Will Vicks in a Wax Tart Warmer Relieve Congestion?

Will Vicks in a Wax Tart Warmer Relieve Congestion?
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My kids are, and always have been, crazy for Vicks. According to them, Vicks is the miracle cure for everything. If they could eat it with a spoon, they probably would.

On the other hand, I don’t much care for Vicks, but I am crazy for wax tart warmers. I can make the house smell lovely and not have to worry about open flames around animals or crazy children who run amok. Tart warmers and I are totally BFF.

So as the winter Yuck crept upon us and noses were stuffed beyond un-stuffing, I thought about the Pinterest idea I’d seen for using Vicks in a tart warmer to help relieve nasal congestion.

As the story goes, a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of Vicks in your ‘lil tart warmer will fill the air with the magical decongestant powers of eucalyptus vapors.

In the name of science, I moved one of my tart warmers into my youngest’s room and placed a tablespoon of both water and Vicks upon it. I turned the warmer on and let the magic do it’s thing. My son fell asleep about 9 pm.

So. Did it work?


At 1:30 am, my youngest awoke me to announce that “that stupid Pinterest idea doesn’t work” and “can I please have something to actually unplug my nose?”

I thought he was just being crabby. I walked into his room, fully expecting to be greeted by the aroma of Vicks. I had not yet caught the winter Yuck the boys were suffering from, so I should have been able to smell Vicks…

…but there was nothing. At all.

Until I got right over the tart warmer.

For reals.

Our 1:30 am verdict on this Pinterest idea was that unless you want to fall asleep snuggling the tart warmer/Vicks contraption right under your nose, you’re probably not going to get any worthwhile congestion relief from it. It did not fill the air with the magical decongestant powers of eucalyptus vapors.

It did not, I say.

Does Vicks in a wax tart warmer work to relieve congestion? Find out what my sons discovered when they came down with a cold. - The Hmmmschooling Mom

As an aside from the mom in me: have you ever tried to wash Vicks off of something plastic or ceramic? Vicks is like bacon grease mixed with Vaseline mixed with glue. Don’t ever add this to your dishes to-do list if you don’t have to.

We have found we get the most from our Vicks by simply rubbing it on the congested person’s chest or feet. I know. We’re kind of old school and unexciting.

How else do we deal with with congestion and Winter Yuck?

We really dig peppermint, thieves or RC essential oils.

We’ve started making a lovely little recipe called Fire Cider. (No, Fire Cider does not contain alcohol. Yes, it is spicy.) It uses the power of garlic, horseradish, ginger, and other goodies to open your sinuses right up! Some folks say that if you take a bit of it everyday, it will act as a preventative to various Yucks.

I have friends who swear by Homemade Elderberry syrup. Have you tried that?

Remember, self care doesn’t have to be complicated. The Sparrow’s Home reminds us there are lots of simple things you can do when cold symptoms set in. Forgetful Momma also talks about the cold and flu essentials she keeps around.

What’s your tried-and-true way of dealing with the congestion of Winter Yuck?

Tired of the sugarcoated version of homeschooling? Read my book The Homeschool Highway: How to Navigate Your Way Without Getting Carsick.

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3 thoughts on “Will Vicks in a Wax Tart Warmer Relieve Congestion?”

  • You'd probably be better off just using straight up eucalyptus oil in the warmer. That's disappointing that it didn't work, but those of us who dread the annual bout of February pneumonia appreciate the testing! Get well soon!

  • My mom does this now and again, but she makes a little tent with a towel and uses it just for instant relief. I bought the actual vick's humidifer awhile back- must have been 9yrs or so now! And it was absolutely awful. Yeah- you mentioned that bacon grease stuff?? It was ALL over our walls. We didn't notice it until it actually started dripping down, and it was a nightmare to clean off. Gross!

  • Elderberry syrup all the way!! It especially helps with coughs, not so much nasal congestion. We took it faithfully last year and none of us had flu or a cold until spring.

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