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diy orange soap

How to Make Orange Soap with Blood Orange Essential Oil

This orange soap recipe is made with real orange powder and blood orange essential oil. Similar to other citrus essential oils, blood orange essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. This makes this DIY citrus soap especially suitable for acne prone and combination skin. Keep reading to discover how to create this orange cold process soap for your natural skin care routine this summer.

diy orange soap

DIY Orange Soap

These DIY orange soaps are great for summer! During the summer months, skin tends to be oilier than usual. We also sweat more. Therefore, I formulated a cold process soap recipe to help even skin tone and keep oil production in balance.

When creating this homemade soap, I opted to use a higher percentage of coconut oil than I normally do. As you know, in addition to an increased lather, coconut oil also tends to be extra cleansing when used at higher percentages. However, with a little maneuvering, I was still able to make my blood orange soap recipe a lower cleansing/higher conditioning bar. What this means is that your skin won’t feel stripped and dry after washing.

When using an overly cleansing soap bar, it can strip too many of your skin’s natural oils. This can result in the overproduction of oil which leads to acne and blemishes. Fortunately, I was able to strike the perfect balance of a great lather and a skin nourishing bar with my recipe.

Once my citrus soap bars cured, I used colored mica powders to give the final blood orange soaps a decorative pop of color. Of course,  you can leave these soap bars all natural if desired, as painting them is optional.

Keep reading to learn how to make orange soap with blood orange essential oil. In addition to my cold process soap recipe, I’ve also included my soapmaking notes. This will enable you to resize the soap recipe or make changes as needed when you use a lye calculator.

orange peel soap

Orange Soap Benefits

Handmade orange peel soap that contains citrus essential oils or orange peel powder provides a number of skin care benefits. Here are some of the benefits to using orange soap:

  • Most citrus essential oils and orange peel powder have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore they can help to soothe irritated skin.
  • Orange is naturally antibacterial. This not only helps to remove bacteria from skin, but it can also aid in the prevention of acne.
  • Both oranges and citrus essential oils contain antioxidants. As such, they can help to fight aging when used as part of your daily skin care routine. This is one reason why Vitamin C serums are now so popular. Just like your favorite serum, soaps made with citrus help to rejuvenate skin by neutralizing free radicals.
  • Likewise, citrus essential oils along with orange peel powder also help to brighten skin and even out skin tone. Not only can they help with hyperpigmentation, but they also help fade acne scars.
  • In addition to the antioxidants found in oranges, they also contain vital nutrients and minerals believe to assist with new cell growth.
  • When used for aromatherapy, the natural scent of orange oil can help lift your mood.
  • Like other essential oils that have either a warming or cooling effect on skin, orange oil helps to improve circulation.

Blood Orange Soap Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon

This DIY orange soap is perfect for your summer skin care routine. Made with blood orange essential oil and orange peel powder, this citrus soap recipe is a wonderful way to get glowing skin and help prevent acne outbreaks. This summer soap recipe yields just under three pounds of cold process soap prior to curing. 

handmade orange soap ingredients

Orange Soap Ingredients

As this is a cold process soap, there are several parts to this recipe. These include the soap making fats (the oils and body butter) and an alkali (the lye and water solution.) When the fats and alkali are combined, you get soap. There are also additional ingredients that are added at trace to make this a natural citrus soap. These include sodium lactate (for a harder bar,) orange peel powder, pink salt and a natural citrus essential oil blend of blood orange and petitgrain. 

Soap Making Fats

These are the ingredients you need to make this cold process blood orange soap recipe:

