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
- 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.