Peppermint Soap Recipe + Instructions: Recipe and instructions for how to make cold-process soap with peppermint essential oil. Includes a full DIY video explaining each step #soapmaking #soaprecipe
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Cold Process Peppermint Soap Recipe + Instructions

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Recipe and instructions for how to make cold process peppermint soap with essential oil and peppermint leaves. It will make six mint green bars with pretty flecks.

Ah, peppermint. You’re zingy, refreshing, and oh so easy to grow. In fact, if you turn your back on it, peppermint will take over whatever space you plant it in. That’s alright though since there are so many incredible ways to use it in food, drinks, and skincare. Even natural soap! This recipe shows you how to make cold process peppermint soap using peppermint essential oil and dried peppermint leaves. They could come from your own garden or from a peppermint tea bag.

Peppermint Soap Recipe + Instructions: Recipe and instructions for how to make cold-process soap with peppermint essential oil. Includes a full DIY video explaining each step #soapmaking #soaprecipe
This peppermint soap recipe creates up to six light-green bars decorated with tiny flecks of mint

Drying Peppermint

It doesn’t take a lot of peppermint leaves to make this recipe, so you can use those you’ve grown in a small pot or larger amounts. Though there are cases where we use fresh plant material in soap, it can cause issues if it’s too thick or too wet. For this recipe, I recommend that you use fully dried leaves that are finely pulsed. You can learn more about three different ways that you can dry peppermint over here.

Peppermint leaves in soap don’t scent your bars, that’s what the peppermint essential oil is for. What they do is add tiny flecks through your soap that, over time, will be surrounded by tiny golden halos. It’s the tea seeping into your soap! It’s a simple and beautiful effect that works with other tea soaps as well.

Peppermint Soap Recipe + Instructions: Recipe and instructions for how to make cold-process soap with peppermint essential oil. Includes a full DIY video explaining each step #soapmaking #soaprecipe
You can use mint from tea bags or mint you’ve dried yourself

How to make Peppermint Soap

The first batch of soap I ever tried to make was natural peppermint. That first attempt didn’t go so well and I recall my frustration now nearly many years after the fact. I eventually figured out how to do it but it was difficult trying to teach myself from books. I learn so much better by seeing something done rather than reading about it — can you relate?

This first experience is one of the reasons I began offering soap making lessons. It’s also why I’ve chosen to share a peppermint soap recipe for my very first Facebook LIVE video. You can watch that video at the bottom of the recipe. It shows you step-by-step how to make this recipe and should answer any questions that you may have.

Peppermint Soap Recipe + Instructions: Recipe and instructions for how to make cold-process soap with peppermint essential oil. Includes a full DIY video explaining each step #soapmaking #soaprecipe
Peppermint soap is fresh and zingy and a great way to use homegrown herbs

Peppermint Soap Recipe

Lovely Greens
Make minty-fresh handmade soap with peppermint essential oil, dried peppermint leaves, and green mineral color. Technical info: makes 5-6 bars, 454g / 1 lb batch, 5% superfat, and 35.7% water discount
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Curing time 28 d
Total Time 1 hr
Course Soap recipe
Cuisine Herbal soap
Servings 6 bars

Ingredients
  

Lye solution

Solid oils

Liquid oils

Add after Trace

Instructions
 

The Soap Making Process

  • When I make handmade soap I think of the process as four main parts: Lye solution, Solid oils, Liquid oils, and everything that happens at 'Trace'. Trace is when your oils and lye solution emulsifies and kicks off the saponification phase.
  • Instructions for this recipe are below but you'll find even more detailed information in my free 4-part Natural Soap Making for Beginners Series. The 40-minute video at the bottom of the page shows you exactly how this recipe is made.

Prepare your Soap Making Station

  • Put on your rubber/latex gloves and pre-measure the ingredients. The solid oils into a small stainless steel pan, the water into a heat-proof jug, the lye (sodium hydroxide) into another container, and the liquid oils into another jug. Measure the essential oil into a small ramekin/container and the dried peppermint and chromium green oxide should go into their own small containers.
  • Set up your station with your equipment close at hand and now put on your safety goggles.

Make the Lye Solution

  • Work in an area with good ventilation when mixing the lye and water together. Pour the lye into the water and then mix with a stainless steel spoon until the lye crystals are fully dissolved. There will be steam and heat in this step so be cautious. Don't breathe in the steam and ensure the lye solution doesn't get on your skin. If it does, rinse it with water thoroughly.
  • Set the lye solution aside to cool -- I like to set the jug in a basin (or sink) shallowly filled with cold water to speed up the process. Take its temperature with a digital thermometer. You're aiming for it to be around 100°F (38°C). It will be much hotter than that initially but keep coming back to stir and take its temperature.

