Homemade Lemon Soap {Mother’s Day Gift Ideas}

Happy Friday, my friends! I have another Mother’s Day gift idea to share with you today. This homemade lemon soap recipe smells amazing, it’s definitely one you’ll want to try. The lemon zest gives the soap a great texture and the citrus scent will leave your hands feeling rejuvenated. With only three ingredients required this soap recipe is easy to make and makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

If you’ve been following along my soap making adventures this year I have to say that this is my favorite so far! For this recipe I used the goat’s milk soap base again because it makes soap making a breeze and it’s available at most craft stores. Beside the citrus scent what I like is that I didn’t need to add any colorant to the soap. The lemon zest mixed with the melted soap produced a yellow color on it’s own.

Homemade Lemon Soap


1 1/2 cups Goats Milk Soap Base or Shea Butter Soap Base, cubed

4-6 drops Lemon Essential Oil

Dried Lemon zest of 3-4 lemons

Step one: Cut soap into cubes and microwave in 30 second intervals (I like to use a large Pyrex measuring cup to melt the soap in). This recipe makes 3 bars of soap and I used about 15 cubes of goat’s milk soap base.

Step two: Melt soap for about a minute. Add another 15-30 seconds if it’s not completely melted.

Step three: Once soap cubes have liquified add a few drops of the lemon essential oil and the lemon zest; stir well.

Step four: Pour into soap molds and allow to harden for at least one hour. Press mold to release soap.

 ***Update: For longer lasting soap omit the lemon zest and use yellow soap dye for color (if desired). The essential oil will provide enough lemon scent without the lemon zest.

 Looking for more homemade Mother’s Day gift ideas? Here are some of my favorite!

Coffee Sugar Scrub

Homemade Coffee Sugar Scrub

Homemade Lavender Bath Salts

how to make bath salts

Honey Brown Sugar Scrub

Homemade Brown Sugar Scrub recipe

Homemade Lavender Soap

Homemade Lavender Soap

Mother's Day gift ideas and homemade soap tutorial


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  1. says

    Mmmm. Lemon soap sounds so refreshing! Soap making has been on my to-do list for a while now, I might have to give this a try before I try it “the old fashioned way”. (Yes, I actually have lard hanging out in my freezer for whenever I get the guts to try it!)

    • r hobbs says

      I am planning to start embroidery towels and try to sell them. Need to make extra money. I would like to enclose home made soap in the packaging. Is there any way you can let me know where I can get the .materials.any hep in this matter you be much help. God Bless. Rose

  2. says

    I am going to have to try some of these out! They look amazing!! I am a new follower from southern charm! I would love for you to check out my blog and hopefully you will want to follow me back! Happy weekend, Nicole!

  3. JaneEllen says

    You make it sound very easy so to challenge my cowardly ways I’m gonna have to try it. Love lovely smelling soaps for freshening bathrooms. What could be better than lemon? I’ve printed out your other home beauty aids also. Wonderful gifts for anytime, so glad you shared these ideas.Happy Weekend.
    I have some pretty soaps I bought about 4 yrs. ago and they still have a fragrance after I put them in a jar or bag for little while to refresh their fragrance. To me that’s a big luxury. Love to pretty up our bathrooms for Spring or any season.

  4. says

    Just shared on Facebook and Pinned! This looks amazing Crystal, all of your Mother’s Day ideas are wonderful. Have a great weekend :)

    xo, Tanya

    • says

      Lakota » Hi Lakota! I don’t think that will work, but I’ve never tried it. I’m using an actual soap base that’s solid and melts then is put into a mold which then hardens again. You can find the soap base online or at your local craft store. I hope that helps!

  5. says

    I love following along on your soap making adventures! These look so pretty, and I bet smell amazing! I need to jump on the bandwagon and try making some! Thanks for sharing at Time To Sparkle : )

    xoxo Liz

    • says

      Gretelain » I’m sorry I haven’t used that method. I find using the soap base really easy to do and you can find it online at ConsumerCrafts.com or at a craft store like Michaels and Hobby Lobby. I hope that helps! :)

  6. says

    Beautiful. I love lemon, and I love lavender. And I love them together. Your lemon bars (soap) look edible. Lemon is such a happy smell. (Very good pictures, by the way). Lynaea

  7. says

    Fun! I’ve never tried making my own soap but it is something I want to try. When I was shopping recently I smelled some anise soap and since I love black licorice, it smelled amazing!

  8. Leslie says

    I found your blog via The Shabby Creek Cottage Transformation Thursday and I’m loving your homemade spa recipes. I’m now following you through email! Great ideas!

  9. says

    I can almost smell this through my computer …you take such tantalizing photos :)

    Great gift ideas!! I’ll give it a shot.

