DIY Aromatherapy Shower Steamers for Congestion, Illness, Sleep Issues, and More!

DIY Aromatherapy Shower Steamers – For Congestion, Illness, Sleep Issues, & More

Print Friendly

Some people just don’t like to take baths. I can understand that. Sometimes I get too hot and usually run the risk of dropping whatever it is I’m reading whether it be a book or a tablet. Sometimes a shower can be the perfect healing apparatus. Especially when you have your own homemade aromatherapy shower steamers on hand!

There is an ancient history to medicinal steam baths

Herbal steam baths have been popular all over the world in many ancient civilizations and cultures. From the Mongol’s to the Mayans, and the Romans to the Native Americans, steam baths have been used for more than just beauty and luxury; they were originally utilized for the healing properties that these steamy, fragrant baths provide. With the steam, ancient herbalists were able to extract some of the fresh plant’s healing constituents into the air (pretty much the plant’s essential oils), to be breathed in. During times of illness, steam was used along with other herbal concoctions to help relieve congestion, loosen muscles, and soothe the mind and soul.

Shower steamers give you an aromatherapeutic experience

You can harness the healing benefits of the ancient ritual of steam bathing, in your own shower by making your own aromatherapy shower steamers! Aromatherapy shower steamers are small fizzy discs (or other shapes, I don’t discriminate!) that you put at the end of your shower, out of the stream of water. As it fizzes and effervesces, the essential oils on them float up into the steam, giving you an aromatherapeutic steam that can help with congestion and stuffy nose, combating illness, help calm and soothe you, or even wake you up. The best part is that you can customize your experience with your essential oils, no matter what you’re needing, you can make a blend for it!

DIY Aromatherapy Shower Steamers

I like to make these individually rather than a large batch of just one scent, that way I can use them for whatever use I want or give them away as personalized gifts. This is why the essential oil blends below, are to drop directly onto the dry/cooled shower steamer discs, rather than mix into the mix. If you choose to bake your discs, do not add essential oils to them until they are dry and cool because they are volatile oils and will evaporate, not to mention the heat would destroy the therapeutic properties of the essential oil! Aromatherapy shower steamers aren’t just for congestion blends, you can add to these all sorts of blends to achieve the healing and relaxing benefits of aromatherapy. Below I have given several of my own favorite essential oil blends to use on your shower steamers!

I searched the web high and low for aromatherapy vapor discs and shower steamers and nearly all of them are just baking soda and water for the recipe, but all of the comments and complaints talk about them crumbling to pieces, and not making a solid firm shape. From making both bath fizzies and dishwasher tablets, I knew the key secret that they were missing in all of their recipes; citric acid and arrowroot powder. Citric acid, when combined with baking soda, has the same reaction as vinegar and makes the fizzy action happen! I spent an entire day making shower steamers with all sorts of ingredients and this is my final recipe that seemed to make the firmest shape! Now, I have a lot of shower steamers on hand for later!

I like to use silicon molds and mini muffin pans to make these in all sorts of shapes! Many blogs talk about using muffin liners, but you do not have to use them! If the mixture is not fully dried/hard, it will not come out of the pan or it will crumble out in pieces. All you have to do is allow the mixture to dry for a few more hours, and then turn the pan upside down over a cloth. Knock on the bottom of each of the muffin cups, to help release them from their cup.



  1. In a bowl, combine baking soda, citric acid, and arrowroot powder, mixing until no lumps are present.
  2. Add water to the bowl, only 1 tablespoon at a time. Stirring the mixture together with each Tablespoon, you’ll know you’ve used enough when it sticks together/packs down just like making a snowball. It will still look kind of dry, but if you take a handful of the mixture and squeeze it, it should turn pack easily into a ball. Too much water will make the mixture continue to react and continue puff up more.
  3. Once you get the “snowball” consistency, begin to fill your molds, pushing down the mixture into the mold and compacting it into place.If you used too much water in the mixture, it will continue to fizz and rise while it is drying. You can counteract this by adding a bit more powder to the mix if it is too wet.
  4. Leave the molds out overnight to air dry. (Don’t worry, just like with bath fizzies and dishwasher tablets, it can take a couple tries to really learn the right amount of water to hold these together without them over-reacting. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll be a breeze every time afterward!) When they are sufficiently hardened, they should release from your molds fairly easily, if they are still wet, they will not fall out with ease.
  5. Drop essential oil drops directly onto the top of your cool and dry shower steamers. If giving as a gift, store in a nifty jar, such as a mason jar. For the ones that I keep at home for family use, I like to add the essential oil blend right before using, so that they don’t evaporate from sitting in a cabinet for a long period of time.


