How To Make Sinus Relief Shower Steamers With Essential Oils
Breathe in soothing steam to help clear your stuffy nose and ease your sinus pain, cough and headache symptoms naturally. Learn how to make sinus relief shower steamers with essential oils as a natural remedy for cold and flu season. Plus discover the best essential oils for sinus congestion along with their benefits when used to create DIY cold and flu shower melts.
Cold and Flu Relief Shower Steamers for Sinus Congestion
These peppermint and eucalyptus shower bombs are practically guaranteed to provide quick and lasting relief for sinus pressure and congestion. This popular DIY is just as effective as over-the-counter sprays and decongestants to help clear nasal passages and restore normal breathing.
I chose a blend of eucalyptus and peppermint to make these cold and flu shower bombs. Not only do these essential oils smell wonderful together, but they are also ideal for helping to soothe cold symptoms such a nasal congestion and sinus pressure. However, you can also use your own blend of essential oils for sinus congestion to make these. So, be sure to check out my list of the best essential oils for sinus congestion included within this post.
Ready to stock your medicine cabinet for cold and flu season? Discover the benefits of the ingredients in these DIY shower melts for colds and congestion, where to buy the ingredients, and how to make shower steamers at home as an easy way to soothe and alleviate symptoms.
What Are Shower Steamers?
Shower steamers are like a bath bomb for the shower. They are made with similar ingredients, though skin nourishing ingredients are excluded, as you don’t soak in this type of bath product. These ingredients may include citric acid, baking soda, cream of tartar or Epsom salt and essential oils. Similarly, when shower tablets are activated in water, they dissolve. As they dissolve, the aromatherapy shower steamers release essential oils. The essential oils then turn your shower into a large diffuser because of the steam. This essentially creates a mini spa in your own bathroom.
One difference between bath bombs and shower steamers, however, is that these relaxing shower steamers with essential oils aren’t diluted in a carrier oil. They also contain higher concentrations of essential oil than are considered skin safe. Due to this, you should not use these aromatherapy shower tablets as a bath bomb in your tub, even though they are similar recipes.
Shower steamer tablets are an easy way to enjoy aromatherapy in your shower! Whether you need to relax and unwind, want a morning pick me up, or need cold and flu symptom relief, shower bombs are a quick and easy alternative that you can make at home.
Similar to how to make bath bombs, this aromatherapeutic product may be made with the similar ingredients such as citric acid and baking soda. However, you don’t need citric acid to recreate this recipe! Instead, I made my sinus relief shower steamers using baking soda and Epsom salt. While this prevents the product from activating like bath bombs which foam and bubble in the tub, it still allows them to slowly dissolve in the shower when they are ready to use.
After all, you don’t need a lot of flair and bubbles for this application as it’s not at all like a bubble bath. In fact, soaking in these would be relatively uncomfortable as it uses a higher concentration of essential oils for sinus relief than recommended for a DIY bath soak, such as this detox bath soak recipe.
Beginner DIY-ers can make this natural cold and flu remedy — even if you’ve never made bath bombs or shower melts before. You don’t need many ingredients to recreate this recipe. Therefore, these DIY sinus relief shower steamers are a great project for beginners who are just getting started making their own essential oil recipes and products.
Are Shower Steamers the Same as Bath Bombs?
While shower steamers are similar to bath bombs and may contain like ingredients, they are not the same. Bath bombs contain ingredients that not only fizz and foam, but that also nourish and moisturizing skin. Instead, shower steamers are like a bath bomb for the shower. The skin nourishing ingredients are excluded, as you don’t soak in this type of bath product.
The ingredients used to make shower melts may include citric acid, baking soda, cream of tartar or Epsom salt and essential oils. Similar to bath bombs, when shower tablets are activated in water, they dissolve. As they dissolve, the aromatherapy shower steamers release essential oils. The essential oils then turn your shower into a large diffuser because of the steam. This essentially creates an at home spa in your own bathroom.
