How to Make Pink Grapefruit Soap (Cheerful + Beautiful Cold Process Tutorial)

Make your own grapefruit soap using this easy recipe. It combines natural oils with grapefruit juice and zest for a refreshing bar.

Keep basic soap-making safety in mind, and you’ll be fine.

A close-up of pale pink homemade grapefruit soap bars with visible flecks of grapefruit zest, set on a rustic blue wooden surface.

Grapefruit Soap Recipe

Create your own nourishing grapefruit soap with this simple recipe, blending natural oils and citrus zest for a refreshing, homemade skincare product. Perfect for those who appreciate a touch of nature's zest in their daily routine.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Curing 1 day
Total Time 1 day 45 minutes



  • 4.27 ounces lye
  • 7.5 ounces water
  • 2.5 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 11 ounces olive oil
  • 11 ounces coconut oil
  • 6 ounces shea butter
  • 2 ounces castor oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest
  • 3 tablespoons of grapefruit essential oil


  • Make lye water, set aside. Measure out the lye and the water in separate, non-reactive containers, using a digital scale. Combine the lye and the water and stir until dissolved. The lye solution will heat up as the result of a chemical reaction. Be careful of fumes, heat, and the corrosive solution. Set the cup aside to cool in a very safe place.
  • Melt oil, set aside. Measure out the oils in separate containers and place them in a pot.Melt over medium low heat until fully melted and about 130-140 degrees. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
    A pink spatula stirring a pot filled with a golden yellow melted soap mixture, indicating the mixing stage in soap making.
  • Check temperatures and prep. Check the temperature of both solutions after an hour or so. Before proceeding, they should be around 90-100 degrees. It is best if they are within ten degrees of each other. Add the sodium lactate to the cooled lye water. Before blending, have your soap mold, zest, essential oil, and color ready. I recommend mixing the color with a small amount of oils for easy blending. Put on gloves and googles.
    An overhead view of a clear measuring cup filled with a clear liquid set on a patterned cloth, with a pot containing a yellowish mixture in the background, ready for soap making.
  • Blend To Trace. Add the grapefruit juice to the lye water. It will turn orange, this is normal! Pour the lye solution into the melted oils and blend with a stick blender until you reach trace. Trace is reached when the soap forms a batter and the stick blender leaves a trail when dragged across the top of the pot.
    A side-by-side image of a pot on the left with yellowish soap mixture being poured into it, and on the right, a stick blender immersed in the soap mixture with a few drops of red colorant visible.
  • Add color, fragrance, and zest. Once trace is reached, add the essential oil and grapefruit zest and stir in by hand. Immediately pour the soap batter into the mold.
    Hands measuring out colored pigments and adding drops of red colorant into a jar of clear liquid, likely for coloring soap.
  • Gel phase. Preheat an oven to its lowest setting, such as bread proof or warm. Place the soap inside for 1 hour. Then turn off the oven but leave the soap there for 24 hours.
  • Cut. Turn out the loaf of soap and slice into bars. Allow to bars to cure in a well-ventilated space for at least 2 weeks before using. Since this soap has a high percentage of olive oil, it will last longer if allowed to cure for 4 weeks
    A hand cutting a large bar of homemade soap in half with a knife on a wooden board.


Be sure to observe all soap safety precautions! Always work in a well-ventilated space, free of distractions. Wear eye protection, gloves, and long sleeves. Lye water and raw soap batter are both extremely corrosive and can be fatal if consumed, cause blindness if splashed in the eyes, and will ruin clothing and kitchen surfaces.

In our home, the quest for the perfect homemade soap never ends. We’ve experimented with countless scents and ingredients, but this one isour new favorite. There’s something about the fragrance that we love. This recipe is super cleansing and perfect for the shower or using as a hand soap next to the kitchen sink.

A single pale pink homemade grapefruit soap bar, with visible zest pieces, positioned prominently against a blue wooden surface with a soft-focus background.

Soap Making Tips

  • Precision is Key: Using a digital scale for measuring ingredients is not just a suggestion; it’s crucial for the success of your soap. Even small deviations can affect the final product’s texture and hardness.
  • Safety. When making lye soap, always wear gloves and eye protection since lye can burn your skin and eyes. Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing in fumes. Keep children and pets away from your soap-making area. Safety first!
  • Quality of Ingredients: The quality of the oils, especially the olive and coconut oil, is not actually a huge deal. Don’t buy food-grade oils, look for something designed for soap.
  • Grapefruit Zest: Ensure the grapefruit zest is finely grated to avoid large pieces in your soap, which could be a bit harsh on the skin.

Watch the Video

Key Ingredients and Tools

  • Lye. Found in the cleaning aisle or ordered online, lye is the backbone of soap making, responsible for saponification. Handle with care, as there’s no substitute for this crucial ingredient.
  • Grapefruit essential oil. Typically located in the health and wellness section or a specialty store, this essential oil gives the soap its signature fragrance. Its uplifting aroma is irreplaceable, but in a pinch, another citrus oil could offer a different yet pleasant scent.
  • Shea butter. Available in the beauty or natural foods section, shea butter enriches the soap with its moisturizing properties. It’s vital for creating a luxurious, nourishing bar of soap, though cocoa butter could be a suitable alternative for its similar skin-softening benefits.
A row of homemade pale pink grapefruit soap bars lined up on a blue wooden surface with white flowers in the background.

Troubleshooting and Help

Can I use bottled grapefruit juice instead of fresh?

Sure, you can. Don’t use one with added sugar because it will cause the soap to heat up even more.

What if I don’t have grapefruit essential oil?

No worries! If you’re out of grapefruit essential oil, you can experiment with other citrus oils like lemon, lime, or orange. Each will give your soap a fresh, clean scent, just a slightly different citrus vibe.

Is there a vegan substitute for shea butter?

Absolutely. If you’re looking for a vegan option, mango butter or even cocoa butter are great substitutes. They’ll still give your soap that creamy texture and moisture without any issues.

Can I skip the gel phase in the oven?

Skipping it is an option, but the gel phase helps with the soap’s texture and appearance. If your kitchen is warm, you might find the soap naturally enters this phase without the oven. Just keep an eye on it!

Storing Homemade Soap

  • After Curing: Once your soap has fully cured, store it in a cool, dry place. A linen closet or a drawer is perfect. Avoid storing the soap in plastic bags or containers, as they can trap moisture and lead to spoilage. Instead, opt for paper bags or wrap them in wax paper to allow the soap to breathe. I personally use shoeboxes and layers of newspaper.
  • Humidity Control: If you live in a very humid area, consider using silica gel packets where you store the soap. This will help absorb any excess moisture and keep your soap dry.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Keep the soap away from direct sunlight. Sun exposure can fade the colors and weaken the scent over time.
  • Freezing: Freezing homemade soap is not recommended. Freezing won’t extend the life of your soap and could introduce moisture problems once thawed, affecting the texture and overall quality.

With this Grapefruit Soap Recipe, you’ve taken a step towards creating a delightful, natural addition to your skincare routine. Remember, the key to perfect homemade soap is attention to detail and patience during the curing process.

A top view of four homemade pale pink grapefruit soap bars stacked with a slight overlap, alongside delicate white flowers on a blue wooden background.
How to Make Pink Grapefruit Soap (Cheerful + Beautiful Cold Process Tutorial)

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