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Aromatherapy DIY Shower Steamers with Essential Oils

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Learn how to make aromatherapy DIY shower steamers with essential oils! You’ll learn how to make and use shower steamers and receive four homemade recipes for wake me up citrus shower bursts, eucalyptus shower steamers for colds, relaxing rose shower tablets and lavender shower steamers for sleep. This comprehensive tutorial is a guest post from the lovely ladies of Country Hill Cottage, and also includes tips for packaging, as well as free printable labels for gift giving.

DIY shower steamers with essential oils

We all need a little wellness from time to time, and aromatherapy shower steamers are perfect to create an at-home spa experience in the comfort of your bathroom.

I sometimes prefer a quick shower over a long bath, and homemade shower melts are perfect for a little shower aromatherapy.

Whether you shower in the morning and need a little boost to wake you up or take an evening shower to unwind from a stressful day – steamers are little luxuries that transform your everyday shower into a wellness retreat.

Benefits of shower steamers

Bath bombs, bath soaks, or milk baths are popular products to enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils in the tub. But how do you use essential oils in the shower? By using DIY shower steamers with essential oils!

When activated by water, shower steamers fizzle away and release abundant fragrances that indulge your senses and relax the mind.

Shower steamers with essential oils

Aromatherapy shower steamers, also called shower tablets, shower bombs, or shower melts, are helpful for balancing your mind and emotions, relieving stress and nervous tension, and easing symptoms of headache or sinus congestion.

Materials and supplies for DIY aromatherapy shower steamers

Here is a breakdown of the basic shower steamer ingredients:

  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and citric acid – Both ingredients are needed to create the fizzing effect. The reaction starts when baking soda and citric acid are exposed to water.
  • Arrowroot powderArrowroot powder stabilises the shower steamers and helps to control the fizzing reaction. Cornstarch can be used as well.
  • White kaolin clay – Using clay is one way for making shower steamers last longer.
  • Essential oils – The aromatherapy benefits come from essential oils. Read on to learn how to make different shower steamer recipes with essential oils.
  • Silicone mould – I used a simple round mould. The size is perfect to create single-use melts that will last for one shower.

How to make DIY shower steamers – step-by-step tutorial

Homemade shower melts on wood tray

DIY shower steamers are easy to make! For exact measurements of each ingredient, don’t forget to consult the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Let me show you how to make shower melts:

1. Mix the dry ingredients

Add the baking soda, citric acid, arrowroot powder, kaolin clay and mica or natural colourant (if using) into a large, non-metallic mixing bowl and whisk until combined.

2. Add essential oils

Next, drop the essential oils on the mixture and give the bowl a quick stir. The essential oils create droplets that will be dissolved in the next step.

3. Spritz with water

Spritz the mixture with a little water or witch hazel and incorporate immediately into the mixture to avoid a reaction. If you don’t have a spritz bottle, you can also sprinkle water on the mixture using a teaspoon.

Tip: Wear nitrile gloves to protect your hands when kneading the mixture. Citric acid removes nail polish and can irritate sensitive skin.

4. Tips for the best consistency and troubleshooting

For perfect homemade shower steamers, we have to add the right amount of water. The mixture should have the consistency of damp sand, and be wet enough to hold its shape when pressed together.

  • Too dry: If the mixture is too dry, the shower steamers will be crumbly and can fall apart. You can still save the batch by breaking and crumbling the steamers into a bowl, reconstituting with water and moulding again.
  • Too wet: If the mixture is too wet, the steamers will expand, and the fizzing reaction will be affected. You can tell that the mixture has too much moisture when you hear a fizzling sound, indicating that the ingredients are reacting prematurely.

    The problem can be fixed by adding more arrowroot powder, one teaspoon at a time, until the sizzling stops.

5. Fill the mould

Now, fill a silicone mould with the shower melts mixture. Then press firmly into the mould using your fingertips and pay attention to the edges.

Tip: If using dried herbs or flowers, add them before filling the mould with the mixture. Try to keep larger decorations, such as dried rose petals, away from the edges as petals can cause breakage.