A major difference between bath bombs and shower steamers, however, is that essential oil shower steamers aren’t diluted in a carrier oil. They also contain higher concentrations of essential oils than are considered skin safe. Due to this, you should not use these aromatherapy shower tablets as a bath bomb in your tub, even though the recipes may seem alike.
Best Essential Oils for Sinus Congestion and Cold Symptoms
While I used a blend of eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils to make these shower melts for cold and flu, you aren’t limited to these. Here are some other essential oils you can use to make cold and flu bombs:
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus essential oil is a powerful decongestant able to loosen phlegm, ease sinus pressure and clear both chest and sinus congestion. In turn, the soothing and cooling properties also help to alleviate coughing. It may also help relieve symptoms caused by bronchitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For conditions such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, eucalyptus can reduce symptoms when inhaled.
- Rosemary: Rosemary essential oil is both a decongestant and anti-inflammatory. It works in similar manner as peppermint. However, it is less potent than peppermint.
- Peppermint: Like rosemary and eucalyptus, peppermint essential oil provides relief for sore throats, cough and congestion as well as allergy symptoms.
- Lavender: While lavender essential oil isn’t one to help with congestion, what it can do is help alleviate stress. In addition, that fatigue, depression, and headaches you get when you don’t feel well? Lavender DOES help with those! Plus, this essential oil is kid-safe. You can explore lavender essential oil blends and learn how to make lavender shower steamers here.
- Clary Sage: Lots of folks use clary sage as an essential oil for menopause relief and clary sage for hair care. However, this aroma is also a wonderful decongestant. Like lavender, it also helps to relieve stress and runny noses. It is also antimicrobial.
- Tea Tree: Tea tree oil provides congestion relief and soothes sore throats. In addition, this potent oil is both antiviral and antimicrobial, so it’s able to support immunity.
- Pine: Pine needle essential oil is another great choice if you want to relieve cold and flu symptoms. This oil boosts the body’s immune response and relieves the symptoms of sinus related illnesses. A natural anti-inflammatory, it may also aid in the relief of pain. Similar to tea tree, this oil also has some antimicrobial properties, though not to the same extent.
- Menthol: Menthol crystals are another great addition when making DIY shower melts for cold and flu relief. As with my menthol shower bombs recipe, this ingredient promotes easier breathing and offers temporary relief from nasal congestion. It can also soothe sore throats, alleviate fever symptoms, coughs, headaches and sinus related discomfort. Additionally, menthol also supports immunity and can help with nausea.
- Chamomile: Like many of the other essential oils for colds, chamomile also can help reduce congestion. As an anti-inflammatory, it also assists with alleviating pain symptoms and can ease stomach discomfort. And, like lavender, it also has a calming effect that can help you rest better when you are sick or recovering from an illness.
- Cinnamon: This spice is popular during the holidays — and not only because it smells wonderful! However, when learning how to make shower steamers for cold and flu, you should make sure to use cinnamon leaf essential oil rather than cinnamon bark. As cinnamon bark is not skin safe. This essential oil supports immune health. In addition to being antifungal and antiviral, it is also an antioxidant.
- Frankincense: Frankincense essential oil is great if you have a cough or need symptom relief from bronchitis. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Lemon: There’s a reason lemon is used as an ingredient in my cold remedy drink as well as the ever so popular hot toddy. As a more concentrated version then the fruit or juice, this essential oil acts an an anti-inflammatory to relieve swollen glands and body aches. It also soothes cough and congestion. And, similarly to many of the other eo’s listed, this one is also antiviral and antibacterial.
- Geranium: While not a cold fighting powerhouse like many of the other essential oils listed, geranium essential oil does smell nice and it helps to relieve coughs.
How Much Essential Oil Do I Put in a Shower Steamer for Sinus Congestion?
How much essential oil you put in your shower steamers is dependent upon two factors — the safe usage rate of the essential oils you’ve chosen and the size of the recipe.
For most skin safe applications, you should not exceed 2% of the total recipe weight. Therefore, to make these sinus congestion shower steamers, you may use up to 48 drops of essential oils. This gives you some wiggle room if you’d like to include an additional oil or add menthol crystals to the shower melts recipe.
