Apple Cider Soap

Apple Cider Cold Process Soap

I love experimenting with different infusions and additives when making cold process soap. The options are almost limitless! With this batch, I thought I’d try incorporating apple cider into a spice scented bar.

When I created the recipe for this apple cider soap, I first used the calculator at Majestic Mountain Sage to come up with a plain, basic bar of soap.

I then used their suggested ratios of oils & lye, but substituted apple cider for part (roughly half) of the distilled water and added a teaspoon or two of cinnamon essential oil and almost a teaspoon of ginger essential oil, at trace.

The cider gave the bar a brownish tint, while the cinnamon gave it a most delightful smell that permeated my entire kitchen! Ginger is great for circulation issues, so I added that to help warm winter-chilled toes & fingers. (If you’re on blood thinners or have other medical concerns, research ginger further before use.)

It’s important to note that I used regular cold apple cider obtained from my local apple orchard and NOT apple cider vinegar or hard (alcoholic) cider.


apple in fall leaves

Apple Cider Soap

Liquid & Lye Portion

  • 4.16 ounces lye (6% superfat) (You can buy food grade lye HERE.)
  • 9 ounces pure cold apple cider (I used half apple cider/half water instead)

Oil Portion

At light trace, add:

If you’ve never made soap before, be sure to thoroughly research the process and precautions before trying this recipe.

You can find more information in my Soap Making 101 post (HERE) or check out my Natural Soap Making eBook & package (HERE).


If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. For every one comment from a real person I get, I receive many more from spam bots. I have several spam filters in place to help with this, but unfortunately some legitimate comments get lost in the system. If your comment doesn’t show up in a week (it sometimes takes me that long to get to all of them), then try again with a different email address. I try to answer every single one that I see. Thanks for understanding!

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You  may also like:

Goldenrod Soap |  Honey & Dandelion Soap | Kombucha Soap

Goldenrod Cold Process Soap Recipe  Dandelion and Raw Honey Soap Recipe  How to Make Kombucha Soap Palm Free Recipe


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64 Responses to Apple Cider Soap

  1. Although I may also be tempted to eat/drink this soap, Jan, I’ll bet it smells great, particularly in the bath. Thanks again for such a painstakingly prepared and informative post.

  2. Earlene says:

    I use this site when making up a recipe. you can save it to the site and print it out to save later. has saved me many a headache.

  3. Jaya says:

    Thank you, that’s where I was confused… in the rest of the world, apple cider IS alchoholic. We would just call your sweet/soft cider ‘apple juice’. It’s all apple juice for us, if it’s filtered or treated, or just raw or sweetened.

    I was wondering how you could use something alcholic like that for the water! Now, I get it.

    Hahaha, the common language that divides us :-)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jaya, Thanks for letting me know that! It is so funny (and very interesting!) to hear how different people see and say things. I think that’s one of my favorite parts about the internet in that it helps me remember that the world is wide and varied and that I don’t live in a solitary little bubble! :)

    • vicky says:

      If you were to use an alcoholic beverage for your liquid just let it go flat. Some also recommend freezing it!

  4. Michele says:

    Is there an expiration date on this soap since you used food as an ingredient?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Michele, That’s a great question. In general, the alkalinity & heat generated during saponification prevents spoilage. It should stay fresh at least 9 months to a year. The bigger cause of early rancidity in soap is usually an overly high amount of oils compared to the amount of lye or using oils that are past their prime. If your soap starts to smell like old, rancid oil, it’s time to toss it.

  5. Osiris steward says:

    Hi Michele I am very new on making soap, I made the very simple recipe twice, but I wanted to make it different for just a bet adding green tea, in my lye water, twice my soap turn out greasy and like apple sauceIt is in the mold right now it do not looks good at all please hell.I make my soap in the crockpot Thanks Osiris

    • Jan says:

      Hi Osiris, Can you write out and tell me the exact recipe that you used and how much water and green tea you added? Then I can look at it and see if I can help!

      • Osiris steward says:

        Hi Jan sorry this is such a late response. I found this recipe somewhere online and it usually works for me;

        32 oz olive oil
        3 oz castor oil
        4.50 oz lye
        12 oz water

        Like I said, this recipe works for me, but when I add green tee instead of water, and still using the same amount, (12 oz) the recipe no longer worked. Could be because the lye was static? Thanks for your help!

