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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homemade "Vicks Vapor shower disks"

Have you seen the commercials for the Vicks Vapor shower disk thingies?  You put one of these disks in your shower, and voila thanks to the vapors in it, you're magically healed, your cold is gone, and your face is shockingly free of snot.  I always used to watch the "Noxema girl" splashing water on her face and wondered how she was able to wash her face without being completely overrun with boogers.  I'm the only one?  Yes?  Ok, moving along then...

Regardless, Vicks makes these things and I'm sure they're super expensive for something that is just going to wash down your drain.

You know where I'm going with this, right?

Yep.

I made them myself.

The idea started a few weeks ago when my sweet little nephew Parker came down with Croup for like the 1,438th time.  My sister mentioned that they were taking long steamy showers with him to try to clear out his lungs.  My brain started churning and I thought "surely there can be something they could add to the shower to help him even more".  Homemade Vicks Vapor shower disk thingies were born.

And they couldn't be any simpler.

Sarah's Homemade Vicks Shower Disk Thingies
-Baking soda
-Water
-Essential oils: eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender.
-Muffin tin
-Muffin liners

1) Add baking soda to a mixing bowl.  Updated to add - I don't really measure.  Maybe 2-3 cups?
2) Slowly add water until you've made a thick paste.  Updated to add: add just a little water a time.  You'll want the mix to feel like putty.
3) Add 15 drops of each essential oil.
4) Spoon in to a muffin tin, and let sit out for 12-18 hours.  You can also bake these, but I just left them out overnight.
5) Pop these suckers out of the paper liner, plop it in your shower, and let the essential oils steam away your stuffy nose.  Edited to add: put them anywhere on the floor of the shower; it doesn't matter where! 

Added 4/7/12 - for anyone who is having issues with these being "crumbly", try using 1 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of water (plus maybe a few tbslp more) and baking for 20 minutes at 350.  THEN add a few drops of each essential oils to the cooled "puck".  That was a suggestion from a commenter and I tried it this morning with great success!  I'm a quick shower taker (less than 5 min), and my "disk" was only about 1/3 gone at the end of the shower.

Additionally, I'm not a doctor (nor a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker), so if you have any medical conditions, contact a medical professional. 

Added 10/2/12 - if you're not using a silicone muffin tin, remove the liners before the pan has completely cooled.  And yes, you need to remove these from the liners in order to use.   You can store these in an plastic container, mason jar, etc.


I've shared this over at: Fat Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, and Seasonal Celebrations Sunday.
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654 comments:

  1. GENIUS! Except, now I need to go buy Rosemary EO :)

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    1. Amazon is my best friend!

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    2. Good to know I was just going to ask where to get the oils :)) does the brand matter?

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    3. If you have a GNC local they carry these essential oils, or at least they did a year ago.

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    4. I would only use Young Living essential oils. They are therapeutic grade and not distilled using chemicals. If you'd like more information on this company,
      ask me :-) There are lots of cheap oils that don't even compare! email me at jklasen@albanytel.com

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    5. @Sunshine

      I get my oils from auracacia.com. They're fantastic. If you have a local heath-food store, they usually carry them.

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    6. actually, my upline has checked with New Aromatics and with therapeudic oils u can ingest them and you cannot ingest New Aromatics. Have used several oils and Young Living just is the best. No Comparison, U get what u pay for.

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    7. Could you use this in the bath tub too?

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    8. Whole foods (if there is one in your area) caries just about every oil you could want. So will most health food & vitamin stores

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    9. Quick question, how do you store these? I would like to make them, then keep them on hand for when needed. My youngest son gets croup ALL the time. Do you put them in a baggy in the refrig?

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    10. Storing them is simple, use a cool dry place and a paper lunch sack. I own a small handmade soap business and we make bath bombs that are similar. As for using them in the bath, I wouldn't suggest it. That is quite the high levels of oils to use in a single bath. Essential oils are wonderful but can be harsh on your skin in high amounts, Try this recipe for the bath, it is very similar the the bath bombs I make and sell and get lots of positive feedback about. The citric acid does cause a fizzing effect in the bath but most, especially children, enjoy it. http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/style/make-bath-bombs.htm

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    11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Wow, what a great idea! I could really use that right now as I am on the tail end of a nasty sinus infection (and when I wash my face the thing I do right after I dry it is blow my nose because you aren't the only one to be snotty afterwards!).

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    1. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one!!!

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    2. I have to blow my nose too after I wash my face in the morning. :)

      Great idea! Saw it on Pinterest!

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  3. This is genius! Especially because they took away the lavender disks. I got to buy one box and then I could never find them again. Another reason to make my own!! Thank you

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  4. Thanks for sharing! I will be trying this idea. Maybe with some oils for energizing for the morning and oils for relaxation for the evening. And of course, your recipes for now with all the pollen we have going on now!!!

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  5. This is great!! I used to use the Menthol baby wash stuff on my daughter when she was little....now that we are tween age, these will be perfect. Thank you for sharing!!