Benefits of Eucalyptus in Shower Melts for Colds and Congestion
There are a number of benefits to using both real eucalyptus and eucalyptus essential oil in your shower. Not only does this herb have aromatherapy benefits, but it also has natural uses for health and wellness.
Following are the advantages of using this ingredient to make cold and flu shower steamers:
- Eucalyptus oil is able to relieve cough symptoms from sinus and chest congestion. As such, it’s a popular ingredient in VapoRub and homemade vapor rub.
- In addition to soothing cough, this oil is also great at loosening chest congestion. This allows excess mucus in your chest to be expelled when coughing similar to a decongestant.
- Steam infused with eucalyptus oil can improve certain respiratory conditions such as asthma and sinusitis. It reacts with the mucous membranes to both reduce and loosen mucus.
- This oil is naturally anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it may help reduce swelling of nasal passages making it easier to breathe.
- Eucalyptus essential oil is naturally antiseptic and a potent antimicrobial. Therefore, it is ideal at soothing respiratory conditions caused by bacteria and viruses, such as the common cold or flu.
- As this oil is naturally antibacterial, it can help soothe a sore throat when gargled with water. Simply mix one drop of this oil with one cup warm water. Do NOT swallow.
- Eucalyptus essential oil boosts your body’s immune response by increasing macrophages in the blood. This response supports faster recovery time from illness and infection and improves overall immunity.
- Sinus headaches often go hand in hand with allergies and colds. Fortunately, using eucalyptus to make sinus relief shower steamers can help! As this oil helps to relieve sinus pressure while also relaxing the mind and facial muscles, it may assist with headache relief.
- When used for aromatherapy, you’ll find that eucalyptus is invigorating and stimulating. As such, diffusing this oil in a diffuser or aromatherapy shower melts can soothe and calm the mind while also simultaneously re-energizing your body.
- In addition to invigorating the senses, eucalyptus essential oil can also improve brain function. This, in turn, can help clear your mind to improve focus and concentration.
Cold and Flu Eucalyptus Shower Bomb Ingredients
These are the natural ingredients you’ll need to make this essential oil shower bomb recipe to relieve cold and flu symptoms:
- Essential oils: I used a combination of eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils to create this recipe. These two oils work wonders at relieving sinus and chest congestion when diffused in the shower. If you want to cut costs when making this natural remedy, you can buy this breathe essential oil blend instead. It’s made with pine, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint oils blended together into one simple formula to provide sinus relief.
- Eucalyptus leaves: Have you seen hanging eucalyptus shower sprays? They diffuse the oil from the leaves naturally when hung in the shower as they mix with the steam. By adding a few eucalyptus leaves to these cold and flu shower melts, you’ll enjoy the additional benefits of this herb. Plus, they add a decorative touch to the finished products. If preferred, you may omit this ingredient. Or substitute it with eucalyptus leaf powder.
- Liquid: You will need a liquid to bind the ingredients for these shower tablets together. You can use water. However, I prefer to use witch hazel extract when available. Alternately, eucalyptus hydrosol is another great option. (Explore more great ways to use hydrosols here.)
- Baking soda: This ingredient serves as the base of this sinus relief remedy. When baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is combined with Epsom salt and a liquid, a solid tablet is formed that slowly dissolves when exposed to water and steam.
- Epsom salt: As shower steamers made with citric acid react like bath bombs and can be more difficult to make, I used Epsom salt in place of the citric acid. While you won’t have the rapid foaming action of a bath bomb when using this product in the floor of the shower, the Epsom salt and baking soda combo means the product takes longer to dissolve so the product lasts longer. They also help the product to harden faster and stay hard until ready to use.
Tools and Equipment Needed to Make Sinus Relief Shower Steamers
In addition to the ingredients called for in these cold and flu shower steamers, you will also need some basic kitchen tools and equipment. These will allow you to mix the ingredients and then form the shower tablets.
