off my to do list, relax, and keep myself busy without being stressed.

A timer. The timer is critical because I can get lost in a book. I’ve been known to read in bed and suddenly realize it’s 2am. The DIY bubble bath helps moisturize my skin, but sitting in the bath too long will undo its effects, so I limit myself to a 25 minute soak. When the timer goes off, I finish the sentence, put my bookmark in and climb out – relaxed and recharged.

Sparkling cider. There’s something indulgent about drinking something fizzy in the bath. I don’t want to have any alcohol, as my goal is to remain clear headed and ready to face the next day, but I love drinking sparkling cider. It’s not just for New Year’s Eve, and it comes in all sorts of great flavors. The black currant is one of my favorites, as is a good raspberry. Extra bonus? They are screw tops, so it’s easy to save some for the next time you take a Mommy Timeout with that DIY bubble bath and awesome little indulgent treat. Note that I’ve learned to use a glass without a stem so I don’t have to worry about it tipping over.

Enjoy sparkling cider with a mommy timeout

An indulgent treat. Seriously, is there anything more relaxing than an indulgent bath with a good book, sparkling cider, DIY bubble bath… and an indulgent treat? I take one of those Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards bars and place it on a dessert plate to enjoy slowly while I read and relax in the tub. It’s soft and delicious, which means no crumbs falling into the tub – because I’m not about to mess with crumbs after the effort I went through to take a Mommy Timeout.

A bit of indulgence for mommy's timeout

My goal is to enjoy my bath solo and focus on recharging, but if you live anything like my life, you know that’s unlikely to happen quite as planned. The wee ones are great about going to bed and falling straight asleep, so I don’t have to worry about them wandering around and needing me, but my cats? They can’t stand when I’m home and they can’t crawl on my lap. So of course Roar decided he wanted to try to take a bath with me. Poor kitty was so confused when he couldn’t actually get into the tub. What can you do? It may not be the perfect Mommy Timeout with no interruptions, but those five keys make a big difference. Accepting that it may not be perfect or the way you planned and being ok with that concept is critical to your Mommy Timeout working, too.

Cat wants to take a bath

Did you notice what I didn’t mention? There are no electronics. My phone stays downstairs. If someone needs me, they can wait a half hour. No phone call or email is that critical – and if it is, they can call my husband. The same goes with my iPad. Though I generally read on my iPad at night, it’s too tempting to check emails so my strict rule is only actual books. The lack of electronics is a great way to ensure your indulgence stays just that.

And now for the best part…

How to make DIY Bubble Bath

As I mentioned, a DIY bubble bath won’t create those huge bubbles that you buy because it includes pure ingredients and doesn’t have all those sulfates that we should try to avoid. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or that it isn’t exactly what I need for my Mommy Timeout. And I’m ok with that – and you should be, too.

It’s a simple four ingredient “recipe.” All you need is glycerin, pure castile soap, water, and essential oil. I love citrus, so I tend to make mine with orange or lemongrass, but there are so many great options. I can’t do lavender, as it’s a migraine trigger for me, but that would be a great pre-bedtime indulgence. Just make sure you have unscented castile soap so that you can choose the scent of your DIY bubble bath.

Ingredients needed for DIY Bubble Bath

I start by putting my water into a teapot to boil and chopping my castile soap. The smaller you chop it, the easier it will be to melt. You remember physics and the theory of surface area, right?

Chop the castile soap to make melting easier

The glycerin and chopped castile soap go into a small pan that I turn to low on my stove. I stir this to help jumpstart the melting while my water boils. You don’t want it to steam or smoke at all, so keep an eye on it. Once the water boils, carefully pour it over the glycerin and castile soap, and stir slowly until it all dissolves. This takes just a few minutes, as the castile soap is oil based.

Once your DIY bubble bath has cooled, add in the essential oil of your choice and stir to incorporate.

Add essential oil to your DIY bubble bath

I place mine into a pretty glass jar I picked up at Walmart and store it next to my bathtub. I have a wide surround, so I don’t have to worry about it ever dropping. The DIY bubble bath will last for about 2 months. To use, turn on your water and add an eighth to a quarter cup to the water, depending on the size of your tub – and no, you know you don’t need to measure. Eyeball it!

DIY Bubble Bath

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

DIY Bubble Bath

This all natural bubble bath is a perfect easy indulgence that leaves your skin soft and smelling great without any harmful chemicals.


  • 2 c water
  • 1/2 c glycerin
  • 2 oz pure castile soap, chopped
  • 15-20 drops essential oil (orange, lavender, something relaxing)


  1. Place water into a teapot and start to bring a boil.
  2. Chop the castile soap - the more finely you chop it, the quicker it will melt. Place chopped castile soap and glycerin into a small pot and turn heat to low. Stir and begin melting.
  3. Once the water boils,pour it slowly over the glycerin and castile soap. Stir gently until dissolved, then let cool.
  4. Once at room temperature, add essential oil and stir to incorporate. Pour into a glass jar and seal.
  5. To use, add 1/8 to 1/4 cup to bath water as the tub is being filled. This will keep up to 2 months.


This will not be the super foamy bubble bath you buy at the store. With no surfectants, it can't be. The harder your water, the fewer bubbles you will have, but enjoy the softness of your skin from the moisturizers and essential oils!

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Have you ever made DIY bubble bath? What else would you use to create a moment of needed indulgence besides that and Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards?


  • Lisa

    I totally want to make my own bubble bath now.
    And I should probably start using a timer. I had to stop taking bubble baths for a bit because my back was so dry i was going insane from itchiness because I was taking 1 and 2 hour baths. I use a kindle to read (with a waterproof case) and my phone for music. And somehow my cats can now open my bathroom door even if its closed (I can’t bring myself to lock it since I’m the only adult in the house in case of an emergency) but now I’m adding a snack/treat to my bathtime list too!!!

  • Jenn

    Love the bubble bath idea! My hubby was just asking me if we had any (when he discovered we were also out of Epsom Salt). I have all these things on hand for Miss m’s girl science books, so I think I need to throw together a manly scented bubble bath (and matching epsom salts) for the Mister.

  • Angela Bishop

    I never knew bubble bath could be so easy to make! What a perfect way to enjoy a sweet treat. #client

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