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  6. How much of baking soda and water do you use? thanks can't wait to try these they did stop making the others. Thanks for sharing this

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    1. I'm not what you call "someone who measures". It depends on how many you want to make. Start with a few cups of baking soda and then slowly add water until you've made yourself a nice thick putty.

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    2. Thanks I thought probably that is what I would do. Can't wait to try these thanks for sharing this great idea.

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  7. Found you through Pinterest! This is pure genius. Loving your blog so far!

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    1. How do I find you in pinterest!!!??? ;)

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    2. I don't currently have a Pintrest account. I fear it will suck me in and I'll never get anything accomplished!

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    3. It will.........

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  8. BRILLIANT! With 2 little boys...I am totally going to try this! : )
    Hope @http://hopefuloneblog.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. If your 2 little boys are anything like my 1, keep these out of nibbling reach. ;-D

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  9. You are a genius. I find that a neti pot works great too, but definately not so smell-pretty as your homemade vapor therapy. Of course, it does feel a bit like drowning until you get accustomed to filling your sinuses with saline. Now I just snort it like cocaine so the pressure really breaks up the clogs, then I suck it like a loogy to the back of the throat and hack it all back up out of my mouth and into the sink. Then I reverse the process, in through my mouth, up through the throat and out the nose. Don't it sound FUN??!! Then I brush my teeth and tongue and even try to scrub my tonsils and throat a little. Finally, a rinse with mouthwash and somewhere in all of that a floss. It is a very sexy process. Definately going to add your remedy to the routine. Region Ten (Oklahoma/Texas) allergens, come at me, bro!

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    1. Here I am eating breakfast and totally finding myself turned on by your comment. LOL, I should have waited to open this post until a bit later!

      I've never used a neti pot, but my aunt, sis, and friend swear by them.

      Our allergies are super early this year. Blame a mild winter. Wishing you a low-snot season!

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    2. You two are funny! I'm super duper excited for your disks!

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    3. Brandi, where EXACTLY do you live? I'm moving in next door, you are hilarious and we need to be friends.

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  10. Between my daughter's first yr of school and her bringing home every single sickness that someone gets to her little brother to horrible seasonal allergies I want to scream. When its not one its the other. Is the lavender necessary if so can it be replaced with something else? So far everything lavender I have come in contact with I have an allergic reaction. Honestly at this point I would be willing to suffer the rashes and migraines as long as it gets them to feel better. Momma up all night dealing with kiddos up all night does not make a happy house the following day.

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    1. The lavender is just part of what is in Vicks, but if you have sensitivity to it, I'd definitely avoid it! My sister used lavender in a bath for her son and he had "yeasty balls" for months. Yikes! Some people are definitely sensitive to it.

      If they made an Ambien or Tylenol PM essential oil I'd totally put a few drops of that in this for when my little guy is sick. :-D

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    2. You might want to google a famous essential oil blend called "Thieves Blend". (with a fascinating history connected with grave robbers who survived the black plague way back when...turned out they were the perfumers who worked with EO's...the other two groups who had higher statistics of survival were the leather workers who worked with EO's to tan leather, and those who lived in the lavender fields...lavender is very antibiotic/viral). It has 5 different EO's (not lavender) in a base oil, or water, that are extremely antibiotic / antiviral. I make it all the time in a small bottle with water to spray in the car (Everyone take a deep breath and get that into your lungs!) or in a bottle with a dropper to use as hand sanitizer. You can buy it online, but it's really expensive. I just make my own.

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    3. You could replace the lavender EO with peppermint EO - it works great for relieving congestion! I use it in my homemade vapor rub along with the lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary EOs.

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    4. Thanks for the shower tab recipe! I can't wait to try it!

      I want to respond to Melissa above who says she has a sensitivity to Lavender. I have never heard of anyone having a bad reaction from a lavender that is really and truly 100% pure oil from the flower of the plant. The problem is that most lavender on the market is 100% synthetic! Lavender is great for burns, but if you put a chemical based lavender on the burn it will make it much worse! The vast majority of the world's lavender oils come from France, but they are exporting much more of the oil then they are able to grow, which means that much of what is being exported is synthetic or altered in some way. I'm not trying to pick on France or lavender EO, the same goes for most of the other EOs on the market that come from different parts of the world. I'm picking on the industry in general. Often distillers will use the whole plant to get a higher yield, when only the flower (or some other part) is supposed to be used, and weeds are often harvested along with the plant and thrown in the mix. This completely changes the chemical makeup of the resulting oil, and any chemical pesticides, weeds, or other contaminants will become highly concentrated along with the EO during distillation so the resulting oil can actually be very harmful to people.

      Even higher quality brands on the market that say they are 100% pure, have a musty, sticky, almost pungent smell. A truly 100% pure essential oil should smell clean, almost crisp, with no lingering chemical undertones.

      Check out doTERRA's certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils (www.thrivewithdoterra.com) and you'll wonder why you never tried them before.

