Homemade Vapor Rub

Homemade Vapor Rub with only 5 ingredients, & it’s completely natural & works better than the store-bought stuff. Who knew making it yourself was so easy?

The sickies.

We all get them.

Maybe we don’t all call them the sickies.  Maybe you have a more ‘grown up’ name to call it. The point is, we all feel like total poop from time to time.

And sometimes we don’t even feel that bad, but have to deal with the snotties, the stuffies, or the coughies.  (I’m totally making my parents proud with my  grammar right now)

Especially in the winter.  Although there are us lucky ones (like my mom & I) who have disobedient sinuses all year long. Yuck. Sometimes I feel like I should be buying stock in vapor rub.  But, why would I want to buy stock in something that I can make myself?

Yep.  I totally make my own vapor rub.  And I like mine much better than it’s store bought counterpart. I also love that it can be done in a matter of minutes, it’s cost efficient, and it lasts a long time – plus it’s all natural. Big win in my book!

My kids like it better than the store bought version too! It’s gentler on them & it works just as good!  See – here’s my middle child.  Look how sick she is.  Poor thing.

Bring in the homemade vapor rub – and ta-da… Look how much better she’s feeling!!  🙂

Yep. Not only does this work wonders, but I have awesome kids.

All you need to make it is olive oil, beeswax, & a few essential oils.  My favorite combination of essential oils for this is rosemary, eucalyptus, & lavender.  Some people like to use peppermint or camphor as well, but personally – it’s a little harsh for me & my children.  The great thing about essential oils is even though they don’t look like it – they actually go a LONG way!

Combine the olive oil & beeswax in a saucepan on medium heat & stir with a wooden spoon until the beeswax has melted.  Turn off the heat, and stir in 25-30  drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 20-25 drops of rosemary essential oil, & 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil. Pour into your jars. I like to use 1 of these 4oz jars for this.

Seal the jars, and allow them to cool.  They will set up into a spreadable solid – I just LOVE the consistency of this vapor rub!  It’s smooth like silk and not all gooey feeling like the store bought.

And a quick tip – while this is the perfect amount of essential oils for me, if it’s not quite enough for you… you can always remelt it & add more essential oils til it’s as strong as your liking.

I really hope  that you like this as much as we all do – it’s always in our medicine cabinet.  We just love it!

And for those of you who would like to try it before you make it, you can also purchase it in my Etsy store.

Now, go get un-stuffy!

Homemade Vapor Rub - only 5 ingredients and it's AWESOME!

3.0 from 1 reviews
  1. Melt the olive oil & beeswax in a small saucepan on low heat until melted, stirring with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat & stir in the essential oils - drop by drop (keep stirring until all have been added). Pour into a small glass or metal container. Store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.


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  • Thanks! This is cool.

  • Tammy Hendricks

    I just made this and the ‘Boo Boo Balm’. Both have turned out wonderfully!

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  • This is amazing !!!! I was originally on the other recipe for the shower thingy !!! But decided to look here too !!!! Thank you soooo much for such wonderful ideas, and for sharing them !!!!!

  • HerbyK

    This is so easy! I can’t wait to get the ingredients and make some. So does it make just one on the 4 oz, jars? I have lots of jelly jars and really like using them for such things.

    • Yes, this recipe just makes around 4oz.. But, you can always double/triple as you see fit! 🙂

      • Pat

        Why use a wooden spoon?

  • where do u get the jars from? what can substitute the eucalyptus, I have an allergy.

    • Tambryl

      Have you tried tea tree oil ? That might work for you. Or skip that and use peppermint. The jars can be found in any store that sells canning supplies.

    • I get mine from Amazon, there is a link in the post that will take you to the ones that I use. You could substitute peppermint essential oil, or even camphor.

  • where is a good source for beeswax?

    • I get mine from Amazon – there is a link in the post 🙂

    • Jeannie

      Hobby Lobby carries it. Look for local bee keepers.

      • Jeannie

        They also have the oils and jars as well

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  • Self Sagacity

    cute photos of your daughter. awesome interpretation. smiles.
    I would love to have some natural vapor one day.

  • CConnors

    Does this have a shelf life?

    • I’d say 6 months to a year.

    • Kristina Aguirre

      I would like to know the shelf life, too. Would it last about a year?

      • Kristina Aguirre

        I just read it, it lasts up to a year. Ha! Thank you!

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  • Sherie

    How much camphor wold I use?

    • I would start with about 20 drops and then increase after smelling it. You can always remelt & add more oils if you want it stronger and it won’t have any effect on the finished product.

      • Kristina A.

        If we added camphor would we put all the other essential oils in at the same amounts indicated in the recipe…or would they need to be reduced?

        • You could replace one of the oils with it, or you could use them all, but reduce them by about 10 drops each. Once your all done, and you think the scent needs to be stronger, you can also remelt & add a few more drops of the oils until it suits the strength you want.

  • You can use coconut oil for this as well. Just made some. Love it!!

    • Diana 98

      My thoughts exactly! You wouldn’t even have to heat it. 76-77 degrees and coconut oil is melted.

