Where to Buy Citric Acid for Bath Bombs: Top 15 Retailers

Collection of colorful bath bombs

Disclosure: FQF is reader-supported. When you buy/reserve/sign up through a link, we may earn a commission. Editorial Policy

With the rising popularity of cruelty-free, handmade bath and beauty products, it’s no surprise signature bath bombs from Lush have taken the world by storm.

Everyone wants to get their hands on those fun, fizzy, and colorful bath bombs, but their high price and Lush’s limited store locations have caused many to seek alternatives.

Fortunately, making your own bath bombs isn’t too difficult — but finding the key ingredient, citric acid, can be a little tricky if you aren’t sure where to look.

We’ve looked into how citric acid works and where to buy citric acid for bath bombs (even where to buy citric acid in bulk in case you’re a bath boss), so you can get on your way to making your very own luxurious bath bombs.

What Is Citric Acid?

Citric acid is a weak organic acid that occurs naturally in citrus fruit. The word “acid” may sound scary, but citric acid is actually edible and has many common everyday uses.

For example, citric acid is an effective preservative, for which reason 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 an additive in processed foods.

It can be derived from lemon or pineapple juice, but modern citric acid is often made from Aspergillus niger — common black mold — because it’s a cheap, safe, and effective process.

Citric acid comes in either an anhydrous (dry) or a monohydrate (liquid) form. For bath bombs, you’ll need to buy dry citric acid, which shouldn’t be a problem since the acid is most often sold in a powder or fine granular form.

Why Is Citric Acid an Important Bath Bomb Ingredient?

One of the biggest appeals of bath bombs is their fizzing effect. 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.

You can use cream of tartar or lemon juice to substitute for citric acid in the making of bath bombs, but citric acid creates a more impressive fizz.

Is Any Citric Acid Specifically Made for Bath Bombs?

No. Any food grade or non-food grade citric acid marked safe for external use is perfectly fine to use in making bath bombs.

Although some citric acid may be marketed specifically to those who enjoy making bath bombs or other personal care products, there’s no reason to purchase from those retailers rather than others who may have a more competitive price or convenient size for your needs.

Citric Acid Safety

Although it’s an acid, citric acid is fairly mild and generally safe to use. Still, ingesting large quantities of it can cause abdominal pain and a sore throat.

When purchasing citric acid, always be sure to buy food-grade or non-food-grade that is marked safe for external use.

Finding Local Stores That Sell Citric Acid

There are many nearby brick-and-mortar retailers you can look into before turning to online ordering.

A few places where citric acid is generally available for purchase are:

  • Baking supply stores
  • Craft/hobby stores
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets (look in the kosher or food canning supply sections)
  • Health food stores
  • Pharmacies or drugstores
  • Restaurant supply stores
  • Stores that sell cheesemaking supplies
  • Wine/beer making supply stores
  • You can also use the NOW Foods store locator to find citric acid locally.

Chain Stores That Sell Citric Acid

Bed Bath Beyond logo

Bed Bath and Beyond

  • Quantities Available: 7.5 oz
  • Form: Powder
  • Grade: Food
  • Find a store

The Vitamin Shoppe logo

Vitamin Shoppe

Walmart logo

Walmart

Note: Get $10 off your first Walmart online grocery order (citric acid qualifies as part of the order). 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.

Whole Foods logo

Whole Foods

Online Stores That Sell Citric Acid

Amazon logo

Amazon

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz to 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
  • Shop online

Bulk Apothecary logo

Bulk Apothecary

  • Quantities Available: 1 lb to 2,000 lbs
  • Form: Fine Granular
  • Grade: Food
  • Shipping Cost: Shipping cost is calculated at checkout.
  • Shop online

BulkFOODS logo

Bulk Foods

  • Quantities Available: 1 lb to 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.
  • Shop online

DudaDiesel logo

Duda Diesel

  • Quantities Available: 8 oz to 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 are dependent upon the carrier.
  • Shop online

iHerb logo

iHerb

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz to 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.
  • Shop online

Nuts.com logo

Nuts.com

  • Quantities Available: 1 lb to 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.
  • Shop online

The Sage logo

The Sage

  • Quantities Available: 1 lb to 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. 
  • Shop online

SoapGoods logo

Soap Goods

  • Quantities Available: 1.5 lb to 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.
  • Shop online

The Spice House logo

The Spice House

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz to 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.
  • Shop online

Vitacost logo

Vitacost

  • Quantities Available: 4 oz to 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. International shipping charges vary.
  • Shop online

Whole Spice logo

Wholespice

  • Quantities Available: 3.8 oz to 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
  • Shop online

Where to Buy Citric Acid in Bulk

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

See store descriptions given earlier in the article for details.

Other Uses for Citric Acid

It’s often most cost-effective to buy citric acid in bulk quantities, but this means having a lot of excess product left 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.

If you do end up with some extra citric acid after making your bath bombs, there’s plenty else you could use it for. Common uses for citric acid include:

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

For creative naming ideas for your new homemade bath bombs, see lists of cute bath bomb names and bath bomb business names.

Suggested

7 comments - Comments are closed.


  • PILAR

    Is the non-food grade Citric Acid mentioned above, safe for skin exposure?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Rebecca Turley

      Hi Pilar,

      Yes, it is. Non-food grade citric acid, because it is a weak, naturally occurring acid, rarely causes an allergic reaction and most people already use it unknowingly in a variety of topical products, including detergents, shampoos, makeup and soaps. It is also biodegradable and therefore environmentally friendly. However, if you have sensitive skin, we always recommend doing a small skin patch test before bathing with it.

      • PILAR

        Thank you very much for your response.

  • Alex

    Can you buy citric acid at Dollar General?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Hillary M. Miller

      Hi Alex,

      I tried a search on the Dollar General website, and unfortunately, it seems as though Dollar General does not sell citric acid. Sorry I couldn’t bring you better news — hopefully you have some luck at one of the stores we’ve mentioned in the article above!

  • Donna McLicious

    I have found that food grade doesn’t fizz as well as non food grade citric acid

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Hillary M. Miller

      Hi Donna,

      That’s a helpful tip — the fizz is the best part! Thanks for sharing!

buy modafinil online where to buy modafinil