Here is what else you will need:
- Mold: These may be made with either a round bath bomb mold, like my eucalyptus and menthol shower steamers, or a silicone mold. For this recipe, I used this smaller sized, cylinder silicone mold.
- Bowl: You will need a container to combine both the wet and dry ingredients together to make these peppermint eucalyptus shower steamers. I recommend using a medium to large glass bowl for quick and easy clean up.
- Utensil: Whether it’s a spatula, a whisk, a fork or a spoon, a utensil of some type is necessary to mix the ingredients for this natural cold and flu remedy.
- Measuring cups and spoons: As this recipe calls for measuring out the ingredients rather than weighing them, you will need a set of measuring cups and spoons.
- Dropper: If you don’t have a reducer cap on the essential oils you’ve chosen for congestion relief, then you will need either a dropper or graduated transfer pipette to measure out the drops of essential oil called for in the sinus relief shower steamers recipe.
- Airtight container: After you complete this health and wellness project, you’ll need to properly store the shower melts to protect them from heat and humidity. Therefore, I suggest that you have an airtight container handy for an easy storage solution. You’ll keep your finished cold and flu bombs inside the container in a cool, dark location until ready to use.
How to Make Sinus Relief Shower Steamers
Here are the steps necessary to make these essential oil shower steamers for sinus congestion relief:
1. Use measuring cups to measure out the baking soda and Epsom salt. Add the dry ingredients to a glass bowl.
2. Now use a measuring spoon to measure out the dried eucalyptus leaves. You can use crumbled leaves or a powder. Add the eucalyptus to the bowl with the baking soda and Epsom salt, then mix to combine.
3. Next, measure out your liquid of choice, whether it is water, a hydrosol or witch hazel. Pour the water into the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Then add the drops of both the peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils to the bowl. Stir well, ensuring that the mixture is evenly combined.
5. Using a spoon or other utensil that works well for you, add the shower melts mixture to twelve of the mold cavities.
Then press down on the mixture with the spoon or a spatula to tightly pack it into the mold.
TIP: Place the mold onto a cutting board before filling to make transporting fast and easy.
6. Allow the tablets to rest inside the mold in a cool, dry location away from heat and humidity.
7. Unmold the sinus relief shower steamers 24 to 48 hours later. Then store in an airtight container until ready to use.
How to Use Eucalyptus Shower Melts for Colds and Flu
To use, place one peppermint eucalyptus shower tablet the corner of the shower. Allow the shower steamer to get wet from the hot water, but not saturated. As the water hits the tablet, it will start to dissolve. The essential oils will then release their aromatherapeutic vapors as they mix with the steam in the shower.
While some water is necessary to activate the product, take care not to keep it in a direct water stream. Otherwise, it will dissolve too quickly and won’t be as effective at relieving sinus congestion as it is if allowed to slowly dissolve.
As the shower tablets melt, you should find that you are able to breathe easy again, whether you are congested or simply have a runny nose!
Storing Homemade Shower Melts
Moisture will activate your essential oil shower steamers for cold and flu. Even moisture from the air, which is common in a bathroom, can activate them. Therefore, make sure to store any leftover sinus relief shower steamers inside an airtight container. Keep the container in a cool, dry location away from excessive heat and humidity.
Sinus Relief Shower Steamers FAQ
If you’ve never made shower steamers, you may have additional questions. Fortunately, my recipe is fairy easy and straightforward. However, this section covers tips and tricks for making my cold and flu shower melts along with answers to common questions.
How Can I Make my Shower Bombs Smell Stronger?
Simply adding more essential oils to your shower bombs may make them more fragrant, but it’s also possible to go overboard. Using too much of any essential oil can lead to discomfort such as nausea or headaches. If you prefer stronger scented cold and flu tablets for your shower, then I recommend making them with menthol crystals.
Menthol crystals are more concentrated than essential oils and therefore more potent than peppermint oil. To learn more about menthol and its safety precautions, be sure to check out my tutorial on how to make DIY menthol shower steamers.
Do you Need Citric Acid for Shower Steamers?
