Homemade Vick’s Vapor Shower Discs and Colds

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Homemade Vick’s Vapor Shower Discs

Homemade Vick’s Vapor Shower Discs Recipe and Cold Tips

Have you seen those new Homemade Vick’s Vapor Shower Discs you put in the shower to help with colds? They are expensive! Cold season is upon us and unfortunately, chances are that either we or our children will come down with a miserable cold. Even though I am not a doctor, here are a few things that can help make you more comfortable and hopefully feel better. We’re also including a recipe for Homemade Vick’s Vapor Shower Discs.

  • One very helpful remedy for treating a cold is Vick’s Vapor Rub. Rub it on the person’s chest and then cover with a warm towel to help relieve a stuffy nose and cough.
  • Rub a little Vick’s Vapor Rub under the person’s nose to help with a stuffy nose.
  • Some people like rubbing the Vapor Rub on the bottoms of their feet and then covering with socks. Some people say that this makes them feel better.
  • For adults: To help with a stuffy head, put a spoonful or two of Vick’s Vapor Rub in a pot of steaming water, hang your head over the pot and cover your head with a towel, breathing the steam. This really helps clear out clogged airways. You could use this for older children, too, but you’ll want to be very careful because you’ll be using very hot water and it’s easy to get burned if you’re not careful.
  • Don’t forget chicken soup. Grandma knew it worked and studies continue to prove it again and again. Regardless whether it is homemade or store bought, chicken soup really does help relieve cold symptoms.
  • Get some rest. Don’t drag sick kids along on errands or let them go to school when they are sick. People used to take colds more seriously and would go to bed with a cold because they were terrified it would turn into pneumonia. Since they had no antibiotics, pneumonia meant that there was a good chance they would die. We might not have that concern now but it’s very important that you take it easy and rest, especially if you don’t have money for doctors or medications.

We first saw this recipe for Homemade Vick’s Vapor Discs over at Frugal By Choice. There is also a similar recipe in our Dining on a Dime Cookbook for homemade bath bombs, which you could also use in the bath. Instead of using the Homemade Vick’s Vapor shower discs in the shower, you can also use a combination of eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender for a relaxing and healing bath.

Homemade Vick’s Vapor Shower Discs

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch**
1/3-1/2 cup water (You may need to add more or less.)
15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil or 2-3 tsp. Vick’s Vapor Rub*

Mix using enough water to make a thick paste. You can pour into muffin tins lined with papers, make small balls and set on a plate or put into a silicone ice cube tray or muffin tray. Let them set for at least 12 hours or overnight to dry. You can bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes to dry them more quickly. Remove from papers or silicone trays and store in an airtight container.

When ready to use, place a disc on the floor of your shower and let the water run on it while showering.


*Essential oils can be expensive. If you don’t want to buy a lot of oils for this recipe, you can buy 1 bottle of the generic vapor rub and just use a couple of teaspoons in this mixture instead.

**You can leave the cornstarch out of the Homemade Vick’s Vapor Shower Discs. I put it in because it helps hold them together better.


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  1. says

    vicks also helps with earaches.
    just rub a bit into the skin on that stick up part in front of your ear canal.
    It isn’t for every earache but ones that come along with colds and the flu it works wonders.

    • Kelsey says

      I wouldn’t advise putting this in your ear canal. Ear aches during colds occur due to fluid behind the ear ear drum (TM) or pressure due to the inflammation in the throat which doesn’t allow your Eustachian tubes to dilate properly and equalize the pressure. Both require a physician.

      But I am excited to make these discs. They will come in handy this winter. Wish I would’ve seen this sooner!

      • Dinah says

        Kelsey, she didn’t say put it in your ear canal. She was referring to the tragus. It’s the flap of cartilage in front of the ear canal. This will not harm your ears in any way. It’s actually a common part of the ear to get pierced.

  2. Brenda D. says

    We used to laugh and giggle and joke about Grandma breaking out the Vicks Vapo rub when we were kids, but has long since decided that Grandma really knew what she was about. Vapo rub is my favorite go-to in my medicine cabinet if someone has a stuffy nose or chest congestion. It is so much better than giving a medicine with a side-effect. Also, I frequently use a room vaporizer with a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil for long lasting cold relief. Thank you so much for posting the homemade shower vapo disks.

  3. Bea says

    Vick’s has been the only thing that helps me when I have a cold or my allergies are acting up. I’ve used it for years, so thanks so much for the homemade recipe. REALLY appreciate it. I like the idea too of putting on feet with socks. Sounds good and helpful.

  4. harriet says

    Another great folk remedy my mom used on me and I’ve used since is Ben-Gay for sore throats. Rub Ben-Gay liberally on a sore throat and then wrap your throat up with a soft cloth. We always used old cut-up T-shirts with a safety pin. It really helps.

  5. Jody says

    Believe it or not – Vicks will also “draw out” infections. My parents have used it for years on infected hangnails, blisters, cuts, etc. I didn’t believe them ’til I tried it on a very teeny tiny hangnail that I pulled off. It was hurting terribly deep in my finger for days so I slathered it w/ Vicks under a band-aid for a few days and sure enough -brought it to the surface and I could drain it. Healed right up lickety-split. It was amazing.

    • says

      Vicks also is good for nail fungus. Just put it on toenails each night with a pair of socks. Now it does take a while (until the whole nail grows out which could be at least 6 months) but it does work if you are patient.

  6. Beth says

    I made these using the baking method with cornstarch in them and cannot get the paper muffin liners off without losing half the disk. Anyone else have this problem? I have made them without the cornstarch but found them to be too crumbly and was excited to try this.

