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Happy Bubble Bath Day

Posted by  ·  January 8, 2010  ·  Last Updated: January 8, 2010

I have been looking for something soothing to put in my daughter’s bath to help with her extremely dry skin— besides olive oil (which makes her very slippery 😉 ).  So in honor of Bubble Bath day we decided to whip up our own bubble bath.

If you don’t want to make your own bubble bath it is at least a good reason to enjoy a nice relaxing bath!

Please read note about this project at the bottom of the post.

Homemade Bubble Bath

3 oz glycerin

1 – 4 oz bar of castile soap

4 cups distilled water

skin safe 100% pure essential oil (we used about 10 drops of lavender)

The ingredients call all be found at a grocery store. The glycerin was in the pharmacy/health and beauty section near the band aids. The essential oil was in the health food section.  Make sure the essential oil is 100% pure and safe for the skin.

Grate or finely chop the bar of castile soap.

Make sure it is finely chopped, it will make it easier to dissolve in the water.

Mix the chopped soap, 3 ounces glycerin and about 6 or more drops of essential oil into 4 cups distilled water.  I didn’t have  distilled water so I boiled four cups of water.  I allowed the water to cool slightly.  I think the warm water helped the soap to dissolve.

Pour the bubble bath into a container. We put some of it in this container my daughter found at Hobby Lobby.  They are made for sand art.  The bubble bath is now too thick for this container— but wouldn’t have made cute favors? They have loads of different shapes, even a rocket.

The verdict, no bubbles. We used about a half a cup in the bath.  It made a milky looking bath. As long as it helps my daughter’s skin and keeps her from complaining it is a success. But it is not a winner for bubbles.

HELP – Later in the day the bubble bath was a really thick mixture, like thick pudding.  I re-made the bubble bath with distilled water to see if the hot water had changed the structure of the mixture — same results.

Does anybody know what I did wrong?

If you have a recipe for a moisturizing bubble bath for very sensitive skin please share in the comments!

I am off to drown my disappointment in a warm bath!

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Leave a Comment


  1. Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
    Yes, Dove will work regardless of water "hardness". Or you could just get the ingredients in Dove that make the foam: chiefly sodium lauroyl (or cocoyl) isethionate, with cocamidopropyl betaine to make the bubbles last and make it a little milder. But I would encourage you to learn about other foaming agents and experiment as I did. My own mixture (out of patent by now) is diammonium (or disodium if you want solid) lauryl sulfosuccinate, lauramidopropyl betaine (preferably mixed with some palmitamidopropyl betaine for more skin softening), and disodium lauryl ether(3) sulfosuccinate, in descending order.
  2. tracy
    Sunday, May 5th, 2013
    Use do a bar of Dove sensitive soap instead of the castile, it suds nicely and is great for the skin.
  3. Britni
    Thursday, January 24th, 2013
    try using half the bar of soap. i make my own laundry detergent and read somewhere to use half the bar or fels naptha for my laundry detergent maybe the same came be applied here.
  4. Carol Davis
    Monday, December 10th, 2012
    use a grater to 'cut' the soap!
  5. Casey
    Saturday, November 17th, 2012
    Sugar and glycerine makes bubbles :)
  6. Saturday, May 12th, 2012
    try adding a small amount Glycerin or coconut oil to your mix.
  7. Monday, April 30th, 2012
    Hi, here is a great way to get bubbles. Add desired amount of body wash to 4 tablespoons of gelatin with one cup hot (not boiling) water in a bowl. Add more body wash if you don't want to it to dry quickly. Add one and a half tea spoon carrier oil (sweet almond, hazelnut, olive etc etc etc). If using unscented body wash, add desired amount of essential or fragrance oils (skin safe!). Mix well. The consistency should be between liquid Jello and body wash mixed with water. If too runny, add more gelatin, and mix until everything is dissolved. If too thick, add more water. Here's your chance to add color. For sensitive skin, add food color to desired shade. Mix well. Leave to set in the fridge, or you can put it in the freezer if you want to speed up the process. But you'll have to keep and eye on it to prevent it becoming frozen. Once in jello state, take to a dry-ish room and leave for one to 10 days to cure, until dry and hard on the outside but not on the inside. Time may depend on your consistency, so check everyday. Once it's like THAT, you can use it! Just run it under water that's got pressure, and it will come up with bubbles!
    It may not work with your body wash, but give it a try!
  8. Brittany
    Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
    Dr. Bronner's Liquid Organic Oil Castile Soap provides lots of bubbles and is gentle for the skin! They also have an unscented 'Baby Mild' Formula that doesn't use the essential oils for fragrance. We use it for our 4 year olds bath all the time! You can find it at health food co-ops and we carry it at our Scott's and Kroger grocery stores here. You can also get it at Trader Joe's or online.
  9. Luceile
    Saturday, August 6th, 2011
    Do away with using soap shavings, add a bit of baking soda, cream of tartar, and sodium lauryl sulfate (it's a very safe ingredient derived from coconut oil, this helps the foam) and mess with the quantities a bit.