    • Pat Giesler

      Hi Stacey, I just came across this and I think I would like to use the coconut oil. Did you replace the olive oil for the coconut oil and then use the other oils.

  • I made this today and it smells wonderful. It seems not solid enough could I remelt this and add more beeswax to make it more firm?

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  • Marci

    Would it be possible to substitute coconut oil for the olive oil or would that alter it somehow? I have a huge tub of coconut oil & try to use it in the things I make but I don’t want to waste my beeswax if I really DO need to use olive oil.

    • It would work fine, except it may give the finished product a slight coconut odor 🙂

  • Mrs. Williams

    I’m impressed that you are willing to give away your recipes in addition to selling your products. As a new wife and stepmommy– MANY THANKS!

  • Claire

    Would this be safe to use on a 1 year old? I know regular Vicks says don’t use it on kids under 2, but maybe this one is okay since it’s essential oils?

    • I use it on my kids over 12 months, on the bottoms of their feet. I don’t use peppermint oil in mine at all though because Ive heard it’s not safe for younger kids.

  • I made this and it hardly has a scent to it. I might need to tweak the amount of essential oils in it. Has anyone else made this and it not have a strong scent to it?

    • Just want to add, that I appreciate having this recipe to go by – as I’ve been intimidated for a long time at the thought of making my own. It sure feels good to have someone like you who shares your knowledge – thank you so much 🙂

      • Your quite welcome 🙂 And with the scent, just remelt & add more essential oils (or add in peppermint essential oil as well) until you reach the scent strength you desire. Some of us are more sensitive to smells than others – so it’s great to be able to tweak it until it suits ‘you’. Custom designed vapor rub, I like that 😉

  • Gwyneth

    I don’t have beeswax. What can I sub it with?

    • Petroleum jelly. I used to make the real stuff.

      • Petroleum jelly is a by-product of oil drilling. Why would you want to put gasoline on your skin?

        • What the what?

          Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of REFINING. Drilling for oil results in acquiring crude oil from the earth that is heated and cooled at different temperatures to get different products. One is definitely NOT putting gasoline on their bodies when putting on petroleum jellies.

    • I’m not really sure. Beeswax is what solidifies it into the rub. Otherwise, it would be liquid.

      • kate

        Crisco works as well, and many people have that handy.

  • Pkhappy

    Can i use shea butter instead of beeswax since i have it on hand?

    • I’ve never used that before – but I don’t think it would make a difference in the healing power. It would make more of a difference in the texture of it than anything.

  • Hey everybody! Do you mind sharing how exactly this rub is to be used?

    • You use it on your chest or bottoms of kids’ feet (with cotton socks on top to hold it on). I also like to use a little bit underneath my nose to help clear up my stuffy nose.

  • Cookiemom

    I LOVE this stuff! Thank you so much Crystal aka Mrshappyhomemaker. I just discovered rubbing it on the forehead helped with a headache I HAD coming on.

  • youngcanada – essential oils

    this is an excellent recipe – unless you use petruleum jelly – which is very bad for you – stick to the beeswax for your health – http://www.facebook.com/youngCanada.essentialoils?ref=hl

  • I have lemon eucalyptus oil do you think that would work?

    • I’ve never used that kind, but as long as it doesn’t have an overpoweringly lemon scent – I don’t see why not.

  • Lauren Decker

    I love this recipe. I’m also going to make it with peppermint oil as a headache remedy.

    • Shanda

      How much peppermint did you use & does it work well?

  • Elle

    Great recipe…can I use Grapeseed oil instead of Olive oil?

    • Sure, I don’t see a problem with that!

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  • Teresa Duke

    Thanks for the recipe. I use Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. The oils are potent so I may be able to use less for this recipe. Peppermint would work nicely also, I have never heard of any problems using on children. As a matter of fact I have used a drop of oil with extra virgin olive oil directly on a childs skin. We are told not to put directly because unless you are educated about essential oils some people may not know how to apply and a drop is all that is needed with a carrier oil to dilute. Also the bottoms of the feet are the best place for any essential oils to be applied for the pores are largest on your feet and the oils will go where they are needed. The oils have a brain of their own.

  • Donna

    In the directions above, it does say it has a shelf life of 1 year.

  • deb

    Can I ask which types of rosemary, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils you are using. I.e Is it the moroccan rosemary, eucalyptus globulous or smithi or polybractea, true lavender or spike lavender or a lavandin?

    • I’m so sorry, but I have no idea. It’s the NOW brand – and is just sold as rosemary, eucalyptus, & lavender essential oils.

    • Katherine Weber-Turcotte

      This is an excellent question as is the grade of the essential oils that you are using. I am not here to promote a company like Young Living, or Aura Cacia, my oils are distilled and are therapeutic grade from my college. There are Latin binomial names for these oils and they should be used. There is more than one Eucalyptus – another being E. smithii, there are many Lavenders and there is a huge difference between Lavender (L. angustofolia) and Lavandin oil.
      Really, I understand you wanting to help people make natural products at home but there are people that will get reactions from specific oils (that is why patch testing should be done) and you need to have a little more knowledge before promoting off brand oil. Oils are well known for being adulterated.

