This homemade citrus soap recipe has a vibrant, uplifting scent, luxurious lather and many skin care benefits. The natural DIY soap bars are made with a melt and pour base and need just 10 minutes prep – ideal for soap making for beginners! The tutorial shows how to make melt and pour soap and gives different citrus essential oil blends for soap.
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Homemade citrus soap recipe – Quick and easy melt and pour soap DIY
One sniff and you’ll fall in love with this homemade citrus soap recipe! Citrus essential oils are highly aromatic, and I find them very uplifting and energizing. This homemade soap recipe not only smells amazing, but citrus oils are also excellent for your skin. And while homemade soap recipes with essential oils look complex, I promise it’s easy to pull off at home.
In this easy soap making recipe, you’ll learn:
- the skincare benefits of citrus soap
- 5 citrus essential oil combinations for soap
- how to make citrus melt and pour soap
- tips for how to store melt and pour soap
Citrus soap benefits
Is citrus soap good for the skin? Citrus essential oils have a multitude of benefits for the mind, body and skin. Combine these benefits with a nourishing melt and pour base and you have wonderfully fragrant, skin-loving citrus soap!
- anti-inflammatory – Many citrus oils contain d-Limonene, a compound with potent anti-inflammatory properties that soothe skin irritations.
- anti–bacterial – Citrus essential oils possess antibacterial properties and are a natural option to banish bacteria from the skin. Orange EO is particularly effective. (source)
- rejuvenating – The antioxidants found in citrus essential oils neutralise free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative damage.
- brightening and anti-ageing – Essential oils from the citrus family even out your skin tone and are helpful to improve pigmentation, acne scars and other skin blemishes.
- stimulates cell growth – Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, citrus essential oils are said to boost the growth of new tissue and skin cells.
- improves circulation – Citrus essential oils stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation, which can leave your skin looking plumper and healthier.
- uplifting – The refresh and bright citrus scent never fails to evoke a positive mood and makes you feel good.
Citrus soap making supplies
Here is a list of the soap making ingredients and tools we need for this DIY melt and pour soap recipe:
- soap base – I prepared the recipe with goats milk because I love the nourishment this soap base provides. But you can use other any melt and pour soap bases, too.
- citrus essential oils – Lots of options here: lemon, sweet orange, grapefruit, lime, tangerine, mandarin, neroli, bergamot, blood orange, petitgrain, and yuzu are all members of the citrus family. I have listed 5 blend ideas below, and you can learn more about each oil in this post (coming soon).
- decorations (optional) – I decorated my soap with dried orange slices, granulated orange zest, and calendula petals.
- colourant (optional) – For a little colour, dye the soap with mica. Without dye, the salt soap recipe is white.
- soap mold – I used this round 4-oz soap mold to form my lemon soap bars. A classic rectangular silicone soap mould works well, too.
- cutting board and paring knife – A knife and cutting board are required to cut the melt and pour soap base into smaller pieces before melting.
- measuring cup – A large heat-proof measuring cup or pitcher is needed to melt the soap.
Best essential oils for citrus soap
You probably already guessed it: I love melt and pour soap recipes using essential oils! But can you use essential oils in soap? Yes, essential oils are perfect for how to scent soap naturally and give additional skincare benefits.
While pure lemon soap or orange soap are appealing, I enjoy combining oils to create more complex notes. Each member of the citrus family has a unique note and blending them creates the most wonderful, harmonious fragrances.
If you’re new to essential oils, try one of my suggestions first. As you become more familiar with EOs, you will gain confidence and discover your own scent combinations.
Citrus scent essential oil combinations for soap
Here is my citrus-inspired soap scents list. The amounts are for one 4-oz/ 115 g soap bar.
Drop a comment and tell me your favourite citrus soap blend!
Citrus essential oils and photosensitivity
Some cold-pressed citrus oils are photosensitive and can cause a phototoxic reaction (burns and blistering) on the skin under sun exposure.
Good news first: sweet orange, blood orange, neroli, tangerine, mandarin, petitgrain and yuzu are NOT phototoxic and can be safely used in DIY skincare recipes.
Cold-pressed lemon, lime, grapefruit and bergamot are phototoxic. Since soap is a wash-off product, you could still use them. But ideally, choose bergapten free bergamot EO and steam distilled lemon, lime and grapefruit oils.
How to make citrus soap
How do you make homemade citrus soap? It turns out, this citrus soap recipe is incredibly quick and easy to make. Let me walk you through the process:
- Prep. Place the soap mould on a cutting board or small tray. Using a tray allows us to lift and move the mould.
- Cut the soap. Chop the soap base into 1-inch / 2 cm pieces and place in a microwave-safe jug or container.
- Melt the soap. Melt the soap base in the microwave using 30-second bursts.
- Add essential oils. Once melted, add the essential oils and mica powder. Stir with a spoon or spatula to fully mix in.
- Pour the soap. Spritz the soap mould with alcohol. Pour the soap into the mould and spritz the top with alcohol to disperse any bubbles.
- Decorate the citrus soap. Carefully put a dried citrus slice on the soap or sprinkle the top with citrus zest and calendula petals.
- Cool. Put the mould into the fridge and let the soap fully harden, which usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.
- Unmould. Once hard, remove the citrus soap bar from the mould.
How to decorate homemade citrus soap
I dyed my citrus soap recipe with mica and decorated the DIY soap bars with dried citrus slices, zest and calendula petals. Here’s what you need to know about adding lemon zest to melt and pour soap:
Can I add lemon zest in melt and pour soap?
- fresh lemon zest: If you plan to use your homemade lemon soap quickly, it’s okay to add fresh lemon zest. Eventually, fresh ingredients will go bad in melt and pour soap, so I don’t recommend storing the soap for long periods of time.
- dried citrus zest: Dried citrus zest doesn’t spoil, and your citrus soap bar will last longer.
No matter fresh or dried, expect the zest to “bleed” into the soap (meaning some of the colour from the zest will leak into the soap.) I think this is a rather pretty effect.
Shelf life and storage of DIY citrus soap
How do you store melt and pour soap? Once the citrus soap is completely hard and cool, unmould it and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap/clingfilm. I also place my DIY hand soap bar in an airtight container to protect it from humidity.
Store this citrus soap melt and pour soap recipe in a dry, cool place until you’re ready to use your homemade soap bars. Avoid direct sunlight and heat.
The soap has a one year shelf life.
More melt and pour soap recipes
If you like free soap tutorials like this one, here are a few more easy homemade soap recipes to try:
- sea salt soap recipe
- lavender honey lemon soap
- eucalyptus soap
- sugar soap scrub bars
- moisturizing soap for dry skin
- antibacterial hand soap
- pumpkin spice soap
- peppermint soap
- liquid hand soap
- DIY exfoliating soap
- homemade cold process soap recipe
Over to you!
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