      They are better than organic because not only are they guaranteed to be free from any chemicals synthetics or dilutants, but the right part of the plant is used, along with correct distillation methods, and the plants are sustainably harvested to ensure their health for the long-term. Plus, doTERRA has 10 year exclusive contracts with the growers around the world, so we can be sure that we won't experience fluctuations in price which so often happens in the industry. doTERRA's oils are the most pure and potent essential oils on the market today.

      They are so pure they are safe to ingest!

      Plus, they have a blend called OnGuard which has the same ingredients as the aforementioned 'thieves oil' (lemon swapped out for wild orange). It's a powerful immune booster, is very affordable, and you can make anti-bacterial hand spray with it that you can then spray in your mouth :)

      Check out www.thrivewithdoterra.com for more information

      Thanks and have a great day!

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    5. I am also allergic to lavendar. When someone brings fresh lavendar into work I break out and get a migraine. Pure oil would not help given the plant is also a problem for me. So I just avoid it and am fine. Great recipe for the discs...I will be trying this!

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    6. I'm allergic to lavender, as well. I am allergic to the plant itself, and anything with lavender scent. I definitely second the idea of using peppermint instead.

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    7. I'm also allergic to lavender and most other scented flowers. Gives me a terrible headache, almost migraine-like. I will definitely be trying this with peppermint instead!

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    8. Wow...I thought I was the only one allergic to lavender. Sorry that the rest of you are as well, but nice to hear I'm not alone in this. It gives me migraines! I also have a strong sensitivity to patchouli...makes me very irritable and eventually moves over into severe headaches. I avoid both like the plague!

      Love this recipe for the disks, though. I might try it w/ peppermint like someone suggested. thanks!

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  11. Great idea! Also wondering about how much baking soda and water to use ...

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    1. I'm not what you call "someone who measures". It depends on how many you want to make. Start with a few cups of baking soda and then slowly add water until you've made yourself a nice thick putty.

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  12. Yes! How thick is your paste? Does it thicken with time? And how would you recommend baking...I need some of these pronto for my kiddo!

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    1. I'm not what you call "someone who measures". It depends on how many you want to make. Start with a few cups of baking soda and then slowly add water until you've made yourself a nice thick putty.

      Mine didn't thicken with time. I would bake at a low heat - probably 275ish and check on them every half hour. I've never baked mine, but I'm guessing it would probably take at least 1 hour.

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  13. Loving this idea!! Can't wait to try it!

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  14. how long do these last once there made? as my kids dont get sick often but would love to have these on stand by :)

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    1. The beauty of essential oils and baking soda is that they don't have a pull date!

      My guess is that you could make a batch and they'd last for at least 6 months. They'd likely be a bit thinner by then (evaporation), but would still be useable.

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  15. I have a ton of vicks that I got for free. Any thoughts on using that instead of the oils?

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    1. I'd say give it a shot!!!!

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    2. Ok! I will give it a shot and let you know how it turns out. Fifteen tubs of vicks mean becoming creative!

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  16. This is BRILLIANT! Thank you so much! My first thought was...oh, I hope she's not using bees wax or oil because that will eventually coat and clog the pipes...and I wasn't sure what the base was...baking soda! Of course! I don't use chemical cleaners in my house so I buy baking soda by the case. I usually plop my kids when they're sick, in the tub with those same essential oils, but this is fabulous! Thank you!!!

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  17. May be a dumb question, but where in the shower is this cupcake to be placed?

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    1. Anywhere on the floor of the shower will work!

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  18. Just call me snotty. Noxzema and Vicks opens me up and I definitely want to make some of these thanks.

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  19. I'm with Gracie. Where does the disk go? I don't have TV so I haven't a visual.

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  20. Thank you, thank you. Those shower disks aren't available in stores anymore. My pharmacist said they weren't popular enough... I'm pretty sure I bought them by the case with all of my sinus issues, but I guess that wasn't enough. Where do you store the ones waiting to be used?

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    1. In a basic Ziploc. Nothing fancy here!

      So glad I could help.

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  21. Excellent! We'd love to share these on our spa site, which has quite a lot of home tips and remedies for a spa and wellness experience. May we post and link to you?

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    1. Link away! I'd love for you to email me the link so that I can check out your site.

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  22. Love it!! Found you on pinterest and I am a new follower!!

    Michelle
    www.delicateconstruction.com

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  23. What about substituting peppermint for rosemary?

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    1. I'd say give it a shot! I'm somewhat sensitive to peppermint (it makes my eyes water if it is mixed in with steam), but maybe my eyes are just little bitches.

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    2. no, peppermint is extremely potent and will surely burn your eyes.

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  24. these are amazing!! thank you for sharing. i found you on pinterest and am a new follower :)

    Laura
    http://laurasjourney2012.blogspot.com/

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    1. My pleasure! Welcome, welcome (you can read that in the style of Effie Trinket if you've read Hunger Games).

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  25. In my neck of the woods (AZ) these are called Shower Soothers, but I haven't been able to find them lately. I love them and think you could use any essential oil that you like and use them, EVEN WHEN YOU'RE NOT SICK! Sort of a fancy-schmancy, yummy way to shower for those of us that aren't thrilled about sitting in the tub. THANK YOU!

