Coconut-Lime Soap

Yesterday morning, I looked out the window while I was getting ready and decided, “You know what? It looks like flip-flop weather!” I’m not quite sure what got into me, but I got dressed and was completely convinced that I would get to work and everyone would be wearing summer attire.

Coconut Lime Soap 3

It was a bit of a reality check when I walked out my door and realized the temperature was balmy 38 degrees. When I arrived at work there was not a sandal, flip-flop or short sleeve shirt in sight. Apparently, it’s not quite summer yet.

Coconut Lime Soap 4

Once I got home from work that evening I grudgingly put my flip-flops back in the closet, anxiously awaiting the day when they would make their grand re-entrance. Until then, I’ve decided to fulfill my craving for summer another way: making Coconut-Lime Soap.

Coconut Lime Soap 1

This soap is made with coconut milk and coconut-lime fragrance oil. With the added chopped coconut and lime zest exfoliant on the edge, these bars smell like summer on a beach. (Just make sure it actually is summer before wearing those flip-flops.)

What are your favorite summer fragrances?

Coconut-Lime Soap
Makes about 16 4 ounce bars of soap

For the full cold process soap making instructions, check out Tiffany’s beginner’s soap making tutorial

Base Oils
15 oz. coconut oil (34.09%)
15 oz. olive oil (34.09%)
8 oz. sunflower oil (18.18%)
6 oz. safflower oil (13.64%)

Lye Solution
14 oz. coconut milk (for more on soap-making with milk, click here)
6.25 oz. lye

When making soap with milk, freeze the milk first, to at least a slushy state, otherwise the milk will burn or curdle when mixed with the lye. When creating your lye solution, very slowly mix the lye, a small amount at a time, into the frozen milk slush. Complete the rest of the recipe as you normally would.

2 oz. coconut-lime fragrance oil
Lime zest and chopped dried coconut for exfoliant (optional)

As always, remember to let your soaps cure for 4-6 weeks before using or gifting.

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  1. I put the lime in the coconut.. oh my gosh this looks fantastic!

    • Haha. Thanks! 🙂

      • Hi !
        Could you kindly give the measurement in metric units also.


        • Hi! Sorry for my delayed response. Here you go!
          Base Oils:
          425 grams coconut oil (34.09%)
          425 grams olive oil (34.09%)
          227 grams sunflower oil (18.18%)
          170 grams safflower oil (13.64%)

          Lye Solution:
          397 grams coconut milk
          177 grams lye

          57 grams coconut-lime fragrance oil

    • January says:

      I prefer to use EO rather than fragrance oils. Any suggestions?

      • Sure! I would suggest just leaving the coconut fragrance out and using all lime essential oil instead. You won’t have the same coconut scent, but it will still be “coconut lime” soap since you’ll be using coconut oil and coconut milk in the rest of the recipe. Click here for lime essential oil from Nature’s Garden and click here for lime essential oil from

        • Janet Spence says:

          Just found your site and love it 🙂 I just got back from my health food store and they had neither lime or coconut EO, so I am going to take a walk on the wild side and use lemon and peppermint. I will let you know how it turns out scent wise when it isout of the mold.

          • So glad you like the site! I used a coconut-lime fragrance oil, not EO, which may be why you couldn’t find it at the health food store (it’d be more available on soap-making supply websites). This recipe would work well with other essential oils, though. Lemon and peppermint will probably work great! Good luck and happy soaping!

        • With essential oils are you still using the same amount of 2 oz?

  2. This looks amazing! I have always wanted to try making soap, sounds easy and divine 🙂

    xo, Tanya

    • Thanks! You definitely should make soap! It’s not difficult and once you get the hang out it, it’s easy to create your own recipes. I’m definitely addicted to soap-making! 🙂

  3. I’m really going to have to give soap-making a go…i love all the beautiful ‘flavour’ combinations you keep coming up with. I can’t get enough of this blog girls ♥

    • Thanks! 🙂 It’s super fun coming up with recipes – you should give it a try! My sisters recently started making soap and I think they’re officially hooked.

  4. where do you buy your oils? I used fragrance oil one time and my soap seized up

    • You can get a number of essential and fragrance oils for soapmaking from We’ve gotten many of our oils from them. This particular coconut-lime oil used in this recipe, I bought at a store near me. However, does sell both a lime essential oil and a coconut fragrance oil that you could use for this recipe. Hope that helps! 🙂

  5. Cynthia Hughes says:

    What a great idea. I had never thought of coconut milk in a soap but should have! Thanks for a beautiful summer soap!

