With the rising popularity of cruelty-free, handmade bath and beauty products, it’s not surprising that signature bath bombs from Lush have taken the world by storm. Everyone wants to get their hands on these fun, fizzy, and colorful little bath bombs, but the high price and limited store locations have caused many to seek alternatives. Making your own bath bombs isn’t too difficult but finding the key ingredient, citric acid, can be difficult if you aren’t sure where to look.

Citric acid, one of the key, active ingredients in bath bombs is perhaps the most difficult ingredient to find. This article will help you find citric acid and get you on your way to making your very own luxurious bath bombs.

In This Article:

  • What Is Citric Acid?

  • Why Is Citric Acid an Important Bath Bomb Ingredient?

  • Citric Acid Safety

  • How to Make Bath Bombs Using Citric Acid (Video Tutorial)

  • How to Find Local Stores That Sell Citric Acid

  • Chain Stores That Sell Citric Acid

  • Online Stores That Sell Citric Acid

  • Where to Buy Citric Acid in Bulk

  • Other Uses for Citric Acid (If You Have Leftovers)

What Is Citric Acid?

Citric acid is a weak organic acid that occurs naturally in citrus fruit. Although the word ‘acid’ may sound scary, citric acid is edible and actually has many common, every day uses. Because citric acid is such an effective preservative, it’s added to canned foods to help prevent the growth of botulism. It can also be used as a sour flavoring, an emulsifying agent, and as an additive in processed foods. Although it can be derived from lemon or pineapple juice, modern citric acid is often made from Aspergillus niger — common black mold — because it is a cheap, safe, and effective process.

Citric acid comes in either anhydrous (dry) or monohydrate (liquid) form. For bath bombs, you’ll need to buy dry citric acid. Most citric acid available for purchase is in a powder or fine granular form, so finding the right type of acid for homemade bath bombs typically isn’t a problem.

Why Is Citric Acid an Important Bath Bomb Ingredient?

The fizzing effect of bath bombs is one of their biggest appeals. The fizziness happens when two key ingredients, baking soda and citric acid, react to the water. This reaction causes the release of carbon dioxide gas and makes bubbles erupt as the bath bomb dissolves. Although citric acid substitutes like cream of tartar or lemon juice can be used, citric acid gives your bath bombs a more impressive fizz.

Citric Acid Safety

Although an acid, citric acid is fairly mild and generally safe to use. Though ingesting large quantities can cause abdominal pain and sore throat. This means when purchasing citric acid, always be sure to buy food grade or non-food grade that is marked safe for external use.

How to Make Bath Bombs Using Citric Acid

Here’s the best video tutorial out there. After you get your citric acid, you may enjoy coming back to this page and following along:

Finding Local Stores That Sell Citric Acid

There are many places you can look nearby before turning to online ordering. A few general places to buy citric acid are:

  • Health food stores
  • Pharmacies or drugstores
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets; look in the kosher or food canning supply sections
  • Wine/beer making supply stores
  • Stores that sells cheese making supplies
  • Craft/hobby stores
  • Baking supply stores
  • Restaurant supply stores

Chain Stores That Sell Citric Acid

1. Walmart

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz – 846 oz
  • Form: Powder
  • Grade: Food
  • Store Locator: Find the nearest Walmart
  • Online Ordering: Citric acid’s listed here. Get $10 off your first Walmart online grocery order (citric acid qualifies as part of the order) by using this link (prices are the same as in-store, perishable items get thoroughly inspected, they load your vehicle for free, and you get a reusable welcome tote filled with snacks and other goodies).

2. Ace Hardware

3. Vitamin Shoppe

4. Now Foods*

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz – 1 lb
  • Form: Powder
  • Grade: Food
  • Store Locator: *This is not an actual store, but a brand that is widely available. Find stores carrying Now Foods Citric Acid
  • Online Ordering: Citric acid’s listed here and here.