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    1. I think a commenter above was told that Vicks pulled them because of lack of sales. Glad to be of help!

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  26. You have no idea how much of a life saver you are!! I use to buy these at the store but they were so expensive but they were the only thing that use to help get me to sleep with my bad allergies and now with this cold I thought it was hopeless. I am making these first thing in the morning! Thank you so much you are a genius for coming up with this recipe.

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    1. Ah, my pleasure - glad I could help!

      Lavender is awesome for promoting calmness and sleepiness. I'd go a little heavier on the lavender if you're using this trying to fall asleep.

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  27. I wonder if you could break these up and use them in the little tray on a cool mist vaporizor. Anyone tried this?

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    1. I actually put the essential oils in the humidifier directly. I wrote about it here: http://beingfrugalbychoice.blogspot.com/2011/03/make-your-own-vapor-rub.html

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  28. I found your blog while wandering around on facebook, someone had pinned this and shared it so I thought I would check it out. I am really enjoying your blog, thanks for sharing :D

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    1. Thank you for peeking in and hopefully sticking around!

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  29. I have a whole bottle of the vicks stuff that you're supposed to add to humidifiers.. I might try that instead...Next cold season i'll for sure look this up again!!!

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    1. I didn't even know they made that! Nice score!

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  30. can I use a different essential oil? I am highly allergic to lavender

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    1. Lavender is on the Vicks ingredients, but of course you don't want to use it if you're allergic! I'm guessing lavender is added to Vicks because it is calming. Perhaps swap out lavender chamomile if you're looking for something calming.

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  31. Oh, blessed baby Jesus, I could kiss you. I used to buy "Shower Soothers" - a tablet that you tossed in the shower - and I adored them. I have chronic sinus disease... and they helped soooo much. But I can't find them any more (the last I bought, I got off Amazon for a ridiculous amount of money), and I've been so sad and congested.

    Then this comes along.

    THANK YOU.

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    1. You can't tell by my header photo, but I have wonderful lips. I can't blame you for wanting to kiss me - they're pretty sweet. LOL.

      So glad to be of help! I hope they help with your sinus infections.

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  32. They also make Vick's (and a generic brand) in a stick that looks like chap-stick. It is awesome for when you are on the go. It has a "protective cover" on it so you or your child can put it up or near their nose. Unbelievable how well it works and you don't go around smelling like Vapor Rub.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I know exactly what you're talking about! I had a horrible sinus infection when I was pregnant, and I took that stick with me when I was flying. I spent the whole decent with that shoved up my nose to keep my sinuses from exploding; they're awesome!

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  33. I just want to add that you should not use any kind of vicks vapor products for children under 2 unless the product specifically states that it can be used. I am a CMA and had recieved an email from the clinic saying that the vicks products can actually cause more mucous production and cause repiratpory distress in young children and infants due to smaller airways. I am not sure what ingredients they put in the vicks shower thingys or if these ingredients in yours will do the same but just wanted to make sure people were aware. Great idea though, now I have to buy the essential oils!!!

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    Replies
    1. That's a great tip, thanks! I know they make "baby Vicks", and I'll have to look at their ingredients to see what the difference is. Thanks for posting that!

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  34. Thank you thank you (a million times over) for taking the time to post this. I used to buy these tabs and they've been discontinued and I was so sad. I kept saying to myself "Self, you need to find time (I work full time, am enrolled in an MBA program, and am a single mother to two small girls) to figure out how to make those darn snot tablets!"

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    Replies
    1. You're a busy lady! The good news is that these take about 4 minutes to make. Good luck with juggling those 3,098 balls you have in the air!!!

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  35. First, I just want to say how glad I am that I stumbled on your blog. I love you're writing. You sound just like my friends and myself.

    Second, I'd like to point out that the only problems that were reported with using Vick's in children under 2 happens when parents apply the product directly under the child's nose. Nasal passages are more narrow in children. The improper use if Vick's causes an over-production of mucus which can be dangerous. In no way was it advised to discontinue use on kids. As a fellow medical professional, I'd advise the previous poster to research the topic for the most accurate of information. (End of soapbox)

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    1. Ah, that must be why I was always told to put vapor rub on kiddo's feet instead of their chests! Thanks for that point of view! And for the compliment. LOL

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  36. Awesome!! My mom gets sick frequently and this would be great for her!!!

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  37. How long should they be stored? Right now we're not sick so we have no use for them but I love this idea

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I would imagine for a long time - it's just essential oils and baking soda. Store in a Ziploc or an air-tight container.

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  38. Here's the dumb question of the day... where do I buy the essential oils, and how much should I expect to spend? Feeling like I want to go out right now and get the ingredients to make them tonight - but not sure where to go! Thank you for this awesome post!!

