Use these DIY shower steamers to kick off your day and take your shower up a notch! Learning how to make DIY shower steamers means you can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy or help ease cold symptoms all with only a hanfdul of ingredients!
While I’ve previously used homemade shower melts for congestion and during the cold season, I recently wanted them for more.
I’ve found myself simply adding essential oils to my shower depending on my mood. And while they do start off the shower nicely, they don’t last long. This is the main benefit of DIY shower steamers: they keep the scent around longer!
All of a sudden you can turn your everyday shower into a mood boost, headache relief, or congestion help. All with minimal ingredients.
Don’t want to read? JUMP to the recipe!
How To Make DIY Shower Steamers
Truth be told, there’s a lot of ways to go about making homemade shower steamers. With only three main ingredients + essential oils, they’re almost foolproof to throw together.
Cornstarch is what helps hold the DIY shower steamers together so that they don’t just crumble out of the mold
Baking soda is the base of the steamers.
Citric acid is what makes them fizzy. However, it’s actually not a crucial ingredient (more on that below!)
Essential oils this is the fun of homemade shower steamers as it’s completely customizable to what you want them for.
Almond Oil is actually a trick I learned the hard way. I made multiple batches (haha six actually) and was struggling with keeping the scent strong. Then I remembered that normally it's oil in a recipe that carries the essential oils. So, this ingredient is not crucial however, I find you get a better scent because of it.
How Do The Steamers Work?
Shower steamers work by the water reacting with the baking soda and/or citric acid. The water slowly melts the steamer thus releasing the essential oils.
Furthermore, the warmer the water the more potent the scent of the essential oils will be.
Where To Place It In The Shower
The DIY shower steamers need to come into contact with water in order for them to release the oils. However, placing it directly in the stream of water will cause it to dissolve pretty quickly.
Thus, I personally get my steamer wet and then place it at the back of the bathtub by the drain. It still gets hit by water and but lasts a bit longer, allowing you to enjoy the scent.
How Long Do They Last In the Shower?
Homemade shower steamers dissolve fairly quickly- about 2-4 minutes. The scent from the essential oils, however, will linger for roughly 5-6 minutes. This can depend on what kind of dilution you use in the melts.
Not super long but long enough to enjoy. I use 1-2 shower steamers in my shower.
If you want something that lasts longer, you’ll want to look into homemade shower melts. I make mine specifically for cold season and thus they’re congestion-based.
Shower melts are solely oil-based (normally coconut oil). This means that they take longer to dissolve than just baking soda. In my opinion, they take a bit longer to get going as well. But once they do, the scent lasts for about 10 full minutes.
I use shower melts when I’m sick and create a super-steamy shower which is when I find that they’re most effective.
What’s The Difference Between Shower Steamers & Bath Bombs?
Truthfully, they’re very similar! However, bath bombs tend to have more ingredients because they’re made for your skin.
However, homemade shower steamers are made more for aromatherapy purposes.
The other big difference is that because the bath bombs are directly in contact with skin, I would use a lesser concentration of essential oils (learn more about safe dilutions). Whereas with shower steamers you’re inhaling so the dilution can be more. However, this is just my personal opinion.
Essential Oil Options
Choosing your essential oils is the fun part of how to make shower steamers! And much of it depends on preference.
For example, I use shower steamers for four reasons:
- as a mood booster
- to relieve congestion
- for relaxation and calming
- to relieve tension or headaches
This means that I like to keep a few variations of these DIY shower steamers on hand for just those purposes! Personally, my favorite essential oil blends are:
Mood booster: citrus, geranium, lemon (or lemongrass)
To relax: lavender, unwind from Saje, nighty night from Plant Therapy
To relieve congestion: breathe from DoTerra, Respir aid from Plant Therapy, pine essential oil, peppermint essential oil
For tension or headaches: lavender and peppermint
My biggest piece of advice is to do your research when it comes to the safety of essential oils. Which ones you can use for aromatherapy, contradictions (especially if pregnant) etc. I am not an aromatherapist, so this is all just personal preference.
Which Essential Oil Brand To Choose
This is personally a conversation I despise ha-ha. However, I’ll give you my two cents. I adore both Young Living and DoTerra essential oils They work well, and I used DoTerra for years before making the switch.
However, in the last year, I have begun to use Plant Therapy Essential Oils. The reason being is that they use the same extraction and testing methods as the other two brands but they’re not an MLM company.
This means that the essential oils are far more cost-effective than others (and with my third babe on the way cost-effective is a big element).
Plus, they have kid-specific blends which make it, so I don’t have to second guess dilution and safety as much when I need them.
I’ve been using them for almost a year now and find that they work just as well as the two other brands.
So basically, there are a few brands you can use. Find one that suits your needs.
DIY Shower Steamers Without Citric Acid
I've tried multiple times to rock these without citric acid. And while the scent comes through I find that they just don't bind together as well. Every time I make them (even when increasing the amount of cornstarch) they crumble out of the molds.
So, while you can technically make shower steamers without citric acid, I find you end up having to scoop the mixture into the shower instead o having something you can place.
Ingredients & Tools You'll Need
- Baking soda
- Citric acid
- Essential oils of choice
- Almond Oil
- Mica powder (optional- see note)
- Spray bottle with water
- Silicone molds
Note: mica powder is a mineral colorant used for bath and beauty products. However, I only use this for videos, photos or when making shower steamers are a gift. Otherwise, it's not needed at all!
Don’t forget to pin these DIY Shower Steamers
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DIY Shower Steamers
- Silicone Molds
- 1 cup baking soda
- ⅓ cup citric acid
- ⅓ cup cornstarch (arrowroot powder works too)
- 40-50 drops essential oils in total (split this between however many oils you're using)
- 2 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon almond oil
- spray bottle with water
- In a small bowl combine the baking soda, citric acid, cornstarch, and mica powder if using. Mix well.
- In a mixing cup, whisk together the essential oils, water, and almond oil. Pour wet into dry.
- The mixture will fizz- this is fine as you don't need them to fizz later like bath bombs. Mix everything together until it looks slightly coated.
- Tip: Mix longer than you think. The mixture will still look dry but keep mixing.
- Portion the steamer mixture into the molds filling them about halfway. Press down firmly.
- Spray each mold cavity with a bit of water. Portion out the remaining mixture and press down again.
- Spray once more and press down. The better you press down the more they hold together.
- Let sit on the counter for 24 hours to firm up.
- After they set, pop them out and store until you use them!
Learning how to make DIY shower steamers is a fun game-changer to something so basic. With just one little disc you can boost your mood, relieve tension, or simply embrace the calm. Likewise, the homemade shower steamers are simple to make which makes having them on hand easy. Plus- they make really sweet gifts!