Unlike bath bombs, you do not need citric acid to make these sinus relief shower steamers. This is because, you don’t need the same fizzing and foaming action that you’d expect from a bath bomb. As a primarily aromatherapeutic health and wellness product, you simply need the shower melts to dissolve slowly in the hot, steaming water of your shower. The combination of the steam and the essential oils found in these cold and flu shower bombs work in harmony to provide fast relief from sinus pressure, pain and congestion.
Should you prefer to make this essential oil product using typical bath bomb ingredients such as citric acid and baking powder, then be sure to check out my menthol shower steamers recipe. These aromatherapy melts are made with menthol crystals to help relieve sinus congestion and pressure. However, they contain witch hazel in lieu of a carrier oil so as not to leave a slippery residue in the bottom of the bathtub.
How Long Do Shower Melts Take to Dry?
In general, these DIY shower bombs for cold and flu take about 12 to 24 hours to fully dry. I recommend that you keep them in a cool, dry location to ensure they dry fully as humidity can hinder this process.
How Do Sinus Relief Shower Steamers Work?
As previously mentioned, these relaxing shower steamers are similar to a bath bomb. My aromatherapy shower steamers are made using baking soda and Epsom salt as a base. When the water hits the baking soda and Epsom salt, they start to dissolve. This releases the essential oils that then combine with the steam to create an aromatherapy spa in your shower.
Why Are My Cold and Flu Shower Steamers Crumbling?
This sinus relief shower steamers recipe is a fairly easy recipe that’s perfect for beginners. However, the biggest problem that you may face when you make them is crumbling. This product may crumble when you do not add enough liquid to the dry ingredients.
However, if you add too much liquid, you can activate your DIY shower steamers. This is especially true if you are using a citric acid and baking soda base, or a recipe with cream of tartar. If the shower tablets are too wet and they are activated, they will expand. It’s also possible they may also not set up properly. If activated, the essential oils may release before you are ready to use them.
If your shower tablets do crumble, you can still save your recipe. Simply add more liquid to them, then remold them. Alternately, you can place the crumbles into a cup, then set the filled cup in your shower. Be sure to add water to the cup to activate your relaxing shower steamers when you want to use them.
How Do I Fix Crumbling Shower Melts for Congestion?
If the shower melts are too dry or they won’t hold together, you can remold them. Simply place them in a large Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to break them back down into a powder. Then add a small amount of witch hazel extract to rehydrate the recipe. Add just enough so that the mixture clumps and holds together like wet sand. Then remold.
What If I Add Too Much Liquid When Making Shower Bombs?
If you add too much liquid, then these cold and flu bombs may not dry properly or hold together as they should. When using a combination of citric acid and baking soda to make these, it can cause them to activate and fizz prematurely. Fortunately, these congestion relief shower steamers are made without citric acid, so it’s an easy fix. Simply add a small amount of arrowroot powder or cornstarch to the mixture to absorb the excess liquid and save the batch.
To avoid this in the future, however, be sure to slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. In some instances, you may not need all of the wet ingredients called for in the recipe. Add the liquid slowly, and mix as you go. Once your product is the consistency of wet sand and holds when squeezed together, you have used enough.
Where Should a Sinus Relief Shower Steamer Be Placed in a Shower?
To enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of these cold and flu shower steamers, place the tablets at the far end of your shower. They should be out of the direct spray of the water from the shower head. This will them from dissolving too quickly, enabling you to enjoy the aromatherapeutic benefits of the peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils used to make this bath product.
How Long do Cold and Flu Shower Melts Last?
In general, you can expect your shower steamers to last about 5-10 minutes in the shower before they dissolve completely. This time can vary on how much water is hitting the shower bombs directly and where it’s located in the shower.
The aromatherapeutic benefits from the essential oils used to make the product, however, will continue to permeate the steam in the shower and fill the air after this time. Your bathroom will smell lovely and fragrant even after you’ve finished showering.
What Mold Can I Use to Make Sinus Relief Shower Steamers?