  • 3.2 oz. cocoa butter: The fatty acid profile of cocoa butter gives this blood orange scented soap extra conditioning properties to hydrate skin. It also helps to harden the finished homemade soap bars.
  • 8 oz. refined coconut oil: Coconut oil is used in this orange cold process soap to boost the lather. It also helps to create harder homemade soap bars. I used a higher percentage of coconut oil to formulate my DIY orange soap due to the high volume of shea butter and olive oil also included in the recipe.
  • 4.8 oz. hemp oil: Hemp oil is one my favorite carrier oils for dry or irritated skin. Not only is hemp seed oil moisturizing due to the high level of unsaturated fats, but it also helps to give soap lather a boost.
  • 10.25 oz. pomace olive oil: I love using pomace olive oil as it is more affordable than the virgin version. Additionally, pomace olive oil tends to trace faster than the other types available. It also helps to create a hard bar with a gentle, stable lather. Like some of the other ingredients used to make this orange citrus soap recipe, it also has moisturizing and skin conditioning properties.
  • 5.7 oz. refined shea butter: Similarly to cocoa butter and other natural body butters, shea butter lends soap skin conditioning properties and helps create a long lasting, hard bar of soap with a stable lather. When used on skin it also aids in the fight against acne due to its composition as well as its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant skin care properties.

Alkali (Water and Lye Solution)

Here is the amount of water and lye need to make this essential oil and fruit powder cold process soap recipe: 

  • 9.75 oz. distilled water: The water in this orange soap recipe is used to both dilute and dissolve the lye so that it can mixed into the soap making fats. It’s important to use distilled water as tap water contains trace minerals that may react negatively with the sodium hydroxide.
  • 4.3 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide: Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, is an alkali. When mixed with fats, it causes a chemical reaction called saponification that makes soap. 
  • 1 oz. sodium lactate (60% solution): Sodium lactate is used to harden soap. This ingredient will be mixed into the lye-water solution once it has cooled.

Orange Soap Ingredients Added at Trace

These ingredients should be added to the soap batter once it reaches a light trace:

  • 1.6 oz. orange peel powder: As a citrus powder, orange peel provides a number of benefits for skin. Not only does it help protect skin from free radicals, but it also helps to hydrate skin, soothe itching and inflammation, even skin tone and fade hyperpigmentation. And, because it prevents oxidative stress, skin appears more youthful.
  • .3 oz. fine grain pink Himalayan salt: Not only does salt help to create a harder soap bar,  but pink salt also benefits skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties. As such, it helps to soothe skin irritation and also promote healing. Like orange peel powder, it can also reduce the occurence of acne breakouts.
  • 1 oz. blood orange essential oil: Similar to the orange peel powder present in this DIY orange soap, blood orange essential oil has antioxidant skin care properties. These properties in turn assist in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, this oil helps to balance oil production, reduce damage from UV exposure and even skin tone for glowing skin. 
  • .1 oz. petitgrain essential oil: This oil is a wonderful choice for problem skin conditions including rosacea, acne and sunburns. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits help to calm and soothe skin as well as prevent breakouts. It can also help to promote healing.

Orange Peel Soap Making Tools and Equipment

In addition to the ingredients needed to make orange soap, you will also need several tools and various equipment to get started. Begin by gathering the following for this soap project:

  • Digital scale: A scale is used to weigh all of the ingredients for this summer soap recipe and the essential oil scent blends.
  • Digital laser thermometer: You need a thermometer so you can accurately judge the temperature of both the lye-water and soap making oils before you mix them together.
  • Immersion blender: Also known as a stick or hand blender, this tool makes it quick and easy to mix your scented summer soap and bring it to trace.
  • 6-cavity silicone mold: I used a simple cavity mold to mold guest sized soap bars. As this mold is silicone, there’s no need to prep or line the mold.
  • Goggles: Protective eyewear will prevent damage to your eyes if the soap batter or lye-water is splashed or spills.
  • Gloves: Nitrile gloves also protect hands from accidental burns that can occur when working with lye.
  • Pitchers and measuring cups: You’ll need a heat safe pitcher or container to mix your lye-water in as well as to weigh out the soap making ingredients.
  • Large mixing spoons: I use a long plastic spoon, like the wooden ones but plastic, to mix my lye water. I also use a heavy duty metal spoon to scoop out semi-solid oils and butters.
  • Spatula: A spatula makes it easy to get all of the soap out of the pot and into the prepared soap mold. It is also used to smooth down the layers and tops of soap.

You should also take necessary safety precautions when working with lye. If you are unfamiliar with making cold process soap, I recommend this tutorial on how to make soap to get you started. 

how to make orange soap

Orange Cold Process Soap Notes

To help you with the soap making process, I’m sharing some notes on how to make orange soap.