    Works like a charm.
  10. Thursday, February 11th, 2010
    I was going to suggest Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap or even his Sal Suds too. I use Sal Suds for my homemade laundry, dishwasher and dish soap and liquid Castile Soap for hand soap...we love it and it does lather up real nice with only a little bit (especially while doing dishes!). My hubby loves the hand soap with Liquid Castile soap. I'm only able to find Sal Suds on Amazon, but the liquid CS can be found anywhere now. I'm actually going to give this recipe a try with Sal Suds and see how it turns out! I'm thinking I'll make these for a baby shower favor at my baby shower in a couple weeks! Thanks for the idea! =)
  11. Monique
    Sunday, January 24th, 2010
    My little girl has/had eczema. We have used the olive oil in the bath water too and the same soap that you have in your picture. The soap was just by accident but it seems to have worked because she doesn't have it anymore. Sometimes in her bath I use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Foaming Bath, but I only use about a teaspoon.
  12. Thursday, January 14th, 2010
    My 5 yr old has eczema and an allergy to oatmeal. We don't do soap except on the bits that really need it. We've never tried bubble bath because I fear the consequences. We have the same problem as Wendy with Dr. Bronner's. Wanted to love it, but it makes everything dry, dry, dry. Good luck on your quest for bubbles.
  13. Monday, January 11th, 2010
    ok - I have an idea - not to make bubbles in the bath but I read thru all the comments and it looks like for you to get your desired sensitive skin soap AND bubbles seems to not be an option - so what about getting her some bubbles that she can blow/play with while IN the bath? It can be her own version of a bubble bath :D Sorry for her :(
  14. Monday, January 11th, 2010
    I use ground oatmeal in my daughter's bath, with some baking soda for redness/irritation. You can buy it at the store or make it at home. Works wonders.
  15. Kristina
    Sunday, January 10th, 2010
    Ever heard of Renew from Melaleuca? They just came out with a whole skin care line. Lotion, body wash, hand soap, bath oil. It doesn't solve the bath bubbles, but the products will really help your skin.
  16. Wendy
    Sunday, January 10th, 2010
    I have found the natural products I have used containing coconut oil or liquid castel soap do suds up, but the bubbles last for a very short time in the tub. Another thing to consider is if you have hard or soft water. The minerals in hard water combine with the natural soap and cause soap scum. This may have a significant affect on lather/suds. I have read many negative comments of natural products and this is most likely the culprit. Lastly, re: Dr. Bronner's, I really wanted to love it, but it dries my skin out. I have used both the liquid castile and the bar varieties.
  17. Sunday, January 10th, 2010
    My son has extremely sensitive skin - soap is so irritating to his skin. For cleansing, we only use Cetaphil. His skin really gets itchy at both extremes of summer and winter. We use colloidal oatmeal (just grind regular oatmeal in the food processor) in his bath and it really helps his skin. It does take some extra rinsing after the bath, but it's better than all of the other options we've tried.

    Can't wait to see if you find a solution that works well for you too.
  18. Annegret
    Sunday, January 10th, 2010
    I can not help you with your question. One thing i did when my boy was small, was, that I put milk into his bath. And that did really help.

