Family friendly vapour rub DIY

vapour rubPIN IT vapourPIN IT

Moving house, winter storms, icy winds and the general sniffles that come from cold air and daycare germs have been blowing around in our lives of late. Unsettled nights sleep as we adapt to the air in an empty old house and then as we adapt again to the cold air of a tin shed in the country.

I’ve always loved a good vapour rub… it reminds me of childhood flues, tucked up in bed with soft toys and books and brothers… there was always something warm and familiar about the smell and the sensation. It’s always amazed me that something as simple as that can make you feel loved and cared for.

With the nothing new project and a strong focus on using natural earth friendly products (that are home made where possible); I wanted to see if I could make a soothing, nose clearing rub that could be used on both Bo and I this winter. So I did. It’s simple and easy to make and really very effective…


75g coconut oil
25g beeswax
1/4 tsp organic eucalyptus essential oil (or about 25 drops)
1/8 tsp organic lavender essential oil (or about 12 drops)


Melt coconut oil and beeswax until completely combined. You can do this in a couple of different ways, you can pop a metal/glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water the same way you would melt chocolate or you can do what I do; using a recycled tin can, create a simple double boiler by placing the tin can in a couple of inches of boiling water and place the oil and beeswax into the tin until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove the tin can from the boiling water (be careful it will be very, very hot) and quickly stir the essential oils with a small metal whisk.

Pour the combined mixture into two small jars (I get my friends to save me their old face-cream jars and I sterilize them before use, but I’ve also used baby food jars, and tiny biscuit tins with great success) and leave somewhere cool to set for a few hours. Pop one on your bathroom shelf and give one away to a friend for calm nights and eased sniffles all winter long.

By using a small spoon to scoop out the mixture we avoid contaminating with any bacteria from our hands giving the vapour rub a shelf life of years instead of months.

vapour rub1PIN ITThis is about a 2% dilution (around 10 drops to 30ml/1oz of the carrier oil) making it safe to use on babies, young children and adults alike. It has a gentle scent that is not at all comparable to the commercial vapour rubs that you buy in the pharmacy or department store, it is full of good stuff though and we find it works just as well without any of the nasties. Like anything you use on your children, we trust that you do your own research and make your own educated decisions regarding their care. 

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  • July 10, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    Sarah - Oh, this is just what I’ve been longing for this Winter! I’ve been searching for a vapor rub at the natural food store but they all tend to have a REALLY strong scent which Sam hates (and I’d rather have her sleeping next to me when I’m under the weather than in the next room)
    What sort of bees wax did you use, Sash? We buy a raw/unrefined bees wax from a local farmer which we use to make candles – do you hink this would work? Or should be it a ‘cosmetic grade’?

    Sar xxReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2014 - 9:47 pm

      Sash - I just buy mine from a little local beekeeper at the local farmers market… it works beautifully 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    Shan - Thanks for this recipe…I’ve been wanting something natural, so I’ll be getting some bees wax when our local farmers market it next on 🙂ReplyCancel

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