Homemade Vapor Therapy Shower Disks

I’m continuing the weekly theme idea this week…it’s Feel Better Week!  With the flu epidemic sweeping the country, I’m sure you know someone who’s in need of a little comfort.  I hope it’s not you, and did you hear that?  It’s me knocking frantically on wood to keep our little family healthy.

Have you tried those Vicks’ Vapor Disks for the shower?  They are ah-mazing when you’re congested.  They’re also a little pricey for something that’s just going to wash down the drain!  You won’t believe how simple they are to make at home, though.

All you’ll need is baking powder, some essential oils, and cupcake liners. Oh, and a bowl and some water. And a spoon. I used eucalyptus and lavender on the first ones, then I found rosemary oil at the pharmacy and added it, as well, to the ones we hadn’t used yet.


I first saw this idea last winter at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity and kept it in the back of my brain for this year’s cold season.

To make your own disks:

1. Combine 3 cups baking soda and 1 cup water in a bowl and stir until blended.  This will yield about 12 disks.

2. Place your cupcake liners in a muffin tin and fill about 1/2 to 2/3 full.  Bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so, until they’re dried out.

3.  Drop 3-4 drops each of eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary oils on each tablet and store them in an airtight container.  I used a large rectangular plastic box.

4. To use them:  Place in the bottom of the shower and inhale while showering…the warmer the water, the better, as it releases the vapors in steam.

I gave these as a gift to my favorite GI for Christmas.  Here’s how I packaged them:


Another option, if you don’t have time to make the disks and want some stuffiness gone NOW, is to simply simmer a few drops of each oil in some water on the stovetop.  I often do this on winter mornings, when everyone stumbles downstairs groggily sniffing and snuffling.  It clears us right up and is an energizing start to the day.  Thanks to my friend Sarah who shared this idea a couple of years ago.

10 thoughts on “Homemade Vapor Therapy Shower Disks

  1. i am on these TODAY as soon as my eucalyptus oil arrives from amazon. i have lavender so going to make some of those for when i have THOSE days and just need to relax……miss you tons and wish we were closer right now!!!!!!

  2. What a great idea!! I’m definately going to try this. My husband is starting to get a cold so this would be great. Where do you get your oils?

    • I found mine at the pharmacy, but if you have a natural foods store near you, they would have them, as well. I live in the sticks, so I was thrilled to find them! Of course, you can always order them online, too.

  3. I’m making these right now. I will let you know how they turn out. I found tea tree oil that I may use. Haven’t decided. Thanks! You are full of great ideas!

  4. My 11 year old and I are making these right now. He loves aroma therapy anything and this way he gets to choose his own scents. Now maybe I won’t have such a tough time getting him to shower!

    • Isn’t that the same kid you used to bribe with hot chocolate to stay in the bathtub? I see a pattern here….but I’m glad you’re trying them! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I had trouble with these, weird, I know! they just stuck to the pan in the paper and wouldn’t come out. what am I doing wrong? 3 to 1, 350 degrees until they’re dried out. wouldn’t budge out of the pan.

    • Oh, I hate to hear that, Susie! Maybe they were too wet initially and soaked through the papers. then stuck as they dried out? If you added water a little at a time to the top, would they let go, then you could just dry them out again on a cookie sheet? Let me know if that works!

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