  • As with some of my past soap recipes, I’ve included a screenshot from SoapCalc (above) to make resizing my blood orange soap recipe easier. This screenshot also gives you an idea of the overall soap bar quality. (SoapCalc is great tool for anyone wanting to create their own custom soap recipes from scratch. You can learn how to create a custom soap recipe here using a lye calculator.)
  • Also, as my handmade orange soap is palm free, I took steps to compensate for the softer oils and butters included in the recipe. This includes a slight water discount. I also included both sodium lactate and a bit of salt in the formulation for a harder bar.
  • For the molds, I used the Crafter’s Choice basic guest round silicone soap molds. However, you can also use two of the Crafter’s Choice basic round soap molds if you’d like to make larger orange peel soaps.

blood orange soap recipe

How to Make Orange Soap

You should be familiar with making cold process soap before trying my blood orange soap recipe. If you’ve never made cold process soap — or any kind of soap in which you’re working with lye — I strongly recommend you start with a beginner soap recipe so you get a feel for the process and know you can create a successful batch. Otherwise, you’ll follow your basic these cold process soapmaking instructions to make this orange peel soap. You should adhere to all basic safety precautions when working with lye.

Here are the steps need to make orange soap with orange peel powder and blood orange essential oil:

1. Begin by measuring out the amount of water called for in the recipe into a heat safe container. Next, use a digital scale to weigh out the lye.

2. Slowly pour the lye into the water in a well ventilated area. Stir the lye until it has dissolved, then set the lye-water aside.

3. Next, weigh out the soapmaking fats – these are all of the carrier oils and butters called for in my blood orange soap recipe.

4. Heat until melted then set aside.

5. Allow the lye-water and the melted soapmaking oils to cool to around 95°F. Once they’ve reached this temperature, you’re ready to make soap.

6. Weigh out the sodium lactate and stir it into the cooled lye-water.

7. Then weigh out the pink salt, essential oils and orange powder. Add these ingredients to the soapmaking oils/butters. Then, using a stick/hand blender, thoroughly mix the ingredients into the soapmaking fats. (Alternately you can add the essential oils once your soap reaches a light trace.)

8. Now slowly pour the lye-water into the melted oils.

9. Mix with a stick blender until you reach trace then evenly pour the blood orange soap batter into the molds’ cavities.

10. If you blood orange soap gels, you should be able to remove the soap from your molds the next day or the day after. If your soap doesn’t gel, or it’s still soft the next day, wait 2-4 days before unmolding.

11. Allow your handmade orange soap bars to cure 4-6 weeks.

how to decorate orange soap

How to Decorate Orange Soaps

If desired, you can paint your handmade soaps after they have cured. Here are the steps needed to decorate your cold process soaps with mica:

1. Combine mica powder in your choice of color to a small dish. Slowly add isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to the mica powder, mixing with a small brush. You don’t want to add too much alcohol or the mica will be translucent on your soap. But you don’t want to add too little as the mica will clump on the soap. You want a paint-like texture that flows easily off the brush.

I used an orange vibrance mica powder to paint the tops and sides of my soap bars. (Alternately you can tint your soaps with mica powder by adding two to four teaspoons of mica powder to your soapmaking oils and mix prior to adding the lye-water.)

orange peel soap recipe with blood orange essential oil

2. Once the orange mica “paint” dried on my soap, I used candy apple red mica powder to paint designs on my soap bars and allowed them to dry.


Once you’ve decorated your soaps to look like orange slices, carefully wrap the blood orange scented soaps tightly in foodservice film. You can then label your handmade soaps as desired for personal use or gifting.

Handmade Orange Soap FAQ

What types of orange essential oils are used to make soap?

Orange oils make wonderful scents for summer soap recipes. Some common orange essential oils that are used to make handmade soap include the following:

If you like, you may substitute the blood orange essential oil in this orange peel soap recipe with any of the oils listed above. Keep in mind, however, when purchasing citrus essential oils to make soap, that steam-distilled essential oils have a longer shelf life than those that are cold-pressed.

Can you put fruit in soap?