5. Whole Foods

Online Only Stores That Sell Citric Acid

6. Amazon (Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz – 50 lbs
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Costs vary by seller, but many of the top-rated citric acids are eligible for Amazon Prime free shipping.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

7. Nuts.com (Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 1 lb – 25 lbs
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping costs are calculated based on weight and destination. Free shipping within the continental U.S. is available on orders over $59. International shipping is available. For more information and a shipping estimator, look here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

8. Wholespice (Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 3.8 oz – 5 lbs
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping will be calculated at checkout and is dependent upon which shipping option you choose. Free shipping is available on orders over $75.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

9. Bulk Apothecary (Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 1 lb – 2,000 lbs
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping cost is calculated at checkout. More information here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

10. Bulk Foods (Of course, Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 1 lb – 50 lbs
  • Form: Granular Crystals
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping costs are calculated based on weight and destination. The cost will be calculated at checkout. $5 shipping available on orders over $75 within the contiguous U.S. International shipping is available. More information here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

11. The Spice House

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz – 1 lb
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping only throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, APO, and FPO addresses. No international shipping available. Shipping costs will be calculated at checkout. More information can be found here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

12. Duda Diesel (Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 8 oz – 50 lbs
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Food; Organic; Anhydrous
  • Shipping Cost: Free shipping on all citric acid orders except for the 50 lb pail or bag. Shipping costs will be calculated at checkout and is dependent upon the carrier. Shipping fees can be calculated here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

13. The Sage (Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 1 lb – 25 lbs
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Non-food, but safe for external use
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping costs will be calculated at checkout. There’s free shipping within the continental U.S. for orders over $200. More information here.
  • Product Listing: Citric Acid’s listed here

14. National Chemicals (Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 5 lb – 40 lb
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Non-food, but safe for external use
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping fees vary depending on the type of shipment option selected. Fees will be calculated at checkout. More information here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

15. Soap Goods (Bulk Quantities Available)

  • Quantities Available: 1.5 lb – 2,000 lbs
  • Form: Fine Granular; Anhydrous
  • Grade: Non-food, but safe for external use
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping only throughout the U.S. Shipping costs vary depending on shipper service fees. No international shipping available. More information here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

16. Vitacost

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz – 1 lb
  • Form: Powder
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Within the contiguous U.S., prices vary by zip code. There is free shipping on orders of $49 or more. Standard shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and Canada is just $9.99. More information here. For international shipping information, look here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

17. iHerb

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz – 1 lb
  • Form: Powder
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping costs are dependent upon order weight and destination. International orders may be charged additional customs fees. For more information, look here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

18. LuckyVitamin

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz – 1 lb
  • Form: Powder
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Standard shipping within the continental U.S. is a flat fee of $5.95 with free shipping on orders of $49 or more. Orders to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands are shipped based on USPS real-time costs depending on the weight of the package, delivery method, and final destination. More information on domestic shipping here. International shipping costs are dependent upon the weight and destination of the order. More information on international shipping here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

19. Getsuckered.com

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping cost is calculated based on the order’s estimated weight. Minimum shipping fee is $5.55. International shipping is available, but requires a $40 minimum purchase. More information here.
  • Product Listing: Citric acid’s listed here

Where to Buy Citric Acid in Bulk

See descriptions above for details.

Amazon
Nuts.com
Wholespice
Bulk Apothecary
Bulk Foods
Duda Diesel
The Sage
National Chemicals
Soap Goods

Other Uses for Citric Acid

It’s often cheaper to buy citric acid in bulk quantities, but this means having a lot of excess after you’re done making your bath bombs. Most recipes call for about four ounces of citric acid to make three to four small bath bombs. Don’t worry about having leftover citric acid, however, because it has many uses. Common uses for citric acid include:

  • As an ingredient to make edibles such as like homemade pop rocks or homemade mozzarella.
  • As a lemon substitute in recipes.
  • As an additive to soft drinks to balance sweetness and provide a tart, refreshing flavor. More than half of all citric acid produced is used in beverages.
  • Cleaning around the house, such as for removing dishwasher stains or descaling hard water buildup in an electric tea kettle.
  • Making your own dishwasher powder.

In Summary

Using citric acid is arguably the best way to add fizz to your bath bombs. It’s why most recipes call for it. As you can see, there are many places to find citric acid for bath bombs, both in-store and online, and even in bulk. Getting it is easy. Remember to buy citric acid that’s marked as food grade or ‘safe for external use.’ Remember also that most recipes only call for about four ounces of citric acid to make four or five bath bombs. If you have extra, there lots of other household concoctions that call for it. Enjoy!

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