Another part of homesteading that interests us is making our own personal products. We usually spend big bucks around the holidays at places like Bath & Body Works or Lush. While we haven’t been brave enough to try soap yet (burning my face off with lye doesn’t sound pleasant), we did experiment with making lavender shower melts.
I followed The Homestead Survival’s instructions for DIY Eucalyptus shower melts. I didn’t have any Eucalyptus essential oil handy, so I switched it out for lavender.
You can purchase the eight most common essential oils here.
The benefits of lavender are expansive, including soothing skin irritations, promoting relaxation, and easing tension (doTERRA). B takes a lavender bath at least once a week as a method of self-care. However, we don’t always have time for a relaxing bath, so we thought this would be a good way to get the same great benefits of lavender, but in the shower!
The blog calls for the following materials:
1 cup cornstarch
6 drops lavender essential oil
4 tbsp water
6 drops food dye (optional)
Ice cube tray
The instructions say to combine the food coloring and cornstarch in a bowl. Then add the water one tablespoon at a time while mixing constantly.
As if it were that easy.
If you’ve ever made homemade slime with your kids, you know that when you mix cornstarch and water, it becomes a semi-solid when you apply pressure, but is a liquid when you don’t.
This made mixing the melt concoction really difficult and unamusing. As soon as I started putting water in, the cornstarch started to clump up.
For me, four tablespoons of water wasn’t enough, so I added about four more. I started with four drops of each blue and red food coloring to get a purple color, and added two more of each later to make it a bit darker.
When I added the extra water, it made it a bit easier to stir the mix. Folding it worked better for me – I would scoop up the mixture so it hardened, and then let it drip back down as a liquid. This was more effective than trying to fight to stir it, coating myself and the kitchen in cornstarch. T thought I was injured at one point because I apparently had a really angry look on my face.
After I won the fight against the mixture, I poured it into the ice cube tray. The instructions said to freeze it for an hour, or longer if you’d used more water.
I’m super impatient, so I took it out right at an hour. They had frozen solid, so I cracked them open like you would, ya know, an ice cube tray. I took one out, and, like an ice cube, it immediately started melting back into the mixture goop into my hand. I put them back in for another 15 minutes.
It was 10pm by this time, and I’m an old person in young person’s body, so I was ready for my shower and bed. I popped one out and ran across my house to the shower. I was dumb, and didn’t turn the water on or get undressed first, so I had to stand there awkwardly with it melting while I let the water get hot and stripped down.
At this point, I’m naked and have dripped cornstarch goop everywhere. Awesome.
When the water was no longer the temperature of an iceberg and I was able to get in, I dropped the melt to the bottom of the shower. The warm water immediately started melting it, as planned, and the melted mixture ran down the drain. Luckily, I did not step on the cube getting into the shower and go sprawling.
NOTE: I have no idea what this does for drains or septic systems. Try these at your own risk.
I feel like these worked overall, but there are a couple of things I would change.
- I used too much water. I should have started the folding process sooner to see if that worked instead of just adding more to dilute it. I told you I’m impatient. The original instructions say that these can be stored at room temperature if made correctly, but mine would have turned into a melty mess in my cabinet.
- I would have used more lavender essential oil. I expected an overwhelming aroma of lavender as it started to melt, but I got more of a faint smell. I really like the strong smell of lavender (I really am an old person at heart), so I was a little disappointed.
All in all, these were a win. I can use a couple at a time for a stronger smell, and I’ll just store them in my freezer. This made about 12 shower melts, but this will vary depending on the size of your ice tray.
Over the weekend, I wanted to test the “dry storage” theory. I took the melts out of the ice cube tray, set them on a paper towel, and left them for a few hours. When I came back, I was really excited to see that the extra water had melted off, but the melts were still intact!
They are fragile, but they can for sure be kept at room temperature in a container to protect them.
Any tips or tricks that you know of for DIY bath products?