    • Thanks! This was a first for me using coconut milk and so far I love it! I’ll definitely be making more recipes with it. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  6. I found this blog looking for soap recipes, tips and tricks. I can’t wait to try all of them. I am also impressed of the design and general look of the blog, inspiring!

  7. This might sound dumb, where do you get lye from? I would love to make my own soap because I have skin problems and regular soap sometimes hurt.

  8. I’ve never made soaps before but I’m really interested. Should I start with something like this or maybe an easier one? And by folloeing the same directions you mean the temperature and the mixing?

  9. Shirin Fenn says:

    Sounds lovely! Looking forward to giving this one a go How long can you keep the soap for once made? I’m a soap making newbie and not sure!

  10. Tiffany says:

    For the coconut milk, did you use the canned coconut milk, or the kind in the fridge section?

  11. Fernando V says:

    Hi. I would like to add some mandarin zest to this. Also, the folks I am making this for have kids with eczema and psoriasis. I read that sesame oil is good for that….any tips on modifying this recipe?? Thanks. And fyi…I’m gonna be on this site ALOT friends. 🙂

    • Mandarin zest would be great! That’s a wonderful idea. In soap recipes when sesame oil is used, it typically makes up about 5-10% of the total base oils. For this recipe, which is 44 oz of base oils, you would replace anywhere from 2.2 – 4.4 ounces of one of the oils above (I suggest replacing part of the sunflower or safflower oil) with sesame oil. Make sure to run your modified recipe through a lye calculator ( because the amount of lye could change based on the oils you use. Hope that helps!

      • Fernando V says:

        Thank you for the guidance. I will give it a try. Also, my buddy made me a real hefty soap mold, and he wants to make more. Do you guys talk about molds on here?

  12. Hi,

    I do the hot process method because I want my soap sooner!! Can you make a recipe with milk in a crockpot?

  13. Hmmm….lime and coconut. That sounds incredible!! I’ve been wanting to make soap again and think I’ll try this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it. Do you use dried lime zest on top?

  14. Hi, love your site and your soaps looks great! I would try to make this one, but cant get any safflower oil where I live.. Do you have any other suggestions of oils to use instead?

  15. Hey there

    LOVE the blog and am excited to start soap making very shortly! Just wondering about base oils, do you use liquid coconut oil or the kind that is semi solid at room temp.

  16. Can you do this recipe with hot process in a crockpot? With the milk, just wondering if that would work?

  17. Anne Luttrull says:

    Do you bring your oils to 105 degrees and match it to the lye temp or are the oils room temp? I am really wanting to learn to make this. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Hey there! Thank you for this lovely recipe. I hope you feel flattered if I tell you that among thousands of different recipes one can find on the interwebs, I decided to start my soap-making career right with this one. 😉

    But … I’m not sure all has gone the way it should have. I used 170,5 g coconut oil, 170,5 g olive oil, 91 g sunflower oil, 68 g safflower oil, 177 g coconut milk (frozen) and 70 g lye, plus I added 20 g lemon EO, a good handful of dried coconut and around 2-3 spoons of lemon zest at trace (I was using a hand blender). I made a batch 3 days ago and cut it into 8 bars around 48 hours after the batch was made. The problem is that the bars are still kind of soft (although a lot thicker and harder than when I poured the soap in the mold) and they don’t seem to be getting any harder. When I hold one in my hands, it seems as if it was melting. I took one small piece of it and washed my hands with it and it seemed ok. But they are not real soaps, they are way too soft. I did use lemon instead of lime (since I got bio lemons from my friend’s garden), but I don’t think that should make a problem. I also do know I should wait 4-6 weeks before they are ready but I am afaid they were too soft even at the time I was cutting it. What do you think, where did I go wrong? Is this normal and will my soap bars eventally get hard enough to use? Or should I try rebatching it? And if, how?

    I know, so many question, but I think you as the authour of the recipe and a pro can help. 😉 And hey, the soap smells amazing! I really don’t want to throw it away … I really hope you can help.


    • In response to Manca: run your recipe through a lye calculator always. It could be that there wasn’t enough lye which I think is the problem here. Also, when you make a soap that is all or largely olive oil, it takes months to cure. I like using for their easy to use lye calculator. The lemon shouldn’t make a difference. I hope I helped a little. Good luck!

