Looking for more ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils? Make a batch of shower steamers, and turn your shower into an aromatherapy spa. I started making these for my family a couple years ago, and we all swear by them.
Just mix a few ingredients together to form hard tablets that you can scent with your choice of essential oils. Then, place one in the bottom of the shower, and as the water melts it, the oils will be released into the steam. It basically turns your shower into a giant diffuser! And that’s a great thing, if you’re looking for relief from congestion caused by sinus problems, allergies, a cold or the flu. Just scent your shower steamers with essential oils that help to relieve congestion – peppermint and eucalyptus, for example — and by the end of your shower, you should start to feel some relief from all of that sinus pressure.
I tested lots of shower steamer recipes, and found most of them to be too soft and crumbly. So, I got busy developing my own recipe. My first attempt dried too quickly, but this version is just right. It’s incredibly easy to make, and results in steamers that dry quickly and non-crumbly. These would make a great gift. I plan to give a bunch for Christmas.
Shower Steamers Recipe:
What You’ll Need:
Measure the baking soda and citric acid into a bowl, and mix until well combined.
Add your essential oils. You can use up to two teaspoons. Stir to combine. If you’d like to color your steamers with food coloring, add that now, too.
Lightly spritz the surface of the mixture with witch hazel. Then, give it a good stir.
Continue spritzing and stirring until you end up with a consistency of wet sand. It should hold together like this, if you squeeze it in your hand. Just be careful not to spray it too much. You don’t want your shower steamers to fizz before you use them in the shower.
Then, divide your shower steamer mixture between the cups of a silicone muffin pan. Press it in with your hands or the back of a spoon, so it’s firmly packed. This recipe makes eight steamers.
Allow the steamers to dry. Then, remove them from the muffin pan (they’ll pop right out if you used a silicone pan). Store them in an air-tight container until you’re ready to use them.
Drying times will vary based on how wet your mixture is and the weather, but it doesn’t take long.
Use Essential Oils Safely
Whenever you use essential oils, it’s important to stick to safe dilution rates. Most essential oil books recommend a 1% dilution rate for kids and a 2% dilution rate for adults. For this recipe, that means you could use up to 12 drops of oil per shower steamer for kids and 24 for adults. If you use a teaspoon of oil to make eight shower steamers, that’s the equivalent of 12 drops per shower steamer. If you use two teaspoons of oil to make eight shower steamers, that’s the equivalent of 24 drops per steamer.
Some essential oils aren’t safe for kids. Invest in a good essential oil book so you can educate yourself.
I have this one: Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing. It’s arranged so that you can look up information by the problem you’re treating or by the oil. It’s become an important part of my reference library. I find myself reaching for it all the time.
Which Oils Do I Use in My Shower Steamers?
My primary interest has been in treating sinus problems, so I’ve been using peppermint oil (good for headaches), and eucalyptus (a decongestant). Here’s the blend that I came up with:
This blend also works well for cold/flu symptoms.
And here are some of the other blends that my family has been using:
Seasonal Allergy Steamers
You can either fragrance your shower steamers when you make them (store them in an air-tight container, if you do), or leave them fragrance-free until you’re ready to use them. This allows you to choose your oils based on your needs on that particular day, and ensures that your oils are at their most potent.
To Use Your Shower Steamers:
Place one on the floor of your shower, where it will get wet, but not drenched. Then, breathe in deeply as the oils vaporize. These steamers are long-lasting, so it’s quite likely they’ll outlast your shower. Just push it into the corner of your shower, and it’ll be there for next time.
A Word of Warning:
I’m not a doctor or even an expert on essential oils, so I can’t tell you what’s safe for you and your family. It’s smart to do your own research (I always do).
And not to get all obvious here, but shower steamers could pose a tripping hazard for some people (young kids, the elderly and the accident prone). Use your own judgement there.