Bath bombs are a fun way to make any bath more enjoyable. The fizzing bubbles and inviting scent instantly transform a boring soak into a spa-like experience. Bath bombs don’t last forever, but with proper storage, you can increase their shelf life significantly. Below, learn how long bath bombs are meant to last and discover what factors can affect the shelf life of bath bombs and bath salts.
How long do bath bombs keep?
Bath bombs should last for at least six months if they are stored properly. If you make your own bath bombs, this means they should stay fresh for six months after you make them. If you’ve bought bath bombs from the store, there might not be any way to tell how recently they were made. However, using bath bombs within six months is still a good idea. In any case, the sooner you use your bath bombs, the better your results will be.
Business Tip: If you make and sell bath bombs it’s helpful to include a use-by date. A use-by date simply tells your customers how soon to use the bath bomb to get the results they were hoping for. This can help keep your customers happy while also protecting your reputation and preventing any negative reviews from customers who may have waited too long to use your product.
Do bath bombs go bad?
Most bath bombs and bath salts don’t spoil*. However, bath bombs can lose their effectiveness over time. Just like a box of baking soda in your pantry can lose its ability to create a rise in your baked goods, the baking soda in bath bombs can lose its ability to create fizzing bubbles in the bath. Likewise, citric acid can lose its potency.
That doesn’t mean that a bath bomb is “bad” or unsafe to use. In fact, you can still get the same skin-softening benefits when taking a bath with an old bath bomb. A non-fizzy bath bomb might not be as fun to bathe with, but the ingredients will still dissolve and create a soothing bath experience.
*When asking if bath bombs can go bad, it’s important to think about the ingredients used in the recipes. Bath bombs that only contain dry ingredients like baking soda, citric acid, corn starch, Kaolin clay and SLSa might not fizz much when they get old, but they are very unlikely to spoil. However, bath bombs that contain butters and oils like shea butter, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, mango butter, cocoa butter and other similar ingredients can potentially spoil.
Because butters and oils contain fat, they have the potential to go rancid over time with exposure to the air. Whereas bath bombs made with dry ingredients simply lose their potency, bath bombs made with butters and oils can disintegrate, change texture or even smell bad if the fats have spoiled. If a bath bomb containing oils smells “off” or has an unpleasant consistency, it has likely expired and should be thrown out.
It’s worth noting that fragrance oils don’t expire in the same way that ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil do. Whereas butters and oils contain fat that can spoil, fragrances don’t. Therefore, fragrance oils can’t really “go bad.” However, the scent can become less potent over time when exposed to air. If a bath bomb loses its scent, you can still safely use it. It just won’t have the same strong smell as a freshly-made bath bomb.
Like butters and oils, other additives you use can also affect the shelf life of bath bombs. When asking how do long bath bombs last, it’s important to consider the shelf life of each ingredient. Ultimately, bath bombs only last as long as the individual ingredients used to make them.
How long do bath salts keep?
Bath bombs are made with ingredients that are meant to react – baking soda and citric acid. Once they’re combined, the reaction of these ingredients can weaken over time. Bath salts, on the other hand, are typically made with little more than salt, baking soda, mica and fragrance oil. Because these ingredients do not generally react, spa salts essentially have an indefinite shelf life, and it’s virtually impossible for bath salts to spoil or “go bad.”
With that being said, additives in your bath salts can affect the shelf life. Just like bath bombs made with butters and oils can go bad, spa salts containing these ingredients can also spoil. Likewise, botanical ingredients like flower petals can degrade over time.
Whether you use additives in your bath salts or not, any moisture that gets to your product can cause it to clump. Because some people consider lumpy bath salts to be undesirable, you might say that clumped bath salts are “bad.” Clumpy bath salts are not actually spoiled in any way, but if you are selling your product, it will look much more attractive if you package your salts in a way that prevents clumping. An airtight container is the best solution.
In summary, the ingredients such as baking soda, citric acid and fragrance may lose their potency over time, but that does not mean it’s unsafe to use an old bath bomb. Bath bombs can be typically be used long after their expiration date, but the effects will not be as noticeable. The only time you should throw out an old bath bomb is if it contains ingredients such as butters, oils or other additives that have spoiled.