As this citrus soap recipe is made using the cold process soap making method, it is possible to include fruit inside. The fruit is naturally preserved when it goes through the saponification process. In this instance, dried orange peel powder was used. However, you can also puree and use fresh fruits to make cold process soap. Simply substitute the puree for all or a portion of the water in the recipe.

Is orange soap good for acne?

Both orange essential oil and orange peel powder beneficial when used in soap if you have acne prone skin. Because this oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it is effective at helping to prevent acne and its reoccurrence. In addition, orange oil can also help to reduce the appearance of pores and calm facial inflammation. Additionally, the citric acid from fruit also helps to maintain the correct PH level for your skin.

Is citrus good for your face?

As citrus fruits are naturally rich in vitamin C, they make an excellent ingredient for face care. The vitamin C content found in oranges helps to combat the effects of aging, even skin tone and tackle hyperpigmentation and age spots.

Does citric acid tighten skin?

Citric acid, which is found in the orange peel powder used to make this orange soap recipe, does help to tighten skin and reduce the appearance of pores. This is due to the astringent properties that citric acid possesses.

Does orange oil lighten skin?

Orange oil can help to lighten and brighten skin tone. Due to the compounds found in oranges, including limonene, aldehydes, and monoterpene hydrocarbons, the oil is able to help even skin tone and lighten hyperpigmentation and age spots.

Is it safe to use orange essential oil to make soap?

As homemade soap is a wash-off product, you don’t need to worry about the orange essential oil you use to make soap causing photosensitivity. However, as someone who is fair skinned, I definitely recommend using sunscreen regardless. After all, sunburns are no fun. Alternately, you can also choose to use oils that aren’t photo-toxic, such a steam distilled lemon or sweet or blood orange oil.

How long does citrus soap last?

Soap made using the cold process soap making method tends to have an extensive shelf life of one to two years. However, it is possible that your citrus cold process soap may last long than this. As long as the oils used to make the soap don’t go rancid, then this citrus based soap is fine to use for as long as you don’t see what are known as dreaded orange spots.

For best results, I recommend that you store your orange soaps in a cool, dry location until use. You should also ensure soaps are well drained between use. This helps the product to last longer.

How do I sell handmade orange soap?

If you’re planning to sell these DIY blood orange soaps, you’ll need to label them according to FDA guidelines. I highly recommend the book, Soap and Cosmetic Labeling: How to Follow the Rules and Regs Explained in Plain English, by Marie Gale. It offers valuable insight and up to date information on what should be included on your labels in addition to font size requirements.

More Orange Soap Recipes

If you enjoyed my recipe for making handmade soap with orange peel powder and citrus essential oils, then be sure to check out these other orange cold process soap recipes:

  • Orange Espresso Soap Recipe: Formulated with coconut milk powder, and and orange peel and espresso fragrance oil blend, this cold process soap has a rich, creamy lather.
  • Candied Orange Soap Recipe: Another cold press soap, this recipe is scented with a crisp and candied orange fragrance oil and patchouli essential oil for a masculine scent.
  • Orange Spice Tea Soap: This hydrating, tea-inspired soap is a fragrant blend of juicy seasonal oranges and zesty spices.
  • Cranberry Orange Melt and Pour Soap: This festive soap recipe is made using colorful layers of a melt and pour soap base to create a fun soap that’s accented with bits of dried orange peel.
  • Orange Mocha Dream Gardener’s Soap: Another easy melt and pour orange soap recipe, this DIY project is scented with orange essential oil and contains scrubby exfoliants to help remove dirt and grime from hands.
  • Citrus Soap Recipe: This homemade citrus summer soap recipe contains a citrus inspired natural essential oil blend of peppermint, orange and lemongrass. Formulated to be both cleansing and conditioning, this natural soap works great at tackling sweat and grime without over drying skin. 
  • Lavender Citrus Soap: Make this easy, natural lavender citrus soap recipe to amp up your summer skin care routine while enjoying the benefits orange oil offers.

To discover more of my handmade soap recipes and tutorials, be sure to follow me on Pinterest. You can also find and follow Soap Deli News on FacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram


  • Kathleen

    May 27, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Hello, Thanks for the recipe! Do you think I could use mango powder in place of the orange powder which I don’t have?

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      May 27, 2017 at 7:21 pm


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