Melt the Solid Oils

  • Place the pan of solid oils on the hob and turn it on to the lowest heat setting. It will melt quicker than you expect, so stay with the pan, moving the oil around in the pan to help speed up melting. When there are a few small pieces of solid oil still floating, take the pan off the heat and set it on a potholder. They'll melt with the residual heat and a few stirs of your spoon/spatula.

Add the Mineral Color and Liquid oils

  • Pour about a Tablespoon of your pre-measured liquid oils into the ramekin with the chromium green oxide powder. Mix it together thoroughly with a small whisk or milk frother, then pour another Tablespoon oil into the ramekin and mix it together further. Pour this colored oil through a fine-mesh sieve/strainer and into the pan of melted oils.
  • Pour the remainder of the liquid oils into the pan of melted oils. Use your spatula to get every last drop.
  • Sprinkle the dried peppermint over the oils and stir it in.
  • Take the temperature of the mixed oils. You're aiming for around the same temperature as the lye solution, but they can be within about ten degrees of one another.

Bringing the Ingredients to 'Trace'

  • When the temperatures are right, pour the lye-solution through the sieve and into the pan of oils. All in one go, no need to dawdle. Next, insert your immersion blender's head into the pan at an angle. This allows the air in the head to escape and minimizes air bubbles getting into your soap.
  • Stir the contents of the pan gently, using the stick blender as a spoon. Then bring it into the center of the pan and while it's at a standstill, pulse for a couple of seconds. Then gently stir. Repeat this pulse then stir process again and again until the soap thickens up to a medium trace. This means that it will be the thickness of warm custard or pudding.

Adding the Essential Oil

  • The soap will keep thickening up at this point so work quickly. Pour the essential oil into the soap and stir it together thoroughly. Then pour it into your mold(s). In the video, I pour it into a baking-paper lined take-away container. I also recommend the six-cavity silicone mold linked to in the equipment list.

Curing

  • If you're using a loaf mold (like the take-away container), then you will need to insulate the soap to get a good consistent color throughout. You can line the top with plastic wrap and then cover the mold with a thick bath towel. Leave it like this for a full day. Alternatively, you could oven process the soap. Place the mold in a just-warm oven that's turned off. Leave it a full day or until the soap is room temperature.
    If you're using the six-cavity mold, simply leave the soap uncovered on the counter to harden up. The soap will firm up to a cheesecake consistency within ten minutes but won't be firm enough to unmold for much longer.
  • Leave the soap in its mold for 48 hours. After this point, the soap will be the consistency of cheddar and will have almost fully completed saponification. Take it out of the mold with gloved hands and, in the case of a loaf, cut it into bars of the size you wish. A ruler does help here if you want bars all of the same size.
  • Next, find someplace in the house that's safe from cats and kids and that is airy and out of direct sunlight. Lay a piece of baking paper down and space your bars of soap out over it. You should leave your soap there for at least four weeks to allow excess water to evaporate out of your soap and for them to fully harden up. This is called curing soap. When fully cured, you can begin using the soap and gifting it to others.
  • Once made and cured, your soap will have a shelf-life of up to two years. Check the oil bottles that you're using though -- the closest best-by date is the best-by date of your soap. Cold-process soap should be stored in the open during that time, as the natural glycerin in the bars can draw moisture to them if you put them in a sealed container.

Video

Keyword peppermint, soap, soap recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Peppermint Soap Recipe + Instructions: Recipe and instructions for how to make cold-process soap with peppermint essential oil. Includes a full DIY video explaining each step #soapmaking #soaprecipe

31 Comments

  1. This seems like quite an aggressive water discount = when I enter the ingredients into soapcalc.net, a 35% water discount requires 158g of water. What am I missing?

    1. Hi Hannah, and you’ll need to rework your math. 158g of water is a 29.4% water discount for this recipe. That’s too much water in my opinion and can cause issues like soda ash, glycerine rivers, overheating, among other things.

        1. No, those are two different ways to measure how much water to use. Water discounting (called lye concentration in the SoapCalc) measures water based on how much lye you’re using.

  2. Thank you for the recipe!! Since I cannot find palm oil I am using your rosemary/clay recipe but using peppermint oil instead. While I am using peppermint essential oils, is there any reason why I can’t use dried mint (technically it’s chocolate mint and mijito mint that I have) from my garden. From what I’m reading, it sounds like using dried ingredients is purely for aesthetic reasons. Thanks again for your recipes. I love that they are in small batches. I made lotion over Christmas and now I’m attempting soap.