  19. Saturday, January 9th, 2010
    Hi! After being quite frustrated with the lack of skin products that had natural ingredients that didn't cost a fortune, my friend and I started our own company. I have lots of WIONDERFUL bubble bath, and it is sugar based, so it's sulphate free so it doesn't dry you out. all of our scents are skin safe. I'd love to send you a sample! Let me know.
    [email protected]
    thanks! I love your website!
    -Piper Wise
  20. Saturday, January 9th, 2010
    I'm telling you, I get bubbles with the Buddy Wash and it is clearly labeled no SLS! Not over the top, bubble-bath bubbles, but maybe 2-3" covering the whole top of the water - definitely enough for a kid to play in! I tried it when I took a bath last night and it was great! I will go bathe my dogs and take a pic.
  21. Silvelaine
    Saturday, January 9th, 2010
    Escalda pés é mesmo muito relaxante depois de um longo dia de trabalho. Acho mesmo que serve para qulaquer dia, porque cuidar de si é muito importante.
  22. Saturday, January 9th, 2010
    Well I can't help you with your question but I did want to thank you for telling where to find the glycerin. I've seen projects calling for that before but had no clue where to look for it.

    Also wanted to tell you I enjoyed the homemade gummies post. Making them at home, had no idea you could do that!
  23. Saturday, January 9th, 2010
    Ok I looked it up with my bigger soaping friends and the ingredient that makes bubble bath bubble is SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). That is what makes shampoo bubble like crazy. It makes lovely bubbles but is not friendly at all to sensitive skin. Sorry. You can make lovely natural liquid soap that makes some bubbles but they won't hold up in the tub. I am affraid I am seriously bummed because the bubbles are so fun but not worth the rash. My children have found though that they enjoy other bath treats just as well such as salts, teas, and milk baths. You might try them for some spoiling fun.
  24. Amy
    Saturday, January 9th, 2010
    I have tried every different kind of BB and found them all lacking! So, now we use LOC from Amway! Yes, it is a cleaning product~but it is biodegradable and make the BEST bubbles. The kids and the tub get clean and after an hour in the tub their skin is not dried out but soft and nice..no lotion needed! Weird I know but safe and smells nice too.
  25. Amy
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    My daughter will be 5 in a couple of weeks and due to her sensitive, dry skin she knows we don't ever do bubble baths and accepts this because they hurt her. The Crayola tablets that turn the water colors are a LOT of fun and don't irritate her skin, even if we throw in two or three. Adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda to the bath water helps also, as it soothes minor skin irritations.

    For some serious benifit, my dermatologist recommended CeraVe skin cream. It is available over the counter but you may need to get it from the pharmacy. It rubs in without leaving a greasy residue, works phenomenally well, and is the only lotion/cream that doesn't cause pain or itching for her. It's a bit pricey, but it works so well that it's totally worth it. The other thing that has helped is that we switched to showers...much less irritating than the bath. Good luck!
  26. Mindy
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    All four of my kids have eczema. After a bath and before bed we rub them down with Aquaphor. It works miracle on the chapped lips as well.


    I get mine at Costco but for some reason they keep it behind the counter so ask the pharmacist. You can also get it anywhere else.
  27. rkwpnw
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Can you add shampoo? I do this with my daughters bath water; she also has very sensitive, dry skin
  28. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Another vote for Dr. Bronner's liquid castile. You can get it at Good Earth, here in Utah County. It is wonderful stuff! I use it in all my bathroom soap dispensers and sometimes in my kids baths. It bubbles wonderfully and is so good for your skin.
  29. Amy
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    We used Amway LOC and for the kids we would occasionally get a gallon jug of the high suds style. Worked great and our youngest son has eczema and I don't think it ever g ave him a bit of trouble!
  30. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I didn't read through all the comments but add oatmeal for dry skin. Very soothing. Also, castile soap isn't bubbly....it isn't like soap at all since it only breaks the bond between clean & dirty. (You can see I obviously have a PhD in physics & chemistry.) A little goes a long way & it makes the water milky like. We've been Dr. Bronner's fans for years. So...if you're looking for bubbles from castile soap...I've never had it happen. Jason's & Auria Cacia makes some bath stuff that fizzes... :{ ..