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    1. Amazon sells them for a fair price. If you live by a Whole Foods or Central Market, I'd start there. I found mine at our local organic store. They were a bit pricey so I'll most likely order from Amazon from now on but I was impatient and ready to create! :)

      Delete
    2. Please don't go to whole foods. I used to get my oils there (a brand called aura cacia) and they say they are 100% pure, but have a musty, sticky, almost pungent smell. A truly 100% pure essential oil should smell clean, almost crisp, with no lingering chemical undertones. Now that I have been learning so much about essential oils, I would never put a brand like aura cacia on my skin or even diffuse it in the air. Most essential oils on the market are riddled with chemicals (pesticides, etc), made completely in a lab with synthetics, or have been diluted in some way.

      Check out doTERRA's certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils (www.thrivewithdoterra.com) and you'll wonder why you never tried them before.

      They are better than organic because not only are they guaranteed to be free from any chemicals synthetics or dilutants, but the right part of the plant is used, along with correct distillation methods, and the plants are sustainably harvested to ensure their health for the long-term. Plus, doTERRA has 10 year exclusive contracts with the growers around the world, so we can be sure that we won't experience fluctuations in price which so often happens in the industry. doTERRA's oils are the most pure and potent essential oils on the market today.

      They are so pure they are safe to ingest!

      Check out www.thrivewithdoterra.com for more information

      Thanks and have a great day!

      Delete
  39. What a fantastic idea! Great gifts! How long can you store them?

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    1. The essential oils will start losing strength after awhile. Nothing will "go bad", but it won't be as "smelly" after a few months.

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    2. thinking about making some for care packages to mail to my kids how do think they will do?
      thank you so much for the idea!

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  40. Do you know how long to bake them? I am an impatient creative soul and want to use them tonight in my shower. :) Thanks so much for the post also! I have a very tough (firefighter/cop) hubby who turns into a whinny baby when he gets a tiny cold. He often says "I think I'm dying....." Oh man. I could definitely use these for him.

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    1. It kind of depends on how much water you put in there. I would say less than a hour if your paste is pretty thick. Have you ever seen the "man cold" video on you tube? That is my husband, and it sounds like yours as well.

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  41. I'm pretty sure they have stopped making the Vicks shower things. They used to get really hot in when they got wet (like burn your fingers and toes hot). I was looking for them a few weeks ago when I couldn't shake the cold I got. I am soooo going to hold onto this and make these next time I get sick. Do you know how long they can be stored?

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    1. They got hot? Weird!!!

      The essential oils will start losing strength after awhile. Nothing will "go bad", but it won't be as "smelly" after a few months.

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    2. The problems with baking them are that the heat makes the essential oils evaporate and can causes chemical changes in the oils as well, possibly making them less effective.

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  42. Thanks! I teach a course in essential oils & will have the class try this. Will pass on your blogsite to the group. How fun!

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  43. this is awesome as I have used the Vick's Shower Disks when my sinus infections got real bad but havent been able to find them anywhere for a few years now...so this is REALLY fantastic - thank you!

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  44. oh my goodness this just made my day! Shower soothers aren't available anymore and I fell in love with them when I was pregnant with my son ans couldn't take anything for my cold! Now I am 8 months along and so happy to know I can make my own.

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  45. I made a batch of these last night because everyone in my family has a nasty cold. I am just wondering if I did something wrong because when we put them in the shower they melted so fast that we didn't get the benefit of the vapor from the oils. Any suggestions?

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    1. Becky, check out the "addendum" I posted in the original post (towards the bottom). Hope that helps!

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  46. This looks like a great thing to try out for both of my kids who are having sinus issues. Has anyone tried to bake them? If so, what temp did you use and how long did it take?

    Thanks!

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  47. I did this tonight for my big baby *aka* husband. I baked them at 300 for an hour and they are definitely dry. Too dry almost. I'm not sure how the paper is supposed to come off but I imagine once you put it in hot water it'll soak off pretty easily. Maybe though since they're so dry, they'll stay "alive" longer in the shower than Becky's did.

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  48. I found this on pinterest and can't wait to make these! My husband and I were totally addicted to the Vicks shower soothers. Any time I go into a new pharmacy I look to see if I can find a knock off shower tablet...a few times I've lucked out and I actually have one box in my bathroom that I've been hording until I reallllllly need it. So glad I found your recipe! Yay!!!

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  49. We got around to using the ones I baked tonight. They had no fragrance at all! I dissolved on in boiling water in a bowl and had hubby breathe over the bowl. Nothing... I ended up just putting a couple drops of each oil in the hot water. So I guess an hour at 300 is way too long. If anyone figures out the magic time/temp combo, I'd like to know!

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    1. Angela, check out the "addendum" I posted in the original post (towards the bottom). Hope that helps!

      Delete
  50. I can't reply to individual comments for some reason right now.

    For the person who had them dissolve super quickly, I had that issue with one of the batches I made. I think my issue was too much water in the mix, and putting them in a place in the shower where they got too much direct water.

    I had more success making them with less water, and putting them on our little shelf in the shower.

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  51. I was wondering if I could use the essential oils from Walmart? I don't like shopping online, so that resource is limited to Amazon, or driving 35-40mins to a shop that does carry them (twice as much as Walmart).....so, is that brand ok? This is awesome.
    Also, have youu figured a life-span for them on how long they last?

