Orange cloud needed for email routing?

We were wondering if the domain that emails are forwarded from has to be orange clouded or can it also be gray clouded?

Email routing works when you have relevant MX & SPF records of Cloudflare in the DNS records, it is not dependent on if the domain is proxied or not.

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Despite the “Cloudflare Email Routing” feature, usually the hostname like mail.domain.com which is used for MX record of domain.com and in your e-mail client should be unproxied and set to :grey: (DNS-only) to make sure your e-mails work propperly.