AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. This keeps HerbAlcochete 100% reader supported. See Affiliates Disclosure for more information.

Homemade Rosemary Soap Recipe For Traveling

Try this recipe of an all-natural rosemary soap, colored with rosemary-infused olive oil and orange juice, and scented with wonderful rosemary, peppermint and tea tree essential oils. The soap also has d-panthenol as after trace ingredient, and a high content of castor oil so it can also be used as a shampoo soap bar, making this soap bar an all-purpose travel soap!! 


I cannot state this enough times, but I love rosemary. Probably it’s because it’s a herbal bush easy to keep in your garden, it has a great camphorous scent, similar to eucalyptus, and is scientifically proven to be good for hair health and hair growth, making it a great herb for hair products (see my post about Rosemary, LemonGrass and Spearmint).

This recipe has rosemary-infused olive oil and castor oil, as well as rosemary essential oil, mostly there for hair treatment, but with mild anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, also good for your skin.

Orange Juice as Natural Colorant

I am going to be honest here. I’ve read somewhere on the net that orange juice is a natural yellow colorant for soap and that it also was able to lower soap pH (which is a good thing for hair treatment, as your hair only does well with 5.5 pH), so I’ve decided to have a go with this soap.

I have to state here that I’ve added it with lye water, which is where any ingredient gets the most of the chemical change from lye. The water also gets a nasty scent similar to ammonia, which is a signal of plant matter being “destroyed” by lye water. Fortunatelly, most of this scent goes away with soap curing. 

What I could conclude from this soap recipe was that orange juice doesn’t color your soap with yellow, instead you get a dark creamy – still pretty – color. As the orange juice chemical structure is pretty changed with the lye water, it also doesn’t reduce your soap pH. 

In fact, soap pH is high by nature, and is part of what makes it a good product: it doesn’t need any preservative to be bacteria and fungus free, the high pH does most of that work. So, I’ll simply disregard from now onwards, any soap recipe that attempts at reducing soap pH. You live and learn, right?  

Hair Treatment Ingredients

Although there are no extensive scientific studies that prove that castor oil promotes hair growth, folk medicine uses it as a hair thickener (see castor oil in Soap Making Oil Chart). Still, it’s proven that is a nice foamy agent, making it easier to wash your hair, and it’s an oil with comedogenic rating of 1, meaning that is easily absorbed by the skin (probably also by hair). Ricinoleic acid, the main active substance of castor oil, is anti-inflammatory. moisturizing and known to help with several skin conditions. So, it checks for a great value-add for any soap, hair, and body.

Peppermint and tea tree essential oils also help with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and cleansing properties, helping with an oily scalp, acne issues, and in general, keeping your skin healthy and clean.

 Let’s not forget that coconut oil and olive oil will contribute to cleansing and conditioning properties to both skin and hair.

A Great Travel All-Purpose Soap

I have covered the topic of using soap to wash your hair in the Solid Shampoo Bar recipe post, due to its high pH. 

High pH damages your hair cuticle and causes fibers to break, making your hair with a tendency to tangle, feel slightly sticky or stuck together. A dry, itchy, flaky scalp, with fungi or bacteria, is a symptom of an alkali scalp, or with high pH, where the natural sebum is unable to keep it acidic and fight bacteria – so, a product with naturally high pH is definitely not good for your hair. 

A hair rinse with vinegar (usually, mild apple cider vinegar) is advised to be used in order to lower the pH and close hair cuticles. I leave here a hair rinse recipe from Healthline website. In the alternative, you can also choose to buy an all-natural hair rinse from Apple Valley. I don’t have created a recipe myself as I don’t really like to use vinegar on my hair. I plan to make a more acidic conditioner though.

So you can use this soap bar, made with oils that bring benefits to your scalp and hair, to wash your hair, given that you use the hair rinse afterwards. I personally prefer to use this shampoo bar, as I’ve tried soap and didn’t quite adapt to it, and adivse you to use it only short-term, as the long-term high pH on your hair may damage it and cause hari to break and fall.