    Careful with the oatmeal if you do lots it can make the tub slick. I like to add some oats that have been whirled in the blender to make a flour. Sprinkle them to the water & swish. Lavender oil in the water is good too for skin issues.
  31. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I love using Suave Kids Free & Gentle Body Wash for my boys. It makes great bubbles in the bath and is very gentle on the skin - no dies, scents, or harsh soap. I even use it to wash their hair.
  32. Lisa Nova
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    to get bubbles like your 'typical' bubble bath, you have to use SLS unfortunately. As far as i've experimented there's really not any way around it...SLS is what makes everything lather up, like shampoo, bubble bath, hand soap, etc. Yucky, i know. Sorry!
  33. Eko
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Commenter Erin: I love it. Cloud Star Buddy Wash. Funny, but like you said, nice ingredients. Human baby wash with an ingredient list like that is at least twice as expensive!
  34. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I don't know about the bubble bath, but if you use 1 part of the glycerin to 4-5 parts distilled water (tho i prefer aloe vera water & a bit of witch hazel) you'll have a wonderful, if very liquid, dry skin spray or "lotion." My skin was so dry last year & nothing worked until i found this.
  35. Joni
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I love Dr. Bronners. Its great for sensitive skin. My daughter had dermitites (sp) when she was little. the only thing that worked was give her a oatmeal bath and slather (i dont think that is a word!!) with Nivia Cream. she slept with socks on her hands and feet for years. She was a little blond and her scalp was black from the scabs that this condition caused. i had to use tar shampoo on her and scrape her head with a comb every time it got bad enough to see. Luckly, she has pretty much out-grown it, except a little on her fingers and toes. So, i guess i am saying by the time she is 35, like my daughter, it might go away!!!!!!!
  36. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    We make something similar and use liquid castile soap. There are bubbles, but only for a monent. I think it's just the nature of natural 'soaps.'

    I also give my kids a massage wtih grape seed oil after baths in the winter to help with dry skin. We all like it a lot.
  37. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I know what you mean. My daughter has very dry skin and on her arms,(since she was 2 or 3) she has small reddished scratchy bumps.The dr diagnosed it as a form of psoriasis.I have looked for many different bath soaps that will moisturize but nothing perfumey.I have not made my own bath soaps and such as of yet.
  38. Karen
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Coconut oil by itself works really well as a skin moisturizer. I have psoriasis and live in the midwest, and it's been keeping me sane this winter. I found my big jar for about $7 near the olive oil in the health food section of a grocery store. It's solid at 72 or less, but if you scoop out a little, it warms in your hands in a matter of seconds.
  39. aimee
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I have had great luck with homemade milk baths and oatmeal bath for my ds with skin issues (no milk alergies here!). I can dig up our recipes if you are interested.
  40. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Thanks for the recipe.
  41. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I have a recipe for homemade shampoo that calls for one spoon full of glycerin as a thickening agent, mixed with 2 cups of other liquids. I think it takes about a day to fully set up to shampoo consistency.
    Thanks for telling me where to find it in the store, I was about 10 minutes away from ordering online.
  42. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Cindy, your tips have been such a blessing to me (In fact I tweet & post your links all the time) that I dropped what I was doing to check all my "sources". What I found was what you did was right. I was going to reccomend Dr. Bonners but see it has already been reccomended. Definatly use the liquid, as I used the bar for laundry detergent and was dissapointed. I went to tipnut.com and found this recipe for liquid hand soap, bubbles there, you may be able to try this http://tipnut.com/homemade-liquid-soap/. Coconut Oil is a good one, look for me on twitter-ValerieNeal, and the next time Tropical Traditions offers a free jar of oil to review, I will make sure you get the tweet. I'll keep looking, I need to pull out my soap e-books and check them, and if I find anything I will run right back over and let you know!!!!
  43. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I sell Arbonne and we have all botanically based products that are pure, safe & beneficial. Our products don't contain mineral oil, which can "feel" like you are adding moisture to the skin but you are actually depleting it. If you would like more info please check out my website!
  44. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    You might think this is crazy, but hear me out! I have Yorkies, not kids, so we use Cloud Star Buddy Wash (the lavender/original scent). It's "soap" free (No SLS) I use it in all of my soap dispensers (diluted w/ distilled water in those foaming dispensers) I use it as a body wash and of course, I use it on my dogs once or twice a week. My groomer friend switched to it and it kept her hands from drying out. I have yet to encounter a dog smell/mess it can't get out, so I don't worry about the lack of "soap". I have not found a human shampoo or body wash, as pure as this - especially for $10 for a big bottle! It lathers up pretty well so you'll get some bubbles, but it rinses away cleanly. Next time I bathe the pups I will add the soap before the dogs and send you a picture of the bubbles. I will seriously use this on my kids when I have them. It smells so good! :)