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    1. I'm sure you could. I'm not familiar with the brand they carry there, so I'm not sure how strong they are. You may need a few more drops if it is a weaker essential oil.

      In terms of how long they last, it kind of depends on how you store them and the oil you use. They do lose strength as the oil evaporates over time.

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  52. has anyone given any thought to how these effect the shower drain? Are there any issues with the oils or the baking soda on the chrome parts or the drain?

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    1. I'm no expert on this but this is how I would view it... Baking soda shouldn't pose any harm unless you decide to use one of these darling disks as a metal polisher before it dissolves. If you do decide to use in this manner, you will find scratches left behind on your shiny chrome surfaces, so, I would suggest just letting them dissolve. Baking soda is also widely used as a mild cleaner (for everything from your cheeks to counter tops), it washes away easily so it should not leave much of a residue. Rosemary and eucalyptus EOs are widely used in holistic cleaning products because of their anti- bactierial/microbial (either one or both, can't remember exactly) properties. All in all, these super disks not only would clean out the sinuses of suffering sweeties but would also serve as a mild cleanser for your bath tub bottom. They should be completely harmless to your pipes.

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    2. Ditto to this. Baking soda is one of my favorite cleaners and is much more gentle on things than chemicals in store bought products.

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  53. Steam from running water never seemed to do much for my daughter's croup - the fastest and easiest remedy was always to bundle her up (if it was really cold - and she only ever got the croup in the winter) and step outside with her. The cool/damp night air almost always quickly helped soothe her croupy cough, and usually the sudden coldness against her face would help calm her down, and getting the crying to stop also helped ease the coughing....


    That being said - these are really a genius idea - I'm all for making things cheaper/better on your own than putting money into the pockets of the big companies....

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    1. We found that cold was helpful when Jack had croup too. We took him to the ER at 2 am in the morning and it was freezing out. By the time we got to the ER, his cough was gone.

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  54. SOOOO excited I just squealed w/ delight at my desk when I found this. I loved and swore by the shower soothers that Sudafed used to make...now you have to buy them on the black market or ebay for $80/box of 3 because they're nowhere to be found around here. I can't wait for my next cold so I can try these out :-)

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    1. Ohhhh, don't wish a cold on yourself!!!

      I hope these help when and if you do get sick.

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  55. Hi Sarah,

    Just made a six pack of your disks for my 15 year old who has had a nasty cold for almost a week.. OTC products have not touched it... I will try them as soon as they dry...

    Also I wanted to thank you for the trip down memory lane.. While making them the vicks smell reminded me of my mom taking care of me when I sick .. :)

    Tricia

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    1. I hope your kiddo is feeling better soon!

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  56. Just out of curiosity, did you purchase or acquire some of the vicks ones just to see if your worked the same? I'm wondering because I've tried other products with not great results. I'm intrigued about the DIY stuff, but I'm trying to figure out the best approach. (Like if I were doing bookcases, I'd measure the similar ones at Ikea)

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    1. I haven't used the Vicks ones so I can't compare them. I had only seen commercials for them a year or so ago.

      Helpful, right? LOL, sorry I can't compare.

      Delete
  57. when my seven year old son was a baby he had bad allergies and i would take a shower with one of the vicks shower soothers & put him in the bathroom in his bouncy seat so that he would get the steam & Vicks without it touching his skin - it was a life saver. I now have a 1 week old and am so glad to find this so that i can use it if needed with him since they dont sell the Vicks anymore (plus talk about a lot cheaper & i know what is in it which makes me & my pocket book feel better!!!) thanks a million! :)

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  58. Gee, and I thought I was the only snotball around!

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  59. Love this. Am going to make this for my friends for our April night out.

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  60. Essential oils are very volatile and any heat at all evaporates them quickly. It might be better to make the baking soda “pucks” first, then douse them with the oils. I'd store them in an air-tight container too... Baking them with the oil in them will bake out the oil.

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    Replies
    1. I'll try that on my next batch and see if they work any differently. Thank you!

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  61. Hi there- just found your blog, thanks to Pinterest. I'm falling in love with you very quickly. You and I seem like we could be besties. Maybe I'm moving too fast? Anyway, love your writing, love your topics, love your little birthday boy! BTW, it wasn't a dream you had. You did blow up pinterest and you are making tshirts for gangstas. But they are 3 year old ganstas, nobody very scary!

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    1. I like a woman who knows what they want, so let's do this! ;-D

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  62. Ok this might sound like the silliest question but before i make these i need to ask.... do you put all the oils in at once or one oil per 4 disks??? Sorry I just want to make sure. Love your blog. So want to make these for my brother for Easter :)

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  63. Genious! Thanks for sharing this!
    I will definately try this!

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  64. I bet using eucalyptus, menthol and camphor essential oils would be a great mix too. I understand that's the potent 3 in sunbreeze essential oil - which totally prevented me from getting a chest cold and sinus infection this week. Thanks for sharing! Great idea!

