Shower Melts Are A+ For A Soothing Rinse: 3 Easy Recipes To Make At Home

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Medical review by Keira Barr, M.D.
Board-certified dermatologist
Keira Barr is a dual board-certified dermatologist and founder of the Resilient Health Institute.
woman getting out of shower
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For those of you looking to transform your shower experience, allow us to introduce you to shower melts. Also called "shower steamers" or "shower soothers," these molds surround you with invigorating scents (plus aromatherapy benefits) while you rinse. All you have to do is pop 'em in the shower and, like DIY magic, your once mundane spray will become rejuvenating, soothing, and oh-so spa-like.

Make one of these shower melts at home, and thank us later.

What are shower melts? 

Essentially, it's like a bath bomb for your shower—but unlike bath bombs, which typically come loaded with extra skin-softening ingredients and carrier oils, shower melts tend to focus only on the aroma, as they're not touching your skin. "You don't want to include butters and oils, as it will make the shower floor slippery!" says product formulator Jana Blankenship, founder of the natural beauty brand Captain Blankenship.

So why, you ask, would someone want to toss a shower melt under the spray? Well, you can think of these melts as an incredibly low-lift way to incorporate essential oils in the shower—simply set one on your shower floor and let the volatile oils evaporate into the steam. Showering with essential oils on their own can be tricky, as you want to map out the perfect placement with minimal water flow so the precious oils don't vaporize too quickly. A shower melt does the legwork for you, with a steady stream of EOs as the product slowly dissolves. Think of it as a DIY diffuser of sorts. 

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How to make shower melts at home. 

The process is pretty similar to a DIY bath bomb, as many of the ingredients overlap. Some love including the iconic baking soda and citric acid duo for that signature fizz, but as Blankenship notes, it's not totally necessary. Here's exactly what you'll need:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk or wooden spoon
  • Spray bottle
  • Ice cube molds or mini-muffin tins. You don't want to use a proper bath bomb mold, here, as these are typically way too big. "The goal is to have them dissolve quickly to release essential oils," says Blankenship, but not too quickly where the oils completely vaporize. It's a delicate dance
  • Baking soda
  • Citric acid (if you choose to use it, experts recommend purchasing a USP-grade, non-GMO kind)
  • Sea salt, Epsom salt, or arrowroot powder
  • Witch hazel (or water, if you don't have)
  • 50 to 70 drops essential oil(s) of your choice (this may seem like a lot, but remember that you'll separate the mixture into multiple mini molds)

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As you can probably guess, essential oils are the star ingredient for shower melts—that's what lends a luxurious experience. That said, you can always choose your EOs based on scent alone, or you can opt for a potent blend for a specific concern.  

"The basics, like lavender, peppermint, and grapefruit, are all excellent in the shower," natural skin care expert Sarah Villafranco, M.D., founder of Osmia Organics, once told mbg about using essential oils. Lavender has been shown to promote sleep and manage stress (perfect for a calming, nighttime shower); peppermint can help increase alertness (for those of you partial to a morning rinse); and citrus oils—like grapefruit—have antimicrobial properties that can manage airborne germs

A few more EOs of note: "If I'm tired, I like black spruce," says Villafranco, for it has an invigorating scent (again, great for a morning pick-me-up). "For a headache, I love to use basil." Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention spa-like eucalyptus, which not only imparts a refreshing scent but has promising anti-inflammatory and antifungal benefits—it may even ease sore throats and coughs.

That said, here are a few recipes to poke through, for a variety of shower experiences: 

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1. For an awakening, refreshing morning rinse.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup citric acid
  • ¼ cup salts or arrowroot powder
  • 1 to 2 tsp. witch hazel (or water, if you don't have)
  • 20 drops black spruce oil
  • 10 drops peppermint oil
  • 25 drops eucalyptus oil 

Directions:

  1. Combine the baking soda and citric acid in a large mixing bowl, sifting through to break up any clumps. 
  2. Drop in your essential oils, stirring constantly. 
  3. Spritz the mixture with witch hazel (or more water) slowly while mixing. Misting the mixture is key—that way, it will be moist enough to hold shape when you mold it with your hands but still dry enough that it doesn't completely fizz out. 
  4. Pack the mixture firmly into the molds and keep at room temperature. Try to wait at least 24 hours before trying to remove them from the molds, then store them in an airtight container.
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2. For a relaxing shower to help you unwind. 

Ingredients:

Directions: 

  1. Combine the baking soda and citric acid in a large mixing bowl, sifting through to break up any clumps. 
  2. Drop in your essential oils, stirring constantly. 
  3. Spritz the mixture with witch hazel (or more water) slowly while mixing. 
  4. Pack the mixture firmly into the molds and keep at room temperature. Try to wait at least 24 hours before trying to remove them from the molds, then store them in an airtight container.
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3. For a shower that soothes the sinuses. 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup citric acid
  • ¼ cup salts or arrowroot powder
  • 1 to 2 tsp. witch hazel (or water, if you don't have)
  • 30 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 20 drops basil oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the baking soda and citric acid in a large mixing bowl, sifting through to break up any clumps. 
  2. Drop in your essential oils, stirring constantly. 
  3. Spritz the mixture with witch hazel (or more water) slowly while mixing. 
  4. Pack the mixture firmly into the molds and keep at room temperature. Try to wait at least 24 hours before trying to remove them from the molds, then store them in an airtight container.
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How to use your shower melt. 

Once you have your melt at the ready, the rest is simple: Simply bring a shower melt with you to the bathroom, pop it on the shower floor (away from the stream, so it won't fizz out too quickly), and enjoy your elevated rinse. 

The takeaway. 

If you're looking to transform your shower experience, try making your own shower melts at home. These little molds are so easy to make, and you'll surround yourself with some spa-like steam.  

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