    • Jen says

      Another way to do this, as I make my own shower bombs and came across this recipe just to see what I would need for the vicks vapor rub ones… One way around this would be to use a sheet of wax paper over top of a pan sheet. Spoon them out to your desire just on top of the wax paper. Only this way you let them air dry rather than placing them in the oven. It will take them about 18-20 hours to dry completely before being used.

  7. Andell says

    I made them about 30 mins ago… and they are crumbling… The liners aren’t coming up.. I didn’t use corn starch. What do i do?

    • says

      If you didn’t use cornstarch, then they will be more crumbly. You might try adding more water but the cornstarch does help bind them together.

  8. Lindsay says

    I just made a batch. I used the aluminium cupcake cups amd they peal off nicely. I used vicks and some Lavender and rosemary oil. Can’t wait to try them. Also I didn’t bake mine. They are drying next to the wood stove

  9. Sarah says

    This is the best idea. I’m trying it for the first time and I got essential oils. The oils weren’t to expensive. I have a rep for them here in Japan. I’m excited to try them cause I was disappointed when they took them off the market. These were the best things for making your own sauna in your home. Thank you so much for putting your recipe on here for people to find.

  10. Julie says

    I put mine into the oven. They sort if started to “boil”. I thought maybe it would mess up their appearance. Anyone else experience this too?

  11. Stevie says

    Hi all, I made these from another site, a little different recipe. My mix was never a toothpaste or poor able consistency, it was more like a thicker, stickier vicks itself. I spooned some into a mold (ice cube tray) and placed in the freezer per the instructions (again, on the other site). I am starting to wonder if this was my issue (See below), in addition to the not thin enough consistency.

    I’ve noticed that even thought the scent was super strong when making and now in the bag I am storing them in, once in the shower, there isn’t a strong smell, and sometimes I do not smell them at all! It’s really disappointing, sceptically when I made a big batch of these as Christmas present.

    You ladies have any advance moving forward, in terms of what I can do with my current batch to ensure these are strong enough for the people i gift them too? I appreciate any ideas you’ve got!


    • says

      Without knowing what the other recipe was or anything the only thing I can think of is you might add a few more drops of essential oil to them. Just place a some drops in the bag with them that you are storing them in. The smell may not be working for different reasons but one of them is different essential oils have different strengths. The less expensive or different brands of oil will not only smell different but the strength can really vary so you may have to adjust the amount used on any recipe.

      • Stevie says

        Thanks for replying Jill. Below is the ingredients/ directions I used:
        1/2 cup of Baking Soda
        1 cup of cornstarch
        5 table spoons of Vicks (Can use baby Vicks for a more gentle smell)
        Add a teaspoon of water as your see fit. (I did 3)
        Mold tray (ice cube, chocolate)

        First start by getting your bowl and add in your corn starch (add a little glitter in if you want some sparkle).

        Now add in your Vicks and mix it around until well combined. This will be strong smelling so maybe wear gloves if your sensitive or open a window.

        Now add in your baking soda and mix well. IF you find you need more moisture add a teaspoon at a time but do not over do it or it won’t form right.

        Then mold the mixture into your ice cube tray or other molding tray (these were molded in a chocolate molding tray… you can get pretty creative with shapes & themes if you want).

        Then you will want to freeze them for a few hours.

        Take out and pop them out of the molds. You can place then into small jars for yourself or use them as gifts.

        • says

          I can see where the difference might be Stevie. You used the Vicks in place of the eucalyptus oil which would make a difference in the consistency and the pure oils would be stronger smelling than the Vicks which is diluted down with the other ingredients added.

  12. Caroline Reynolds says

    The eucalyptus oil in Vick’s is an anti fungal. Tests reported in Prevention indicate that it will cure about 1/3 of all athlete’s foot. Rub on twice a day for 90 days.

    • says

      Yes it works really really good for nail and toe fungus. You have to rub it on faithful for quite awhile but it works as well as the meds that are made especially for that.

  13. Joanie says

    Vicks ointment was a staple on my grandmothers’ side table. It was one of the few (or maybe only) medicines available for sinus and cold relief at that time. Sometimes they bought a tin of mentholated ointment from the Watkins saleman. It makes me laugh to read that some health providers feel that as a medicine Vicks is ineffective and unproven. But yet it remains a “go to” in many homes. Maybe it is my wonderful childhood memories, but many nights when I toss and turn and just can’t sleep, a little Vicks on a tissue held near my nose helps me to drift off. So much is promoted about aroma therapy, but I’ll stick with Vicks! :) Hope your family feels better soon!

    • says

      So funny you mentioned that today Joanie. Everyone in Tawra’s household has been really bad sick with colds and flu. I was skyping with her middle son yesterday and he was coughing but told me “Mom keeps coming in and rubbing me and rubbing me all over with Vicks.” and was rubbing his hands on his chest. He said she put it under my nose and on my feet and every where. I was laughing at his demonstration and told him I remember my mom and grandma both doing the same to me. Some things never change.
      Tawra did take them to a doctor and he told her to just use Vick’s and give them lemon and honey. She tried to explain she had been doing all of that and it wasn’t working but he didn’t really listen I’m afraid.

  14. Judy says

    How many shower bombs does this recipe make? I don’t want to make mine too thick or too thin. Thanks!

    • says

      Don’t know exactly but you can make them about 1/2 thick and 2 in or so in diameter. This of course doesn’t have to be exact.


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