Herbal Eucalyptus Soap Recipe
Instructions for how to make eucalyptus soap. This cold-process eucalyptus soap recipe uses natural essential oil, eucalyptus leaves, and a blue soap colorant. The scent is deep and herbal and great for opening airways and leaving you feeling refreshed, especially throughout winter.
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The tiniest whiff of eucalyptus essential oil will send its minty-camphor scent through your nose and sinuses and deep into your lungs. It practically pushes its way through, making it perfect for when you’re feeling fed up with being stuffed up. You can use the essential oil in a diffuser, on a cotton pad, or fresh in the shower. You can also use it to make eucalyptus soap. Having a bar on hand during cold wintery mornings not only helps clear up congestion while showering, but it’s a sweet and uplifting scent that is sure to put a spring in your step.
This eucalyptus soap recipe follows the cold-process soapmaking method and the bars it creates are cleansing and bubbly. Most importantly, using the soap can help to refresh and open airways. When washing with it, some of that scent will stay with you through the day, working to keep you feeling your best for a lot longer.
How to Make Eucalyptus Soap
This recipe follows the basic cold-process soapmaking steps of melting solid oils, combining them with liquid oils, and introducing a lye solution. The recipe doesn’t use palm oil, a controversial soap ingredient, and instead uses coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, and castor oil. It’s the extra ingredients that make this recipe really special though! Herbal and airway-clearing eucalyptus essential oil, eucalyptus leaves, and a pretty blue colorant.
Eucalyptus soap that matches eucalyptus leaves
When I make soap I want it to be both functional and beautiful. It needs to have relevance in its color, ingredients, and end purpose. That’s why I decided to tint this soap to match the stunning grey-green of real eucalyptus leaves. There are loads of different soap colorants out there that you could use including both natural ingredients and synthetic ones. The one that I’ve shared in this recipe is a nature-identical mineral that gives lovely shades of blue — Ultramarine Blue.
Ultramarine blue falls into a class of ingredients that are commonly used to make mineral-based makeup. What I love about it is that when you use it in a recipe that’s high in extra virgin olive oil it will give you a greenish-blue. If you use light-colored olive oil then your final bars will be a soft baby blue. If you want to replicate this recipe to the T then keep an eye on what type of olive oil you’re using. Use extra virgin olive oil if you’d like to create soap that’s the same color as the soap in the photos.
There are other blue soap colorants you can use if you’d like. Woad, indigo, and Cambrian blue clay all color soap various shades of blue, from the denim blue of indigo soap to the naturally grey-blue of blue clay soap.
New to Soapmaking?
The following is a simple cold-process soap recipe that creates around six bars of eucalyptus-scented soap. It’s very easy to make if you’ve made a few batches of soap from scratch before. If not, don’t let that stop you. I would advise that you check out my free 4-part soapmaking series that introduces you to how to make soap using the cold-process method first:
Herbal Eucalyptus Soap Recipe
- Stainless steel pan for melting the solid oils
- A large bowl for measuring the liquid oils into
- 63 g Sodium hydroxide 2.21 oz
- 113 g Distilled water 4 oz
- 124 g Coconut oil (refined) 4.37 oz
- 60 g Shea butter 2.12 oz
- 240 g Extra Virgin Olive oil 8.47 oz
- 30 g Castor oil 1.06 oz
- 1/8 tsp Ultramarine Blue Mineral Pigment Optional
Add after Trace
- 14 g Eucalyptus Globulus Essential oil 3 tsp / 0.5 oz
- 1 tsp Dried and crushed Eucalyptus leaves Optional / You can use dried peppermint
- Soap making is fun and creative but it's also chemistry. Make sure your work space is set up with your pre-measured ingredients and that you're wearing appropriate clothing, footwear, and safety gear. Always wear googles and rubber gloves when handling lye or the soap batter.
- Mix the optional colorant, Ultramarine blue, in a Tablespoon of the liquid oil. A mini milk frother is a great way to blend it together.
- Dissolve the lye (Sodium hydroxide) crystals in the water. In an airy place pour the lye crystals into the water and stir well. I prefer doing this step outdoors when possible because of the steam that will come off it initially. It's not pleasant if you accidentally breathe it in so avoid this by holding the jug well away from you.
- When fully mixed, leave the lye-solution in a safe place outside or inside, but in a shallow basin of water, or sink, to cool. Ensure that children and animals cannot get into it.
- Melt the solid oils in a stainless steel pan on very low heat. When melted, remove from the heat and set on a pot holder. Pour in the liquid oils and stir. Pour the colored oil into the pan too but do it through a small sieve — it will catch any chunks of color.
- Measure the temperatures of the lye-water and the oils. You should aim to cool them both to be about 100°F / 38°C. You don't need to be on the dot but aim to have them at that temperature or slightly cooler. The oils and the lye solution should be within ten degrees of one of another.
