47 Responses to “Quick Homemade Vapor Rub”


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  1. Amber

    That is awesome!
    Ive always been looking to avoid petroleum jelly.
    It makes me break out. :(

  2. Sacha

    Sounds just perfect for me and my multitude of colds (year-round, sadly).
    But I’ve run out of, basically, all the ingredients. :/
    But it’ll be worth spending my money on some yummy oils and beeswax. And maybe some Umcka while I’m at it.

  3. I wonder if you replaced the beeswax with coconut oil, if it would have the same consistency (because it’s a solidifying oil)? Aside from coconut oil being much easier to find in my area, the person that I’m thinking of making this for is a vegetarian, bordering on vegan, meaning she won’t touch anything with beeswax. :(

    I’m suffering from a summer cold right now, though I can’t be sure if it’s a cold, or the fact that there’s construction going on within my house and dust and mold spores are being spread everywhere. Blah.

    Anywho, that being said, I have went to the Eucalyptus and Peppermint EO bottles to take the occasional deep whiff. Doesn’t do much for my ears and throat, but my stuffy nose and head are grateful.


    • Linda

      Maybe you could just use the coconut oil in place of both the beeswax and olive oil? (reduce the olive oil to get your desired consistency depending on your room temperature?) I believe coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties so I would think it would be a good addition.

    • Sandy

      I’ve heard that carnauba or candelilla waxes could take the place of beeswax, but I’m not sure what amounts you would need of either.

  4. Karlita

    Very cool recipe. Thank you so much. I will definitely save this :)

    I started making and drinking my own homemade kefir regularly and I haven’t gotten sick once since I started it 6 months ago. It’s a cultured milk drink full of those live beneficial bacteria that help boost our immune systems. Not sure if you’ve heard about it, but it’s pretty cool stuff.

    Do you have a “wet ones” type recipe? You know–those little hand wipes. There must be a greener way to do those.

    Thanks for all your crunchy research :)

  5. I don’t think it is an annoying phrase. In fact, I put that exact phrase at the bottom of my son’s birth announcement almost 4 years ago because his name is in the song that expresses, “Before you cross the street, better take my hand, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” The song is Beautiful Boy written and sung by one of the most amazing people to have lived on this earth: John Lennon. I sung it to my son in utero and still do so today. Nonetheless, I still enjoy your posts and will try :-) not to hold this against you. snark snark

  6. Just found your site- wow! Looking forward to exploring it leisurely. Thanks for doing it!


  7. Couldn’t you just use coconut oil and skip the bees wax? I’m talking about the coconut oil that you cook with that’s solid until you touch it or warm it. It seems to me that would smell better than EVOO. I use this for massage and the skin drinks it up. :)

  8. I’m a big advocate of homemade vaporub. When I’m lazy and don’t want to mess with beeswax I just use almond oil as a carrier and drop in some rosemary, peppermint and eucalyptus, and rub my kids chest’s with it. Works like a charm. Also…I gave you a blog award. Just something for fun…if you have time, stop by my space and check it out. I heart Crunchy Betty!

  9. This is a great post. Both my kids have allergies/asthma and I am always looking for natural ways to relieve their sniffling and frequent respiratory discomfort. I would never have thought of making it myself!!! Thank you so much for this post.

  10. Great recipe! I’m definitely adding this one to my bag of DIY tricks. To clear our sinuses at home we sniff water up our noses (kind of like the neti pot concept). It works well, and it’s free.

    Peace. ;)

  11. I found your post via Pinterest and am I glad I did! I will be making this for sure. I honestly believe that we could solve most of this world’s problems if we just used more Vaporub. Well, prayer would certainly help too… but never discount the healing properties of something that has been hardened softly. ;-)

    Clicking to follow you! Jules

  12. Dogpackmomma

    I’m going to make this up to have on hand. Thanks for sharing & Happy Trails!

  13. sheri

    Do you think I could use tea tree oil instead of rosemary?

  14. Alysonmcc

    I do the same thing for my little man. He is just over a year old. I also made him a turtle that I crotched and then felted with wool yarn. Then I filled it with flax seeds that i had mixed with some eucalyptus, thyme and lavender oil for those icky coughs. I put it in the microwave for about a minute and then he takes it to bed with him. The wool is naturally antibacterial so I dont worry about germs and he loves to cuddle his warm turtle when he doesn’t feel good. The essential oils really emit a strong scent when heated and it seems to clear up his stuffy nose really quickly. 

  15. cookiesmiles56

    I will have to give this a try, I’m allergic to the Mentol Vapor rub !!!! Thanks !!

  16. Carrie-young living oil lady

    Love it! Thanks so much! I am a lover of essential oils and need to make this for my children. I just put the oils directly on our chest, but this is great, especially for children. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Pony65

    During a recent (and incredibly long) bout of Creeping Crud, a friend shared that rubbing vapor rub on one’s feet and then covering with socks will keep one from coughing up one’s lungs for the night.