I used this silicone cylinder mold to make my relaxing shower steamers recipe. The circles are 1.5 inches wide and hold about 20 ml. You can use a similar sized mold to learn how to make shower steamers. One thing to keep in mind is that you want a plain mold and not an intricate mold because you will not see the intricate design.
Do You Need Citric Acid for Cold and Flu Shower Steamers?
No, you do not need citric acid to make shower steamers. Rather than using citric acid to make these, I instead used Epsom salt and baking soda as the base.
Why Use Essential Oils to Make Aromatherapy Shower Steamers?
I recommend using essential oils to make shower steamers. Essential oils have aromatherapy benefits that can do everything from promote relaxation and relieve stress to soothe cold and flu symptoms. On the other hand, scenting this product with fragrance oils made from synthetic aromas will not provide the same relief.
Sinus Relief Shower Steamer Essential Oil Safety
Essential oils are safe when used properly. However, there are necessary precautions you should take when using these sinus relief shower steamers in your home. Here are the safety measures you should take when using peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils in these tablets.
- As always, essential oils should be properly diluted as undiluted oils can cause skin and/or eye irritation. While it’s not a primary concern where shower bombs are concerned, you do want to take care not to go overboard when adding eo’s to this products.
- Excessive oils will not only affect the consistency of the recipe, but using more than recommended can cause headaches and nausea. As a once upon a time regular soapmaker, I can attest to both of these things. Mixing essential oils in large batches of soap — which heats up as it goes through the saponification process — can result in some pretty potent and overwhelming odors.
- Shower steamers for sinus congestion are great for adults! Kids under ten should not use eucalyptus. However, children over three may use peppermint for aromatherapy. Therefore, for younger kids you should omit the eucalyptus or choose an alternate safe for their age range such as lavender, citrus, sweet orange, mandarin or ginger.
- Pets are particularly susceptible to essential oils. While eucalyptus essential oil is typically okay to diffuse around dogs, cats should steer clear of the area. Peppermint, on the other hand, shouldn’t be used around either cats or dogs. Therefore, keep your four-legged friends away from the area when using this aromatherapy product as it peppermint is toxic to them and can make them ill.
- It’s incredibly important to note that some people have an allergy to eucalyptus. In this instance, inhaling the diffused oil can trigger allergy symptoms. This may worsen asthma symptoms if they are present. Therefore, if you have a medical condition, it’s important to always consult a medical health professional before trying any home remedies for cold and flu.
Aromatherapy Shower Steamer Recipes
If you like my sinus relief shower steamers recipe, then be sure to try these other DIY shower bombs:
- DIY Shower Steamers with Menthol Crystals: Learn how to make shower steamers with menthol crystals and eucalyptus essential oil as a natural home remedy for stuffy noses caused by colds, flu and seasonal allergies.
- Lavender Shower Steamers Recipe: Try this relaxing, lavender shower steamers recipe without citric acid. These easy aromatherapy shower steamers can be made with lavender essential oil or a lavender essential oil blend to help relieve stress and calm your mind.
- Aromatherapy Shower Steamers Recipe: Make aromatherapy shower steamers with essential oils for a relaxing and aromatic shower experience. These DIY shower steamers helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. Try my combo of ylang ylang and rose essential oils for this aromatherapeutic bath product, or choose your favorite relaxing essential oil blend to create an at home spa experience.
Natural Remedies for Congestion
For more ways to get sinus relief outside of my DIY shower tablets recipe, be sure to try one or more of these other natural remedies:
- DIY Detox Bath Soak: Runny noses and chest congestion are always a challenge. Whether you have a cold or are suffering from seasonal allergies, this DIY detox bath soak is a natural way to enjoy symptom relief.
- Fire Cider Vinegar Recipe: If you have a stuffy nose, this recipe for fire cider is made with ingredients like horseradish and garlic that help to boost immunity and clear nasal congestion fast.
- Thyme Tea Benefits: Discover the benefits of adding thyme to your tea along with mullein to create a recipe to soothe cough and clear mucus and phlegm from the lungs.
This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience or research and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.opper