6. Dry and unmould the aromatherapy shower steamers

Let the shower steamers dry for at least 24 to 48 hours. They should feel hard and solid. To unmould, carefully peel back the silicone and gently push the melts out of the mould.

Tip: making steamers can be affected by humidity. If you live in a humid environment, the drying time may be longer.

And there you have it, pretty homemade shower steamers with essential oils! Now that we know the steps, let’s have a little fun and explore four different recipes for energy, relaxation, sleep, and sinus relief.

Energising citrus wake up shower melts

Imagine waking up in a fragrant citrus orchard, surrounded by lemon, orange and grapefruit trees. Lovely, isn’t it?

My homemade wake-up citrus shower melts have a bright, uplifting aroma that will make you feel energised and start the day with positivity.

Energizing wake me up shower steamers with essential oils

Essential oils for citrus wake me up shower steamers

A refreshing blend of citrus essential oils gives these morning shower steamers an invigorating fragrance. Here is what you will need:

Other materials for citrus shower melts

I didn’t colour the wake-up shower steamers but used dried calendula petals as decoration. The cheerful yellow colour reminds me of sunrise, simply perfect for such an uplifting recipe.

Wake up DIY shower melts with citrus essential oils

Eucalyptus shower steamers for colds and congestion

Eucalyptus DIY shower steamers with essential oils

Eucalyptus shower bombs with menthol crystals are one of my go-to natural remedies for colds, stuffy nose, headache and respiratory problems. When inhaled, eucalyptus essential oil has a soothing and decongestant effect on the sinuses and airways.

Essential oils for eucalyptus shower tablets

Here are the essential oils for this eucalyptus shower steamer recipe:

Kid-safe DIY eucalyptus shower melts

Eucalyptus, peppermint and thyme thymol essential oils are perfect for easing respiratory problems in adults but aren’t suitable for children due to their high camphor content.

You can make DIY decongestant shower tablets kid-safe by using the following essential oil blend:

DIY eucalyptus shower steamers for colds and congestion

Other materials for shower steamers with menthol crystals

The decongestant effect of this homemade shower melts recipe is further enhanced with the addition of menthol crystals. Menthol crystals are a solid compound derived from mint oil, and the strong menthol aroma is helpful to open airways.

Menthol crystals are highly concentrated, so please do not exceed the amount listed in the recipe card below. You should also omit the crystals for children under seven.

I coloured the eucalyptus shower bombs with a tiny amount of green mica and a sprinkling of dried herbs. If desired, you can also use green spirulina powder.

Uplifting shower steamers for relaxation and stress relief

The scent of these rose shower tablets is calming and balancing and will make you feel relaxed and refreshed. I love using these before a meditation or after a workout.

Rose absolute essential oil lends the relaxation shower steamers a floral and sensual aroma, perfect for unwinding and de-stressing in the shower.

DIY shower steamers with rose essential oil

Essential oils for relaxing DIY shower tablets

To create a calming and relaxing essential oil blend with rose, you will need:

Other materials for homemade rose shower steamers

Dried rose petals and pink mica seemed to be a wonderful choice for rose-scented shower melts. I imagine white shower tabs with rose petals would also be very pretty.

If desired, you can also colour your steamers with beet powder.

Homemade rose shower melts for aromatherapy

Homemade lavender shower melts for sleep

Another relaxing shower steamer recipe, however, this time with essential oils that can help to promote sleep and deep relaxation.

These relaxing shower steamers are perfect to calm your mind before bedtime and encourage a good night’s sleep.

Lavender DIY shower steamers for sleep

Essential oils for sleepy shower bombs

Let’s see what essential oils are needed for lavender shower tablets:

Other materials for DIY lavender shower melts

These stress-relief shower steamers were customised with blue mica and dried cornflower petals. Of course, this shower steamer recipe for sleep would also look beautiful with violet mica and dried lavender buds.

Alternatively, you could also use blue spirulina powder or purple sweet potato powder as natural colourants.