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  65. This is a wonderful idea-Thank you so much for sharing this with us on Natural Mothers Network's Seasonal Celebration and best wishes for a very Happy Easter!
    Warmly, Rebecca x

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  66. Thanks for the great idea! I made some last night and I was excited to try them, but they are extremely crumbly. To the point where I can hardly get them into the shower without them falling apart. Did I do something wrong, or are they supposed to be this way? I even put them into the oven for a while on low heat, so they are bone-dry now. Do you have any tips on what else I might be able to add to make them more cohesive? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Jeff, check out the "addendum" I posted in the original post (towards the bottom). Hope that helps!

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  67. I wonder if you could use a similar method to make those blue toilet tablets you put in the tank to cleanse and odorize?

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  68. That is a wonderful idea. I bought them once when they were on a huge sale, but normally it is far more than I want to pay. Luckily baking soda is something I always have around and super-cheap.

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  69. IF you are looking for shower soothers and do not feel like making or have the time to make them there's a place online called the Soap Opera (www.the-soap-opera.net) that has a wide variety of scents available for different needs, such as sore muscles, insomnia, relaxing, stuffy nose, etc.

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  70. I made some of these last night and tried them this morning. I did bake them for about 10 minutes at 350, because I put in a little more water than I intended and wanted to make sure they were ready today (awful, awful allergy attack the past two days). They were a little crumbly, but definitely a solid puck, so maybe baking helps?

    I did about 15 drops of each oil, but I think they need a little more - or else I need to be more liberal with my "drops."

    A word about neti-pots: my ENT recommends using the squeeze bottle as opposed to the neti-pot, because you can control the pressure by squeezing. (I use the one made by NeilMed.) Also, if you're using this method, you ***MUST*** use distilled water. Regular tap water contains a lot of bacteria, some of which is potentially fatal (check recent news for some horror stories about brain-eating amoebae). Finally, sinus rinsing can be addicting, because you feel so clean afterwards. But, you shouldn't do them more than once a week, twice at the maximum, because they also rinse away the mucus that lines and protects the sinus, which can make allergies worse.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. @ ~T check out the "addendum" I posted in the original post (towards the bottom). Hope that helps!

      I've never used a netti pot before, but your info is going in my "good to know" brain file, because I'm sure I'll use one at one point!

      Delete
  71. In the Pacific Northwest I like getting oils and things at Super Supplements, they tend to be significantly cheaper for the same brands and products.

    Also Sarah, a friend on my Facebook posted about this link out of the blue. You are famous!

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  72. I made some of these last night for my girls. They will love them! The allergy season started early this year. A question: do you know any reason why I should not add some food coloring to the mix? These could make a nice gift with a little pink or blue or other Spring colors.

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    1. Hmmm, I can't think of any good reason not to color them. Not sure if it would stain your shower though.

      Delete
  73. For anyone with asthma, especially children, you should not use this! I am a respiratory therapist, specializing in pediatrics. All of the essential oils listed in the "recipe" can actually exacerbate asthma symptoms and worsen any cold symptoms. Vicks is not recommended for anyone with asthma, it says so right on the box. Also the author says she used this remedy for her nephew with croup- croup is caused by a virus in the throat, not in the lungs. (although it can move into the lungs). This remedy may open the sinuses, but the irritation caused by the essential oils will cause more swelling and irritation to already inflamed swollen tissue. Sorry to be a "debbie downer" but I have seen too many kids become sicker with home remedies. If your child has asthma please stick to just a clean cool mist humidifier in their room at bedtime. Keep it mold free. Talk with their doctor about pulimcort or some type of preventative. And under no circumstances should anyone with asthma be given a cough suppressant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment and for the info on asthma.

      To note, I did not say I used this for my nephew nor did I claim it cured croup. I said I made these while thinking of my nephew with croup. I'm not even certain if my sister has used them with him.

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  74. As a note to others with Lavender sensitivities; Lavender gives me an instant migraine and makes me sneeze (a co-worker actually backed up my sensitivity saying that she had a lotion with just a teeny amount of lavender scent in it and everytime she put it on a room away I would coincidentally start sneezing even though I had no idea she was using it). Curiously when on vacation in Maui a few years ago we stopped at a Lavender farm and I had no issues...must be the synthetics that bother me.

    Thank You so much for this recipe! I saw it on Pinterest and WILL be trying it (without the lavender oil). I haven't been able to find the Vicks Shower Soothers anywhere for the past few years and I loved them, they were the only thing that helped me when I had a cold/sinus infection/flu.

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  75. How do you store what you have left over? Thanks for sharing this, too.

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    1. Ziploc or airtight container! The oils will fade quickly with time though.

      Delete
  76. Hi - these are great :>) when my son who is now 23 had croup we wrapped him up really warm and took him out into the cold air - works a treat - we'd done the steam up the room by boiling the jug over and over and over .... but this remedy was best :>))

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  77. this sounds really nice...i have a mild addiction to Vick's Vapor Rub, but recently I read that the inactive ingredients are pretty scary and involve things like "spirits of turpentine"...i like your essential oils alternatives:)

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    1. Spirits of turpentine sounds like something from Harry Potter!!!

