In some places, when you have a baby vaginally, you’re offered a sitz or salt bath to help your healing. Doctors may advise you to sit in it several times a day. These kinds of baths can also be a soothing rear-end remedy for hemorrhoids, enemas, prostate checks, or colonoscopies.
Sitz baths are an immense relief for injuries, minor pain, itchiness, and down-there discomfort. The word ‘sitz’ is derived from the German word sitzen, which means to sit. And you only need a few inches of water. So you won’t necessarily take your sitz bath in a bathtub.
Instead, you can use a footbath, a basin, a bidet, or a commercial sitz bath kit. It looks like a portable toilet bowl and you can slip it over any standard toilet. You can add other things to your sitz bath, like salts, herbs, oils, etc. but they should be mild enough for your nethers.
You can also get sitz bath prescriptions from a gynecologist. Or specialized spa treatments for recovery. But these commercial sitz washes can be expensive. And you need your sitz bath daily! So let’s check out some pocket-friendly DIY sitz bath alternatives you can try at home.
1. Post-Baby DIY Sitz Bath
Your post-partum sitz bath focuses on healing your sore perineum, episiotomy, tearing, or stitches. It also cleanses the area to avoid any infections. So you can add Epsom salt for the pain and baking soda to relieve the itching. Dunk some herbal tea bags to make a cup or two of concentrated unsweetened green tea. Add it to your sitz bath for a touch of aromatherapy.
2. UHN’s DIY Sitz Bath
Your doctor or dermatologist might recommend a DIY sitz bath if you have pain, itchiness, irritation around your rear end. Your skin may be raw after a bout of radiation, chemo, surgery, or even diarrhea. You can take 4 or 5 sitz baths a day, each last ten to twenty minutes. Dissolve a few spoons of table salt, Epsom salt, and/or baking soda in the sitz bath.
3. Rekindled Roots Homemade Sitz Bath
DIY sitz baths can be a helpful birthing tool. And you can start before the baby comes. As the baby hangs lower and lower in your body, the extra weight and pressure leaves you feeling sore and bottom-heavy, so that sitz bath is a true blessing. Mix dried herb petals in a teabag (calendula, lavender, yarrow, comfrey) to keep them out of your crevices. Sea salt is optional.
4. Medicinal DIY Sitz Bath
Sitz baths are sometimes called perineal rinses (for your perineum). The water should be 3 or 4 inches deep so adjust the additive amounts accordingly. For this DIY sitz bath, you’ll add salt, apple cider vinegar (ACV), and baking soda. And if you don’t want to sit in those healing salts, you can mix it in a spray bottle or douche and just spritz your nether regions as needed.
5. Karen’s DIY Sitz Bath
You don’t need a prescription to buy a sitz bath kit, but you do need one to buy prepacked medicinal bath mixtures. So you can buy the sitz bowl at the store and make a cheaper alternative bath rinse at home. Plain warm water is the most basic form of DIY sitz bath ideas. But you can add salt and baking soda or steep unsweetened herbal teabags in the water first.
6. Amy’s DIY Sitz Bath
Sitz baths aren’t just for new moms and moms-to-be. A child may need one after recovering from food poisoning or a stomach upset. Or you may need nether soothing after riding a bike, a horse, or a motorcycle. Jockstraps can cause sores too. Don’t add soap to the bath– just use plain water or mix in a little Epsom salt and baking soda. Take short regular soaks.
7. MGH DIY Sitz Bath
Your doctor may not give you the same sitz bath advice as your spa, so listen to both and do what works for you. A beauty expert may recommend a douche. A doctor will suggest a peri(neal) bottle instead, and you can use this when you pee. As for the DIY sitz bath itself, 3 to 5 minutes in warm, salted water is adequate. Repeat these mini soaks throughout the day.
8. Very Well Health DIY Sitz Bath
Store-bought sitz bath kits have this IV-looking tube included in the packaging. Don’t worry about it too much, you can still use the bowl section – just slip it over your toilet bowl and you’re set. Additives you can mix into your DIY sitz bath include witch hazel, vinegar, baking soda, and Epsom salt. If you want to use sea salt instead, make sure it’s non-iodized salt.
9. DIY Epsom Sitz Bath
In many of our homes, we use table salt enriched with iodine. But iodine is a disinfectant so if you put that on a perineum with open wounds, it will sting! So stick to Epsom, pink, black, or un-iodized salt for your DIY sitz bath. And if you’re still unsure of how to use that strange-looking bowl, watch this video tutorial for a … hands-on demo. And don’t forget to disinfect!