        • Jan says:

          The amounts of lye and water look good. I’ve used herbal teas and Earl Grey tea, but never green tea – but my thought is that it should work the same. If it has turned out greasy for you the last two times, I wonder if your lye has gone bad. Does your lye have lumps in it? Clumpy lye means that moisture has gotten into it and it won’t measure out correctly for your recipe. Maybe try a fresh container of lye? Also, high olive oil soaps take a little longer to set up, so perhaps just giving it time will help too. If you find the site again where you got the initial recipe, you could ask there for advice. They’ll have more experience with their own recipe and could probably be more help!

  6. Osiris steward says:

    Thanks, Jan, you are wright, I bought my 4 pounds of lye at the Amish, and it was fine but after a while it did get lumpy.

  7. Elisa says:

    Does this soap retain any of the apple scent or just the spiciness from the eo? I’m trying to find a way to create an apple scented cold process soap without using fragrance oil.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Elisa! This soap just has the spiciness from the essential oils. I’m not sure if there’s a way to create a natural apple scent in soap, but if you find a way – we’d love to hear about it!

  8. Tess says:

    I was wondering if you could substitute the caster oil, mango butter, and avocado oil for palm oil and shea butter? If so, what would the recommended amounts of each be to put into this recipe?


    • Jan says:

      Hi Tess! I have a BIG post on making substitutions that I’ve been working on forever and will have a soap oils chart too to make it easy to see, but a short answer for now would be yes, I think you could do that! I think it would be easier to just use an already well tested recipe that has the ingredients that you want, which if I’m reading right is: olive, coconut, palm and shea? You could do a basic formula (as found on the blog) of 30/30/30/10 (30% each of olive, coconut, palm and then 10% of shea or some other particular oil you want to use.) Then just use the apple cider/liquid portion and essential oils at trace to get a similar look & smell. Let me know how that goes, if you try it! :)

  9. Kim says:

    Do the spicy EOs accelerate trace?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Kim, I haven’t noticed any speeding up, with those amounts. I add them at the last minute, stir briefly and the pour immediately into the mold.

  10. simcha says:

    Do you add cinnamon leaf EO or cinnamon bark EO

    • Jan says:

      Hi Simcha! I believe I used cinnamon leaf oil. When I went to make this last year, I asked my naturopath (who also runs a health store) which type would be okay to use in soap and she gave me a little bottle of oil. I can double check next time I visit her, but I’m 90% sure it was the leaf EO… Whatever type you use, it’s good to keep the amount on the low side, just enough for a hint of scent, since too much cinnamon can be a skin irritant.

      • simcha says:

        I made a big batch 100 ounces of oil I put in 2 teaspoons of each cinnamon and ginger EO. and it doesn’t smell very good it doesn’t irritate my skin though

        • Jan says:

          I wonder if it has to do with the brand of essential oil? I’ve noticed some brands have much stronger smells than others. When I first made this batch, I was almost worried it would be too strong scented, but it mellowed out nicely as it cured. I have one bar left from a batch I made last year and just gave it a test sniff. It still smells warm and cinnamony!

  11. dana says:

    I’m confused. Regular apple cider or Apple juice in the soap?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Dana! I use regular apple cider that has been freshly pressed from my local apple orchard. (You may be able to find some in the refrigerated section of grocery stores too though.) Apple juice might work, but I haven’t tried it out to be sure.

  12. Biz says:

    How much does this make? I’m used to doing 5lb batches- how much would that be? I’m super new to making soap and still figuring out the headache that is lye calculator.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Biz, Yes, the lye calculator can be painful at first! (especially for non-math-brained types like me!) :) To find out how many pounds of soap that a recipe makes, just add up: lye + water + oil weight. So, for this recipe (I round numbers): 4 oz lye + 9 oz liquid + 30 oz oils = 43 ounces total. Then divide that 43 ounces by 16 ounces in a pound and you get 2.7 pounds so you’d need a three pound mold to fit it in. I hope that helps!

