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Can You Put Vicks in the Bathtub or Use in the Shower?

A cold can be particularly harsh when you’re battling flu-like symptoms and yearn for the comforting embrace of a warm, decongestant bath.

Naturally, you might be tempted to try a Vicks bath, correct?

However, adding a generous dollop of Vicks directly into your steamy bathwater is a big mistake!

Once the burning sensation subsides, discover the correct method to utilize Vicks in a bathtub or shower.

vicks vaporub

Benefits of Using Vicks When Bathing or Taking a Shower

Using Vicks and hot water together will help you decongest.

Vicks VapoRub is enriched with essential oils such as eucalyptus and menthol, which all contribute to clearing out your sinuses and improving air flow.

When colds hit, rubbing Vicks on your chest and back is a great way to get ahead of stuffiness.

Adding the healing benefits of a hot shower or bath to the mix is a great health boosting hack.

How to Use Vicks in the Bathtub

There are several ways to use Vicks in your bathtub.

You now also get several Vicks products to make bath time easier with Vicks.

3 Ways to Use Vicks in the Bathtub

What you don’t want to do is dump a spoonful of Vicks in the tub when taking a bath.

Vicks contains menthol.

If you’ve added a large blob of Vicks to your warm or hot bath, it will burn your skin.

Instead of simply adding Vicks directly to your bathwater, rather try these great ways to use Vicks in the bathtub.

1. Rub Vicks on Your Skin

A safe way to use Vicks is to rub it on your skin before the bath.

This allows a limited amount of Vicks to be absorbed by your skin while also creating a soothing eucalyptus mist as your skin heats up with the hot bath water.

By applying Vicks to your skin and not simply adding it to the bath water, you prevent that slippery mess Vicks makes at the bottom of the bath after you drain the bath.

2. Apply Vicks to Your Wash Cloth 

The idea with Vicks and a hot bath is to heat up the soothing Vicks rub.

Applying some Vicks to a hot-soaked face cloth helps release the healing vapor into the area around the bath, so the vapor heals you while bathing.

Take care not to wipe your face with your face cloth when you have applied Vicks to it.

Simply place the face cloth on the side of the bath or over the hot tap.

3. Vicks Bath Salts

Vicks bath salts are infused with Vicks.

Up to 12 baths
Vicks VapoBath Bath Salts, Contains Essential Oils
$17.44 ($0.04 / Ounce)

Vicks VapoBath non-medicated bath salts are specially formulated to transform your bath into a soothing & relaxing experience. Infused with a proprietary blend of eucalyptus and essential oils + scents of menthol & camphor for the ultimate bath time experience.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/07/2024 01:42 am GMT

While you can buy the actual Vicks bath salts, you can also make your own.

Here’s a simple recipe for Vicks bath salts:


  • 2-3 cups Epsom salts 
  • A few drops soap dye (optional)
  • 1½ – 2 tablespoons Vicks VapoRub (alternatively, use Vicks BabyRub if you are sensitive)


Mix all the ingredients together, store in an air-tight glass jar, and ladle out a few handfuls under hot water when taking a bath.

Can You Put Vicks in the Bath for a Toddler?

You certainly can use Vicks bath salts or a Vicks bath bomb in the bath for a toddler, but be sure to use half the amount of Vicks when you are making your own bath salts, and reduce the quantity you add to the bath.

Supervise your toddler during bath time with any Vicks products, and if your child likes to splash in the tub, consider giving them some swimming goggles to wear to keep any accidental Vicks splashes out of their eyes.

When in doubt, opt for Vicks BabyRub in your bath products, ensuring your toddler is extra safe.

Gentle Formula
Vicks BabyRub Chest Rub Ointment with Soothing Aloe, Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Rosemary

Vicks BabyRub's formula is non-medicated and specially formulated for babies aged 3 months and older. It is formulated with petrolatum and aloe vera to leave your baby's skin feeling soft and comfortable.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/07/2024 02:12 am GMT

Can You Use Vicks VapoBath While Pregnant?

Since Vicks VapoBath is applied in the bath and has contact with only your skin, it is safe to use while pregnant.

If you have a previous sensitivity to Vicks VapoRub, then opt for Vicks BabyRub instead when making your own bath products.