    • Sorry for my delayed response on this and I hope you’ve been able to salvage these soaps! As Diana mentioned, definitely double check your recipe using a lye calculator. If you do need to rebatch, I’ve got some helpful tips and links that I included in this post (when I had to rebatch): Hope that helps and good luck!

      • Heya, thank you for your answers. I did run a lye calculator before starting the process of soap making and I guess I even triple checked it – just to be sure it works.:-) And now, 7 weeks after the soap was made, I think I made too much of drama for nothing really. I think the soap works fine! After this coconut-lemon soap I made three other soaps and realized that apparently each soap’s hardening process is different. This one’s pace was just a bit slowlier than some others. Is this possible?

        Also, Sarah, can I please ask you to write few words on how long can different kinds of homemade soaps sit unused – e.g. how long can one store them in a cupboard before they get bad? Thank you.

        • Glad to hear the soap turned out! Yes, depending on the oils, the hardening timeline can be a little different. As far as storing, sometimes soaps with essential oils or fragrance oils can lose their scent after about a year or less, so I’d suggest using up the soap within a year. Also make sure that you store them in a way that allows them to breathe – don’t store in an airtight container. Happy soaping!

  19. I am completely consumed with all the possibilities of soapmaking but I am a tad leary of working with Lye. If I wanted to start out with a Melt and Pour soap base how would I adapt the recipes?

  20. Thanks for the great recipe, but once i added the lime zest, it turned neon orange, did I do something wrong??

    • The lime zest may change color a bit as it dries out. Mine turned to a bit more muted green/yellowish as time went on, but it didn’t seem to cause any issues with the soap. Sorry that happened! Even though the zest color changed, it shouldn’t affect the quality of your actual soap.

  21. Michelle Richards says:

    May I ask the dimensions of the slab mold you use? Your soaps look great! I have several of the recipes waiting for a slab mold to be made! Cant wait……..

  22. Those pictures looks lovely.. I like natural and organic soaps, they don’t cause the dry feeling that you can experience with commercial.

  23. So I just made this recipe but instead of 2 oz of fragrance oil I totally used 2 oz of tea tree oil. I am wondering if i used too much tea tree oil because my room smells of tea tree. Will the soap die down some once the soap cures?

    • The scent may soften a bit as the soap cures, but different oils need to be used in different quantities. Typically, we suggest approximately 0.7 ounces per pound of Base Oils for most Essential Oils, 0.9 ounces per pound of Base Oils for Citrus Oils and 0.4 ounces per pound of Base Oils for more pervasive oils like mints and spices. Tea tree oil would definitely be a more pervasive oil, so you don’t need as much in a soap recipe as you would a citrus essential oil. Your soap will still smell and work great, but that could be why it’s a bit on the strong side. Hope that helps!

  24. I’m just wondering about the safflower oil. Did you use refined or unrefined?

  25. At what temperatures were you mixing the two?

  26. By coconut milk, did you mean the water in coconut or crushed coconut meat ?
    I’m already thinking of going commercial with milk soap, because people here love ”crazy” things!

  27. Amazing, love coconut lime but I’d add yogurt in these. People love them.

  28. Jessica says:

    Hi I’m still fairly new to soap making and horrible at math but I was wondering if you could explain if my digital scale should be set to fluid ounces or pounds. I’ve made this recipe and loved the results but wanted to be sure I was measuring it correctly. Thanks!!

  29. Hi there,

    Just a question: Did you use dried coconut threads or freshly chopped coconut for the exfoliant

  30. Sorry if I’m asking a question you have already answered, but do you use canned coconut milk or the coconut milk that is in the dairy section at the grocer?

  31. can i use this same recipe for hot cooking soap

  32. Thank you so much for sharing your soap recipes! Cant wait to try this one, it sounds amazing!! 🙂

  33. your soap is so nice

  34. Can you make this using the hot process method?

  35. Hi, I am just making a batch of Coconut Lime soap using your recipe, I froze the coconut milk but the lye just isn’t coming up to temp, what now?

  36. Can this be converted to hot process? I don’t have the patience to wait for six weeks!

  37. Can this soap recipe be done with out using lye?

  38. Hi! Curious as to what size/shape mold you used for this recipe?!


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