    Yes, my friend is probably certifiable, BUT this trick WORKS. I tried it, and it worked so well I shared it with my friends who have little ones.  All reported relief from coughing.

    • Our pediatrician shared with us the trick of rubbing vapor rub on the bottoms of feet. It works incredibly well for my children and also the children of the many people I have shared this tip with!

      • Priscilla Wallace

        I read this week, the pores on the bottom of feet are larger. I am guessing that is why it absorbs in quicker there… :)

    • Gring7

      I do this all the time with my kids.  Works like a charm.  I have heard that on very young children (i don’t know what that means…2 and under?  1 and under?) that the ingredients might be too strong for their little feet since the feet really soak it all in so well.  That being said, I lightly put it on my son’s feet a bit before he was one and he seems okay.  ??  I’ve tried it on myself too.  i coughed a few times that night but otherwise free sailin’!  I would highly recommend doing this.

  18. Emily Martin

    My son came down with a major case of the “sniffles” today, so I decided to mix up a batch of this for him. Unfortunately I was out of beeswax and didn’t have time to get to the store. Instead, I mixed the EOs with coconut oil and aloe vera gel. The consistency is great and it smells so good!

  19. wow this is wonderful!! Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Kristin

    I love homemade recipes, but I’m also very frugal. How much does this recipe yield? And how does it compare to Vick’s Vapor Rub in price? It would appear the ingredients of your recipe would total at least $30 depending on where you shop. Thanks so much!

    • Julie

      It might total that much but when you factor in that the oils will last a very long time and you can make many many batches, it is worth it in the long run, I believe. I will be making extra batches to share with friends who have kids as well. :)

    • Maija

      Also, you can use those things for other things. For example: the bees wax and the peppermint oil can be made into lip balm; the wax to make a lotion, the eucalyptus can be used as drops into steaming water in a room with a stuffed up person. Those are only a few things.

  21. Gerke

    Where do you get the bee’s wax at.

    • Maija

      I got a soap-like chunk from a health food store for about $3. I think I might have seen some at Michael’s in the candle making section.

  22. I am surrounded by natural remedies (Waldorf mom for the last 15 years ;) but no one has shared this and I must have 5 essential oil friends. This is something I might actually use. Thank you!

  23. Awesome! I have some allergy congestion–I think I’ll whip this up this afternoon!

  24. this is great but to really help kill infection that is stuffing them up then you need to add plantain and calendula flowers to the oil and let simmer for a few hrs till the oil is a pretty green my kids call it green ointment stops infections on knees and bloody noses my son got cause of small virus infections in his nose my daughter took it to marine boot camp with her and smeared it onto any sore she got the troop was all wanting some at graduation she had me bring 10 jars to give her friends

  25. CatNet

    Is this safe to use on babies under 1 year?

  26. Alexa

    I just made this a few hours ago. Our house is full of the flu and this is just the ticket. I used grapeseed oil instead of olive (though I’m sure that doesn’t make any difference) and I added about 10 drops of lavender essential oil to make it extra relaxing and perfect for bedtime. I love it! And so do the munchkins. Such a lovely texture and a wonderful smell. I was worried about the rosemary since I don’t care for the smell of it, but all together it’s perfect. Just rubbing it on to the kids cleared me right up.
    Thank you for the easy, effective, and enjoyable recipe!

  27. Devangi


    So I made this for my 6 month old with all the essential oils halved. Thing is I had bought a plastic container to pour it in but because it was too hot I poured it in a tall glass bottle initially for a few seconds. Just as I was going to transfer it my daughter started crying. I had to rush her to her. Now it’s set in the tall glass bottle and I don’t know how to transfer it in the small container. Can anyone help?

  28. Earthmama24

    If you suffer from asthma, Rosemary should be avoided so you may want to omit or substitute with camphor or lavender. Also, for those avoiding beeswax, I’ve found coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter make a nice consistency. Coconut oil alone is too oily for me. There’s a product called unpetroleum jelly that makes a nice rub when mixed with EO if you don’t want to mix your own.

  29. Hiya, just wanted to say that you should probably update this post now that new info has come out about eucalyptus and peppermint being known to slow the breathing of infants. Not to overstep any boundaries or anything, but it’s rather important. :)

  30. Raychelle Hutson

    Can you do the hydrogen peroxide/garlic foot soak on babies? I’ve got a 4 month (adjusted age, she was a preemie) that’s battling a cold right now.

    We’ve been doing the vapor rub and it’s seemed to help but wanted to pack things in my “mom tool box” for later dates.

    Thank you

  31. Hillary

    Can you use this on a baby? I have a six month old that has a cold and everything I’ve read says not to use Eucalyptus on a baby. I haven’t used EO’s before though so I’m not sure what to use. Thanks!

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  33. Rachel

    I don’t like getting colds either but I know God can heal any ailment that comes our way, it’s also nice to know what God has made and out on this earth for healing.


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