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How To Make Relaxing Shower Steamers


Sometimes after a tiring day, I like taking a nice long shower. Shower steamers are a great way to make it even more relaxing! They’re similar to bath bombs, but you use them in the shower instead. Here’s how to make shower steamers with different scents for an at home spa experience.

These have a more concentrated scent than most of my skincare recipes since they’re not meant to go directly on the skin. It’s a great way to get the benefits of aromatherapy while you take time for self-care. Shower steamers also make nice gifts for Christmas or birthdays.

What Are Shower Steamers?

Also known as shower bombs or shower melts, they’re kind of like bath bombs. I’ll put one on the side of the tub where the shower water can reach it and release the scent.

Homemade shower steamers are activated once wet and fizz and smell good in the shower. Unlike bath bombs which also offer skin benefits, these are more for the aromatherapy benefits.

Shower Steamer Ingredients

Shower steamers are made with a variety of ingredients that typically include baking soda, Epsom salts, citric acid, essential oils, and witch hazel. You’ll also find clay, botanicals, food coloring, fragrance oils, and mica powder or colorant (depending on the recipe).

My recipe uses baking soda and citric acid as a base. The Epsom salts help harden them and castor oil acts as an emulsifier so they’re less likely to crumble. Kaolin clay also makes them harder and can add a nice color. You could also add some mica powder or natural food coloring if desired.

How to Use Shower Steamers

If you use a mini muffin-size mold the shower steamer should last for a regular-length shower. For smaller molds, you may need two.

You’ll want to place it in your shower where the water can reach them, but not wash them down the drain immediately. If they’re on the shower floor they’ll only last a few minutes (if that). The best place is the bathtub ledge or a shower shelf. If the only option you have is the shower floor, make sure it’s as far away from the shower head as possible.

Different Scent Ideas

To make life easier you can just use a premade blend from one of my favorite essential oil companies. I came up with a few recipes though that have a variety of benefits and smell amazing!

Breathe Better Blend

This invigorating blend helps open up the sinuses. It’s not safe for little ones but older kids and adults feel free to enjoy! For a kid-safe version, this Sniffle Stopper blend is a good alternative.

Springtime Blend

Uplifting and helps with seasonal allergies. Lemon brightens the mood and helps thin congestion. Lavender is calming and also works as an antihistamine. Even if you don’t have allergies, it’s definitely worth trying!

Earthy Blend

This blend also uplifts the mood and also helps ground the emotions. Some studies show just smelling grapefruit may help promote a healthy weight! Bergamot is used to relieve anxious feelings and stress. Cedarwood helps with nervous tension, stress, coughs, and mucus.

Shower Steamer Recipe

Add one of these to your next shower for a relaxing, aromatherapy experience. They also make great gifts.

Prep Time5 minutes

Active Time5 minutes

Drying Time1 day

Total Time1 day 10 minutes

Yield: 7 shower steamers

Author: Katie Wells

  • In a glass mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients together with your hand. I wore a glove for this. You can either crush any lumps with your hands or sift the baking soda before adding it to the mixing bowl.

  • Add the drops of essential oil and castor oil and mix well with your hand until the mixture resembles wet sand.

  • If the mixture is too dry, then use a fine mist spray bottle filled with vodka or witch hazel to moisten the mixture. Only do 2 sprays at a time to avoid getting it too wet.

  • Once you can squeeze the shower steamer mixture into a clump that holds its shape it’s done.

  • Immediately press the mixture into your molds, pressing firmly.

  • Let air dry for 24 hours before unmolding and using.

Store these in an airtight container, like a glass Mason jar, away from heat and moisture. 
This recipe makes 7 shower steamers if using a mini muffin pan. If you use a silicone mold the exact yield will depend on the size of your molds. 

How to Make Shower Steamers FAQ

While the recipe uses simple ingredients, it can be a little difficult to make DIY shower steamers if you’re a beginner. I’ve found a few tricks to make the recipe work better in case you need to troubleshoot!

Add Just Enough Liquid

The citric acid is what gives the recipe a fizzy, foaming action. If it gets too wet while mixing though, it will activate prematurely and your shower steamers won’t hold together.

You can use either 80-proof vodka or witch hazel to add just enough moisture to hold the steamers together. It wets the dry ingredients enough that they’ll stick together, but the alcohol is also a little drying to prevent it from getting too wet.

Get Out the Clumps

Make sure the powder is thoroughly mixed before adding the wet ingredients. You can even sift the dry ingredients together first to make this easier (minus the Epsom salts).

Can I Just Use Water?

Witch hazel has some alcohol in it which is what makes it work here. Vodka is another good option. Don’t worry, the smell from the alcohol goes away as they dry. I don’t even notice it as I’m pressing them into the molds.

My Shower Steamers Fell Apart

Don’t take them out of the molds too early or the shower steamers will crumble. They need 12-24 hours to fully dry at room temperature. Using too much liquid will also cause them to fall apart.

If your environment is really humid, like in the summer or certain climates, you’ll need less vodka or witch hazel. The dry ingredients will pull moisture from the air. So adjust the liquid used as needed.

What are your favorite scents to use for DIY bath and shower products? Ever made shower steamers before? Leave a comment and let us know!

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