  • val henderson

    I use a mix of 1,2,3 LER in one teaspoon of carrier. 1 drop lemon, 2 drops Eucalytus and 3 drops Rosemary. I rub it on my sinus cavities, throat, lymph glands and chest as soon as I start to feel cold sysmptoms and it works wonders. Rubbing lavender on my scalp neat gets rid of sinus headache and I add the peppermint to the mix for flu. Way less oils and same result.

    • Shanda

      What do you mean by scalp neat?

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  • Mandy Hays

    Could I use ghee in place of the olive oil in this and your homemade Neosporin?

    • I’ve never used ghee in these before, so I’m not sure I could advise on this.

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  • Amy Woods

    my friend is allergic to lavender what could she use instead?

    • She could just omit the lavender oil & increase the other oils by a few drops each.

  • I’ve worked with essential oils extensively. I just wanted to let you know that air, heat, and light degrade essential oils. Think about it, we use essential oil warmers to release the essence within the oils. We add essential oils to our warm/hot baths to release the essence within the oils. Once those essences are released there’s nothing left. So it’s no good to add the essential oils right after you take the olive oil/bees wax mixture off the heat. I suggest that you allow it to cool a bit first, not enough for it to solidify of course, but enough so that the essential oils are not degraded as much when added. Just some food for thought. Otherwise it sounds like a great idea. Thanks!

    • Pete Adin

      I agree, I feel that high heat will degrade the essential oils, and also the clear glass jars, the light will have some effect on the oils as well, keep the jars wrapped in aluminum foil while not in use. But I suppose if this is working for everyone, then you must be doing things right!! Thanks for the recipe and the posting.

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  • lilangel

    I made this and its giving my 2 1/2 year ols a rash where it was put(on chest and back) Small red dots. Why?

    • He could be allergic to bee products (the beeswax), or have a sensitivity to it at his age. Or he could even have a sensitivity to the essential oil. I would not use any more on him right now since he’s experiencing that type of reaction.

      • lilangel

        Okay thanks 🙁 I’m guessing its one of the rosemary or the eucalyptus (I make diaper rash cream out of beeswax,olive oil and lavender and his bottom is fine 🙁 im sad it did not work out for him, it does smell so nice

        • You could try making smaller batches, one with just rosemary & lavender – and one with eucalyptus & lavender and see if one will work better than the other.

          • lilangel

            Thanks I will give that a shot it seemed to help him too, the dots did not come right away too maybe a few days later maybe just using it everyday for him may have been too much

        • vulcangeek

          You could also try using less of one of the oils that may be causing the irritation.

  • lilangel

    I forgot to say the rash started coming after a couple times of applying it.(using it for about 2 weeks not everyday but he has had a cold off and on)

  • Jessica Smith

    I like the idea of using a “flowery” type oil in this, but I can’t use lavender oil, it makes me stuffy smelling it. Is there another oil that is similar that I could use? (I can’t use any type of lavender or lavendum (sp?))

    • You could just omit the lavender all together if you want – or you could add in any other essential oil that you like the scent of to give it a different smell.

  • Paula Morgan

    I have a question…What can I substitute for the Lavender Oil?? I am very allergic to Lavender.

    • You could just leave it out completely – and increase the other oils by about 5-10 drops each.

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    wondering if i could use peppermint and eucalyptus only in this and would it work the same?? my nose constantly stays stuffy.

    • Yes, I’m sure you could – just increase them to get the same ‘unstuffing power’ so to speak with the essential oil fragrances.


        THANK YOU!!! cant wait to try it!

  • joanna banana

    Hi, I was wondering about making this a thicker consistency for a rub-on, to pour into a chapstick or deodorant-type dispenser. Do you think using coconut oil and beeswax, omitting olive oil would do it? Or would you recommend something else?

  • Gum Tree Lane

    Love this recipe. I have made something similar but used our Peppermint Gum Essential Oil. We love rubbing it on our feet the minute a sniffle comes our way!!

  • Bnar

    Thanks for sharıng..what can i use instead of Beeswax ,as we don’t have it in stores here

    • Shanda

      It seems as if we aren’t getting any replies, but you can order beeswax pellets from Amazon. Also, if you have a Whole Foods where you live, they have it in block form (A LOT HARDER).

  • Shanda C.

    What is the best type of beeswax to use for this? I’m new to making all of these crafty things, but I really want to try this. Also, do I get pellets or a slab? Where do I get it?

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  • Angela

    Caan extra virgin coconut oil be use instead of the olive oil?

  • Marley

    I have read and researched that Eucalyptus Oil is not recommended for children under a certain age, as it can cause breathing problems. Just thought I would pass this info along. Just want to inform for safety sake, and We as parents can make our own decisions for our own child….so please don’t take offense…..

  • Heather Garza

    This recipe above fills how many 4 ounce jars?

  • A Campbell Cobbs

    I use coconut oil, beeswax and cold pressed Vicks plant.

  • Kimberly Woodward

    if you don’t know where to get beeswax can you use honey?

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