  13. Holly says:

    always run your recipe through a lye calculator. Good one is Majestic Mountain Sage . Sometimes .25 to .5 of an ounce of lye will make a big difference in your soap especially if you are making small amounts. You can buy good fragrance oils out there. Been making soap for 18 years and find people want “all natural” with non natural scents and get upset when its a fragrance oil. You will never get a completely natural soap unless it is lavender, teatree, rosemary, citrus blends, patchouli etc. as the essential oils are too expensive or diluted

  14. Lyddie says:

    I was wondering if the sugar content in the apple cider speeds up the gel process? Do you have a high heat reaction? Also do you insulate for this batch?
    Could I use fresh pressed grapes in place of apple cider in the same manner, expecting similar results? Thank you!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Lyddie! I didn’t notice any unusual speeding up in this soap, but with juices and such, it is good to work with lower temps and even chill your juice before adding lye. I don’t believe I insulated, because of the added sugars in the cider. I haven’t tried fresh pressed grapes in soap, but I’ve read of people trying grape juice before – the consensus seems to be that it turns brown in the soap, but the sugars add bubbles and a nice lather to the finished bars of soap.

  15. Josie says:

    Can you use this recipe as hot process? Or can I use a basic recipe and just change the water to cider?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Josie! I haven’t tried apple cider in hot process soap, so I’m really not sure how it would do. If you do decide to test it out, I’d try only a small basic recipe batch and probably dilute the cider with water by at least half (or more.) I’m not sure how the sugars in the cider will do in the heat – if you can find a HP recipe online that uses juice and see how they handle adding it, it might give you a better idea!

  16. Brittany says:

    Did the soaps take on an apple-ish smell at all? I was going to try this exact same thing but chickened out.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Brittany! It’s hard for me to tell because of the EOs in them, but I don’t believe the scent would carry through strongly, if at all. They smell cinnamony to me – and everyone I know loved picking them up and sniffing them. :)

  17. I’ve never made apple cider handmade soap but I would love to try it. The apples and cinnamon sounds delicious too.

  18. SP says:

    Hi again Jan,

    I’m going to make this recipe next but was hoping to use just castor, olive and coconut oil since I don’t have the others (I do have almond, jojoba, hemp and rosehip but don’t want to use them in soap as they’re more expensive). Can I just omit the avocado and mango or do I need to substitute something else? I know I will need to run it through the lye calculator once I know which oils to be using. So just to confirm, instead of using water, I sub-in apple cider to mix the lye in with, correct?

    I’m also wanting to substitute cardamom for the ginger or maybe do half and half.

    I bought some handmade apple cider & cardamom soap which I absolutely love and what inspired me to start making own because I can’t find that soap locally!

    Thanks again!

    • Jan says:

      Hi SP! Yes, you sure can make a soap with just castor, olive, and coconut oil.

      If you left out the mango butter and avocado oil then you’d have:
      60% olive oil (15 ounces)
      32% coconut oil (8 ounces)
      8% castor oil (2 ounces)
      3.53 ounces of lye (6% superfat)
      6 to 9 ounces liquid (I’d probably aim for 7.5 ounces)
      That’s a wee bit over the recommended higher range of 25 to 30% coconut oil (which I personally don’t find too drying if there’s enough superfat, but some people do.)

      If you substitute more of the three basic oils instead for the mango & avocado, you could try something like:
      60% olive (18 ounces)
      30% coconut (9 ounces)
      10% castor oil (3 ounces)
      8 to 11 ounces liquid (or around 9.5 is what I’d do)
      4.21 ounces lye (6% superfat)

      (Double check all that math, because I only did a quick run through on it.) :)

      And yes, instead of using plain water for the lye solution, use apple cider (or half apple cider/half water) instead. You can also use a favorite recipe you’ve already made before and know for sure that you like and just use apple cider in it instead, with your cardamom scent at trace as planned.

      It sounds like a lovely combination and should make a terrific soap – I hope it turns out well for you!

  19. Verna Dayton says:

    Could the cinnamon and ginger spices be used instead of the eo’s since I don’t have them?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Verna! I’ve seen recipes that use the actual spices – I’d just be careful about using too much so the bars don’t end up scratchy. Have you seen the site Humble Bee And Me? She has some great soap recipes and I recall seeing one (or more) on there that had actual spices in them. This is one I’m thinking about I believe: It might give you some ideas of how much to use!

  20. Alison says:

    Silly question…..are you using Apple Cider Vinegar or just plain fresh Apple Cider, or is there a difference????? Thanks

    • Jan says:

      Hi Alison! You want regular apple cider that you can drink as a beverage NOT apple cider vinegar. Lye is very alkaline and vinegar is very acidic. If you mix them together, the best case scenario is that you neutralize the lye and it won’t work to make soap.

