This pretty yellow and green soap smells of fresh citrus, suds up beautifully, and leaves your skin clean and happy.
The colours come from some bright orange buriti oil (for the yellow), and a touch of green chromium oxide. Buriti oil can be a bit hard to find, so you can use some red and yellow iron oxides instead, or some orange soap dye (New Directions Aromatics has a natural one derived from paprika). Make sure you break out your immersion blender for the oxides so you get a nice, smooth colour instead of little blobs of oxides.
I used a few grams of 200x concentrated aloe vera powder to work the aloe into the soap, but if you only have the juice, just replace half the water in the recipe with aloe vera juice and carry on as usual.
I used lemon and orange essential oils, but you can feel free to mix it up, based on whatever citrus essential oils you have on hand. Just be sure to stick to the 30g of essential oils per 500g of soaping oils rule and you’ll be right.
Aloe Vera Citrus Soap
25% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
30% beef tallow
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
Per 500g (1.1lbs) oils:
- 15g 5-fold lemon essential oil
- 15g lime essential oil or 5-fold orange essential oil
- 1 tbsp kaolin clay
- 3g aloe vera 200x powder
- ½ tsp buriti oil
- pinch green chromium oxide
Use SoapCalc to calculate your final amounts of oils, lye, and water based on the size of batch you want to make.
Follow my standard soap making instructions. Once you reach a medium trace, add the essential oils, clay, and aloe vera powder. Thoroughly blend with your immersion blender, and then divide the soap between two bowls. Stir the buriti oil into one bowl, and blend the green chromium oxide into the other. Pour the soap batter into your mould, one colour on the bottom and one on top, and lightly swirl with a spoon.
Cover the mould and lightly insulate it. Let saponify for 24 hours before removing from the mould to slice. Age for at least 3–4 weeks before using.
Looks divine. I have all the ingredients on hand – more or less – and can’t wait to try it. Thanks as always for sharing your recipes!
Thanks! Enjoy it & thanks for reading 🙂
sounds amazing! what kind of tallow did you use?
Thanks, Paulo! I used beef tallow 🙂
Does the green oxide stain white washcloths? Beautiful soap!
I only own dark green washcloths, so I’m afraid I’m not the person to ask here—sorry! I do suspect that it might, though, judging from other experiences with fabric + oxides.
Can I substitute the tallow with vegetable shortening instead. This looks wonderful.
I’ve written an article on why I use tallow and the alternatives. I haven’t tried vegetable shortening, but from what I’ve read it should work 🙂
I’ve wanted to take a shot at soapmaking for years. I pretty much always buy home-made soap from the gifted folks in my college town here. But the more I read your recipes the more I get that urge again.
This recipe sounds divine. I like to use a soap with clay a couple times a week especially on the backs of my arms. I may just have to place some orders and give this a shot.
He Sha! Do it, start soap making—it’s so fun 🙂 I promise you’ll love it! Be sure to get in touch if you have any questions 🙂
Is it buriti seed oil or buriti fruit oil?
It’s from the seed 🙂
Translation: Beautiful. Congratulations!
I’m new to homemade soaps/shampoos and am still trying to figure out how it works with my own hair. Several months ago I made some of your Peppermint Chill Shampoo (with 50/50 peppermint and tea tree essential oils) and now that I’m through the transition period I think I really like it (how is that for commitment?) I’m also learning how important an acidic rinse is to make hair manageable after washing. I don’t really care for ACV but like using aloe juice with some rosemary essential oil, it seems to do the same thing without the smelling like a salad part.
Okay, that was the long prelude to my actual question. Does making soap with aloe as a liquid change the pH of the final soap? I like the idea of a single bar for soap and shampoo while traveling and it sounds like the key is a pH neutral or slightly acidic bar. The shampoo I made has a pH of 9.0 while the aloe juice I have is 4.0.
Thanks very much for your website, I’ve really enjoyed reading all your posts and recipes.
Hi Sarah! From everything I know of chemistry (which isn’t a whole lot if we’re being honest, lol), yes, using an acid instead of water will lower the final pH of your soap. By how much, I am not sure—that would depend on the pH of the acid and how much was used, but it’s been a long time since I was in high school and could calculate that up for you. Something else to consider is that an acidic liquid will react with the lye and reduce the overall amount of lye in the soap, increasing the superfat by some unspecified amount. My only concerns about neutral soap are in regards to shelf life—the high pH is (as I understand) a large part in what makes soap unattractive to bacteria, and I do know that too high of a superfat can cause a bar to go rancid. At the same time, though, I’ve seen bars of soap made with acid on other soap blogs, and they never mention a shortened shelf life.
Thanks for reading & DIYing with me!
