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Citrus Liquid Hand Soap Recipe

Follow this chemical-free liquid hand soap recipe to make a homemade antibacterial soap rich in energizing citrus.
By Becky Rapinchuk
July 2014
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Citrus essential oil is naturally energizing and great for using in homemade cleaning products.
Photo by Fotolia

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The cleaning products found under most kitchen sinks can wreak havoc on your health and budget, as well as our planet. In The Organically Clean Home (F+W Media, 2014), author Becky Rapinchuk offers 150 easy-to-make homemade cleaning products. In this excerpt, from chapter 3 “Recipes from the Kitchen”, learn how to make a homemade antibacterial soap without harmful chemicals.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Organically Clean Home

Citrus Liquid Hand Soap

Store-bought antibacterial soap is proven to get rid of germs, but it also gets rid of the “good germs” that our bodies need to build up immunities. This fresh-smelling blend will eliminate garlic and onion odors from your hands and get your hands perfectly clean and rid of germs without the use of chemicals like triclosan.

• 1 cup liquid castile soap
• 10 drops lemon essential oil
• 10 drops orange essential oil
• 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

To make: Combine ingredients in a decorative soap pump, seal and shake thoroughly to combine.

To use: Use a pump of soap, rub hands together, and wash off with warm water.

To store: Make this citrusy hand soap one soap pump at a time. Makes 8 ounces.

Helpful Hint

Recite a nursery rhyme or sing “Happy Birthday” for a full 30 seconds while washing to effectively wash all the germs from your hands.


Unscented: Use unscented castile soap and don’t add any essential oils.

Peppermint and Lavender: Substitute 10 drops peppermint and 10 drops lavender essential oils for the lemon and orange.

Lemon and Rosemary: Substitute 10 drops rosemary essential oil for the orange.

Learn more about nontoxic cleaners in the article Why Use Organic Cleaning Products.

Excerpted from The Organically Clean Home Copyright © 2014 by Rebecca Rapinchuk,, and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Post a comment below.


11/5/2014 6:03:25 PM
Jann, I didn't write the article but have posted comment above,(and to clarify, my version used in a 'foaming pump bottle' uses 1/4 C. liquid castile and 3/4 C. water, roughly) I don't measure I eyeball it and go. To answer your question about Vitamin E, I've used jojoba oil, or avocado oil (1 tsp of either) I don't know why tamanu wouldn't work but since it's sometimes costly, personally I'd save it for other purposes. Can't see a reason not to be able to use it though.. the recipe printed in article or mine are simply too drying without the addition of a small amount of some kind of oil.

11/5/2014 10:32:35 AM
Regarding the Citrus Liquid Hand Soap. Could you use Tamanu Oil instead of Vitamin E Oil? Thank-you

10/10/2014 3:21:25 PM
Easy to follow recepie. Thank you so much for posting this! <3

9/4/2014 4:02:04 PM
Hi Bonnie, to answer your question from my own experience- I use Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap-the baby version which is unscented - I have NOT had liquid castile soap turn to a solid, though it will get cloudy looking when it's cold but that hasn't changed it's quality otherwise. Since the birth of my grandson 4 years ago, homemade handsoap much like the above is all we've used in our household. In an empty 'foaming'pump, it's easy of use and longevity is amazing. The thing I do differently than the article above is I use only about 1/4 C. to 3/4 C. purified water then add essential oils and 1 tsp. vitamin E or Jojoba oil which makes it a bit moisturizing for tender baby or delicate skin. Let's your castile go along way and makes a gentler version.

9/4/2014 8:50:42 AM
Just wondering if the castile soap remains liquid , my coconut oil and olive oil that I use on my body does not in the winter.

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