Hot Process Tallow Soap Recipe with Citrus Oil

I’ve been promising this recipe for awhile! Well, here it is! Basically, all I’ve done is taken my usual recipe and swapped out the palm oil for the tallow I rendered and adjusted the lye. As you will have noticed if you’ve browsed my blog at all, almost all my soap recipes feature citrus oils. That’s because those oils are fabulous for cutting grease and grime. I rarely make a soap without at least one of them!

I planned to take a picture, but of course my camera battery decided to die. This picture is from my lemon hot process, but I promise you it looks identical. I hope you enjoy it!


You must use caution when working with lye. Wear goggles and long gloves, don’t breath in the fumes, and make absolutely sure there are no children or pets in your work area. If you’ve never made cold process soap before, please read up on it before attempting this or any project. 

Hot Process Tallow Soap with Citrus Oil

9 oz coconut oil

8 oz olive oil

7 oz deer tallow

1 oz castor oil

3.58 sodium hydroxide (lye)

8.25 oz water

1.2 oz citrus essential oil – I used orange

2 pound mold or individual molds

Stick Blender

Crock Pot

Safety Gear–Goggles & Gloves

Though this recipe has been calculated carefully, it’s always a good idea to double check any recipe with a lye calculator. 

To Make the Soap:

1. Heat the oils and tallow in the crock pot until melted. Turn off the crock pot.

2. In a heat safe bowl (not aluminum), carefully sprinkle your lye into your chilled tea. Do this in a well ventilated area, and be very careful not to breath in the fumes. Stir the mixture until it is clear, and then set it in a safe place to cool.

3. Very carefully add your cooled lye mixture to your oils, and blend with a stick blender until it reaches light trace. This will look like thin pudding.

4. Turn the crock pot to low, and then cover with the lid. In fifteen minutes, stir the soap. It should be starting to thicken up.

5. In another 10-15 minutes stir the soap again.  Continue to stir and wait until the soap is the texture of mashed potatoes. It will be somewhat translucent and waxy.

6. At this point it’s a good idea to test the soap’s ph. If the soap is finished (below a 10) then transfer it to a heat safe bowl to cool for a few minutes. You don’t want to wait too long, just a few minutes so it isn’t quite as hot when you add the essential oil.

7. After a few minutes, stir in the essential oil, and then transfer the soap to your mold. Press it down firmly with your fingers (since the soap is still hot, I keep my gloves on the entire time). Wait 24 hours, or until set, and then cut your bars.

The soap is ready right away, but the longer you let them cure, the harder they will be–and the longer they will last.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s