The History of the Bubble Bath

The history of bubble baths dates all the way back to the year 1200!


There’s no denying the positive effects a good bubble bath can have for our physical and mental health, but do you know the history of bubble baths? Humans have been using baths not only as a means of cleansing oneself but also for their positive health effects for longer than you may think. This remains true in 2022, especially during these cold winter months. Read below to find out more about bubble baths and why incorporating them into your wellness routine has so many great benefits.

Of course, humans have used bathing as a cleansing device for centuries. This dates all the way back to the year 1200 where we can first document the process of making bar soap as it  was introduced to Europeans from Muslim soap makers in Spain and Italy.

Bubble Bath from Well Kept is perfect for creating that luxurious bubble bath feel.

However, it was not until the early 1900s that people began adding bubbles to their baths. This was first achieved simply by using the foam from regular soap. This would be better achieved as soap flakes, as opposed to soap bars, were introduced to the consumer market.

By the 1930s, manufacturers began adding synthetic surfactants to soap products in order to create longer-lasting bubbles. Soon, bubble baths were being shown in films and television -- predominantly as a means of concealing actors and actresses so they would appear undressed -- thus aiding in the rise in popularity of bubble baths. 

In 1950, LIFE Magazine published a cover that showed three prominent actresses -- Rosemary Williamson, Ronan York and Kaja Sundsten -- covered in bubbles from a bubble bath. This proved to be controversial for the times but pushed the marketability of bubble baths to the forefront of the mainstream. 


Towards the end of the decade, bubble baths were being marketed heavily. Powder bubble bath was invented as was the first bubble bath marketed towards children in an attempt at making bathtime less of a chore. Soon, prominent brands such as Colgate, Calgon, and Gold Seal marketed their own versions of bubble bath. 

In 1972, the first liquid bubble bath -- which we are very familiar with today -- was invented and quickly came to replace the powdered version that consumers had become accustomed to. 

In 1989, the first bath bombs were marketed to the public giving consumers a fresh take on the bubble bath.

By 1999, bubble baths had become so popular that January 8th was declared National Bubble Bath Day.

Throughout the early 2000s, bubble baths became so popular that manufacturers began producing them in record quantities. Unfortunately, this created a majority of products containing synthetic scents, colors, chemicals, parabens, and surfactants as manufacturers sought to increase the quantity and quality of bubbles.



Much has changed since then however and there now exists a plethora of all natural bubble bath and other fun and natural bath focused products, many of which grace our shelves in the shops. Well Kept has produced an entirely all-natural bubble bath with natural scents and zero parabens. Nowadays, there are also lots of other non bubbly options that enhance the bathing experience. These include bath salts, like Kalkay scented bath salts from Indigenous owned beauty brand Sḵwálwen Botanicals, bath milks like Dot + Lil’s Bergamot bath milk which use whole milk powder, ground oatmeal and baking soda to soften the water and your skin, and bath bomb reminiscent, fizzy rejuvenating bath soaks for a little effervescent magic from Apt. 6.

If you don’t have a bathtub or simply aren’t a fan of baths, fear not - shower enthusiasts can rejoice as products that enhance the aromatherapy benefits found in bubble baths now exist as well. These include Apt. 6’s shower steamers which are available in a variety of scents.


Knowing the history of bubble baths, it’s easy to see how they became so popular. There are many other advantageous benefits to bubble baths however that are well worth considering.

In 2011, physics professor Eugene Terentjev of Cambridge University was able to confirm that bubbles in a bubble bath act as an effective insulator concluding that water in a bubble bath stays hot 50% longer than normal bathwater. Thus, allowing you to enjoy a bath longer than you normally could. We also know now that baths can aid in better circulation in the body and they can also aid in improved sleep as well as the therapeutic benefits that aromatherapy provides. 

Shop all of Scout's bubble bath products on the website.
Image via Well Kept // @cristinagareau


There is no denying the positive effect of baths and this has only increased with the advent of bubble baths. With the increase of natural bath products, you can rest easy knowing your bath products are safe, both for you and the environment.

Now that you know the history of bubble baths, consider treating yourself to one -- or even a luxurious shower -- this Valentine's Day.

Let us know in the comments what you like to add to your bath to make it as relaxing as possible.


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1 comment

Had no idea I was born in the year of the bath bomb—guess I’m a bath bomb baby! I absolutely adore adding dried botanicals to the water for a little added beauty (one reason I tend to opt for the little bath sachets from Dot & Lil). A candle and a glass of wine or gin fizz are the finishing touches. chef’s kiss


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