Drop one aromatherapy shower steamer at the far end of the bathtub, away from the stream of water. You can sprinkle a little bit on the steamer to get it started, but it will fizz away too quickly if you put it directly under the water stream. Sit in your steamy shower, breathing in the awesome aromatherapy benefits of the blend you chose to use!

diy aromatherapy shower steamers

Congestion & Stuffy Nose Blend (safe for use around 10+yrs)

Congestion & Stuffy Nose Blend JUNIOR (safe for use around babies and children 6+ months)

Medicine Woman Anti-Germ Blend (safe for use around children 10+ yrs)

Medicine Woman JUNIOR Blend (safe for use around babies and children 6+ months)

Good Night Sleep Tight Blend (safe for use around children 2+ years)

Rise N’ Shine Blend (safe for use around children 6+ years old)

Take a Chill Pill Blend (safe for use around babies and children 6+ months)

Hair of the Dog Hangover Blend (safe for use around children 6+ years….but I hope it’s for tummy troubles and not a hangover)

 Don’t Worry Be Happy – Stress Relief/Anti-Depressant Blend (safe for use around children 

Herbal Academy Affordable Courses Online

FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may  receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and are in alignment with The Hippy Homemaker's ideals. Christina Anthis a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

Posted in Aromatherapy, Gifts, Green Living, Herbal Remedies, Kid-Safe, Natural Health, Natural Healthy & Beauty, Pregnancy & Baby and tagged , , , , , , .
  • Don’t Worry Be Happy is my stress/anxiety blend! It works very well for my anxiety!

  • Pingback: The Science of Smell in Aromatherapy - How Smelling Essential Oils Works - TheHippyHomemaker()

  • Pingback: Eucalyptus Oil – ForeverQuaintrelle()

  • Pingback: Turn Your Morning Routine Into a Ritual that will Raise your Vibes ⋆ Mystic Magic()

  • Pingback: Homemade Aromatherapy Fizzy Shower Tablets - and a printable! - Salmon at Seven()

  • WIC

    Does adding oils to the dried cakes make them puff or react? Are your drops per cake?

  • Pingback: Good Night Sleep Tight - A DIY Sleepytime Essential Oil Blend for a Good Night's Rest - TheHippyHomemaker()

  • Pingback: Kill Germs & Boost Immunities With Medicine Woman Essential Oil Blend - a DIY Anti-Germ/Immune Essential Oil Blend - TheHippyHomemaker()

  • Pingback: DIY Natural Medicine Cabinet - TheHippyHomemaker()

  • Pingback: Don't Worry Be Happy - A Stress & Anxiety Essential Oil Blend - TheHippyHomemaker()

  • Jackie

    How many drops of essential oil do you add to each steamer? This is a great gift idea!

  • Michaella

    How many drops of essential oils did you add in each steamer?

  • People were having too many problems with them overflowing when they heated them in the oven, so I took it out of the directions, though I didn’t scour the whole post for it. You can do it in your oven at a very low temp for 15-20 minutes, but leave the oven door cracked, any extra moisture in the mixture will make them puff up too much. If you got the water amounts just right, this shouldn’t really happen though!

  • This filled my entire silicon tray which i believe has like 24 spaces, it also would fill a standard size mini muffin pan!

  • Not sure what I did wrong. I came back and they had all fallen into the muffin tin and basically I had a hard outside shell. Looked like a bowl inside each muffin tin. Only could chip pieces out…

  • Lise Posson

    Tried to make the steamers and they turned yellowish brown and stayed very crumbly. Wah! We left them on the tray with parchment paper on top…in room temperature.

  • Annie

    Did you add the essential oil after it has harden overnight?

    • Christina

      yes! For ones that I am not giving away as gifts, keeping at home, I don’t add the essential oils until right before I am going to use the shower steamer, that way they don’t evaporate off over time! For gifts, I just let them know to use them within a couple months otherwise the essential oils will need to be replaced on them (which if they too have essential oils, they could re-add drops to them if it’s been too long!)

      • Annie

        Thank you. How many drops do you usually put into one?

  • Erin

    Is there something you can add in replacement for citric acid? Thanks!

    • Christina

      you could definitely combine the baking soda and arrow root with enough water to make it shapable. these would be best baked to get all the water out and will be a lot more crumbly, dissolving very quickly rather than having the acid/base reaction that the citric acid gives when combined with baking soda and wetted. There isn’t another substitute for it!

  • jill

    If they continue to rise in the molds due to adding too much water (which I did one TBSP at a time!), can you put it all back in the bowl and add an equal ratio of the dry ingredients?

  • so, do you use the mini candy style molds or do you use muffin tin size molds? I’m going to make these with help from my rugrats for christmas but not sure what size mold to invest in. Cupcake size or candy size?

    • Christina

      you could do either but I like to use the cupcake sizes so that they last longer in the shower!

  • Pingback: Hippy Natural Holiday Gift Guide for Every Hippy in Your Life - TheHippyHomemaker()

  • Erica

    I am trying to make the shower steamers…. they are in the oven but they have totally expanded & blown up……what am I suppose to do?

    • Christina

      If they are too wet when they go into the oven, they will continue to react and rise up over a lot more. Overwet mixture will still continue to rise while air drying, but it doesn’t do it near as much as when they are oven dried. The smallest amount of water that can be used, is what is needed. If you end up using too much water, it’s best to let them dry out overnight rather than quickly in the oven. I will make a note up there because you are not the only one. Just like with making bath fizzies or dishwasher tablets, it can sometimes take a couple tries to get the hang of just the right amount of water in the recipe.

  • jen

    You didn’t add how much salt but you say to add salt in thw directions. How much do you use?

    • Christina

      that was an accident! I changed it! Though you can add salt to the recipe if you like, they should only be air dried because the salt will cause it to rise in the oven!

  • Aimee

    How many shower steamers does the recipe make?

    • Christina

      this recipe filled my whole tray and half another tray of these silicon molds

  • Sydney

    How much salt do you use?