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Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets {Shower Soothers)

Perfect for cold and flu season, use these Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets to clear your stuffy nose and relieve sinus pressure naturally. This is the original Vicks Soother Tablets recipe online and uses natural essential oils to help relieve head colds without chemicals. This shower soother recipe also includes instructions for making these tablets with kid-safe oils.

homemade vicks soother tablets with rosemary and a bowl of lavender

Do you remember the commercials for the Vicks Vapor shower tablets thingies?  You’d put one of the 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 ’90s? Ok, moving along then…

What Ingredients Are In Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets?

Please note, you will NOT see cornstarch in this recipe for a very specific reason. Cornstarch is horrible for clogging drains and is a plumbing nightmare!

The oils I buy from Plant Therapy have worked well for me, are affordable, and available on Amazon. 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!

Jars of arrowroot and baking soda and bottles of essential oils

Is There a Kidsafe Version?

Yes! The main essential oils in these Vicks Soother Tablets are not safe for kids under 12. If you have younger kiddos, Plant Therapy makes a Kid Safe Sniffle Stopper. Use 30 drops of that in place of the lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus oils.

Can I Just Use Vicks?

My preference is always for a natural version of anything I am using for my health, which is why I use the essential oils. If oils are not in the cards for you, sub in 4 tbsp of Vicks Vapor Rub for the essential oils.

If you have kids under two, please make sure you use Baby Vicks Vapor Rub.

Can I Use Herbs Instead of Oils?

Yes, but you will need a large amount to replace the potency of the essential oils. You would want to use 2 tbsp (chopped) of each herb.

Can I Use Fragrance Oils?

I would not use them. Essential oils have medicinal properties, whereas fragrance oils are just there to give you the scent.

How Do I Use Shower Soothers?

You will want to place one on the floor of your shower. If you put it in the direct spray of the shower it will likely dissolve more quickly but give you a more intense hit of the oils.

Alternatively, you can put it in the direct spray while your shower is heating up, and then scoot it over to the side when you jump in. Or walk in, because jumping into a slippery shower seems kind of beetle-headed. I mean, you’re already stuffed up, why risk a concussion?

How To Store Shower Soothers

If you’re using them for yourself, throw them in an air-tight container and toss them in a cupboard or bathroom closet. If you’re gifting them for friends or family, an 8 oz jam jar with a ribbon tied around it would be cute!

How Long Do Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets Last?

Without herbs added to the mix, the shower soothers will last indefinitely. However, the strength of the essential oils will fade in a month or so. To store longterm, you can make them without the oils and add 2-3 drops of each oil just prior to using.

How to Make Soother Tablets

*Detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of the post

In a mixing bowl, combine baking soda, arrowroot powder, water, and 15 drops of each of the lavendereucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils to the mixture. Stir until the mixture forms a thick paste. Pro tip: it should be thick and viscous and with some water remaining on the top.

Two photos showing how to make vicks soother tablets

Scoop the paste into a muffin tin lined with muffin cups or a silicone muffin tin.

two photos showing mixing the base and the base in muffin tins for homemade vicks soother tablets

Bake at 250 degrees until hardened – about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can set them out overnight for 12-18 hours.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Your soothers may still be a bit squishy after baking. They should harden as they cool. If you use silicone muffin tins, the bottom of the tablets may be sponge-like. That’s totally normal.
  • If you leave your shower tablets out overnight to harden, please keep them in a safe place away from pets.
  • A silicone muffin tin (always available at thrift stores!) makes it super easy to remove the shower tabs once cooled. If you want to use a traditional muffin tin, definitely use a cupcake liner. However, you may still have a hard time removing the tab from the liner. I love these compostable cupcake liners because nothing sticks to them!

three homemade vicks soother tablets with rosemary and lavender


  • Feel free to add a little food coloring if you want to jazz up the appearance of these shower soothers.
  • If you want to use the essential oils and also use some herbs to make them look cute, add the herbs to the top of the mixture after you have filled the muffin tin. I found out the hard way that pouring the mixture over the herbs results in them turning brown after baking. Your shower soothers may end up looking muddy or moldy. Gross!
  • If you have an oil combination that you love, feel free to adapt the recipe to fit your preferences. Peppermint and eucalyptus combined are both great for clearing sinuses and perking you up! If you shower at night and want a calming soother, lavender is great for bedtime. I love Plant Therapy’s Sleep Aid blend.

These homemade Vicks Soother 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.

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 soother tablets with rosemary and a bowl of lavender
4.93 from 13 votes
Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets {Shower Soothers)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Perfect for cold and flu season, use these Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets to clear your stuffy nose and relieve sinus pressure naturally and without chemicals. 

Course: DIY
Servings: 12
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine baking soda, arrowroot powder, water, and 15 drops of each of the lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oil to the mixture. Stir until the mixture forms a thick paste.

  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 or a silicone muffin tin.

  3. Bake at 250 degrees until hardened - about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can 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.

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This post on homemade Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets {Shower Soothers) was originally published in March 2012. I’ve updated it in December 2018 with new photos, details, and instructions. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

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689 comments on “Homemade Vicks Soother Tablets {Shower Soothers)”

  1. I just made these last night thanks to a nasty stuffy nose. I tried being patient and letting them dry overnight, but with the rain all day today, they didn’t dry so I had to bake them. I did put some more eucalyptus oil after baking them. I tried one tonight in the shower and it was LOVELY! Oh and I also didn’t use lavender, just eucalyptus and peppermint. Next time I think I will just go for eucalyptus and I think I might try mini muffin tins because I think that might be a good size for the length of showers that I take. My nose and I thank you for sharing this 🙂

  2. I’m not sure if this has been answered already, but I had an issue. I baked the disks in the oven for 20 minutes at 350, but they stuck to the muffin pan. When I went to pull them out, the top part of the paper liner just ripped, and now I’m really dreading the cleanup. Was I supposed to spray the muffin pan with Pam? Has anyone else had this problem? And also, do you end up with half-full muffin hole or less?