Homemade shower melts for sleep with lavender essential oil

How to use shower steamers

Here are some tips on how to use shower tablets:

  • Before use, let warm water run for several minutes to moisturise the air.
  • It’s best to place the shower steamers away from running water and the drain. Ideally, only the bottom of the tabs should be wet. You can also put a shower melt in a soap dish.
  • Breathe in deeply as the essential oils vaporise into the air.
DIY shower steamers on wood tray

How long do shower melts last?

Small shower melts, like the ones I made for this post, will last for one shower, perhaps even two depending on the position and shower time.

How do you make shower steamers last longer?

As I mentioned, keep the steamers out of direct water – otherwise, the tablets will fizzle down quickly, and the essential oils will poof away too fast.

Another way to make shower steamers last longer is by using clay. The kaolin clay in this recipe helps them last by slowing the reaction between the baking soda and citric acid.

Can you use a shower bomb as a bath bomb?

No, it is not safe to use shower steamers as bath bombs. Steamers are meant to infuse the air with essential oils and aren’t suitable for skin contact.

Essential oils aren’t water-soluble, meaning if you add them to bathwater they pool on the surface, which can lead to irritation and skin rashes.

Bath bombs are usually made with an emulsifier that distributes EOs safely in the water. Shower steamers, however, don’t contain an emulsifying agent.

For more information about essential oil bath safety, see this article by the Tisserand Institute.

Homemade shower steamers: a lovely beauty and wellness gift idea

Shower steamers are unique homemade gifts, and I have put together a few tips and ideas for gifting:

How to package and gift bath steamers

Store DIY shower melts in an airtight container or jar, away from moisture, heat and direct sunlight. A dry cupboard is a good place to keep the shower steamers. 4oz quilted mason jars or flip-top jars are cute packaging ideas for gift giving.

Homemade rose shower melts in mason jar

Shower bomb favour for weddings and parties

Shower bombs are also thoughtful and inexpensive favours for weddings or parties. You can, for example, put two to three shower melts into a small organza or muslin bag and attach a thank you tag for a pretty wedding favour!

Homemade shower melts with printable gift tags
Homemade shower steamers with printable gift labels

Wellness gift set

Make your shower bombs part of a wellness gift kit! They’re a lovely handmade gift for a pamper hamper and a unique gift idea for natural beauty lovers.

For more beauty and wellness gifts, try this gorgeous DIY spa kit with printable labels, these pretty rose bath truffles, this luxurious milk and honey bath soak, or this pink lemonade tub tea.

Citrus DIY shower melts with gift tags

Printable labels and gift tags

This homemade shower steamer recipe includes free printable labels and gift tags, which you can use for packaging and gifting.

The round printable labels are designed to fit in the lid of 4oz mason jars. The gift tags include sayings for many occasions and a few holidays.

Simply use the email form below to sign up. Once you confirm your email, you’ll receive access to the free printable PDF.

Beautiful printable labels for homemade shower melts
Shower steamers in gift bags with printable tags
Yield: 20 shower steamers

DIY Shower Steamers with Essential Oils

DIY shower steamers with essential oils

Learn how to make four different kinds of DIY shower steamers with essential oils: energizing wake up citrus shower steamers, eucalyptus shower melts for colds and congestion, rose shower steamers for relaxation, and lavender shower melts for sleep.

Active Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 20 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $10

Materials

Basic Shower Steamer Recipe

Citrus Wake Up Shower Melts

Eucalyptus Shower Steamers (see kid-safe version in recipe notes)

Uplifting Rose Shower Melts

Lavender Shower Steamers for Sleep

Tools

  • Round silicone mould

Instructions

    1. Add the baking soda, citric acid, arrowroot powder, kaolin clay and desired colourant into a large, non-metallic mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
    2. Drop the essential oils into the mixture and give the bowl a quick stir. The essential oils create droplets that will be dissolved in the next step.
    3. Spritz the mixture with a little water or witch hazel and incorporate immediately into the mixture to avoid a reaction. If you don’t have a spritz bottle, you can also sprinkle water on the mixture using a teaspoon.

      Tip: Wear nitrile gloves to protect your hands when kneading the mixture. Citric acid removes nail polish and can irritate sensitive skin.
    4. Fill a silicone mould with the shower melts mixture. Then, press firmly into the mould using your fingertips and pay attention to the edges.

