Cold and flu season calls for extra relief of stuffed up noses and sore sinuses. Besides using a Neti Pot, another all natural, easy way to help move things along is to add homemade, inexpensive, melting shower disks to your hot shower. Scented with essential oils, these puck-like soothers release beneficial aromatherapeutic vapors into the steam from the hot water as they dissolve. You may have seen similar, pricey aromatherapy shower tablets in the store; now you can save money and make your own!
I've practiced a bit and here is my simple, cost-effective, DIY recipe; the entire process takes about an hour... Worth trying during harsh winter months or for an anytime spa treat!
Ingredients / Tools
2 cups of baking soda (any brand)
4 tablespoons corn starch
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of water
Essential Oil(s) of choice: I use lavender, eucalyptus (which provides the menthol or "Vicks" scent we grew up with) and spearmint EOs
12 count muffin pan
foil muffin/cupcake baking cups (remove paper liners)
1 mixing spoon
ice cream scooper or a deep spoon
1. Pre-heat oven to 350℉
2. Add baking soda, water, and cornstarch (some recipes don't call for cornstarch but it helps bind the disks together) to the bowl. TIP: I discovered my container of cornstarch was out of date and it worked fine in all my tests for this project - good chance to repurpose instead of tossing it out!
3. Mix ingredients together, creating a "wet sand" feeling. HINT: It will look dry; touch it to be sure it feels like cold wet sand, if so, you are good to go!
4. Line muffin pan with foil liners. (No muffin pan? Just put the foil liners on
a cookie sheet.) TIP: Remove the paper cupcake cups from the foil ones, otherwise the vapor disks will stick to the paper only to fall apart when you try to remove the paper liner. Trust me on this!
5. Using the ice cream scooper, add a scoop to each muffin cup distributing the entire batch. PRESS down on each one with back of scooper.
6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes ONLY.
7. Cool completely in muffin pan on wire rack (or elevated) for about 30 minutes. Add essential oil(s) to top of each disk, estimate a 1/4 teaspoon OR 20 eye-drops of EO per disk. Gently remove foil liners, they should easily peel away.
Packaging TIP: You can also leave them in the liner and remove before use.
Cooking TIP: Do NOT put the oil on the mixture and then bake!! Your oven will smell like the essential oil for a long time; plus, the heat depletes the aromatherapeutic benefits of the oils that you want to experience in the shower.
8. TO USE: Place the disk on the floor of the shower, making sure it is located to the side of the direct water stream. Find the right spot by testing with a few discs around your tub or shower floor; you want to prevent them from melting right down your drain and allow them to "dissolve" slowly. BONUS: If they aren't dissolved during the first shower, the bathroom will be pleasantly scented… It's baking soda so it won't hurt anything hanging around a day or two!
Pamper yourself by experimenting with any combination of oils or just your favorite one for a spa shower experience when
cold and flu season ends or anytime you need a treat. I made a batch using only the spearmint and it is very refreshing. Store them in a glass jar or zipper bag, the sooner you use them the more effective they will be but they will last a long time in a sealed container.
This is a fun, fast do-it-yourself project that allows you to choose the best scent for your family... You'll wonder why you haven't made these before! Enjoy! Let me know if you try this recipe and your favorite oil combinations.
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