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Homemade Vicks Shower Soothers

The original DIY homemade Vicks Shower Tablets recipe uses essential oils to help clear your sinuses and soothe your cold symptoms.

Have you seen the commercials for the Vicks Vapor shower tablets thingies?  You put one of these disks in your shower, and voila thanks to the vapors in it, you’re magically healed, your cold is gone, and your face is shockingly free of snot.

I always used to watch the “Noxema girl” splashing water on her face in those commercials and wondered how she was able to wash her face without being completely overrun with boogers. I’m the only one?  Yes?  I’m stuck in the 90’s? Ok, moving along then…

Regardless, Vicks makes these things and I’m sure they’re super expensive for something that is just going to wash down your drain.

You know where I’m going with this, right?


I made them myself.

The idea started a few weeks ago when my sweet little nephew Parker came down with Croup for like the 1,438th time.  My sister mentioned that they were taking long steamy showers with him to try to clear out his lungs.  My brain started churning and I thought “surely there can be something they could add to the shower to help him even more”.  Homemade Vicks Vapor shower disk thingies were born.

And they couldn’t be any simpler.

The oils I buy from Plant Therapy have worked well for me and I use the rosemary, lavender, and eucalyptus oils in these shower tabs. I do not sell essential oils and am not part of any MLM organization. If you have an oil brand that you prefer, please feel free to use those!

These homemade Vicks Shower Tablets are wonderful to have around for cold and flu season, and I use them during the four months a year when my allergies are on full display. Homemade Vicks Shower Tablets are easy to store and make wonderful gifts for friends and family.

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

homemade vicks shower soothers in a muffin tin
2.67 from 3 votes
Homemade Vicks Shower Soothers
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

An easy homemade way to make your own Vicks Shower Soothers to clear stuffy heads and clogged sinuses.

Course: DIY
Servings: 12
Author: Sarah
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 15 drops (each) lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine baking soda and water until the mixture forms a thick paste. It should be so thick that you have some of the mixture on a spoon and turn it sideways, the paste would stick to the spoon.

  2. Add 15 drops of each of the lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oil to the mixture.  Scoop the paste into a muffin tin lined with muffin cups. I use these liners for all my baking because they're compostable and nothing sticks to them. Nothing!

    Some people prefer to make these without the essential oils, and then add a few drops of each to the hardened disks just prior to using. 

  3. Bake at 250 degrees until hardened - about 25 minutes. Alternatively, you could set them out overnight for 12-18 hours. Store in an air-tight container until needed.

  4. Remove from the paper liner prior to using, and place on the floor of your shower. Breathe deeply, and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

I'm not a doctor (nor a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker), so if you have any medical conditions, contact a medical professional. 

This post on homemade Vicks Shower Tablets was originally published in March 2012. I’ve updated it in May 2017 to make the recipe printable.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

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689 comments on “Homemade Vicks Shower Soothers”

  1. mine dissolve in 1 minute… where do I go wrong?

  2. I’m wondering how to get my 3 yr old to inhale these, since he’s usually more congested right before bed time, and they’re to be used in the shower? how do I use it in another way other than the shower?

  3. This is an amazing idea!! I know it’s probably already been said in the above comments but where can you get the essential oils?? Like are they in stores? Thank you!

  4. I love this idea and since I am fast in the shower too I think I will try them with the mini muffin tins – thanks for this.

  5. I guess I am real new at this, but do you just drop the disk in the bottom of the shower and let the warm water melt it and release the oils?

  6. omg i so trying these so cool super easy and natural PERFECT!!

  7. I have young kiddos. Be careful. Eucalyptus isn’t supposed to be used on kids under 10 and Rosemary isn’t supposed to be used on kids under age 6. Be sure to do your safety research. Otherwise, great idea.

  8. baking BAKING SODA changes the chemical compound into WASHING SODA.
    so I personally wouldn’t bake it.. rather I would add more baking soda to thicken.. or less water 🙂

  9. Just from experience, my son had croup all the time. I finally questioned his doctor about having it so many times a year and the doctor informed me that children only get croup a few times at most in thier whole life. Repetitive croup is actually early signs of asthma and certain asthma, like the one my son has, never changes. We started treating him for his asthma and the croup is almost non existent. Only when he gets a cold orb is around any kind of smoke. Find in out it was asthma and not croup was life changing. Poor guy is no where near as sick as he was. So if any child has repetitive croup, they need to be tested for asthma. Good luck.

  10. Great idea – but as a mom of a chronic group kid the reason you stand in the bathroom with the shower running on hot is to loosen the vocal chords up – and then you sit outside in the winter wrapped in a blanket or three to help shrink the vocal chords. Croup is a virus – like a cold – but it affects the vocal chords swelling the throat shut. Nasty stuff – especially when you live a long way from the doc!!

  11. Drops of reality here! This is not frugal at all! Last I checked (11/20/14) You could buy the knock off version of theses at CVS for $3.99 for three. Or roughly $1.33 each. One 5 ml bottle of quality essential oil (approx 85 drops) costs around 15-25 dollars each, break that into 5ths (roughly the yield from one bottle) and you get a cost of about $3. for six little pucks.

    Okay, you are thinking.. that’s about right (better actually right? twice as much and you control the ingredients!) Except that you are not using 15 drops of essential oil. You are using 45. Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and Lavender. Suddenly the cost of each puck goes from a measly 50 cents to approx $1.80 a piece, and that is not figuring in the other minor ingredients, and more importantly, the major one; TIME! While you were DIYing these your children were watching TV.

    I love that we control the ingredients, and if your children are “helping” you make these, the benefits (ingredient control & spending time with your little ones) may outweigh the costs. But please, everyone, remember to cost out every fun little pintrest hack, in terms of both money, and TIME. You may find that reading to your child for that hour returns more benefits than ??saving?? a few pennies off an acceptable alternative.

  12. I tried making a bunch of these today because I have a terrible case of the sickies that I just cannot shake, and I was devastated when I got into the shower tonight and by the time I had counted to twelve, my disc had completely dissolved. Found a CVS brand of discs, going to try those to see if they last longer.

  13. I’m going to try this with Olbas Oil which is a Inhalant Decongestant available in the UK,it’s a mix of cajuput oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, juniper berry oil and levomenthol. It will be great to be able to breathe again!
    If that doesn’t do the trick I’m going to have to learn how to do the neti pot, but it sounds a bit scary. If you read in the papers someone has drowned in salt water and snot it’s probably me!

  14. I made these last night and put them in the frezer over night. When I took them out they didn’t set right. Is it to lay to start over? Can I put the back in a bowl and add more water?

  15. I just made of batch of them using the updated method. With dogs aroung a small house, I didn’t want to leave them to dry and then find all kinds of hairs in the pucks!! They turned out really nice, I’m hoping to make some as Christmas gifts, hope they’ll last. Although many comments from others were very useful =)

  16. I get a lot of my oils from “soapers choice”.

  17. Please add an additional edit to your wonderful tutorial:

    Both Rosemary and Eucalyptus essential oil contain cineole 1,8 which while soothing and relaxing in adults and older youths, can be very hazardous to children under the age of 10. Especially those with respiratory issues like asthma and coup. The cineole 1,8 slows breathing to the point of dangerously low oxygen levels. Alternative essential oils to use would be spearmint and fir with the lavender.

  18. I made these, but was disappointed because I couldn’t even smell them when I got in the shower. 🙁

  19. I’m just catching up with instruction list for the shower discs and it doesn’t say what size…are they regular or minis?

  20. Kinda disappointed they don’t contain Vick’s. Why call them Vick’s?

  21. How does this recipe not have vicks?