      Tip: If using dried herbs or flowers, add them before filling the mould with the shower steamers mix. Also, try to keep larger decorations such as dried rose petals away from the edges, as petals can cause the steamers to break.
    5. Let the shower steamers dry for at least 24 to 48 hours. Afterwards, the shower tablets should feel hard and solid. To unmould, carefully peel back the silicone and gently push the shower melts out of the mould.

      Tip: Making shower steamers can be affected by humidity. If you live in a humid environment, the drying time may be longer.

Notes

If making eucalyptus shower steamers for kids, use the following kid-safe essential oil blend:

Tips for the best consistency and troubleshooting

For perfect homemade shower steamers, it’s important to add the right amount of water. The shower melts should have the consistency of damp sand, and the mixture should be wet enough to hold its shape when pressed together.

  • Too dry: If the mixture is too dry, the shower steamers will be crumbly and can fall apart. You can still save the batch by breaking and crumbling the steamers into a bowl, reconstituting with water and moulding again.
  • Too wet: If the mixture is too wet, the shower steamers will expand, and the fizzing reaction will be affected. You can tell that the mixture has too much moisture when you hear a fizzling sound, indicating that the ingredients are reacting prematurely. The problem can be fixed by adding more arrowroot powder, one teaspoon at a time, until the sizzling stops.

Storage and shelf life

Store DIY shower melts in an airtight container or jar, away from moisture, heat and direct sunlight. A dry cupboard is a good place to keep the shower steamers.

Shower melts can be stored for many months but may lose some fragrance over time. You can easily top up scentless shower steamers with a few drops of essential oils.

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Did you make this DIY?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

More wellness and beauty recipes to try

If you enjoyed this recipe, try these other recipes from Country Hill Cottage, where sisters Cyna and Irena share homemade beauty, DIY projects and yummy food.

For even more beauty and skincare, follow us on Pinterest! You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Lynn Fitch

Monday 28th of September 2020

Hi I was wondering if I can use bentonite clay in place of kaolin clay

Irena

Friday 2nd of October 2020

Hi Lynn! Yes, you can use bentonite clay instead of kaolin clay. Bentonite clay has stronger absorption properties, so you may need a little more water. I hope this helps!

Kaitlin

Wednesday 24th of June 2020

How many shower bombs does this make?

Kim

Thursday 25th of June 2020

Hi Kaitlin, the recipe makes approximately 20 shower steamers. This info is usually found in the recipe card for future reference!

Lisa

Monday 8th of June 2020

Not sure why it change Irena to sirens! ?

Lisa

Monday 8th of June 2020

Hi sirens!

Just made my first batch, nerve wrecking an stressful Lol one min too wet then I feel too dry so the cycle continues lol

I put them in mold but they look a bit crumbly. Gona let them sit for a while and see. If when taking them out of the mold they are in-fact crumbly can I spritz with water and re mold?

Thank you

Irena

Saturday 13th of June 2020

Hi Lisa,

Yes, you can try that: Just be careful not add too much water too quickly as that might cause a reaction. Unlike bath bombs, shower steamers don't contain any oils, so they are indeed a little drier than bath bombs.

I hope this helps and happy crafting!

Ressa

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Hi! I have tried this recipe several times. It turns out beautiful however, when I use them, I don’t smell anything. I’ve had other ppl try them, and they don’t smell them either☹️

Irena

Monday 25th of May 2020

Hi Ressa! Thank you for trying this recipe! I'm sorry you are experiencing an issue.

What essential oils are you using and from which company? The essential oil concentration is pretty high, so you should smell definitely smell them. You can, of course, always add more.

Here are a few more tips that might be helpful:

After unmoulding, wrap each shower steamer in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container. Essential oils are volatile and will evaporate overtime. That being said, high quality essential oils should be fragrant for several months.

If the shower steamers have no smell, apply a few drops of essential oils before taking a shower.

And if you have, place them on a soap dish so they are closer to your face and you can smell them better.

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