- Put your gloves and googles back on if you've taken them off. Pour the lye-solution through a sieve and into the pan of oils. Dip your immersion blender into the pan and with it turned off, stir the mixture. Next, bring it to the center of the pan and with both your hands, hold it on the bottom of the pan and blitz it for just a couple seconds. Turn it off and stir the soap batter, using the blender as a spoon. Repeat until the mixture thickens up to 'Trace'. This is when the batter leaves distinguishable trails on the surface. The consistency will be like thin custard at first but it will thicken quickly so make sure to work quickly after this point.
- Add the essential oil at this point and gently stir it in. Eucalyptus is a strong scent and the amount I've included in this recipe is also quite strong. If you'd like a lighter scent, use just 1.5 to 2 teaspoons.
- Stir in the optional dried eucalyptus or herb leaves. Most herbs will do for this recipe and they won't add scent, just visual interest. Use dried peppermint, oregano, parsley, or basil or you can use eucalyptus too. Aim to use Eucalyptus Globulus leaves if you can — did you know that there are 700 species of eucalyptus?
- Pour the soap into your chosen mold(s) on a heat-proof surface. Leave the soap in the mold for at least two days. A week might be even better since this is quite a soft soap initially. Soap recipes that are high in extra virgin olive oil tend to start off soft and turn very hard over the curing phase.
- Next, pop out your bars and cure them for six weeks. Curing means leaving the bars spaced out on a protected surface out of direct sunlight and in an airy place. This allows the extra water content to fully evaporate out. It also allows the bars to harden up.
- Once made, your soap will have a shelf-life of up to two years. Check the oil bottles that you’re using though — the closest best-by date is the best-by date of your soap.
Tanya, most eucalyptus leaves are green. It is the Blue gum that has blue leaves. They all smell the same though.
Also for the rose geranium soap I made, I’m NOT a fan of cedarwood at all, but I ended up subbing neroli essential oil for the cedarwood and added some ylang ylang essential oil instead of some of the geranium essential oil (using the 30/60/10 Top note/middle note/bottom note rule for the 13.62g of essential oils) and the smell was divine! Like acres of fresh flowers fields! I’m also going to try another batch of this but replacing bergamot for the neroli (since neroli is WAY expensive) and see how that turns out too :)
First I just made your herbal rosemary mint soap over the weekend and yesterday I made the floral rose geranium soap and both were amazing successes! While the rosemary mint didn’t go through gel phase (my first batch of soap ever) the rose geranium soap (my 2nd batch ever) did! I’m really excited to see how they cure! :). Also, do you like to see follower photos of how the soap turned out for them, and if so how/where could I share mine?
Second, I don’t have any ultramarine blue, indigo or woad on hand (yet!) but I do have Cambrian blue clay! If I decided to use the clay instead of the ultramarine what all would I have to do differently??
Thanks so much and blessings!
Very helpful, have been making soaps for 4years now.. to me the process is fun, scientific and creative piece of earth
Hope to be invited international to display my skills 😃
Hello, love your videos and soap recipes. Was wondering if they can be doubled. The eucalyptus one especially? Can I add peppermint essential oil to this recipe?
Thank you for your help.
Hi Deborah, and yes, they can be scaled up to make bigger batches. There’s a toggle in the recipe that changes the ingredients to a double or triple batch. As for peppermint eo, yes you can replace all or some of the eucalyptus eo with it.
Love your recipe, thanks for putting it out here. I’m very new to soap making and just made 12 bars. Absolutely love the scent in the air. Your instructions were easy to follow and I know I will make more. Thank you
Loved making this soap, it was my first attempt and the directions made it super easy to create the lovely soap bars! I love eucalyptus and love the color of it. Following the recipe I was able to make a similar colored soap! Thanks so much!
Love, love, love all your recipes. Thank You for sharing all you do. One question- when I use the 6 soap bar mold – I always have air pockets. What are the best remedies for this?
Hi Denise, and thank you :) To avoid air bubbles, pour at a thinner trace and give the mold a bit of a jiggle, and tap on the table. It’s a bit flimsy so it’s best to set the mold on a piece of cardboard before you pour the soap in.
I have made a few cold process soaps earlier and was confident that I would nail this recipe. Unfortunately, when I mixed the lye and oils, it immediately accelerated. I could hardly find time to add in colour pigments and essential oils. I measured and followed the instructions to the T.
The end result looked and worked amazing but it was so brittle and hard that it shattered when I cut it out. Please help me where I went wrong.
I have a big loaf of perfectly working soap bit I can’t cut it 😕 or use it. Also please advise what to do if the soap accelerates on mixing
Hi Faiza, when soap accelerates it’s usually due to a synthetic ingredient being used, such as a fragrance oil. It’s curious that yours accelerated before your colorant and essential oil were added though since I’d have first guessed that you used a fragrance oil instead of an essential oil. My best advice is to look carefully at your ingredients, test that your digital scale works properly, and make the recipe a second time. Troubleshooting is the only way to figure out what could have gone wrong in specific situations such as your set-up in your home. Also, the way to test your digital scale is to use a measuring cup to measure 100 ml of water. It should weight 100 g on the scale.