How to Use Vicks in the Shower

It may seem impossible to use Vicks products in the shower, but you can so you can enjoy all the great vapor release that Vicks brings.

Here are a few ways to use Vicks in the shower.

1. Rub Vicks on Your Chest and Back Before Showering

This is the “original” way to apply Vicks VapoRub.

#1 selling OTC cough and cold brand
Vicks VapoRub, Lavender Scent, Cough Suppressant, Topical Chest Rub & Analgesic Ointment
$6.44 ($3.66 / Ounce)

Vicks VapoRub is a topical cough over-the-counter medicine with medicated vapors.

  • Clinically proven to reduce cough.
  • Starts working fast for proven cough relief.
  • Relieves minor aches and pains in your muscles and joints.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/07/2024 01:12 am GMT

By rubbing it onto your skin, Vicks will absorb better, with only the residue being washed off with your shower gel.

Vicks dissolves when mixed with soap, so you won’t have to worry about a slippery shower pan when you’re done showering.

2. Make a Vicks Shower Tablet

This is an easy way to get all of the Vicks vapor benefits without having to actually make contact with the product.

Follow this easy recipe for mixing Vicks shower tablets:


  • A cup of cornstarch powder
  • 4-5 tablespoons Vicks VapoRub
  • ½ a cup of baking soda 
  • Water to mix 
  • An old ice cube freezer tray


Mix the cornstarch and Vicks well.

Add the baking soda, and add a teaspoon of water at a time until you have a sticky mixture that you can compress into the ice cube trays.

Freeze for a few hours, then press the tablets out and store in an airtight glass jar.

To use Vicks shower tablets, place a tablet on the shower drain before showering.

As the hot water from the shower melts the tablet, the vapor will be released.

If you don’t have time to make your own Vicks VapoRub shower tablets, you can buy the real Vicks shower tablet product.

Specially formulated shower steamers
Vicks VapoShower Plus, Clean Dissolving Vapor Shower Tablets
$19.76 ($1.65 / Count)

Vicks VapoShower PLUS shower steamer tablets infuse into your shower steam to deliver an even stronger burst of comforting, non-medicated Vicks Vapors.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/07/2024 02:30 am GMT

These tablets are placed on the shower floor, where they dissolve and release the vapor.

4. A Vicks Shower Bag

You can also try a Vicks shower bag where you add the same ingredients as Vicks bath salts to an old sock or stocking and hang this in the shower.

Only add enough Vicks salts to the “bag” for one shower.

Let the stocking dry afterward and add more salts for your next shower.

The stocking will release the vapor as the salts get moist.

5. A Vicks Cup

Since a shower is a naturally confined area, you can use a Vicks cup to decongest too.

Simply add a large tablespoon of Vicks VapoRub to a cup of hot water, setting the cup in a corner of the shower.

Be sure not to kick this over.

The hot shower microclimate will release Vicks vapors to fill the shower.

6. A Vicks Towel

This may seem somewhat strange, but you can also wet a small guest towel with hot water, then rub a few streaks of Vicks VapoRub on the towel.

Hang it in the shower, where the steam from the shower will release the Vicks vapors.

To clean the towel, simply soak it in warm water with laundry detergent and two tablespoons of white vinegar.


Is it safe to put Vicks in your bath?

While it’s safe to put Vicks in your bathwater, you should not place a lump of Vicks into the water as this will melt unevenly, leave large residue streaks all over your bath, and potentially burn your skin if you should have contact with the Vicks lump. Once drained, the Vicks residue will also make your bath slippery.

How long does Vicks VapoShower last?

Vicks VapoShower tablets only last a few minutes per tablet. This should be sufficient time for a quick morning shower, but for longer showers, you would need to add more than one tablet to your shower.

Chantelle Farrell

Chantelle is a professional cosmetologist who runs her own skin care clinic Amaranthine Aesthetics. She specializes in anti-aging treatment and natural skin care procedures that restore skin beauty and keep it healthy over time.

As a skin care expert, Chantelle enjoys sharing her advice about reliable skin care products, techniques, and aftercare procedures. She believes that everyone should take care of their body and skin and can do that effectively when armed with proper knowledge.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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