Bath bombs can expire and typically have a shelf life of around 6 to 12 months. Expiration will generally cause your bath bomb to lose its fizziness and scent, not grow rotten. However, some organic ingredients, like oatmeal and flower petals, may get moldy or stale over time.
In most cases, you should try to use your bath bombs within a few months of getting them. That way, they're as fresh smelling and fizzy as possible.
Still, it's okay for you to use a bath bomb shortly after the expiration date in most circumstances. And you can also lengthen their shelf life by storing them in cool, dry places.
What happens when bath bombs expire?
Interestingly, bath bombs don't usually get rancid or rotten when they expire. Instead, they just become less aromatic and fizzy.
Unlike bread growing mold, your bath bomb won't seem to change much over time. There may be some color and scent loss, but that's typically subtle. If anything, they're likely to look exactly the same a year after you buy them.
However, the difference between a new and old bath bomb becomes obvious in water.
One of the iconic things about bath bombs is their fizziness once submerged. However, an expired bath bomb will no longer have this quality. Or it'll be much less noticeable, at the least.
This fizziness is due to two crucial ingredients found in bath bombs: citric acid and baking soda.
When combined with water, these chemicals react by softly crackling and bubbling. But over time, both additives slowly lose their fizz. And as a result, your bomb will dissolve less well.
Additionally, bath bombs with organic ingredients may also grow mold. So if your product contains flower petals or oatmeal, examine it closely before use.
How to tell if your bath bomb has expired
Here are some signs that your bath bomb is no longer fresh:
- Color change: Many natural ingredients lose their hue over time. As a result, your older bath bombs may look dull.
- Scent loss: A bath bomb's aroma tends to weaken as they age. However, keeping yours wrapped in airtight plastic can help slow this process.
- Texture change: Several bath bomb ingredients can change dramatically in texture as they degrade. This may cause your bombs to become too brittle, like sand. Or too hard to dissolve.
- Mold: Some bath bombs have natural ingredients that may grow mold or fungus. Common examples include fruit peels, oatmeal, butter, and flower petals.
These signs generally indicate that your bath bomb is no longer fresh. However, you can usually still use them as long as they don't look or smell rotten.
When bath bomb ingredients expire
Understanding when certain ingredients expire will help you get the most out of your bath bombs. That way, you can tell when using yours will be most effective and satisfying.
Here are the average shelf lives for several common bath bomb additives:
|Baking soda||18 months|
|Coconut oil||2 years|
|Shea butter||2 years|
|Citric acid||3 years|
|Orange peel||2 to 3 years|
|Essential oils||2 years|
Keep in mind that "expiring" means something different for every ingredient. For example, expired baking soda will simply lose its ability to make fizz. Meanwhile, old oatmeal may grow mold or turn rancid.
Can bath bombs get moldy?
Generally speaking, your bath bombs won't grow mold.
The primary ingredients of bath bombs include cornstarch, baking soda, and citric acid. All of these additives eventually lose their chemical effectiveness over time. However, they're unlikely to get moldy while in a bath bomb.
That being said, natural ingredients in some specific bath bomb varieties can get rotten.
For example, many bath bombs include oatmeal and flower petals. The oatmeal helps relieve eczema, while the petals can add pleasant aromas. But unfortunately, both of the additives may grow mold.
Additionally, certain conditions make moldiness more likely to occur. The steam in your bathroom, in particular, may cause moisture to collect on your bath bombs. And when that happens, the chances of mildew also increase.
How should you store bath bombs?
Properly storing your bath bombs can significantly extend their shelf life—which means you get more bang for your buck.
Here are the conditions for best storing your bath bombs:
- Cool temperatures: Many common ingredients in bath bombs, such as butter, can degrade at high temperatures. So try to store your bath bombs somewhere cool.
- Airtight packaging: Leave your products in their initial airtight wrapping when possible. This covering helps keep your bath bomb fresher for longer.
- No sunlight: The sun's UV rays can cause organic ingredients to deteriorate rapidly. To avoid that, put your bath bombs in a dark place.
- Humidity: Do you live somewhere with a lot of moisture? If so, your bath bombs may go bad faster. Leaving them in a dry place or a room with a dehumidifier can prevent that problem.
Regardless of how your bath bombs get stored, they will lose their fizz and scent over time. So, take every chance you have to enjoy yours before they expire.
What can you do with expired bath bombs?
If your bath bombs are past their best date, don't worry—assuming they aren't moldy, you can still get some use out of them.
Here are some clever ways to use old bath bombs:
- Shoe deodorizer: Leaving bath bombs in your sneakers can help give them a pleasant aroma. Plus, bath bombs also absorb bacteria-causing moisture, reducing stench.
- Carpet: Bath bombs are excellent for giving old carpets a fresh smell. Just crumble the bomb over the flooring, allow it to sit for an hour, and then vacuum it up.
- Decoration: Dazzling-looking bath bombs can add a lovely splash of color to any room.
- Foot soak: Bath bombs make foot soaks much more relaxing after a long day.
- Sachet: Have you noticed your closet or clothes drawers getting a musty smell? Then a bath bomb sachet may solve the problem.
Bath bombs are a fun, fizzy way to relax in the tub.
Although bath bombs typically have a shelf life of around 6 to 12 months, proper storage will help to keep them fresh for as long as possible. And if you do have any expired bath bombs, luckily there are still other ways you can use them.
We hope this post has given you the information you needed to decide what to do with those bath bombs!