10. Mama Natural’s DIY Sitz Bath
A DIY sitz bath can take anything from 3 minutes to 33. The idea is to use 2 to 3 inches of warm water, so when it gets too cold, you can either get out of the water or top it up to make it warmer. Cold water offers better pain relief though, so use it as cold as you can stand. Shorter baths spaced through the day (and night) are more effective than a single long soak.
11. WikiHow DIY Sitz Bath
Salt and warm water are the basics of a DIY sitz bath. But if you want to add healing essential oils, try peppermint. Its cooling effect soothes that ‘hot’ feeling you sometimes get from pain and sores. Or try calendula to heal wounds and control post-partum bleeding. Comfrey reduces swelling. Lavender is good for bruises and relaxation. Yarrow is amazing on pain.
12. DIY Sitz Baths Seven Ways
If you’re going to take 4 or 5 DIY sitz baths per day, it helps to mix things up a little. Yes, all your sitz baths need warm water and salt, but here’s are seven sets of additives you can try to spice up your soothing soak. One, plain salt; two: baking soda. Three: dried flowers; four: essential oils. Five: blueberry leaves; six: witch hazel extract. And seven: apple cider vinegar.
13. DIY Sitz Bath for Anorectal Issues
DIY sitz baths aren’t just for the ladies. And no, anorectal has no relation to anorexia. Gents may need some rear relief after a prostate exam, piles, or a day out at the Tour de France. For medicinal baths like the one recommended in this video, you need a medical-grade antiseptic like iodine. Don’t choose it yourself – it could burn! Ask the pharmacist what’s safe to use.
14. Homemade Herbal Sitz Bath
DIY sitz baths seem to have the same shopping list. But if you want to try a different variant, this article has 14 different dried herbs you can mix into your sitz bath. And by extension, you can use essential oils in any of these flavors. Other additive options include oats, baking soda, and Epsom. But always use a cloth bag to keep those bits and bobs outside your body.
15. Nalakai’s Post-Partum Sitz Bath DIY Dupe
Terrified of your first post-baby poo? Get a sitz bath kit and place it over your toilet bowl before doing that Number Two. It can soothe your perineum enough to ease the process. And you can take a toilet-top sitz bath before every toilet trip. The 9 ingredients include lavender, rosemary, comfrey, witch hazel, salt, calendula, plantain, shepherd’s purse herb, and sage.
16. DIY No-Tub Witch Hazel Sitz Bath
Not everyone has access to a bathtub. Especially if your apartment is on the smaller side. So go to any grocery store and grab a plastic bowl or basin that fits over your toilet seat. Take measurements just to be sure. If your child has a bath basin (or the kind of potty that goes on top of the main toilet), those are viable options too. Fill them high enough for skin contact.
17. DIY Post-Partum Sitz Bath
Are your older kids at a point where they’re asking where babies come from? Making a DIY sitz bath with them is a great teaching moment, regardless of their gender. After all, dads need to know this stuff too! And you can start using these baths in your last trimester to make post-baby healing easier. Plus, it’s great for lower-body comfort in those final months.
18. Saint Luke’s Sitz Bath
Sitz baths are useful for childbirth recovery and prostate procedures. Your doctor will prescribe a special medicine to dissolve in the water. But after your prescription runs out, you may still want to enjoy the baths. They can be especially effective against period cramps or bruising from wearing spandex all day. Just use regular uniodized table salt for the soak.
19. DIY Post-Partum Sitz Bath
When you cut your finger or foot, hot water and salt make an effective emergency disinfectant. And it stings! Luckily, sitting in a DIY sitz bath isn’t as bad. The water is warm or cold rather than hot, and because the salt is dissolved in the water, it soothes instead of stinging. Dissolve a few tablespoons of Epsom salt in the sitz bath kit and sit in it for a bit.
20. DIY Sitz Bath with Frankincense
If you ever watched a nativity scene, you’ve probably heard of frankincense. This essential oil has immense healing properties. Toss in some tea tree, lavender, Epsom salt, witch hazel, and sea salt. It’s the perfect healing balm for piles and post-partum problems. And don’t hover – you want the water deep enough to touch the skin down there. Direct contact is key!
21. Nurse Glory’s DIY Sitz Bath
The magic of YouTube can sometimes bring a personal nurse or doctor right into your home! So after you’ve left your favorite midwife and are home with your new baby, try this advice from Nurse Glory. (It also works for dudes with hemorrhoids.) Try a plain steam bath, but that’s risky since you could scald yourself. It’s safer to use a lukewarm saltwater sitz bath.