  21. Cyndy Styles says:

    Been reading all the comments. I want to make soap but never have attempted. This Christmas I want to give all hand made items. Quilts, soaps, laundry cleaners, etc. Is it hard to learn the process?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Cyndy, I love your idea of giving a homemade Christmas! I think everything has a bit of a learning curve to it, but now is a wonderful time to get started, so by the time Christmas rolls around, you’ll have perfected your technique. Once you get your first successful batch of soap under your belt, I think you will find it’s a lot of fun and much easier than you thought it would be. It took me a long time to try it out, since I felt intimidated by the long list of instructions, but I’m so glad I gave it a try. I think you’ll do great! :)

  22. Tammy Spitzer says:

    Have you every drank warm mulled apple cider? Yum! I might make some this week to see how if would work in the soap recipe and then omit the EOs. I am also making the pumpkin spice soap so they will be cured by fall. Seriously have spent a few hours on this site today. So many great ideas!

    • Hi Tammy, Yum, warm mulled apple cider is delicious! You can use it in soap, but the scents of things rarely carry through, which is why we replace them with essential oils. That’s just what I’ve read though and haven’t tried it myself to know 100% sure how mulled apple cider would work. If you test it out, I’d love to know how it turns out for you! I’m so happy that you enjoyed reading through the web site! Summer has been busy, so I haven’t been on here as much, but I have lots more ideas to share once I can sit down and type them all up! :)

  23. Cara says:

    How many bars of soap does this make?

  24. Colby Sherwood says:

    I’ve tried this twice now and get a violent reaction when I stir the lye and cider. I have had no issues with using distilled water and the cider is fresh pressed. Is there something I am missing?

    • Hi Colby and yikes! Is your cider chilled and still cold from the refrigerator? Cold is good and colder is even better. You could try freezing the cider in ice trays and using half distilled water and half frozen cider & making it somewhat like a milk soap, with low temperatures. I’m curious if the pH of cider varies depending upon the orchard making it? Or maybe even upon that year’s crop? Our local orchard cider is generally very sweet. Is your cider sweet or is it more tangy tasting? I hope to grab more of this year’s cider soon and I’m going to test the pH of it, out of curiosity, then I can add that to the recipe, in case it’s a factor.

  25. layla says:

    Could all of the oils in this recipe be substituted with the oils for the rosa rogusa recipe?
    thank you, in advance!

    • Hi Layla! Yes, you’re exactly right. You could take the entire rosa rugosa recipe (oils + lye + amount of liquid) and instead of 26 oz rose tea, use apple cider (or diluted apple cider) instead. At trace, instead of rose scents, you could add the cinnamon and ginger essential oils. You could really take that one rosa rugosa recipe and make tons of different soaps from it, simply by changing it up with teas, infused oils, essential oils and extras like oatmeal, clays or colorants.

  26. Erin says:

    I’ve been making my own apple cider soap recipe for a few months now! I found that using a red apple fragrance oil plus a spice EO or FO really captures the essence of apple cider

  27. celine says:

    Hi! I see that you have mixed vinegar with lye. Is that safe? I read that the combo of an acid (vinegar) and a lye (base) is not a good idea. 1) a base (lye) and an acid (vinegar) can produce more heat. I am concerned about the safety level, like unwanted explosion whatsoever. 2) the acid can neutralize the base, making the purpose of the mix ineffective. I would really love to make my own vinegar soap. Can you enlighten me on this one? I’ll look forward for a response. Thank you.

    • Hi Celine!
      “It’s important to note that I used regular cold apple cider obtained from my local apple orchard and NOT apple cider vinegar or hard (alcoholic) cider.”
      You’re exactly right, vinegar wouldn’t be a good idea directly mixed with lye! I’m not aware of any safe vinegar soap recipes (though it’s possible one exists out there!) :)

  28. Anne says:

    Can this recipe be made with out any oils? I am extremely allergic to coconut, Shea, olive oil, cocoa butter or any type of nut.

    • Hi Anne! In order to make soap, you have to combine oils or fats with a caustic solution (lye), but there should be some options hopefully for you! Can you use animal fats like Lard (from pig) or Tallow (often made from beef)?
      There’s also Rice Bran Oil or Sunflower Oil (a seed) or Hempseed Oil (also a seed). What oils do you use for cooking? You should be able to use those for soapmaking as well.

  29. Brandi Gutierrez says:

    Do you think I can use half apple cider/ half goats milk?

  30. Karen says:

    I’m out of avocado oil-what could I sub?

    Thank you!

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