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Homemade Irish Spring Soap With a Fresh and Natural Scent

While I’m not sure that the smell of Irish Spring soap reminds me of rolling green hills and fairies, it is certainly a strong, fresh scent that people love. To keep things natural, I tried my hand at making homemade Irish Spring soap, and I love not only the smell, but how beautiful it turned out. You can make it too!

Irish spring soap on wooden cutting board

I try to make all kinds of soap recipes. From experimenting with traditional lard soap to unscented soap for sensitive skin soap that helps stop acne, I want to try and help out as many skin types as possible.

For myself, I like to keep things low-key. I have sensitive skin, so I’m very careful with the additives I put on my skin and soap.

I typically stray away from strongly scented soap, but I know that some people love it! It can be great for deodorizing after a workout or cooking in the kitchen. It can also awaken the senses on a sleepy morning.

When it comes to strongly scented soap, no one can take the crown away from Irish spring soap. Since I make all my own products and always put the skin first, I wanted to make a homemade Irish Spring Soap.

If you want to make your own, too, try this recipe! It’s also a stunning bar of soap, if I do say so myself.

This post will cover…

Irish spring soap bars
I use green and blue mica to naturally colour the soap.

Irish Spring Soap Ingredients

The top ingredients in store-bought Irish Spring soap are sodium tallowate, sodium palmate, sodium cocoate, and sodium palm kernelate. These are lye combined with tallow, palm oil, coconut oil, and palm kernel acid.

For my soaps, I typically avoid using palm oil simply because it’s difficult to source sustainably. I have never made tallow soap but have experimented with lard soap before, and it can make good, affordable soap.

For my version of Irish Spring soap, I made my base with coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, and shea butter. It’s quite moisturizing and leaves your skin feeling silky after washing.

stack of Irish spring soap bars
Dried calendula bachelor button petals top this soap for some extra decoration.

Irish Spring Soap Scent

Of course, fragrance is also listed under the ingredients list of the store-bought version, which is always something you want to avoid. Fragrance is typically a complex chemical mixture, and most fragrances are irritants that can cause allergies, headaches, and asthma.

Irish Spring is marketed as a deodorant soap, so it’s trying to smell overly strong. The fragrance doesn’t go into specifics, but it has bergamot and citrus top notes, floral middle notes, and a hint of woodsy base notes. To me, it almost reminds me of a car air freshener.

I created a version that also will evoke a strong, fresh scent without the irritants and the sneezing. To do this, I use bergamot, lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus essential oils.

equally cut Irish spring soap bars
Essential oils are concentrated volatile plant oils and are a great way to achieve a natural scent.

Irish Spring Soap in the Garden

Soap in the garden?! No, I have not gone off the rocker.

Many people have touted that Irish Spring soap can be used in the garden to help repel pests. While I haven’t given it a try myself, perhaps it’s the solution you’ve been looking for.

You can hang Irish Spring soap in your garden, and the strong smell can keep animals out that have sensitive noses, like deer or rabbits. The fresher the soap, the more likely it will work.

People also claim you can use it for insects eating your plants. You can coat the bar along the edges of containers and beds.

Just note that Irish Spring soap doesn’t discriminate against its pests. Sure, it may make a mouse scrunch up its nose, but it may also repel those ladybugs helping feast on the aphids attacking your veggie garden.

So experiment with caution and only use natural Irish Spring in the garden to avoid introducing any unwanted chemicals. Personally, I prefer other methods for keeping pests out of the garden.

plate with Irish spring soap bars
Other items with strong smells, such as naturally strong plants, can also do wonders to keep out pests from your garden.

How to Make Irish Spring Soap

This DIY Irish spring soap is made from very gentle ingredients. I use my moisture blend, comprising mostly of coconut oil and olive oil, for a very soft and silky feeling soap. Add some natural mica, and it looks even better than the store-bought version!

Materials

Ingredients

For exact measurements, refer to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Jump to Recipe
Irish spring bar soap
Each bar of soap will have its own unique pattern and swirl.

Make It!

If this is your first time making soap, I highly recommend you check out this post first. I go into more detailed instructions about each step there.

We want to be as accurate as possible for soap making, and weight is the best way to measure.

First, don your safety gear and begin measuring your ingredients using the kitchen scale.

Gently heat your oils and butter in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. You want to heat them until they reach 115°F.

double boiler with oils for soap making
You can also melt the oils in the microwave, but I prefer the stove top as it’s easier to control and keep an eye on.

Meanwhile, you can add your lye to the water in a heatproof container. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area because, boy, are lye fumes ever strong and smelly. Continuously stir until the lye dissolves. Place the container in an ice bath to help cool it down until it also reaches 115°F.

lye water
The chemical reaction between lye and water creates a lot of heat, which is why you want a heat-proof mixing container.

When both the oils and lye water are about the same temperature, add the lye to the oils in a large mixing bowl. Use an immersion blender to reach a light trace.

immersion blender for soap making
Light trace should look like a creamy white.

Add in your essential oils and give it a quick blend again. Then, follow these instructions to make a 3-point swirl using the blue and green mica powder.

Pour your mixture into the soap mould, and then top it off with dried bachelor button and calendula petals for decorations.

Let the soap mould sit somewhere warm for 48 hours before you cut it into equal bars. Once cut, let the soap cure for six weeks, and then it’s ready to use!

soaps ready for cutting
I make multiple batches of soap at one time. You can see Irish Spring soap on the far right!

Frequently Asked Questions About Irish Soap

Does Irish spring soap keep away mice?

The strong smell of Irish Soap is said to repel many kinds of animals, including mice. To keep them away, shave your Irish soap bars, and sprinkle the shavings in the corners and windowsills where the mice hang out.

What does Irish spring soap repel?

Irish soap can be used to repel all kinds of animals and pests, but most people say it works best for mice, deer, rabbits, squirrels, and spiders.

What is Irish soap used for?

Irish soap is marketed as a deodorizing soap, meaning it can help to remove and mask body odour. It will leave behind a distinct smell on your skin.

Others have used the soap and its scent for other purposes, such as repelling pests in the garden or home, keeping clothes in the closet or drawer smelling fresh, and as an air freshener.

Irish spring soap on wooden cutting board

More Soap Recipes to Try

Homemade Irish Spring Soap

This DIY copycat Irish Spring soap recipe is made using all-natural ingredients, but still have that distinct, crisp scent.

Equipment

Instructions

  • Put on safety gear, and then measure your ingredients using a kitchen scale.
  • Gently heat the oils and butter in a double boiler until they reach 115°F.
  • Meanwhile, add lye to water in a well-ventilated area. Stir continuously until fully dissolved. Cool in an ice bath until it also reaches 115°F.
  • When the oils and lye water are at the same temperature, add the lye to the oil in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an immersion blender until you reach a light trace.
  • Add in your essential oils and blend again.
  • Make a swirl by adding green mica to one side of the bowl and blue to the other side of the bowl. Mix in place using the immersion blender. Use a chopstick to help make a couple of swirls in the bowl before pouring.
  • Pour in soap mould, and then top with the dried flowers for decoration. Let sit somewhere warm for 48 hours.
  • After 48 hours, cut the soap into equal bars. Let sit and cure for six weeks before using.

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