Any chance you’d have suggestions for turning this into a hot process method? This looks and sounds amazing!! I’m just learning the hot process method first …
You can transform almost any cold process soap recipe into hot process by simply using more water. 3x the amount of lye in weight is a good water amount for making hot process soap. You can also use 38% of the oil’s weight as the figure for your water amount too — that’s a more traditional amount :)
Thank you!! I was hoping that was the answer!! :)
Can I add aloe gel to this recipe?
Hi! This recipe looks *amazing*. Would it be ok for me to double the quantities and pour it in a loaf? I’m new to soap making and I want to make sure I don’t lose my ingredients. Thanks a lot! ;)
Yes, you can! You could even triple it or make larger batches with this soap recipe.
I used a essential oil blend calculator and made a blend using 70% of one 20 % another and 10% the last – ( it said I was safe) when I add up the 3% usage rate for each oil the calculator showed when I add them all up it equals just under 12 grams of essential oils for your eucalyptus recipe – sorry to bug you again I just want to see it I’m getting this right – I think it’s all starting to click. My problem is I know the ingredients I want but need to understand the math on the essential oils !
Hi Nina, different essential oils have different weights. For example, 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oil weighs less than one teaspoon of sandalwood essential oil. I don’t know which essential oils you’re using in your blend, but it’s likely that some are lighter than others. Make sense?
If I want to add two more essential oils to this would I still keep the total amount to 14 grams ? I am trying to figure out how to do the calculator to make a blend for this kind of recipe :)
Hi Nina, and yes you can, but usage rates for each individual essential oil can be different. Some you can use more of, and some you can only use a little bit. It’s all to do with the allergens present in eo’s and the safe levels that you can use in soap and skincare. Safe = not causing contact dermatitis, rashes, and irritation. There’s more on the amounts of essential oil that you can use in soap over here.
Thank you so much !
Hi Can I add two more essential oils to this recipe ?
THIS LOOKS SO GOOD! WHAT A FUN GIFT TO MAKE FOR FRIENDS OR TO ENJOY YOURSELF!
A quick question about the measurements for this recipe. It say this is a 1lb/454g recipe, but the sum of the ingredients is approx 654g. (Pigment isn’t listed by weight, estimated at 10g). Am I missing something with the math? Or is 454g the total yield after chemical reactions and curing? Thanks for any help!
Hi Taylor, soap batch recipes are measured by the weight of the main soaping oils only. Water, lye, and extras aren’t included in the measurement.
I made your recipe today. I used cambrian clay as I do not have ultramarine blue pigment. I used cold chamomile tea as my water and dried mint leaves. Hopefully, it will turn out okay, I will keep you updated.
Thank you for all your recipes. I am a beginner at soap making.
You’re so welcome Susan, and all of your additions seem perfectly fine :) I hope it turns out well!
This was such an amazing soap to make – i am trying some of Tanya’s soap recipes for a change and so far – this is the first – it was so easy – I think I have gotten a bit bored?? over complicated?? with my soaps so I am trying smaller batches and so far cant wait to make another of Tanya’s recipes
I was really hoping you’d have posted your liquid ingredients in volume measurements oppose to weight measurements.
Good soap recipes are never given in volume measurements as they are inaccurate. Remember that making soap from scratch isn’t a food recipe, it’s chemistry. Everything needs measuring down to the gram.
Always best to stir the water/lye Under the stove vent, then outdoors.
If you were to trip carrying the mixture it could burn you..
under the vent is SO much safer..
Thanks for your comment Lisa but this is your personal method, rather than a rule. You can mix the lye outside, and even leave the lye to cool outside in a safe place if you wish. You can also mix it under a hood if you wish, although many extractor fans don’t connect to the outdoors (including mine) so that needs taking into consideration. There is usually always walking involved with the lye solution, whether it’s from one counter to the next or from the sink to a table. Being careful is important and there’s always a chance of tripping if you aren’t.
They are out of the blue pigment, are there any others you would suggest?
You can leave it uncolored if you wish or you could also look for woad or indigo pigment. Here’s my recipe for making blue woad soap: https://lovelygreens.com/colouring-soap-naturally-woad-madder/
Hi, Today I will be making my first soap batch using your recipe. I’ve chosen this one because I love the colour plus we have a eucaluptus tree growing in our Australian garden. I also bought the blue pigment for this recipe so cannot wait to try it. I think this can become a very addictive hobby :-) Thanks again, I love all your posts.
You’re so welcome Mia :)
Hi there! What’s the superfat % of this recipe?
It’s in the recipe summary.
Hi Tanya, I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet, but they look so easy. The colour of this soap is what drew me in plus I have eucalyptus oil in the house. I have all my soap making supplies ready and waiting. Is soap making really this easy? I’ve been too nervous to try. This soap looks amazing.
Soap making isn’t easy per ce, but it’s not difficult. Also, most if not all of the recipes I share are beginner to intermediate level and I cut out steps like adding the superfat as an additional part of the process. I have a couple of videos showing how to make soap if you’d like to have a watch first. Find them over on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/lovelygreens