Many people, men and women alike, enjoy going to the spa. Those who are uncomfortable with professional spas or can’t afford a spa day opt to create a spalike atmosphere at home and enjoy a light doze in the warm water. If you don’t have time for an all-out spa bath but need to decompress, you can use a shower steamer. The steamers are balls or discs of scented oils and other ingredients that dissolve in water. When placed opposite your shower head, the steam slowly dissolves the shower steamer and releases the scents from the essential oils. Make your own shower steamers at home so you can personalize them; they also make good additions to gift baskets and Christmas stockings.
Mix together 2 parts baking soda to 1 part citric acid. Citric acid is a white, very tart powder available in most grocery stores. Whisk the baking soda and the citric acid together briskly for about a minute. Thorough mixing is essential to evenly distribute ingredients.
Add just a little powdered coloring pigment, about a teaspoon for each cup of mixture you have. For instance, if you mixed 2 cups of baking soda and 1 cup of citric acid, you end up with 3 cups of mixture and need 3 teaspoons of pigment. Powdered pigment is very concentrated and will deepen when you mix the rest of the ingredients. Whisk in the color thoroughly.
Drip in some essential oils, about 10 drops at first. Slowly add more until you get the scent you want. Use any combination you like, keeping in mind how you want to use them. Citrus combinations help you wake up in the morning, while lavender, mint and melon scents help you relax. Eucalyptus, mint and cinnamon also help clear sinuses and soothe colds. Stir the mixture thoroughly.
Pour some witch hazel into a spray bottle. Hold the bottle in one hand about 6 inches from your mixture and begin stirring the mixture with your other hand. Spray witch hazel continuously until the mixture just begins to stick together. Stop spraying immediately.
Scoop up some of the mixture and begin pressing it into candy molds of your choice. Discs and balls are most common, but you could use leaves, flowers or animals for a whimsical touch. Work quickly; if the mixture hardens before you can get it into the molds, you can’t break it up again.
Wait about 10 minutes and pop the steamers out of the molds. Let them dry for four or five hours. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until you use them.