Homemade Soap Recipe with Herbs and Citrus

First up from the herb garden – my very own homemade soap with herbs and citrus! I thought this would be a lovely homemade Mother’s Day or Teacher Appreciation gift. I picked up some plain, unscented glycerin soap and added herbs from the new garden and some citrus.

Citrus Herb Soap | HelloNatural.co How to Make Homemade Soap with Herbs and Citrus

I love the smell and bright green color of mint! Finely dice fresh mint and add to the soap after the glycerin is melted.

Citrus Herb Soap | HelloNatural.co I also diced up some fresh rosemary and combined it with lemon zest. A great combination!

Citrus Herb Soap | HelloNatural.co Herb and Citrus Soap

Recipe adapted from Martha

Supplies needed

  • Glycerin soap (sold at craft stores)
  • Assorted herbs & citrus – I used basil, mint, rosemary, orange and lemon
  • Food processor
  • Glass bowl or measuring cup
  • Plastic spoon or scraper
  • Soaps molds – any plastic or cardboard container will do
  • Cooking spray


1. Melt soap

Put the soap blocks in glass bowl & melt in the microwave for 30 second intervals until melted. Stir every so often to break up big chunks.

2. Prepare additives

While melting, puree the herbs and squeeze out excess water in a paper towel. For citrus, zest the peel. You’ll need about 1 tablespoon of additives for each cup. FYI – Orange + basil = an unattractive muddy green brown color.

3. Get containers ready

You can buy cute molds at the craft store, but any plastic container will work, even your Ziploc containers. Though you might want to use something you can just pitch in the recycle bin when finished rather than trying to clean. Use old milk cartons or even yogurt cups. Spray with cooking spray and wipe out excess.

4. Add purees

Once glycerin is melted, let it stand & cool for a few minutes. Before it sets too much, add the additives. Keep stirring to ensure they don’t all float to the bottom. When you have the color you want (more time stirring = darker color) pour into container.

5. Setting the soap

Let the soap sit on the counter for about an hour to completely set. Then put in the freezer for another hour or so. Then it should pop right out. Slice with knife, give to someone you love and use within 3 months.


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  1. Cindy Jensen says

    I had a glycerin soap company for years…. You really want to avoid putting your soap in the freezer or in the refrigerator to cool. It can cause the soap to “sweat”. Also, you can pick up silicone baking molds at second hand stores and use them for soap. Bread pans work particularly well for bars. Silicone ice cube trays make amazing guest bathroom or gift soaps. My favorite cheap mold tip is Pringles cans. Pour your melted soap into a Pringles can and let it cure, then you cut the bottom of of the can and simply slide the tube of soap out and slice it into round bars ! They always come out lovely! You can also use a pasta cutter to get wavy bars! * sigh * I miss making soap LOL

    • Merrily M Willis says

      i have avoided Pringle cans because I thought that the foil liner would be an issue – especially with cold process soap?

  2. Jackie says

    This is a great site! I tried the orange zest and dry basil. I know it says it looks brown but if you mix it just enough and not too much it looks and smells amazing!!! Thanks so much.

  3. Susanna says

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality sites on the web.

    I most certainly will highly recommend this web site!

  4. Lauren says

    I have some homegrown chamomile & lavender left over from last season. I’m going to try the combo. If it doesn’t work, I’ll pick some sage from my garden & grate some lemon peels & see how that combo turns out.

  5. roberta says

    Hi, wonderful idea…can you add coconut oil to this as well for more moisturization of the skin?

  6. Kitzcat says

    One of the best things about making glycerin melt and pour soap is that clean up is SUPER EASY! It’s just soap. I can usually peel out the coating left in the measuring cup easily after the cup cools a bit. Just throw away the ball (I wad it up like a ball), or, preferably, put it by your sink to use. It won’t hurt, and doesn’t waste any product that way. :o) I have some small, silicone ice trays I use for the times I have soap left over, but it’s not enough for another bar. It makes the leftover soap just about the right size for remelting for my next batch, or they can be placed in a shallow bowl/dish in the guest bathroom for your guests to use.

  7. says

    if you’re adding things like fruit zest, herbs, etc to your soaps, pick up a bottle of liquid vitamin e as well and add that in to your soap. It will preserve the fresh ingredients and help keep your soap from spoiling, giving you a longer shelf life, and it will add moisturizing benefits as well. I like to soak my herbs and zest in the vitamin e for a while before adding it in, to make sure it has time to get into it really well.

    • Kitzcat says

      Vitamin E is a great antioxidant for adding to soap. It’s good for the skin as well as helping keep your herbs fresh. You really want to get what is called “mixed tocopherols”, available from most soap supply companies like Brambleberry.com or Wholesalesuppliesplus.com. It really takes just a few drops for a small batch of soap like this.

  8. Karan says

    I love this idea and made a small batch this morning. Was wondering if adding a touch of essential oil, i.e. mint, citrus, would compromise the glycerin and herbs. Also, what is the glycerin clean-up process? Can’t wait to get creative with this. Thanks so much.

