Homemade Vapor Rub

Homemade DIY Vapor rub and other tricks to deals with the symptoms of cold and flu.

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Making homemade vapor rub was not what I had planned. A week ago all three of my men and I were enjoying a shopping trip. I thought to myself, “We’ve been really healthy, wow it’s going to be a great holiday.” One week later and we are all sick. My husband and I had to miss seeing Rogue One and the boys had to miss seeing their grandparents/sitters. What a super bummer. Below are some things we do to help fight cold and flu symptoms.

Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

Homemade Vapor rub and other tricks to deals with the symptoms of cold and flu.Moisturize the Air

In addition to the typical medications for fever control for the boys and NyQuil for the adults. We also got the humidifiers out of storage, loaded them up with some distilled water, and cranked them up in the boys’ rooms. Downstairs we put some orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves and rosemary in a pot to simmer and added some moisture to the air. We are in Wisconsin and it’s been about -10 degrees with 8″ of fresh snow. The air is very dry, so we need some help with moisture this time of year.

Clear Out Your Nose

When I get up in the morning and before going to bed at night I get out my neti pot , saline and distilled water and clean out those nasal passages. Homemade Vapor rub and other tricks to deals with the symptoms of cold and fluIf you don’t know what neti pots are all about follow this link to a video of what it is. Be sure to use distilled water rather than tap water to avoid getting whatever sediments that may be in your tap water stuck in your nasal passages.

Essential Oils to Help Sleep

In the evening I toss a homemade shower bomb in my shower and take a nice hot steamy shower to help me breathe. When I go to bed I put some homemade vapor rub on my chest and soles of my feet. All these actions make it possible to actually get the sleep that I need to heal. In addition to breathing nice humidified air throughout the day

Homemade DIY Vapor Rub

Using these Mason 4 ounce jars filled with an organic cold pressed coconut oil as my carrier oil. A carrier oil is used when applying essential oils to the skin because essential oils are incredibly concentrated and can be strong and irritating to the skin if not applied in a diluted form when using topically. Learn more about the safety of essential oils here. The vapor rub is made about with a 1% essential oil solution. To make a 1% dilution is about 6 drops of essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil.

Homemade Vapor rub and other tricks to deals with the symptoms of cold and flu.


  • 4 ounces coconut oil, melted
  • 10 drops of spearmint oil
  • 14 drops of eucalyptus oil

Combine all three ingredients mix vigorously to combine and then allow the to mixture to come to room temperature where coconut oil will return to a solid form.

The two essential oils are eucalyptus due to it’s ability to relieve coughing and spearmint due to it’s menthol properties. I have a very small collection of essential oils and peppermint is not one of them. Peppermint is higher in menthol properties than spearmint. You could substitute peppermint for the spearmint. If you find peppermint to be too strong you may prefer the spearmint. That’s the great thing about homemade, you get to make the vapor rub to your choice.

If you are using this vapor rub on your children keep the essential oils to 1% to .5% dilution. If you are using this solution on adults that do not have sensitive skin, you could increase the dilution to about 2% but I would not go above that for a topical application. Eucalytus and peppermint/spearmint are considered sensitive oils and should be diluted.

I hope that everyone has a healthy holiday season! If you don’t maybe some of our remedies will help you deal with the symptoms and not miss out on the fun! Hopefully my family will be on the mend by the time Santa makes an appearance!


Homemade DIY Vapor rub and other tricks to deals with the symptoms of cold and flu.



32 Replies to “Homemade Vapor Rub”

  1. Great idea for a home made remedy.

    1. Julie, I am so glad you let me know about you being a bot! Thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed my post. On my way to your blog!

  2. I love this, These are easy ingredients to!

    1. Super easy and was quicker to make than I expected. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. What a great idea!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    1. Thanks, glad you liked it!

  4. I love all things essential oils! We use them for vapor rub too 🙂

    1. Do you have a similar recipe or do you use beeswax?

  5. This seems simple enough! Thank you for sharing! I’ve not tried essential oils, but might give it a shot!

    1. I was an essential oil virgin once too, I only have 5 oils but can make so many things with them!

  6. A must have for the winter months, with two small children we live on VICS, nice to see a homemade recipie that is easy!

    1. Since you can’t really give kids NyQuil it’s one of the few things that help them sleep!

  7. So far we’re staying pretty healthy–wootwoot! I really need to buy some humidifiers. That’s one of those things I never think about until we need them.

    1. I know I plugged one of mine in and you could hear the motor going, I cranked it up and finally the motor kicked in so we didn’t have to head out to Target.

  8. Wow, I never knew it was so easy to make homemade vapor rub. I’m going to give this recipe a try and maybe experiment with a few other oils. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I didn’t realize that either until I started playing around with the combinations. Also many people use beeswax in their rubs, I just don’t have any on hand and wanted to keep the recipe as simple as possible.

  9. Impressive!! Vapor rub is a must have in our home, my husband and I use it like crazy on winter nights.

    1. It’s a must have in our home too, I hope you find it as helpful as our family does!

  10. I have been wanting to find a recipe like this. I recently discovered the NOW oils and love them. Vapor Rub is something that always helps me when I am sick.

    1. I just started using oils last year, I only have 5 of them and find so many uses. I was glad when this one worked out, I hope you find it helpful.

  11. Oh this is a great Idea. I’ve never thought of doing this home made. I will definitely try this one!

    1. I’m so glad you found my post and let me know how it turns out!

  12. Definitely needed this! Thank you!

    1. I’m glad I could help you out! enjoy it

  13. never knew i could DIY this – awesome post!

    1. Thank you, yes it’s super simple and a fraction of the cost when you buy it in the store

  14. I’ve never thought to make this at home. Very handy! Love your tips of humidifying the air too.

    1. Yes and the orange, clove, cinnamon smell so lovely wafting through the rooms. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  15. I love vapor rub and I love that this is home made! We use vapor rub all the time and I think we could really benefit from this recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Nichole. I hope you found it useful. I love that the coconut oil keeps in a nice form you could put it in a stick dispenser to rub on!

  16. BW aka Barbara from Boston says:

    Hi Kim, Hope you still see comments added to old posts. Another grand use for vaporub is for pain , from strains sprains and over use, as well as chronic pain (what my husband and I use it for most). We also add small amounts of capsaicin(cayenne pepper) powdered ginger rosemary and whatever herbs we have at the moment that help w/ pain and also have antibiotic properties.
    Am new here, from love that Max. Have already signed up. Love your recipes and diy suggestions. Barbara

    1. That sounds wonderful. I may have to make my own DIY icy hot salve. Thanks for the suggestion and for finding me!

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