    Buddy Wash Ingredients:
    Coconut shampoo base, aloe vera gel, essence of lavender, essence of mint, chamomile extract, sage extract, nettles extract, rosemary extract, wheat protein extract (natural deodorizing agent), tea tree oil, vitamin E, vitamin C.
  45. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    that's a bummer. Hopefully you had fun mixing it all together. It was one more memory made with your daughter, she will never forget the time you two made bubble bath that ended up with no bubbles.
  46. LisaP
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I was also going to suggest adding coconut oil (which is actually more of a butter consistency at room temp)... I don't know a ton about soap-making, but I do know that it's great for lather AND skin! Plus it smells yummy if you get the virgin stuff. Mmmm, summer! :) Poke around on thesage.com... I window-shop like crazy there.
  47. Deb
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Funny...my 4 year old last night wanted bubbles but his skin sensitive wash doesn't make bubbles. Everything I had that I knew would make bubbles would make his skin go crazy. Hope you figure it out so I can surprise my son!
  48. Anne in NC
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    I've used Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap for years -- now you can even get it at Target in the organic beauty section.
  49. Fawn
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Target also sells Dr. Bronner's.......
  50. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    what a great idea to make. please share when you find the missing ingredient!
  51. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Dr. Bronners is a liquid castile soap. I just switched over to it and LOVE IT! I use both in the kitchen and in the bath. I guess you could use it to make your own bubble bath, but it would work just fine on its own. I ordered it from Azure Standard, but have seen it at Trader Joes and Whole Foods.
  52. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Ok just guessing here .... having made soap for years but castile soap never does have much of a lather. It is wonderful for the skin but that is it's drawback with customers is they don't like the lack luster lather. This is why soappers add coconut oil to their soaps, because of the lather properties. I will give this a try with some of my regular recipe soap which by the way is great for sensitive skin (my kids are all sensitive). I will see if it work but am wondering if it is the nature of natural soap. I will also ask my soap guru if she has ideas. Thanks for sharing this. I am excited to give it a try.
  53. Dianne
    Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Try adding a baby shampoo, it should be mild enough to not dry skin but will add bubbles.
  54. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Oh and for bubbles, us a liquid castile soap. ; )
    • Friday, January 8th, 2010
      Aimee, would you use the same amount of liquid castile soap. Also where would you find liquid castile soap.

      Many recipes called for ingredients that make more bubbles (dish soap, shampoo) but I think these ingredients can irritate sensitive skin?? That is why I tried the bar of castile soap.
  55. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    Add more water until you reach your desired constancy...that recipe makes for a thick liquid soap.

    http://www.susiescountrygarden.com/ A friend of mine used to make soaps that I sold for her and she sold online...she's more of a quilter now but she started making them for the same reason, dry, sensitive skin. You can visit and ask her too.
  56. Friday, January 8th, 2010
    awe! thanks for this...sorry about the bubbles...I didn't se anything in the ingredients to make bubbles...Like dish soap type stuff....hope someone can help casue my family all can realy use this....

    I so love your blog everyday....thanks for being here.....