    • D. Wright says

      As far as I know, adding essential oil doesn’t hurt the soap at all. I had fragrance oils and homemade lavender oil to my soaps and they turn out fine.

    • Kitzcat says

      Essential oils will only enhance your final product. Just remember that it only takes a little. Too much can irritate the skin.

  9. mia says

    hi! im just wondering where specifically you can buy glycerin soap from? great idea though and completely natural! by the way do you grow your own herbs?x

    • gerbermom says

      Hi Mia – you can buy glycerin soap at most craft stores – I got mine at Hobby Lobby. And yes, I love growing my own herbs! Just wish I had a bit more of a green thumb :)

    • D. Wright says

      If you don’t need a lot, try Michael’s and A.C. Moore. If you need a bigger supply, go to brambleberry.com. They have great prices for larger quantities. They also offer a wider variety than most local stores. Good luck!

    • Kitzcat says

      Brambleberry.com is good. Wholsalesuppliesplus.com also offers a variety of herbs and oils and soap bases for your enjoyment. Quality bases are important if you want to get serious about doing soaps. When buying a craft store base, I prefer Hobby Lobby to Michaels or A.C. Moore. The Life of the Party base is good to learn with, but the base at Hobby Lobby (I can’t remember what they call it) is a little better. This is, of course, just my opinion. One of the most important things to remember with heating the base is to never boil it. Cut it into small pieces (half inch or so) and melt in the microwave for no more than 30 seconds at a time, stirring between heating.

      • Jacqui says

        I’m going to try this with essential oils, dried mint, dried lavender and dried basil, dill & rosemary. (Not necessarily all at once). I can’t wait. I bought clear glycerine soap bars from eBay a few months ago. Excited to try this. Thanks. J

  10. kerry says

    how long do these last? thinking of making them soon for christmas gifts. also, what is the best way to store them? wrapped in wax paper? thanks!

    • gerbermom says

      Hi Kerry – they should last for several months so you have plenty of time. No special storage needed – just some pretty wrapping! :)

      • kerry says

        great thank you! I was wrapping them in wax paper and thought that should work well. I am on my second batch, bought a mold set of 4, and I really like it thus far. My 5 and 3 year old think its pretty cool too :)

  11. Mina says

    This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try this for Yule gifts…I’ve been longing for some good sage products lately, so I’m definitely heading that route!

  12. says

    A blog can never be questioned because you are free anything you want but I highly and positively questioned the blogger for posting this kind of blog. I am really impressed and amazed what a kind of knowledge the blogger has. The passion of blogging in this website shows a lot what kind of personality has the blogger. Congrats for a job well done. I salute your article content!

  13. says

    You are amazing. I am really bad at these homemade things : either I bake too much or I do not put the good quantity. lol.. But this recipe is so easy. I stumbled back !! thanks for visiting our blog

  14. says

    Great post! I can't wait to try this, I love the smell of mint, it is so invigorating, but it is so hard to find mint products. I also love the idea of knowing exactly what is in mine and my littles bath time products. Thank you for the recipe!!

    I stumbled this, and am also following in all ways available. :-) Enjoy your weekend!!

    Chasing Serenity

  15. says

    Hi there. These are BEAUTIFUL!

    I “stumbled” the post you have at Makobi Scribes new hop, and I ask you to return the favor. I put up the following links on her “stumble hop”:
    http://acts17verse28.blogspot.com/p/blog-hop-for-… – a page listing hops for every day of the week http://acts17verse28.blogspot.com/p/help-make-wor… – a list of charities which are highly rated for using your charitable donations for the purpose you intended http://acts17verse28.blogspot.com/p/here-are-some… – a page for recipes – and there are some great ones here http://acts17verse28.blogspot.com/2010/11/taking-… – day one of a week-long series examining the death penalty http://acts17verse28.blogspot.com/2011/03/expleti… – one of my more popular posts: “Expletive deleted? THANK YOU VERY MUCH!”

    Thank you, and have a great week!

  16. says

    I'm visiting from Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom. This looks great. What an easy and yummy gift this can make. Thank you for sharing.

  17. says

    My mint just appeared in my garden. I'm going to try my hand at soap making this summer.

    Thanks for linking up to Creative Juice, Stephanie! Hope to see you back later tonight!


  18. SJ Homemaker says

    Stephanie, this is a great tutorial! This can be a good personalized gift :) Really appreciate you sharing this great post with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

  19. says

    What a great idea!! I bet this smells so good! I have always been scared to make soap, but your tutorial makes it a little less scary – thanks for posting this!

  20. says

    Oh, those look fabulous! I've never attempted to make my own soap before. Thanks for sharing and for linking up to my Catch a Glimpse party! I'll be featuring this tomorrow! :)

  21. says

    Well my goodness! I never thought of using my herbs this way! I have SO much mint and basil each summer! Thanks for a great idea and instructions/recipes!

  22. Hanna says

    Wow!!! I love this idea!!! This is totally my style. I would make basil soap! Awesome. I just might try it!

  23. says

    I love making glycerin soap and this looks fun! I like to let it partially cool after melting then roll into balls rather than using a mold….your soaps look so pretty

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