    1. Hi Sarah, and yes you can use mint from the garden. It’s better to use it dried and pulsed though since larger raw pieces can sometimes go off in soap. Plus, it’s not pleasant to happen upon a chunk of leaf, flower, etc while using soap or to have to clean it out of the drain. Mint leaves in soap can leave specks of color, but they will not scent the bars.

    1. Palm oil is vegan, and the only direct substitute for it is tallow, which is beef fat. Definitely not vegan. This is a cold-process soap recipe (chemical formula) and should not be adjusted or customized unless it’s understood how to adjust the lye amount to compensate. More on that here

  3. Hi Tanya,
    I’m loving your website and am really enjoying your cold pressed soap recipes. I am new to soapmaking and wanted to ask, as long as I keep the same weight of essential oil, can I use different essential oils to the ones you suggest? For example, in this recipe could I swap peppermint for rose? or bergamot? or whatever? If not, how can I calculate the right amount of essential oil that I want to use?
    Many thanks!
    Miranda

  4. 5 stars
    Do you think that instead of peppermint could I use basic mint? I have a bush of it while mine peppermint is just sprouting. I ordered seeds about 2 weeks ago so it still requires some time to grow ‘older’. What do you think of replacing those ingredients?

    1. Hi Nicole, a small 15ml bottle of peppermint essential oil represents a full pound of peppermint leaves that’s been steam distilled. Sadly, there’s no way that you could replicate the scent or plant therapy of essential oil the small amount of peppermint leaves that you could add whole, or even as a tea. Also, peppermint is a mint hybrid and will likely not grow true from seeds. That means that the mint that grows from your seeds could be any type of mint in its lineage and not true peppermint. I recommend that you buy a small plant or root a cutting from a piece of peppermint from a friend, or purchased from the supermarket.

  5. Nice recipe, I have tried make it yesterday , colour are really nice… but on the next day (24 hrs) I found it already hard enough to cut so I cut them. soap at 38 degrees around

    May I ask if next batch, shall i need to wait for 48 hrs to cut them?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. The wait time is less about hardness and more about safety. The 48 hours are to allow the lye to complete the saponification process — after two days the soap is much safer to handle :)

  6. I want to make 3lbs of soap using this recipe. How much essential oil do you recommend? I would appreciate your help

  7. Hi and thanks for the recipe ! I made the it by your recipe only to realize later that I usually use water amount about 30% of oils.. So right now I am little worried about the lye concentration. Any reason why you use so much water discount and what is the PH level of your soap after 4 weeks?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Remember that water evaporates out of soap for the most part during the curing phase and the amount you use does not affect the pH. I moderately water-discount my batches to reduce the chance of soda ash, to speed up the trace time, and to reduce the curing time a bit. It also ensures soap making success for beginners.

  8. Always wanted to make soap but it seemed so intimidating. Found your goats milk recipe and it was so easy to follow and turned out awesome. Could we use goats milk in the peppermint soap recipe?
    I think my friend and I are hooked on making soap. Thank you!

  9. I just started cold process soap as my new hobby. I’ve been growing peppermints and wanted to use it for the soap. This was the only recipe I’ve found that was plain peppermint soap. The video helped a lot too. My first batch is curing currently and made a second batch last night. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  10. Dearest Tanya. My name is Sherie. I think you are wonderful. You have given me the opportunity to try soap making. I am in my 70th year and I am ready. Your instructions are just as you said, a lot of people learn visually, and that is what has inspired me to try. Thank you darling girl, I appreciate all you do. Sherie Rodrigues 🧡

  11. Hello Tanya,
    Thank you for this nice recipe.
    Regarding the oils rancidity, is it possible to use vitamin E instead of grapefruit seed extract? Does it have the same effect? If yes, how much should I use?
    Regards
    Krystel

    1. Hi Krystel, using grapefruit seed extract in soap recipes is helpful in cases where the expiration date of the oils is within the next few months. If all your oils have an expiration/best-by date that’s at least a year from now, you can leave it out though. Hope this helps.

  12. Thank you for this recipe! Would like to know if we can double the recipe or maybe even triple it? When measuring you ingredients do you weigh them all seperatly and then add them to your pot? Also if I want to add liquid chlorophyll for color would I do that in the liquid oils and how much is ok? When making soaps I have had the experience of having very soft soap…is this because of an ingredient? And a last question….can I add clay to color soaps and does the quantity I add matter to the recipe.

    Thank you
    Sandy

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