22. DIY Toilet Seat Sitz Bath
There’s some controversy about sitz baths for postpartum stitches. But doctors confirm 4 or more daily baths are fine because childbirth stitches are designed to dissolve naturally. You won’t need the doctor to remove them – they’ll just heal and fall off. So buy a sitz bath kit that fits over your toilet. Some come with a safe sitz bath mixture, so you can use that too.
23. DIY Sitz Bath Tips
Dr. Chung is fully in the anti-sitz-bathtub brigade. He explains that typical foldable sitz baths put more pressure on your hemorrhoids, making them worse. But you can use a wider basin, take shorter soaks, or buy a sitz bath kit with a wider mouth. If you can use a wide-rimmed basin and keep your soaks under 5 minutes, a salty sitz bath can be a useful rear-end balm.
24. DIY Sitz Bath for Post-Partum Relief
You know you shouldn’t pick at stitches or scabs. But sometimes you can’t help it! So when you feel a down-there itch after delivering your baby, consider sitting in an oatmeal sitz bath. The oatmeal isn’t essential, but you want Epsom salt, baking soda, and a soothing essential oil like lavender or chamomile. The tightening properties of witch hazel are helpful too.
25. DIY Sitz Bath Salts + Tea
With a regular bath, you want a muslin bath to hold your botanicals. It keeps them from clogging the sewer system and makes it easier to clean the tub afterward. But for a tea-based DIY sitz bath, tea bags or tea balls are essential to stop dry herbs from heading the wrong way. The recipe has calendula + raspberry petals with lavender + frankincense oil and Epsom salt.
26. DIY Sitz Bath for Haemrrhoids
As Dr. Chung mentioned, the problem with sitz bath kits is they force your already swollen hemorrhoids into a narrow space, making the discomfort worse. So you can still use a DIY sitz bath mix, but it’s better if you sit your bottom flat on the floor of the tub, basin, or baby bath to reduce gravity’s effect. Plain salt is fine, Epsom is better, and short baths are best.
27. DIY Perineal Rinse Sitz Tea
For childbirth challenges, a longer sitz bath is fine. But for both vaginal and anal rinse (hemorrhoids, constipation, etc.), you’re better off taking 3 to 5-minute baths spread a few hours apart. Especially if you’re using a sitz bath kit. Ingredients include chamomile teabags, rosemary needles, helichrysum essential oil (aka everlasting flowers), or frankincense oil.
28. Mommypotamus DIY Sitz Bath
You probably feel heavy and bloated after childbirth. Especially in your vaginal area. And you might have tears, bruises, or stitches. But even if you escaped the needles and wounds, everything feels sore and out of sync. Try this DIY sitz bath – it works wonders! You’ll need dried herbs (chamomile, yarrow, calendula, plantain leaf, witch hazel, lavender) and sea salt.
29. Wilsons DIY Sitz Bath
When your kids get older, finding alone time for a bath becomes an Olympic sport. So train your partner early by scheduling daily sitz baths. They’ll help your vagina heal, soothe your frazzled spirits, and establish a household routine of ‘leaving mama alone at bath-time’. You only need 5 minutes of sitzing at a time but feel free to milk it. And steep the tea overnight!
30. Healthy Mama Hacks DIY Sitz Bath
When you’re taking a sitz bath, you don’t need to soak your whole body. It’s targeting your perineum – that’s the flap of flesh between your vagina and your anus. It may also target your genitals more generally, especially if you have constipation, piles, or stitches. So you only need enough water to submerge these sections in sea salt, baking soda, and lavender.
31. Daphenomenal’s DIY Yoni Steam Sitz Bath
Some sitz bath kits have pumps to push the saltwater up your vulva. But for a truly effective sitz bath, you need the water to touch your sore skin. So even if you’re using aromatic steam to soothe your muscles, make sure it’s not too hot to touch. Your nethers have been through enough! Try this bain of eucalyptus, sour orange, papaya, anise, cooling mint + bugleweed.
32. DIY Olive Oil Sitz Bath
Essential oils are typical ingredients for herbal baths. But they’re concentrated so you may worry about harming the sensitive cells in your vulva and vagina. Adding olive oil as a carrier can partly dilute and moisturize your sore skin. This DIY sitz bath recipe also has Epsom salt, witch hazel, and baking soda. The essential oil infusions used are lavender and chamomile.
33. Aroma Hut DIY Sitz Bath
DIY sitz baths aren’t just good for post-partum care and prostate problems. They can also be helpful for UTI and yeast infections. And they can reduce lower back pain from childbirth, spinal injuries, or menstrual cramps. Put an essential oil blend into your bathtub or sitz bath kit for quick relief. A useful blend is sandalwood, lavender, and chamomile in a 3:2:1 ratio.
What’s your favorite DIY sitz bath? Show us how you make it in the comments!