    • says

      Elaine » I haven’t but I think it would make a lovely addition! I would make sure the basal is finely chopped. Thanks for stopping by! :)

    • says

      Bernadette » Definitely! I’ve made soap in a double boiler several times, just stir the soap periodically to make sure it melts evenly. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  10. Debbie says

    You have to be careful of adding fresh lemon rind , it can start to break down , mold / bacteria . Not trying to be a killjoy , just safety first . Add a preservative , when using something in your soap that can break down .
    Grapefruit seed extract, rosemary extract and vitamin E oil are good preservatives .

  11. Stephanie Violet! says


    Just a word from a soapmaker – using fresh anything will result in moldy bits in your soap! Using a
    Preservative will prove tricky, especially with a melt & pour base like you’re using! Grapefruit seed extract will provide some preservative aspects, but rosemary extract and vitamin e are just antioxidants used to help prolong the freshness of oils in soap making! If you want to incorporate herbs or peels, go ahead, but dry them first! Dried mint or basil or orange rind will be a lovely addition to the soap!

    Also, make sure your soap base isn’t boiling hot, as essential oils have certain evaporation points — add the EO to too hot soap and all the volatile oils (the good smelling stuff!) will be released in a sort if scent wave and there will be very little left in the actual soap!

    Happy soaping!

    (Check out my friend’s DIY soap making studio – The Nova Studio — for some awesome classes!!)


    • says

      Stephanie Violet! » Hi Stephanie, thank you SO much for sharing your knowledge! I’ve read contradicting articles on soap preservatives and have yet to try them because I’m not sure which actually preserve. If it’s ok with you I’m going to edit the post to include a “reader suggestion” quote from you on what preservatives to use. Thanks again, Stephanie!

    • Tami says

      Where can I purchase Goat soap ? I’ve never made soap before but I’d love to try this one. Thanks

  12. Aly says

    A question from a person whose never made soap before: Do I need to put in the essential oil? I’ve heard they can be bad for you. For the lemon scent could I just put in lemon juice and zest, even if it won’t look as yellow?
    Thanks for this recipe im excited to try it!

    • says

      Aly » Hi Aly, I haven’t tried that method but I recommend using the soap immediately as it may mold without a preservative. I’m still learning about preservatives to help the lemon zest from molding and will update my post to share what a reader suggested. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Yohanna says

    Thanks for sharing!!! I just made this soap with my kids for Father’s Day and added some vitamin e oil to it…it is lovely!!! It smells wonderful and the color is gorgeous!

  14. Jennifer says

    Great idea! I would recommend omitting the lemon zest for dried lemon peel (easy find at health food stores) since there is no way to properly preserve it in m&p soap. The effect and color would be much the same and there won’t be mold growing. As for vitamin e, it can extend shelf life a touch but is not a preservative. BTW your photos are absolutely gorgeous. Keep on soaping! ~Jennifer
    P.S. I’m a handmade soap and body product maker/business owner and if you have any questions or ever need help don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

  15. Nancy Weaver says

    Oh I love that brown sugar scrub! I am actually using a mixture of honey, brown sugar and lemon as my body scrub. I actually like it because it leaves me soft skin after I use it. Moreover, I like those ideas shown above. They are great as gift ideas and also as party favors. I will try on the Lemon Soap sometime. Thanks for posting.

  16. Julianne says

    Hi, when I go to order the soap base online it is sold by the pound.. How many pounds do I need for this recipe? I’m a first timer :)

    • Crystal Owens says

      I used a two pound block and it was divided into small cubes. I used about a third of the entire block of soap to make 3 bars. Hope that helps! :)

  17. says

    If you don’t want to use the Lemon Zest & preservative, you can use dried Lemon Peel bits and/or Lemon Peel Powder. Make your own or purchase from internet (I buy a lot of herbs botanicals etc from Natures Garden as well as Starwest botanicals) I’ve made my own dried citrus slices and rind bits and powder. Makes for pretty decorations and embeds.

  18. says

    I made this soap and it is wonderful! I’ve never made soap using a soap base before and it’s so easy! I blogged about how I packaged this soap and linked back to your tutorial. I hope that’s okay! Thanks!

  19. Suzanne Cox says

    Have you ever thought about using almond. My favorite !!! It is very hard to find anything with that scent.

  20. Marla says

    This looks super easy and is such a great gift! You mention omitting the lemon zest to produce longer lasting soap. how long does the soap usually last with the zest, versus without? Thanks for sharing!

  21. niharika gupta says

    That’s a great and super easy receipe! Thanks for sharing!
    Would you know how long the soap with zest last?

  22. says

    I’ve never made soap before, but these fun lemon bar soaps make me want to try it out! Thanks for the step by step instructions.

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