      Delete
  78. Question, why baking soda and not corn starch? Baking soda is a deoderizer and corn starch is not but can be used to absorb the oils and water too.. no idea how this would work and if it would still make a "puck" as it dries and hold together enough to dissipate in the shower in the way we are looking for, but I thought maybe you have a reason you used baking soda that helps explain this some? Or maybe can help me understand why at least. Thank you very much for this idea and information!

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    1. Google "can you pour cornstarch" down the drain and you'll see why I chose baking soda! I had originally thought to use cornstarch, but then read it was a plumbing nightmare.

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  79. I just found this on Pinterest. I am so making these! And following your blog.

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  80. Thank you for the great idea.

    tammy c
    tlcsrandomlife@blogspot.com

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  81. This is a great idea!!! I made mine with Tea Tree oil. Since I already clean my toilets with baking soda and vinegar, I thought that dropping one of the discs into the toilet would be worth a try. It worked great!! I dropped it in, let it dissolve a bit, added the vinegar, cleaned it, let it sit,and flushed.It is really clean and the tea tree oil gives it a nice clean smell:)Thanks for posting this!

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    1. Love that idea! I can't do tea tree oil though. I used to use it to clean my toilet, and then I got pregnant and spent so much time with my head in said toilet, it brings back horrible memories!

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  82. This is such a great idea! Just an FYI for anyone with asthma, steer clear of the Eucalyptus...

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    1. I'm going to have to research this a bit more, because you're the 2nd person who has said that. Thanks for the tip!

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  83. I can't wait to make these. Your blog is great, I've added so much to my to-do list from it. Thank you!!!

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  84. I'm no doctor ... just a mom ... but my son gets croup all the time. The doctor suggested cold air. Like the commenter above, wrap them up really warm and sit out in the cold air or go for a ride in the car with the windows down. Works every time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cold air was the "magic" solution for us too when Jack had croup!

      Delete
  85. Wow, what a great idea! I could really use that right now as I am on the tail end of a nasty sinus infection
    Cheap Other For Sale

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    1. Yuck, I hope you're on the mend now! Sinus infections are the worst. As if the pain wasn't bad enough, it also has to taste like you have a mouthful of pennies.

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  86. More thanks heaped upon you! Making my 2nd batch now and trying the baking thing. Love them and gave some to my daughter who is currently in love with lavender. This is a genius idea-we think you are terrific!!
    Denise

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    Replies
    1. Awww, you're terrific too!

      My sis a lavender freak as well. ;-D

      Delete
  87. After reading the entire group of comments here, my brain wandered off and thought: If you made up a batch of baking soda tablets, how many different things could you use the tablets to do if you added secondary ingredients as needed? One person mentioned using these in the toilet and adding the vinegar. My mother in law swears that using baking soda to clean the shower door will remove the soap scum -- just add lemon juice. I know you can use lemon juice and soda to clean drains, so you could drop the tablet into a drain and pour in a little lemon juice to clean. Perhaps you could make the tablets and add the EO drops just before getting into the shower.

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    1. Here is my surface scrub recipe: http://beingfrugalbychoice.blogspot.com/2010/08/simple-cheap-bathroom-scrub.html I don't know if I would go to the trouble of baking these just to smear them around on the shower, but I'm loving the idea of "toilet disks".

      Delete
  88. Totally excited to try this. My son was sick and we couldn't find the Vicks ones in the store. I think they quit selling them in our area

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    1. From what I understand, they're now gone from all stores!

      Delete
  89. Not sure if anyone else has commented on this, but for future reference, a child with croup will benefit from cool moist air more then warm moist air. The warmth will worsen the inflammation.

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  90. These sound like a great idea, but how do I use them? Are they meant to be used in the shower? and if so, what is the process?

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    1. Put them on the shower floor and let the steam do the work!

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  91. Here's my recipe for shower steamers:http://ellesees.blogspot.com/2012/03/diy-shower-steamers-vapor-rub-lip-scrub.html
    measurements, some fizzy action, and more.

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  92. I'm going to make some of these today! I even got some cutsy muffin liners so I can give them as gifts to all my snotty friends ;)
    Thanks for the great idea, and I am LOVING reading your blog. So funny!!

    PS-I get boogery after a face wash, too! Wash, rinse, pat dry, BLOW NOSE!

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  93. I found you through Pinterest and read this and I'm laughing so hard tears are falling. YOU ARE HILARIOUS. I'm definitely bookmarking your blog and coming back repeatedly.

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    1. Welcome to my blog. Glad you're having a good time! Hope to see more of you!

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  94. is it the oil or the baking soda that un-clogs your sinus?

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    1. The oils. The baking soda will (if anything) just unclog your drains! ;-D

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  95. Awesome idea..I just made some with menthol drops

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  96. I am so glad I ran across this! I haven't been able to find the Vicks things in forever! Between colds and the horrible allergy season that has permeated the southeastern US since March, my sinuses are a mess! Yay!!!

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  97. Bulk Apothecary coupon code
    savings10 for 10% off (just used it to buy the oils!!)

    ReplyDelete

Comments make me more excited than Jessie Spano on caffeine pills!

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