DIY Vapor Rub

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Introduction: DIY Vapor Rub

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

This DIY vapor rub is a great natural substitute to the standard Vicks vapor rub we all got covered in when we were kids.

It's made using essential oils and beeswax and includes either coconut or olive oil as a carrier. If you choose coconut you'll end up with a slightly firmer rub. :)

Seeing as I just got sick, I've tested this out over the past two days and I'm very happy with it. I tried using it on my upper back, chest and the bottoms of my feet. Breathing's been easier and I much prefer the smell of this rub to Vicks. It also tingles MUCH less, which I really like!

Step 1: Ingredients + Cautions

  • 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil (I'm using olive because it's cheaper)
  • 1 tablespoon grated beeswax
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1-2 drops clove essential oil (optional - be wary if you have sensitive skin)

You'll also need a small glass jar for storage (these are cute and cheap!) and a glass measuring cup to melt the oils.

I'm using all NOW Foods oils - this brand is reasonably priced and I've never had any issues with the quality of the oils. I use them in burners, balms, rubs, cleaners and all sorts of other things!

This vapor rub has about a 3% dilution of essential oils - if you're making this for a person under the age of 5, I recommend halving the amount of essential oils you put in.

If you have sensitive skin you should use also less of the oils - and it wouldn't be a bad idea to cut out the clove essential oil completely! I like the way it rounds out the smell of the vapor rub, but it can cause skin irritation.

Make sure to apply a little to your forearm or another easily washable area and give it a little time to make sure you won't have a reaction. If you slather it all over your chest without testing and then rash up you're going to feel much worse. It's rare but it happens!

Step 2: Grate Your Beeswax

Use the largest side on your grater - grate just enough to fit into a tablespoon. Press it down into the tablespoon to make sure you're getting an actual tablespoon's worth. :D

Step 3: Melt the Oil and Beeswax Together

I do this in the microwave to save time - just microwave it for 30 seconds at a time and stir after every stint in the microwave. Keep repeating this until the mixture is clear and homogenous.

Step 4: Add the Oils and Pour Into Your Container

Add in your oils - if you have bottles without droppers, you can use an 1/8 teaspoon measure filled almost all the way. Doing it that will give you right around 10 drops worth of oil.

Mix this well and pour it into your glass container.

Step 5: Let It Cool and Use!

The rub will become solid fairly quickly - just make sure to leave the lid off while it hardens so you don't get any condensation. Once the rub has hardened, it's time to try it out!

It won't smell as strongly once it's hardened, but rest assured that you don't need much! I apply maybe 1/8-1/4 teaspoon each time I use it. As you rub it into your skin the smell will become stronger.

Make sure to always apply with dry, clean hands and avoid getting any liquids into the rub. Make a fresh batch every cold season and enjoy! :)

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101 Comments

Wow Amazing information there.

Wonderful blend! Love that it sits around 3% dilution. You might want to mention a lower dilution for those over 65 years of age, too.


very good idea because I've tried it and it works perfectly. I also read on other sites web health and beauty tricks fantastic! I recommend you try and experiment !

You could try tea tree oil, but good luck. Almost no topical goop works to kill fungus. You need a prescription systemic fungicide.

When I was really poor and didn't have money for a prescription product AND I had a foot fungus, I used bleach to rid myself of it. It stung like hell but I did get rid of it after 2 treatments of 20 minute each. gb

I can attest to the efficiency of bleach as an anti fungal treatment. Years back, I worked in a granite shop where I had to CNC cut a Marble counter top which contained a fungus from hell that soaked into my boots. It laughed at every prescription anti-fungal the VA had. So, I tried straight bleach as a foot bath. It worked like magic, but I caution you all to be careful with it. My use in this manner worked, but it also damaged the skin cells so that years later, my feet are so dry they crack and bleed in the dry months of summer

Ethylene glycol really works. Don't waste your money at the pharmacy - it won't fix any quicker.

Never ever ever take oral fungicides!!! Very toxic.

Tea tree oil (melaleuca) hates fungus! It works topically. I've had great luck with doTerra brand oils.

Ethylene glycol, regular car antifreeze is a superb anti fungal and non toxic used topically. Slow to work but all fungicides are. Google "ethylene glycol fungicide". The drug companies will never spend the money on the testing as there is no profit to be made, that is why a doctor cannot recommend it. Worked a treat on my wife's toenails.

Ethylene glycol works very well on all fungus even on the wood. Mixed with sodium octaborate it's a first class wood treatment againt insects and fungus. It is not toxic on the skin but beware it's a deadly poison on dogs and even children. Its sugary taste is very atractive for dogs.

toxic for cats, too

You're right, however cats are not attracted to sugary taste as dogs and children, so the risk of ingestion is a bit smaller. Now fluorosceine and denatonium (a bitter produit) are added to antifreezes to prevent ingestion. I amend my precedent post as it appears that in some cases ethylene glycol can poison through the skin, but I doubt that you can get a dangerous dose by the toes' skin.

In fact ethylene glycol is a poison for any living creature and it's a very painful death for mammals.

You can use Vaseline for digit fungus. It will block access to air and cause the fungus to die. Vapo or any other...they sell one at the dollar store yes it's a dollar. Just remember to keep it on the are with a fungus.

Ethylene glycol, regular car antifreeze is a superb anti fungal and non toxic used topically. Slow to work but all fungicides are. Google "ethylene glycol fungicide". The drug companies will never spend the money on the testing as there is no profit to be made, that is why a doctor cannot recommend it. Worked a treat on my wife's toenails.

When I was really poor and didn't have money for a prescriptionbproduct AND I had a foot fungus, I used bleach to rid myself of it. It stung like hell but I did get rid of it after 2 treatments of 20 minute each. gb

I certainly shall try this out next winter. Or earlier if Michigan ramps up the Snow and Cold Godz again. BIG thanks!