I never used tallow before. Can you give me more tips about tallow? From which animal, where can you buy it, do you need any kind of preparation to make it homogenous?
Hi Jure! I’ve written a blog on how to render tallow here. In soap making tallow is usually beef tallow unless otherwise specified, and you can usually buy it from your butcher for quite cheap as the trimmings are a waste product 🙂
do you render your own tallow? I have some pork lard in my freezer and i’ve never made soap, but am dying to try. can lard and tallow be used interchangeably?
Hi Tameka! I do render my own whenever I can 🙂 You can interchange tallow and lard in soap—lard will make a slightly softer bar, but I swap the two quite frequently and have never run into any problems! Thanks for reading and have fun with your homemade soap—you’ll love it!
25% coconut oil
15% shea butter
5% castor oil
1) How much grams of above each item?
2) Where to buy the pinch green oxide?
Hi! I’ve covered percentages in the FAQ 🙂 You can get the green oxide from either of the suppliers I link to in the big box above the comments.
Marie, how many bars of soap do you normally get from your recipe when 500g of oils are used?
And one more question about saponification, to make the soap last longer I need to let it saponify for 2 months, perhaps, or longer?
Hi Danka! I’d typically get about 10–12 bars of soap the size of the ones pictured here from a 500g batch.
Saponification typically only takes 24 hours so you can’t really drag it out over 2 months—I’m assuming you mean aging? I happily age my soap for months and even years to get nice, hard bars. They last longer, but the scent will fade as they age, so there is a trade-off to consider.
For starter, please forgive my english, I’m a french speaker, so… I just want to tank you for your soaps recipes because I just LOVE these! This one is among my favorites (with the low tide soap)!!! Thank you again:) your enthousiast follower from Quebec:)
Bonjour, Kim! Thank you so much for reading & DIYing with me—it’s always lovely to meet a fellow Canadian 🙂 Merci!
Those considering Crisco or other hydrogenated vegetable oil instead of tallow or lard should note that Crisco, at least, contains palm oil–responsible for the devastation of rain forest lands and wildlife habitat destruction. We can teach vegans who don’t seem to mind slathering up in worm poop (silk) to appreciate using up all of the animals already being slaughtered for their meat, or just list the lye-tallow result as sodium tallowate and let ’em figure it out.
This is precisely why I don’t use Crisco!
Dee that is precisely why vegans do not use left over animals parts because than we would be saying it’s ok to slaughter animals which is also why we vegans do not use silk.
Would spirulina work for the green here, without interfering with scents? Also, I’ve read that paprika can be readily infused in a carrier oil for yellow to orange color (leaving the paprika sludge at bottom out of the mix).
Hi Dee! Both should work, though the colour may not be quite the same. You’ll also find the spice/plant-based colours will fade over time where the oxides won’t. I’ve never had spirulina interfere with the scent of a soap, and I can’t speak for paprika as I haven’t tried it.
Just wondering about the aloe vera powder. I’ve never used it before. Do you mix it with anything before adding at trace…or dissolve it in something?
Just add it at trace—it will dissolve into the soap 🙂 No need to add any extra liquid.
Your site is amazing and my brain is smoking because I don’t know what to make first! Cinnamon and Clay or Aloe Citrus? Can you tell me what oil is a good substitute for tallow? Are tallow and lard similar? I’d prefer vegetable based soaps at this time! Thank you!
Welcome, Ashley! I’ve got a whole article on using lard and tallow in soap here 🙂
Thank you!!! Your website makes me swoon. You’re a neat lady!
Can you substitute aloe vera powder with aloe vera gel? If so, how much? I have the gel form currently on hand but not powder, so I would have to try ordering it somewhere. Thanks!
I never recommend using the gel—it usually has dodgy things added to it like colours, fragrances, thickeners, stabilizers, preservatives, and heavens knows what else. I have no idea how it would react with lye or in soap. If you have the pure juice (plain, clear, with the consistency of water—NOT the food/drink stuff with added stuff) you can use that instead of the water 🙂
hi! LOVE your site and have just made my first batch 🙂 awesome! I am eyeing up this recipe and was wondering about adding the juice from the actual aloe vera plant that I have? I do not currently have the powder so I was wondering if I could just use that? it is kinda of a …. watery chunky consistency and I would wonder if it would change the final consistency and not get the trace I need. Ok Thanks!
Typically DIYing with aloe juice/mush from the plant is a big no as it’s such a huge preservation challenge, but cold processed soap is an exception as it has such a high pH and is so low in moisture that we can put tons of things in soap that would usually be big DIY-ing nope’s! I do worry the soap may turn brown or some other funny colour because of it, though. Include it as part of the water, reducing the water to compensate 🙂
awesome!!Thanks Marie! 😀