Here in Sydney we are almost in the middle of winter. And whilst our days at the moment are mostly clear and sunny, it is definitely cold and flu season. Unlike many others at the moment our household is, thankfully, mostly healthy but my young son has developed a bit of a sniffle. So I thought we would make some Eucalyptus Shower Disks.
We made these a couple of years ago and found them quite effective. And being a bit of a novelty, kids are more than happy to use one 😉 They are very simple to use – just put one in the bottom of your shower and the hot water releases the Eucalyptus and dissolves the disk. We put it in the corner of the shower so it dissolves slowly. And I’m sure it would work in the bath as well, but we haven’t got one to test it out.
I found this idea on the blog Being Frugal by Choice, and you can find it and other health related ideas on my ‘Health‘ Pinterest board.
We started with making just a small batch, using Sarah’s recipe of:
1 cup baking (bicarb) soda
1/3 cup water
which was mixed together in a small bowl. It needs to be damp enough to hold it’s shape when squashed, Sarah describes it as being like putty. We needed to add a little more water…but just a little.
Then add your oils. We just added Eucalyptus oil, a couple of teaspoonsful. And we didn’t use essential oil, but the big household bottle you get from the supermarket. The original recipe calls for 15 drops each of 3 essential oils: lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary. Do what works for you 🙂
Strangely, when we spooned this mixture into silicone cupcake moulds, it looked much wetter:
Half filling these moulds gave us 7 shower disks. We will be making a larger batch next time!
The first time we made these I didn’t have these silicone moulds and just used paper cupcake cases. I let them dry completely in the cases, and when we went to use them they were stuck to the paper. If you do this, try removing the disks before they have completely dried. Of course, they still worked perfectly well even when in the paper, just make sure you don’t leave your rubbish in the shower!
These were left to dry for several hours, then I turned them out onto a drying rack until they were completely dry. Depending on the weather/temperature, overnight would probably be long enough.
Oh, you noticed some blue disks in with the white ones? You’ll have to wait for my next post to find out what they are!!
If you are making these when it is pouring rain, and it seems there is no chance they will dry in under a week, you can bake them instead. Pop them in a very low oven for half an hour or so. We did this the first time we made them. They turned out very crumbly, but still worked.
If you are going to dry them this way, it is very important not to add your oils until after they are dry. I nearly lost my eyebrows and eyelashes opening the door from an oven full of eucalyptus fumes! Boy did my sinuses feel that! Just dribble your selection of oils onto each dry disk when cool.
I find letting them dry naturally works better, but it’s good to have another option.
Once dry, pop them in a airtight container, and use when required. Of course, if you have any concerns using these with your family, consult a professional.
Recently I came across a different idea, but with the same result of sinus cleansing fumes – Vicks ice blocks. They look like a good idea too – mix 2 tablespoons of Vicks with boiling water, then freeze into ice blocks. But have you seen how much Vicks costs? From the Woolworths website, a 50g tub of Vicks Vaporub is $8 and a 100g tub is $12. You’d use most of a 50g tub for a batch of ice blocks.
Compared to the shower disks: also taken from the Woolworths site, 500g of brand name bicarb costs $2.50, while the 500g generic brand costs $1.80. Roughly, two cups is a bit less than 500g. Eucalyptus oil costs depends on whether you use essential oils or not, and what brand. But the total cost is going to be much less than the $6 or $7 for the ice blocks.
So I know what we’ll continue to make in our house!
Have you tried one of these ideas to help with the winter sniffles?
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