  3. Do those inquiring if you can skip the oils and use a vapor rub….no. I was in a pinch today and needed some relief for my congestion before a show I was singing in and couldn’t find oils anywhere so i used the vapor rub for a last ditch effort, it doesn’t bale well and it melts very rapidly in the shower.

  4. Where do you buy esintiol oil

  5. I made these as per your updated instructions. When I took them out of the oven I left them in the pan to cool…they stuck to the pan and flaked apart, boo 🙁
    So I was unable to use them. I am so sinus/allergy laden at present. Any ideas on how to make this better? Maybe I just made them on the wrong day? I don’t know (read that in your best Eeyore voice) Thanks for posting sounds great!

    • I’m sorry to hear that you had problems with them! If you make them again, I’d take them out of the pans a bit before they’re completely cool. Another option would be to hit up Goodwill and get a cheap silicone muffin tin.

  6. Can you freeze these?

  7. Can u bathe with them ? Or do u prefer them as shower use only???

  8. So, i put them in the oven at 350 for 20 min. Once they came out and cooled… I couldn’t get them out of the muffin tin with out crumbling them to bits. What did I do wrong?

    • It might be your liners? They peeled out of mine fine because my liners (If You Care brand) are almost like wax paper.

      If you remake them, I’d remove them a bit before they’re completely cool. You could also hit up Goodwill for a silicone muffin pan.

  9. Likes your blog. Going to try many of your ideas, just found you on pinterest. Still reading all your stuff. Thanks for the humor. God Bless.

  10. Currently in my oven. Kitchen smells lovey, however, note to self…do NOT open oven door to check on them. Blast of hot, EO vapor in the eyes in not fun!! lol

  11. hopefully this works! Going to do as much as possible to get better before school tomorrow! wish me luck!

  12. Hi! I just made a batch using the baking method. I don’t like Rosemary, so I used the Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Spearmint (very, very sparingly!). Also put orange EO on a couple of them. I found your blog from a facebook post a friend made to the newsfeed from a pintrest deal. I bookmarked your blog, and I am enjoying reading your posts. Great ideas! Thank you, Sarah!

  13. Thanks for the great idear
    I’m trying it right now with toco tholin oil hop it wil work
    shame we can’t get big bags of baking soda over here only small boxes not even worth a cup

  14. Im trying to make them right now but I put in Toco tholin oil I dont know if you can get them every where and i don’t know if it will work
    like most I found the post on pinterest and I really want to try it coz I’m sick at the moment thanks for the idear .
    its sure a shame that we can’t get big bags of baking soda over here only small boxes not even enought to filla cup

  15. Love this! Wanted to let you know I was in my health store today for some oils and saw that Aura Cacia is now making a Eucalyptus tablet for the shower – for those interested (personally, I like to save $$ and make my own stuff). Also Sarah, just a thought for when the scent fades over time from the pucks – we should be able to just drop a couple of drops of each oil on the puck to reactivate.

  16. This is so great! I have a 2 y/o that repeatedly gets croup, and since we live in TX, going outside does nothing for him. We have tried standing in front of an open freezer…nothing. The steamy showers and cool mist humidifiers did work…eventually….after several hours of scary coughing. We found out about 3 months ago that he aspirates with liquids, so we now thicken his liquids and that has helped cut down on the croup!
    I am going to make these tomorrow to use for the whole family…sinus infections all around!
    Thanks for posting this awesome recipe! You’ve got another follower 🙂

  17. CHILD PROOF CAPS PLEASE—-Daughter almost died from opening eucalyptus oil and tasting it. Please be careful with your essential oils.

  18. Great, I wonder if you could put some jute string through it and make “vicks on a rope” to hand in the shower…

  19. I made these today, without lavender, for my daughter who has a mild case of the flu. She said it worked wonderfully! They were so easy (I baked them)and are natural. Thank you!

  20. Awesome! thanks. loved the vicks shower things…this is a great substitute…thanks 🙂

  21. I just made these. I’ve been hacking for daaays. It feels so good just to hover over them and breathe–I mean really BREATHE! I substituted Tea Tree oil for lavender as I’m allergic. This feels heavenly. I can’t wait to use them.

    I love reading your blog too, it cracks me up. Its like you’ve given a blog to the voices inside my head when I read about how busy you’ve been and how you must hate yourself/ are crazy. I can’t stop laughing. Thank you ever so much!

  22. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I luuuuuuved my Shower Soothers and was so sad when I couldn’t find them anymore.

    Did anyone else have a problem with the pucks sticking to the muffin tin? My baking-soda-water mixture soaked through my muffin cups and all the pucks became glued to the sides of my muffin tin. It didn’t take much to get them out, but I crumbled a couple pucks in the process. On a positive note though, my house smells AMAZING now after making these!

  23. IMPORTANT QUESTION: I don’t own any essential oils…can i make these without the oils? what can i do to replace the oil??

  24. Is there any way to make these without essential oils?

  25. what a great Auntie you are.. sounds wonderful.

    I wonder tho.
    I read that lavender is harmful for baby boys .
    it messes with their hormones . might want to research that a bit before adding it.
    my neice’s OBGYN even told her to not use any lavender lotions of soaps with her new born son.

    just being careful.

    • I’ve been told to never put it on him, but I’m not sure about inhaling. I think lavender can be an endocrine disruptor or something that like that boys.