These DIY shower steamers feature eucalyptus to help ease congestion and soothe sinus symptoms. Make a double or triple batch and be prepared all winter long with this shower steamer recipe!
Yeah, it’s cold and flu season again. In those early years when my little guy was in daycare, he brought home every single virus in the world to share with me. It was in those years that I became somewhat of a cold connoisseur. There are the sniffles and the whoppers, and everything in between. Some have sinus headaches, sore throats, a cough, and other unpleasantness.
For me, however, the absolute worst symptom is congestion. When it feels like someone has poured cement into my sinuses and I can’t breathe AT ALL, I just want to crawl out of my body. Thankfully, that’s no longer necessary as I’ve finally found an effective, natural way to help relieve congestion symptoms!
Eucalyptus Shower Steamers
Many years ago I had such a terrible sinus cold that I couldn’t sleep at night. My doctor suggested an herbal sinus steam with eucalyptus and lavender to help relieve the pressure. You know, the head-in-a-bowl-with-a-towel-over-you method. Which, I must say, does work wonders. It’s been a game-changer for my family.
My experience with steaming using plant material started with this simple recommendation from my doctor to try face steam to help clear out my sinuses. I decided to add some dried lavender buds from my garden and found the steam did a fantastic job of clearing up my sinuses.
Plus I enjoyed the scent of the lavender. Using dried herbs is also a great way to add plant properties into the steam. I’ve adding dried plants into these shower steamer recipes to allows for those volatile oils to release in the steam. You may not be able to smell them but again your body is very effective at absorbing what it needs. Steam and the gentle scent to do the work, and your body and mind will thank you for it.
While I love this method of clearing sinuses, I don’t always have that same severity of congestion, nor the time and the patience and time to sit with my head over a bowl of steam for 30 minutes a day. Cold or no cold, life must go on! So I love using the DIY shower steamer method for breathing in herbs and steam.
They are easy to make, plus they are refreshing and soothing when bubbling in the shower, which helps to get me going each day. Now my daily routine includes aromatherapy shower steamers and I’m grateful for the no fuss, no mess relief. You’ll love them too!
Why You Should Use Eucalyptus in This Shower Steamer Recipe
In my opinion, eucalyptus is the best option for a shower steamer made specifically for combating cold and flu symptoms. In fact, a 2010 study found that eucalyptus essential oil has “antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal components and a long history of use against the effects of colds, influenza, other respiratory infections, rhinitis, and sinusitis.”
How to Make Shower Steamers
Ready to make this project? I recommend doubling or tripling this batch if you experience colds often during the winter months, or if you have a large family. You won’t feel like making these (or anything) when you’re congested, so plan accordingly!
Plus, if you have extra you can be the really awesome friend who stops by with handmade eucalyptus shower steamers if someone is in need.
- Spray bottle
- Hard plastic or metal (not silicone) bath bomb/soap molds
- Pure witch hazel
- 1 cup citric acid
- 2 cups baking soda
- 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- Optional: Add spirulina powder for colour
In a bowl, mix the citric acid and baking soda. Add the essential oil and mix that in well using your hands.
Pour the witch hazel into the spray bottle and spritz some onto the top of the powder mixture. Mix the witch hazel in quickly with your hands, spritz some more on top, mix again, and repeat until the mixture packs together easily. Make sure you don’t get it too moist or the mixture will begin to fizz.
Scoop the mixture into the molds one at a time and pack it down tightly so that it holds together.
Once the molds are all filled, flip them over onto a clean, hard surface and tap the bottom to release the steamers. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours before use.
Pop one of these on the shower floor and when you run the warm water it will cause the steamer to fizz and melt, releasing soothing eucalyptus into the steamy air.
Frequently Asked Questions About This DIY Shower Steamer Project
I first made these eucalyptus shower steamers in 2012. I am thrilled that so many of my readers have made this recipe and found relief from cold symptoms with it! I’ve also gotten a fair amount of questions over the years too, so wanted to address them here.
How Strong is the Scent?
These aromatherapy shower steamers act like mini diffusers that you can use to infuse the steam of your shower for an aromatherapy experience. Whether it’s for the properties of the essential oils or just the enjoyment of the aroma I formulated these aromatherapy shower steamers with the right balance of essential oil to not be overwhelming.
You will definitely be able to smell eucalyptus when making and using this shower steamer. However, the scent should not be overpowering.
There’s been a few questions or comments from readers saying that the aroma is not strong enough for them in that it doesn’t clear their sinuses the way they were hoping for. To do that, there are other recipes that include menthol crystals. I personally do not use menthol crystals because they are very strong and require careful monitoring. I prefer the much gentler method of diffusing essential oils at the recommended dilutions.
When you’re working with pure essential oils, a little goes a long way. Each of these shower steamers has just a few drops of eucalyptus in them, and that’s all you need! If you put too much, your eyes will water and the scent can become incredibly overwhelming.
In fact, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy recommends the dilution be kept at .5 – 2%. Like I said…a little goes a long way!
Will This Make My Shower Floor Slippery?
One kind reader was concerned that these eucalyptus shower steamers might make the floor of her shower slippery due to the baking soda. I personally have a stone shower, so I haven’t had any issues with slipping. However, if you have a smooth shower surface, I’d recommend getting a non-slip bath mat to stand on.
Can I Use Silicone Molds Instead of Plastic or Metal?
In short, no.
The reason for this being simply they are too soft to really pack the ingredients in tightly. I will say that not all molds are the same. The soft plastic ice cube tray from IKEA that looks like silicone is firm enough to work just fine.
The soft candy molds and soft cupcake molds that flop around if you don’t put them on a tray are just way too soft to press the ingredients together enough for them to form properly. If you use a soft silicone, your ingredients won’t take shape – you’ll be left with crumbs instead of a hard form!
Here are a few of my favorite metal molds to try with this project:
If you have any other questions about this project, please feel free to drop them in the comments below. Have fun making your DIY shower steamers! :)
More Projects for Cold Relief:
- Herb Garden Remedies for the Common Cold
- Sage Candy: a Natural Remedy for Sore Throats
- All-Natural Chest Vapor Rub
- Homemade Natural Hand Sanitizer
DIY Shower Steamers with Eucalyptus
- Metal or Hard Plastic Molds: bath bomb/soap molds
To Make the DIY Shower Steamer:
- In a bowl, mix the citric acid and baking soda.
- Add the essential oil and mix that in well using your hands.
- Pour the witch hazel into the spray bottle and spritz some onto the top of the powder mixture.
- Mix the witch hazel in quickly with your hands, spritz some more on top, mix again, and repeat until the mixture packs together easily. Be careful not to get it too moist - if it starts to fizz, you've added too much.
- Scoop the mixture into the molds one at a time and pack it down tightly so that it holds together.
- Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours before use.
To Use the Shower Steamers:
- Pop one of these on the shower floor and run warm water as normal. This will cause the steamer to fizz and melt, releasing soothing eucalyptus into the steamy air. Inhale deeply!