With a rich choice of oils and essential oils, enriched with rosemary herbs, this soap bar is great for your skin and hair, making it perfect for traveling, especially if you are camping. It’s zero-waste, light in weight and merging hands, body and hair wash all in one bar. It’s also solid and you won’t have to worry of shampoo slipped all over your backpack. Just make sure you keep your soap bar dry and airy most of the time – avoid contact with water when is not being used to prevent it to go too soft.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and your soaps!!! Don’t forget to this soap bar on your travel experiences!  

Find Where to Buy Handmade Rosemary Soap

If you’re not yet ready to try to make this recipe at home, but you still wish to enjoy natural soaps, you can find handmade rosemary soap in the following links:

Related Posts

Watch These Videos Before Starting Your Recipe

Homemade Rosemary Soap

Sofia Matias
Try this wonderful rosemary soap bar at home. With rosemary-infused oils and castor oil, this soap has the right ingredients for a good hair washing and treatment and lots of foam! A great soap for a travel/all-purpose soap. Natural colorant is orange juice!
Difficulty: Easy
Weight: 500g (17,63 oz)
Lye Concentration: 30%
Superfat: 5%
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
MethodCold Process
ProductSoap Bar
Servings6 soap bars
Cost$8-$15 / 6,5€-12,5€


Lye Water


After Trace Ingredients


Get Ready!

  • Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Recommendations” in How to Make Soap From Scratch
    gloves, goggles and maks to safely make soap at home
  • Watch the video above or read the post How To Make Soap by Cold Process Step-by-Step for instructions on cold process. These are generic steps for all recipes.
    Pouring essential oils into soap batter
  • Prepare your infused oils using the liquid oils and your dried rosemary. See how to do it in How To Make Infused Oil
    2 jars of olive oil and sweet almond oil infused with calendula petals
  • Assemble everything: ingredients, equipment, safety equipment. Prepare your workstations. Measure all the ingredients. Don’t start the recipe without having everything ready!
    outdoor counter with organized soap ingredients and equipment

Heat the Oils

  • Heat the rosemary-infused oils and solid oils until the later are completely melted. Up to around 50ºC (if there is any remaining solid oils, let the heat melt them)
    Heating soaping oils in a microwave

Make Lye Water

  • Make the lye solution according to How To Make Lye Water, using the orange juice as water. Add the lye to the orange juice and mix well until the vapors start to dissipate. The lye water will turn dark orange.

Make the Soap Batter

  • Strain the lye water to remove any bits of orange and avoid any lye crystals in your soap.
    Lye and oils in a bowl, unmixed
  • Use as a target temperature 38ºC for the oil-solution mixture. If necessary, you can reheat the oils, but not the lye solution. Reach light trace with the immersion blender, as this soap tend to harden very fast.
    measuring the temperature of soaping oils with a thermometer

Add After Trace Ingredients

  • Add essential oils blend and the extract to the soap batter. Mix well with a spoon or spatula
    small bottles of essential oils decorated with peppermint and rosemary plants

Molding and Curing

  • Pour the soap batter into soap molds. Sprinkle the top of the soaps with alcohol to avoid soda ash.
    Soap batter of homemade rosemary soap setting
  • Let the soap bars set for 48 hours, then unmold. Let the bars cure for 4 to 6 weeks. See How To Cure Soap.
    Curing soap in a dry and well vented place


Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Be part of the exciting world of natural cosmetics

Sign in to always know about the latest recipes and tutorials from HerbAlcochete

2 thoughts on “Homemade Rosemary Soap Recipe For Traveling”

  1. This looks amazing. Lately, I have really gotten into homemade products like soap, lotions, and other things. This soap would be amazing in reference to the fragrance it has to have, and I am definitely going to give it a try. I have saved your site for future reference. There is a lot of great information here. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello AL. thanks for your nice comment.

      I am glad that I can help with information about natural cosmetics, that’s my main objective with this blog. Feel free to come back any time, and if you wish, subscribe to the mailing list so you can be notified whenever I post something new.




Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating